Monday, December 17, 2012

Should teenagers read "adult" romances?

God, I really hate Fifty Shades of Grey. Morning chat shows waffle on about it as if it invented the erotica genre. They talk about the author and her rise to success and how "You TOO could achieve her success!" by doing these ten simple steps. This morning they spoke about a book being labelled "Fifty Shades of Grey for teenagers" and asked the question...gasp...should our precious children be reading that sort of filth?

What annoys me is they seem to think that every romance book out there at the moment is identical to Fifty Shades of Grey and contains nothing but sex, sex, sex. Wrong. Yes, there are a lot of FSOFG clones out at the moment, but do not think for one second that every romance author out there right now is desperate to jump onto the erotica band wagon.

The book they mentioned was about a 16 year old girl who has to chose between two young boys who are both battling to win her affections. They made no mention whatsoever that it contained sex scenes similar to those featured in Fifty Shades of Grey. The title Irresistible, the front cover of a man unbuttoning his shirt, and the premise of a 16 year old girl having sex was apparently enough to throw this book into the "porn" category for them.

The reason, apparently, why the book is being marketed as an age appropriate alternative to Fifty Shades of Grey is because some bunch of old, disconnected adults somewhere think the teenagers would relate to the book better because the characters are teenagers like them. They then went on to say how it would better for them to read books like Irresistible, erotica novels tailored for their age group, than adult novels.

Um...why? I started reading romance novels (bodice rippers) when I was 14. My mother gave them to me. I did not want to read about teenagers and their boring, stupid lives. I wanted to read about cowboys, Indians, sexy space men, sexy vampires! I wanted to read fantasies! The books I read could not have been more adult. They had big strapping men on the front hugging women to their chest while on the deck of a boat. I still remember trying to hide the front cover with my hands while I tried to read one of my bodice rippers on the bus.

Listening to some stupid old man this morning on the tv say "Do we really want children as young as ten reading fifty shades of grey?" really made me mad because he is comparing all romance books to one badly written, fucked up trilogy that showcases sexual violence.

I really hate how we live in a society that wants to shield young children, and even teenagers, from sex as if it is some shameful, terrible secret. It makes me mad. I would not recommend Fifty Shades of Grey to my future children, because I think it's crap, but if they want to read it I will not stop them. I would let them make their own decision. Once their done I would recommend a dozen betters books though.

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