Sunday, March 31, 2013

I'm tired of reading about virgins

I'm half way through a book at the moment which stars a female vampire hunter who falls for a vampire and the two begin working together to stop a bigger, badder vampire. It's basically Angel and Buffy except in this book the main character, Cat, is half vampire and half human, the product of a rape that left her mother emotionally and mentally damaged. Cat has spent her whole life feeling guilty for being the end product of a violent rape and ruining her mother's life. Her mother is always quick to remind her that she is a "monster" and that her birth ruined her life and branded her a slut in the eyes of the townsfolk. This is really fucked up. Cat did not ask to be born. It was not her fault that her father raped her mother. It is not her fault that she is half vampire. Her mother needs to cut the shit and stop making her feel like crap for who and what she is. Cat never tells her to stop with the abuse though - she lets her get away with it because she was raped by a vampire and has had the terrible burden of raising a half vampire child. This is really sad.

So, to escape her mother and in a desperate attempt to earn her love and acceptance, Cat becomes a vampire hunter. She goes out night after night and kills vampires just so she can run home and tell her mother who will smile and tell her "Well done! another monster gone!" which is disturbing because Cat is half vampire - does her mother think she, too, should be killed for just being what she is?

So she meets Bones and the two strike up a relationship and it's pretty much just sex at first but then Cat begins to get to know him as a person and discovers that vampires are not all monsters. Like mankind, there are good and bad ones, and she eventually realizes that she cannot be a bigot and go about killing vampires simply for the crime of being a vampire. It's the story of a woman who has been emotionally damaged by her mother and through her relationship with Bones slowly learns how to accept her own vampire side and to be less of a cold blooded, robotic killer.

Cat is a cliche when it comes to her relationship with Bones. She is a virgin and has avoided men her whole life. She knows nothing about relationships and is frightened by her desire for Bones and feels guilt after she gets too excited with him. She thinks what she is doing is wrong and in one chapters says he should ask for her to apologize to him after she groped him in a corridor. She knows nothing about sex. This annoys me. I've read too many books about women who are these sheltered, innocent flowers who need a man to come along and teach them about sex. God it annoys me. Just once I would like to read a book about a woman who has had partners, is mature, and unashamed about enjoying sex.

Considering Cat's past though it's remarkable that she allows herself to have a sexual relationship with Bones at all. Sex shaming is a bit theme of the book. Cat has gone through life carrying the terrible truth of her violent arrival into the world on her back. Despite that, she is very patient and loving toward her mother, and never once tells her off for her behavior. Cat shows through her relationship with Bones that she is able to rise above her traumatic upbringing and make decisions of her own.

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