It All Matters

Last week, Kristen Lamb shared her thoughts on ‘that movie,’ and the comments ranged from “thank you for writing this” to “it’s only a movie (or book) and we all know it’s fantasy so what’s the big deal?”

Kristen explains it so well HERE

let's shine some light on this idea

let’s shine some light on this idea

How many books have had a profound effect on a wide section of the populace? Mein Kampf, anyone? For that matter, what about Harry Potter? Lord of the Rings? Jonathan Livingston Seagull? But even when a book sells in the millions, it will not have the potential impact of one fifteen second Super Bowl commercial. Not only is the exposure greater, a visual image will stay with the average watcher long after they have closed up their book.  Once the actions of the book’s characters are played out on the screen, the impact will reach much further and there will be an even greater need for some people to THINK for themselves before they allow the characters on that screen influence their own lives.

Even so, and not all that long ago, the big strong domineering man was all too popular in books, especially Romance books. I remember one of the early authors I admired adding a scene in some books where the ‘hero’ is ‘forced’ to ‘discipline’ the heroine because she’s put herself at risk. He doesn’t like doing it but he puts her over his knee and administers a few swats to her sitting area. For her own good of course. Being of independent nature she’s upset at first but then somehow sees his actions as necessary for their relationship.

WHAT? And HUH???

Anyone who has worked successfully with horses or dogs or dolphins or…any animal…knows you can’t train with force. Sure you can get a form of obedience. But actual training needs

Really, you don't need to hit me. I'll listen

Really, you don’t need to hit me. I’ll listen

communication and respect, not abuse.  Yet here we readers were, inundated with the idea that a few (loving) swats on the back end were necessary to assure his beloved didn’t do that awful thing again. And of course they had the obligatory Happily Ever After.

That’s just wrong on so many levels. Sorry, no matter how hot and hunky and panty meltingly handsome, no man has the right to hit a woman. Unless, of course, she started the fight and he couldn’t walk away. Nor does a woman have the right to hit a man without a darned good reason. Certainly not as an expression of loving concern.

Is there a time and place for violence? Perhaps. But that time and place is not in a relationship, and not to pump up the ego of the stronger partner. I also believe hope we are closer than ever to the day when we won’t have to have these involved discussions about books and movies that advocate violent relationships under the guise of ‘love.’

We can dream.

 

1 Comment

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One response to “It All Matters

  1. I agree that books can have an influence, for example Oliver Twist exposed the corruption and brutality of the UK’s workhouse system€/the workings of the Poor Law and helped to bring about social reform. However factors other than the written word can have greater impact. The hyper inflation under which Weimar Germany struggled coupled with chronic unemployment was a major factor in assisting Hitler to power as significant numbers of people saw the Nazis as the solution to Germany’s problems. The loss of German colonies and the harsh treatment of the country under the Treaty of Versailles also played a significant part in the rise of the Third Reich. Mein Kampf disstilled many of the existing prejudices such as virulent antisemitism but it was not, in my view the major factor in the rise of this evil regime. The book, in short was a reflection, in it’s most extreme form of existing prejudices and hatreds. In my story, Samantha I deal with a young woman forced into prostitution by her brutal pimp, Barry in the city of Liverpool. Samantha is drugged and raped then blackmailed into prostitution. I don’t describe the rape in my book as I have no desire to titilate a certain kind of reader. That isn’t to say that descriptions of rape should never be included but, in the case of Samantha it appeared to me to be correct to leave out the rape sceene. Thanks for your interesting post.

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