thornsilver posted: Let me tell you about my Problematic Favorite. Anna Bishop's books (and that is true for all of her novels and short stories that I have read) have certain common themes. They are extremely rapey. Often that is true both about male and female characters. There is also a lot of lovingly described sadism. All the villains are sadists and rapists. And child molesters. (And "Black Jewels" trilogy has a real creepy thing that comes close enough to pedophilia to be a kissing cousin. Which gets circumvented by the skin of the teeth and a time jump.) And her male/female relationships dynamics are... I was going to use "problematic", but I already used this word. In any case, it is usually shown as predatory and exploitative with the few exceptions of Heroes and Heroines, which are of course completely trustworthy. Despite living in a society that supports and showcases predator and exploitative.
As far as "Black Jewels" go, it has all of this in spades. I hate the arcs of some of the characters. I have a lot of refrigerator questions about her worldbuilding. And yet, for inexplicable reasons, I still love and re-read these.
This is all true, absolutely true, yes. I, too, love this series, re-read it entirely once a year, and completely ignore certain 'wtf' because whatever.
However, this post spoke to me today because I'm on my period. It fulfills another function aside from my need for casual violence (...reading, I suppose should be at least said here); alone in fiction, we have (many) really soothing passages of women who are on their periods being told they should take off work, go to bed and nap/read/be read to and are brought blankets and meals and snacks (and between snack snacks) while men compete to make the best remedy for menstrual cramps and give massages.
I do not deny problematic, weird, and sometimes flat out "...what the everloving fuck" but five days a month, I forgive everything for knowing there is fiction that spent quality page time making a few races worth of fictional women who also happen to menstruate super fucking comfortable while their uterii threaten to crawl out of their body and kill them (but don't actually kill them because they're not that merciful).
(Also, almost no menstrual jokes I can remember. Do you know why? Anyone who made them would be vaporize by their Jewels like right then. Survival of the fittest works.)
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