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Monday, May 15, 2006

Some like it rough...

Smart Bitches Day is here! Hooray!

And this Smart Bitch is here to defend Johanna Lindsey!

I don't see much about Mrs. Lindsey on the boards very often. Her newest book was a let down for me, but every one of her backlist sits on my keeper shelf. I was expecting a bit more of a bruhaha over at Smart Bitches when they began the Worst. Romance. Evah. post but it was boringly calm that day.

However, poster Melanie did perk me up:
"Gentle Rogue - Johanna Lindsey...I was kind of upset that the hero considers rape to be an okay way to teach the heroine a lesson. Apparently this is a recurring theme in Lindsey’s books, Gentle Rogue being one of the “milder” ones...

Jana said:
...“A Pirate’s Love” by Johanna Lindsay...Otherwise known as “A Pirate’s Lust.” I see someone has already mentioned Lindsay, and yes, rape as a teaching method is a recurring method in her books. Sometimes, kidnapping and aphrodisiacs are involved. But I doubt anything of hers tops the sheer over the top, endless, what the fuckness raping in “A Pirate’s Love...basically, girl on her way to arranged marriage gets captured by pirate. Pirate rapes her, and rapes her, and rapes her, and this wasn’t “forced seduction.” No, it was screaming, resisting rape..."

Evil Auntie Peril said:
"It’s been mentioned before, but I second Johanna Lindsey’s A Pirate’s Love. Disgusting blatant rape. Hero’s an arse of the first degree. And the heroine is the most head-tossingly, foot-stompingly irritating wench to ever sail the seven seas. Read my lips, Lindsey. This.Is.Not.Romance. "

And this is not the first time Mrs. Lindsey has been accussed of writing rape scenes.

What? Seriously? You are prudish prissys who have no business being in the bedroom. Some like it rough.

Lyvvie also talked about sexpectations in her Smart Bitches post today. And I'm continuing the rant...

Forceful sex can be very provocative to a lot of readers.

Rape. Is. Not.

There are a few defining points to rape:

*Edited to add:
I would like to clarify that I am speaking of rape in a ficitonal,
written sense. I in no way want to define the horror that women, men and
children are subjected to when brutally attacked. Please know that I do
not think so highly of myself that I could define that kind of pain in a few

*It is forced.
*It is painful.
*The victim resists...the ENTIRE time
*The victim never participates (kisses back, raises/thrusts hips)
*The victim does not climax. find emotional pleasure.
*The victim declares rape, hate and violation the next day.

And never were the heriones in Mrs. Lindsey's book ever napolied.

(Did you like how I finally snuck in my Google bomb?)

I am at work so I can't pull the scenes up for you right now but I have reread all of these books and rape just didn't come to mind. Personally, I was shocked when I first read someone comment that Lindsey wrote rape scenes. I believe the term 'rape' is bandied around too loosely these days. There are many things that are intense and rough about Lindsey's sex scenes, but they just don't have all of the elements to make them rape.

The biggest thing you are missing here and everyone at SVU will tell you the same thing...you don't have a rape without a complaint!

So go read some Janette Oke and stay away from Mrs. Lindsey if you can't handle the heat!


7 touched me

Blogger Beth pondered...

Okay, I feel like I have to say all this since I'll be linking to this entry, and I can't not respond to it.First of all - I haven't read any Lindsey for at leasst ten years, and nothing much sticks out in my mind. I certainly don't remember being appalled at any rape in her books. However.


You've failed to qualified your definition of not-rape by stating that you refer to the very specific, stylized, Romance Novel variety, quote-unquote "rape". By addressing Rape In General, you perpetuate a very, very dangerous myth about rape victims: that if they are aroused or climax during the assault, then it's not rape. The basic (though not unproblematic due to its vagueness) indicator of rape is lack of consent. And all I want to say to anyone reading this is that orgasm is a physiological reaction, and should never be confused with consent.

Every nerve ending is wired to react in certain, specific ways to certain, specific stimuli. A victim of sexual assault has no control over his/her body's reaction. Many children who were sexually abused as children, in fact, deal with lifelong shame and confusion because they sometimes experienced sexual arousal during the abuse. Does that mean they really wanted it? No. Not even a little bit. A huge number of rapes are committed by a woman's current or former lover - someone who is intimately familiar with exactly how to arouse the victim in the most effective way. Orgasm does not not never ever make it okay. Ever. EVER.

Here. Read Me

(Can you tell how very passionate I am about the subject? My first novel was about a date rape. I can't not spout off the dregs of research whenever presented the opportunity.)

That being (very forcefully) stated, I think you're right that in romance novels, these are the indicators that it's that Romance Variety Fake Rape So It's Really Okay: She resists but then relents. She responds. She orgasms. All of this is code to a veteran reader of the genre, and it tells us not to get too up in arms about it all.

5/15/2006 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger Fickle Fiona pondered...

Thank you for the information Beth. I slapped up my bullets thinking of the written variety and not the all too real situation of rape. I hope my edits have cleared this up.

Thanks for the link.


5/15/2006 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger Lyvvie pondered...

I must say that I love Lindsey books, and they were some of the first I fell in love with during my teens (along with Jude Deveraux). The Malorys, who couldn't love them? Well some folks, certainly, but not me I definitely love them.

There is a big diff between forced sex and forceful sex. It's great to read about a man who takes full charge and knows what he wants and plays the woman like a sitar and it's good. But the angry, loveless, non lusty full of need sex is...a skip over. I don't bother to read it. It's stuff for the antagonist to portray and not the Hero. He should be made of better stuff than that. His Mom taught him better. He knows respect.

In romance novels, it's nice to read when the man is seducing the woman; he's using his talents in persuasion to get her to give into the passion she really feels for him but wont give over to those feeling willingly. That's different from rape - because we can get into her head and know she really likes it. Her lips may say no but her eyes say yes Her objections are anything other than he's repellent.

There is a crossing of the lines in some Lindsey stories, Gentle Rogue is one, but really she rapes him first, allbeit under duress and blackmail. She really was a weak witted heroine and I wasn't very impressed with the story as a whole. It was flaccid. She kept too many secrets and was just a doofus. Not that she deserved to be tied to a bed and used at his discretion - she could've said something, but didn't. He was the kind of hero who would've listened. I don't know if that makes a difference though...

5/16/2006 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger Tara Marie pondered...

You know, it's time they leave poor Ms Lindsey alone--LOL. It's bad enough her old covers suck. When was A Pirate's Love written, I've got an original sitting around her somewhere and it doesn't even have an ISBN number. When it was written the romance world was very different from what it is now.

I avoided that post like the plague, but if I had added my mosted hated book, it would have been Katie MacAlister's A Girl's Guide to Vampires. Believe me when I say Gentle Rogue was much more readable, even if it has a "forced" sex scene which I don't recall.

5/16/2006 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger Fickle Fiona pondered...

I haven't forgot about you guys! I'm on page 190 of Gentle Rogue and so far the only sex has been consentual...

Lyvvie, it just amazes me how two people can read a book and take such polar opposite views on characters and scenes. Good point here, I couldn't have said it better:
"In romance novels, it's nice to read when the man is seducing the woman; he's using his talents in persuasion to get her to give into the passion she really feels for him but wont give over to those feeling willingly. That's different from rape - because we can get into her head and know she really likes it. Her lips may say no but her eyes say yes Her objections are anything other than he's repellent."

Tara, as for most god-awful book in creation, that would have to be Captive Embraces by Fern Michaels. A-w-f-u-l *in a sing-songy voice*


5/16/2006 03:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous pondered...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5/20/2006 06:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Ann pondered...

So many of your points defining rape are simply not accurate for many women who have been raped. Some women may experience physiological arousal. Most women are physically weaker and smaller than their rapist(s) so continued physical resistance becomes difficult. Most rape victims never report their crimes so they don't make declarations of rape hate and violation. In fact, many turn the blame inward.

Johanna Lindsay has written several books which entail the heroine being raped by the hero. No ifs, ands, or buts. You can take rape here to mean compelling a woman to have sex using physical force. These novels include, but are probably not limited to Paradise Wild,A Pirate's Love, and Fires of Winter. I was frustrated and angry after reading the latter 2 novels, but I was so disgusted with Paradise Wild that I never finished the novel (or picked up another Johanna Lindsay novel), other than skipping to the end to see whether the heroine had killed the hero. Wishful thinking on my part.

You are of course entitled to the view that people who accuse Johanna Lindsay of writing rape scences are "prudish prissies who have no business being in the bedroom." You would of course be wrong. Most are probably like myself. Women with healthy sex lives and big appetites for enjoyable fantasies.

I just wish you could do some research on rape before publishing your ridiculously offensive and clearly uninformed views.

1/17/2008 09:59:00 AM  

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