Oh hypocrisy–and Rachel, formerly from AAR, is at it again.

19 May

Jessica, of the most excellent Read, React, Review (formerly, Racy Romance Reviews), posted a couple of links to a kerfuffle involving Dear Author. Since these days I skip more than I read over there, I hadn’t realized that a recent review of Sinful (erotic romance by Charlotte Featherstone) was written by a 15 year old.

I left a couple of comments over at Jessica‘s, but since I’m still thinking about the issue, I’m going to expand a bit here:

Unless there is clear danger–a kid is leaning over a bridge’s handrail and there is no adult keeping an eye on the kid… a kid is hanging upside down from a thin branch three six feet high, and there’s no adult below ready to catch him if the branch breaks… there’s a toddler running on the street and no adult in sight… there’s a barefoot child stepping on grass where you know there are nettles… there’s a bunch of children taunting, pushing, shoving, hitting another child… there are adults abusing a child…–unless the situation is clearly damaging to the child’s well being,

please do not parent other people’s children.

Perhaps I feel strongly about this because a few years back I got taken to task by a group of women–fellow readers, over the now-defunct Suzanne Brockmann board–for allowing my then-fourteen year old to read Linda Howard’s Mr Perfect.

OMG, how dared I! I was perverting my own, innocent child by allowing him to read such material–and I wondered then at the hypocrisy of such outcry over  not allowing an intelligent and sensible 14 year old to read it, but it being perfectly fine and dandy to have it laying about the house.

Which was nothing to the outcry we were both subjected to, for my allowing him to participate in a discussion in that board about Hot Target and SB’s ‘immorality’ in writing about homosexual men falling in lust and in love. One of the statements that stuck with me was that I was “turning” my son into a homosexual–otherwise he would (obviously) understand how unnatural it was to defend other people’s right to their own sexuality.

I was, and still are, very proud of my son’s stance and of how articulate he was while defending other people’s right to be who they are. At the same time, I was astonished at the gall of so many people who flagellated me for allowing him to participate in “adult” discussions–and him, for his tolerance and open-mindedness.

How does all this connects with hypocrisy, you ask?

Well, first–many of the people involved** in the discussion then, as several of those involved in the discussion over at DA now, read pretty explicit sex in their romance. Also, in many cases, when asked, many romance readers will talk fondly about reading their first explicit sex scene sometime in their very early teens–or younger (11 has been mentioned more than once *raising hand* including by myself).

Unless those people are willing to say that reading sex that early forever scarred their psyches and twisted their sexuality, why should they be so freaking sure that my allowing my son to read Mr Perfect would damage his?

Personally, I know that if anything twisted my sexuality it definitely was not my reading.

** by involved, I mean many of the ones freaking out over supposed corruption of the minor’s innocence

Since I drafted this post, Rachel Potter has seen fit to drop her two cents:

Janet W – It is your business. Of course, it is your business. It’s all our business because children who are raised by permissive parents socialize with children who are raised by strict parents, and inevitably the permissive worldview wins out. Peers become far more important than parents to kids years before a child reaches adulthood, and I think in fact that many today are counting on that fact. Wait for the priggish parents to die off, then we’ll have the New World Order, etc., etc.

You cannot have a functioning society when there are no agreed upon rules by which the young are raised. This is a large part of why we do not currently have a very functional society – because we just love, love, love the moral relativism. It is so much easier. Unless you’re a parent and you do not want your child growing up thinking that current mores are, well, moral. Then good luck to ya.

I read romances as a teen. I do not think this is evidence for why or why not I am or am not screwed up now. The climate in the 1980’s is not the climate of today, but I also do not believe Gen X came out unscathed.

I wonder if Ms Potter has ever stopped for a second to contemplate the reverse side of this coin…

Of course is my business that there are retrograde parents out there fostering the idea that there’s no such thing as date rape and that homosexuality is unnatural–those toxic beliefs have no place in the world I want for my children. Therefore is my business to educate those poor repressed children…

I can just see the steam coming out of her ears.

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