Amy Lane blogged about tropes a couple of weeks ago. While I agree, I do, that one should never hate an author for using a trope, I noticed a disturbing trend that turned me away from reading M/M written by women (other than Amy and L.A. Witt) for a while. The last ten books I’ve read were written by men.
First, let me clarify: the only author worthy of my true vengeful and furious anger is George R.R. Martin, for his lack of Butt-in-Chair action. It may be better to “have written,” but YOU HAVEN’T FINISHED!
I read three M/M novels in a row where the protagonist either compared himself to a woman in a disparaging way, compared his lover to a woman in a disparaging way, or hated openly on women to show his superiority.
In all three cases, the author was a woman. Three different women. I can only assume that these were three women who hate women.
In the ten books I read by male authors, the male characters never compare themselves to women, and in the rare cases where they compare lovers to women, it’s to show they are bisexual. I assume this is because most men DON’T compare themselves, or their partners, to women.
I know this isn’t the message Justin Bieber intended, but for our own sake, we need to love ourselves. This genre isn’t a soapbox to berate women. It’s a soapbox for equality. Share a love story about two equal partners without disrespecting other genders. It’s that simple. No one wants to be seen as weak, or overly emotional, or querulous, or gossipy. These may be words used to describe women, but they are not inherently female characteristics, any more than strong, tough, quiet, and aggressive are inherently male. Comparing gay men to women demeans the reader’s intelligence. It hurts the reader just as much as it tarnishes the Point-of-View character.
Stop hurting readers. Write better. I know you can do it. I have faith in you.
Don’t worry, I’ll read more women who write M/M, right after I finish Sacrificed by Bey Deckard. (Because PIRATES, that’s why. Arr.)