After reading a few vague facebook posts raging about a book, my curiosity got the best of me. So, I did what any crazy over opinionated blogger would do. I searched Twitter for the source. My emotions went from annoyance over censorship, mortified by the content discussed and ultimately confused and disgusted by the support.
To further my knowledge on this particular book, I took to Goodreads. The place feared by authors and frequented by masses of readers. I wanted to be as educated as possible, without traumatizing myself or supporting the author by purchasing the book. I swam through the reviews of praises, freak-outs and a few very well written reviews giving specific incidences in WHY they rated this book the way they did. Thank you book reviewers.
In case you are staring at this with a blank face, here is the gist of it. Amazon banned said book, which I am going to call EWWW from here on out, from its site. Amazon’s censorship caused rage and spurred debates on both sides. One side about the book’s content. The other side about censorship. The censorship comes into play regarding incest. FULL DISCLOSURE I have not read this book. And I certainly have zero plans to. But, I will elaborate a little here, since maybe *some* incest might be just weird (like cousins or step-siblings). Taboo for sure, but not illegal or full-on disturbing. Other incest is disturbing as fuck, like fathers and daughters. YUP. This book goes there FULL ON. Adding to the level of disgust is the age of the daughter, who is underage.
So, here is the thing. I am not a fan a censorship in general. Yet, I believe some things shouldn’t exist to be censored. Romanticizing things like rape or sexualizing children shouldn’t even be part of romance. And just to be super specific – I am talking about romanticizing, not just existing. Lots of disturbing things exist in our world and I am NOT saying that just the good things need to exist in fiction. Lots of horror, thriller or mysteries might contain rape or various other hideous things. Again, I am not saying that those things need to change. Many times those books can push boundaries and create discussions about cultural issues that need to be talked about. But this particular book is supposed to be romance. EWWW is clearly marketed as romance. EWWW contains many sex scenes. EWWW clearly is making an attempt to romanticize a father / daughter sexual relationship. This shouldn’t be OK.
A standard should exist within the community and our society where these types of books don’t have the platform to exist. As a mother – I stand tall in stating that the subject matter and how it is portrayed is not OK.
Adding to my level of discomfort is the fact that the author is clearly using the banned issue as a marketing point. Making money off of something this dark and disturbing is beyond my level of comprehension. You see, this isn’t just fiction to some people. Some people have experienced being raped by their father, by their mother, by a friend…..no one deserves to have their trauma portrayed as fucking romance. And they sure as shit don’t deserve to have someone make money off of it or trying to.
Some of the support I have seen for EWWW seems to stem from a fear of censorship from Amazon. Stop it. Fear should not influence a decision that ultimately places you on the side of the argument that is supporting a sexual relationship between a father and daughter. This is not an OK message to send to our youth or our peers.
Taboo’s are one thing. Normalizing and romanticizing something this disgusting is NOT OK. Any healthy human being should be repulsed by this entire subject. It isn’t borderline anything. It is outright WRONG. The support I am witnessing is truly bothering me on a level I am having a hard time articulating.
We all need to stop and think long and hard before supporting ANY romance book that has such a high potential to do great harm.