Monday, September 24, 2012

Sexy or Sexist

I read an article online recently about a controversial  magazine cover (French Vogue) that pictured a man with his hand around a woman's neck. Women's advocacy groups objected to the depiction they saw as abusive, as if the man was about to choke the woman or otherwise harm her. They said the cover glorified violence as an act of love. But the imagery was clearly meant to be sexy, not abusive.

As an erotic romance author, I've had acquaintances and even a family member accuse me of writing sexist books that objectify women. If the man slaps the woman's backside, pulls her hair or ties her up, they feel I've crossed the line from sexy to sexist and abusive. I beg to differ.

In certain situations, a little manhandling can be very erotic. Now, if my heroine has a history of abuse, that type of sexual activity wouldn't be sexy at all, but in general, many women find that type of play arousing.

Hell, all we have to do is look at the popularity of books like Fifty Shades of Grey to confirm that lots of women enjoy a little roughness when it comes to sex.

Everyone has a right to his or her opinion, but my advice is if you don't find such depictions sexy, don't read the book, don't buy the magazine. Maybe I'm being overly sensitive. What do you think? Does this type of sexual play constitute sexism or is it sexy?


CaroleDee said...

BAH people always get their panties in a bunch about the dumbest things. I looked up the cover, it looks sexy to me.

I can see where a woman with a violent sexual history could misinterpret it, but for the majority of the population I can't imagine what the fuss is about :/

One of Kristen Ashley's books (Motorcycle Man) had a character that was always putting his hand around his gf's throat like that and it freaked me out at first, but it was eventually revealed why he was doing it and,although, a bit quirky it ended up being a very heartwarming and sexy trait. :)

Wynter Daniels said...

Thanks, Carol. I agree - people tend to overreact to stuff like that.

Naima Simone said...

I know exactly what cover you're referring to, Wynter! I saw it online and my first reaction was: This is hot, not abusive! It read PASSION! In one of my books, my hero mimics this position with the heroine. So I find it sexy, not sexist. People can be overly critical with anything that has to do with sex. And that has more to do with the person than an image or book!

Wynter Daniels said...

Good point. So much is point of view!

June M. said...

I think it depends on the person. I think it's sexy (had to look it up). There are always going to be those people who will put down anything they don't like and think no one should like them. But then I love reading BDSM stories ;)