I usually don’t do this, but I’d like to weigh in on the subject matter of another blog written by one of my most favorite bloggers, Kristen Lamb. I was going to just comment, but the subject is way too big and I have a lot of opinions on what she wrote about.
Before we get to that, I have to repeat something my brother told me once years ago. He probably read it somewhere, since I’ve seen it repeated a lot but never anyone given credit for it. “Only bad women make history.” That’s not the direct quote, but that’s what it means.
So it comes down to, what exactly do we have to do as women to be considered bad? That would be different from what it was when my brother quoted that to me, probably in the 1970s sometime. Let’s admit it, a woman has to go a long way today before she’s considered bad, but back then if a woman stepped out of the comfort zone created for her by men, she was bad. If she worked and left her children with a sitter (today called a nanny); if she didn’t cook from scratch but bought prepared food; if she spoke out during a discussion in public; if she wore anything that showed she was a well-endowed woman. I could go on, but you get it. Any of these things are perfectly acceptable today.
So, what do we have to do to be classed as bad now? By whom? For you see, today this is much more subjective than it once was. How do we perceive our fellow women today? Do we think of them depending on what they achieve or how they achieve it?
The Victorian women were known for being sedate, but that wasn’t always the case.
Example: As I’ve grown older I’ve changed my writing style somewhat and write with much more sexuality. I laughingly told one of my publishers that the less sex I get the more I write about getting sex. She told me that was perfectly all right and had no objection. However, certain friends my own age do object, one even called my writing porn, though the younger ones love that I write explicit sexual scenes in all my books, be they mysteries, paranormal, mainstream, or romance.
Funny story: A man came over to my book table at a conference and picked up one of my books, not a romance, and said he liked the book but was disappointed that there wasn’t enough sex in it. It was written a few years ago, but still being available I always carry a few copies. Hmmm. Since then I have really gotten down to business with the love scenes in my books. Not because of what he said, but more because of what I told my publisher. I warn readers, though, with the brand: sexy, dark, and gritty.
Please check out Kristen Lamb’s blog post this week and you’ll see what sent me off on this tangent. She is writing mainly for women writers but it applies to others. I’d be happy to know how you feel about this subject.