Sunday, May 25, 2014

Seduced by Moonlight--chapter 12

You know, one of the most striking thing about Laurel K. Hamilton's books? Everybody is unhappy.

If there is one thing in Gor that has anything resembling a redeeming quality (Not that it is one, because it's not. But it's something you can grasp towards) it's that Norman makes a case for female happiness being tied to submission--and he shows it by allowing women to be happy. His books are god-awful pieces of trash, but they at least attempt to showcase moments of "real" happiness as a result of Norman's attempts to reset reality. He's making a very clear case for his vision of men and women, and as a part of his argument he's saying Look, you'll be happy if you do this shit. 

You won't be, but Norman's at least trying. LKH can be argued to be playing in Norman's sandbox. She, too, is trying to present an argument for polyamory and swinging as a superior lifestyle to "normal". But LKH cannot even make it to Gor's level of insufferable stupidity because she can't manage to make any single participant come close to being happy.

I hadn’t invited him here for sex. It was Rhys’s night, and he’d stopped sharing me with Nicca after we’d defeated the Nameless and some of his powers returned. I’d assumed that with even more of his old power returned, he’d be even more reluctant to share me, so I hadn’t asked. Feeling Nicca’s warmth at my back, made me want to ask.
This is not polyamory. This is a bunch of monogamous men competing for the attention of a woman with their penis. None of them are happy.

I mean, look at that. Merry doesn't want Rhys right now: She's more focused on Nicca and how much she likes Nicca, and how it's "Rhys's night". Rhys doesn't want to share Merry and he has to. Nicca isn't going to get any sex. He's just here to feed Sage. This is like reading one of those accounts of polygamy from the POV of the women. They've got this great big smile on their face as they talk about how much better polygamy is than monogamy, but they're talking about how some nights, when it's another wife's turn, they hate everything and feel so bad.

Merry tries to talk Rhys into letting Nicca stay the night. She knows that Rhys doesn't want to share, but respecting the wishes of your lover is obviously a social skill realms beyond Merry's thought processes. Rhys tries to sex her out of the idea of having Nicca stay for sex. Sage pouts that he would like to stay, why isn't he invited to stick around?

Sage stamped his foot on Rhys’s solid flesh. “It is most unfair that I will use my glamour to make you feel such wondrous sensations, but I am denied the fruits of my labor. Especially since others will partake of that bounty.”
Yes. Sex isn't an act between two consenting adults. It's the "fruit of (your) labor" that you have to earn. You know, like flowers dates or cooking or something. You being a man.

There's a lot of big fancy words I could use here (Objectification, rape culture, ect ect) but the thing that resonates the loudest is that this is just fucking gross. Merry doesn't want to let Sage screw her, and that ought to be the end of the arguement.

And there's another thing: LKH always, always, always starts a sex scene from the foundation that one or more participant doesn't want sex. someone always has to be manipulated into either having sex in the first place, or having THAT kind of sex.

“If I am Cromm Cruach again, Merry, then Sage can’t touch me.”
I wanted to say, What if you aren’t? but something in his face stopped me. What do you say to a man’s pride? “I’ve never been a god, Rhys. I don’t know what it means to be that untouchable.”
You know, I think I've figured out what the problem with LKH is. She's a cover for Debbi and Micheal Pearl. Seriously. Let's go over the massive number of reasons why this is wrong:

One: It's bargaining for sex instead of straight up accepting that no means FUCK NO. 

Two: This is a legitimate concern for Merry to have. THIS IS A LEGITIMATE WORRY. Sage is basically offering to roofie everybody in the bedroom, and if you submit to the glamour/drugs, Sage will feel he's "won" sex. Rhys is saying, basically, "If I'm a big enough man drugs won't touch me" which puts him at massive risk.

Three: She thinks that Rhys's ego needs to be massaged, and would rather cater to it than protect herself and her lovers from the tiny sexual predator perched on her headboard.

In case you haven't followed that link, it is an amazing blogger's analysis of a horrible book written by two of the worst human beings on the face of the planet. (Note: Link goes to a highly disturbing video of the Pearls at a conference on child-rearing, in which they demonstrate child abuse using a rag doll and a dowel stick, and advocate using every technique demonstrated on six month old toddlers. It's not work-safe and I actually don't advise following it.) In the pages analyzed, Debbi Pearl (in theory--it's probable Micheal wrote most of it, or at least dictated it to Debbi via notes) decides that pumping up a man's pride is better than offering him sympathy based on the "unmanly" behavior a man demonstrated in their church.

Laurel K. Hamilton, a pagan polyamorous writer who has demonstrated her utter contempt for Christianity and monogamous relationships, should not be echoing the same sentiments as a pair of evangelical conservative Christians who advocate beating children until their muscles dissolve.

Unless, of course, there's some common thread in the culture endemic to BOTH OF THEM, above and apart from religious affiliation and dogma. And there is. There's an utter contempt for anything small, weak, and in need of protection, as well as for anything that varies from their accepted view of the universe. And that's just such utter nonsense it makes me want to set things on fire. There are some women who are broken, who do need building up, same as there are some men. There are some people who are neither who are seriously hurting and thus not able to measure up to that standard of utter autonomy you have to meet to have any value in their world. It's that standard that is stupid, dangerous, and without any kind of value whatsoever. The highest law, IMHO, is that you take care of the people who need care. If you're in a ministry and your sanctuary is bigger than your food kitchen, free clinc and counciling offices? Yeah, you've lost the plot. Ditto goes if your social justice advocacy is more about hurting people than creating dialogue. The entire point of these functions should be ending pain, bridging gaps, and striving towards a future when all the basic needs (food, shelter, safety and respectful company) are met reguardless of what race, creed, religion, gender or orentation you have. You take care of the weak until they have the tools necessary to care for themselves. You do not shit on people weaker than you.

 And over and over and over again, LKH had demonstrated nothing more or less than contempt for anyone she perceives as weak. If you're saying that a man's pride is more important than his health and safety, you are probably a terrible human being and you need to leave the rest of the human race alone. 

This is why LKH's books are dangerous. They're not just dumb, stupid, unfactual, misguided and terribly written. They emphasize traits and concepts that have gotten people killed, and that, if repeated, will kill more people, and they treat these traits as either praiseworthy or just a part of human nature that ought to be accepted.

A lot of pagans want her out of their community, but I'm actually really, really glad that she's not identifying as Christian anymore. That would increase the risk that she would listen to people like the Pearls, and just based on what she's written I can tell she'd take to that shit like a duck to water.

If I said no to his wager with Sage, then it was as much as saying he wasn’t strong enough, wasn’t good enough. It wasn’t what I meant, but he was male, and no matter what their flavor, males all have some of the same failings; and I was female, and no matter what flavor we are, we share some of the same failings. His failing was the fragility of his ego; mine, that I was about to stroke his ego at the expense of nearly everything else. I knew it was a mistake when I opened my mouth and said, “Do what you want to do, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
Eleven people highlighted the bolded part. Eleven people found that praiseworthy.

You might want to argue that LKH is saying this ego-stroking is a bad thing. Don't. She's not. She's trying to angle her characters into a sex orgy without having them fully consent to it, because consent is icky. She's also making this a gender thing: That all men have fragile egos that must be strokes, and that all women will stroke that ego until it becomes overinflated. And she's making this be a gender issue, when in reality it's a safety issue: Sage is a sexual predator and he's about to use magic to force his way into sex. Merry is completely justified in kicking his tiny ass to the curb. Instead, we're making Sage's actions be the victim's fault: Rhys consented to the contest and Merry consented to Rhys's consent. She tried to do it in a way that absolved her of responsibility (Don't say I didn't warn you) but that's a double dose of bullshit. First, because she's already proven she has utter autonomy over who gets to be in her bedroom, so SHE is the one who could end this and she would normally still bear fucking responsability...but not in this case because SAGE IS A SEXUAL PREDATOR AND HE IS THE ONE MAKING THE SHIT CHOICES.

We get a long and useless paragraph about how none of the men are allowed to "finish" anywhere other than inside of Merry's vagina. Thanks. We needed that.

 Merry decides that if Sage wins the gamble, he gets a blowjob. The only positive bit is, Merry really wants it.

And thank God, the chapter ends before we do anything more than think about sex and how Queen Andais is a sadist.

And to make you feel better, here's an amazing analysis from the same blogger about why the pro-life movement is really all about making sex have a consequence.

3 comments:

  1. You know, when I heard about the Merry series, I was told it was basically a big excuse for fairy porn, and I thought, “Well, great.” And not sarcastically, either, I sincerely thought it was good that LKH was writing a series where everyone just had sex, and there was none of the unhappy “we have to because beasts/marks/power/REASONS” of the AB series. That was how it sounded to me, like it was just this big sparkly fuck-fest. And that’s not up my personal alley to read, but compared between the two, it sounded so much nicer and healthier and fun.

    I am so disappointed to see that it’s really the same situation.

    Agreed on her books being dangerous. If it were just bad writing, I’d find it hilarious, but I certainly wouldn’t dislike her the way I do. But the toxic things that have been espoused through her, that are reaching so many people through her, yeah, I judge her and her work as Bad News.

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    Replies
    1. I judge her and her work as Bad News.

      Yeah. As soon as I saw the news today I started thinking about LKH, and David Goyer's shitty sexist comments about the She-Hulk, and Seth Macfarlane's jokes about killing sex workers and rape, and all the other examples of constant low-level misogyny in our culture. It's all just one huge fucking social mess that gives guys like Elliot Rodger an easy out from their problem - "It's not my behavior, it's those b-----es."

      I'm sick of it, and it's not directed at me. I can't even imagine how it must feel to have that background radiation of threats and hostility in one's life.

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    2. she's also appropriating the issue of male survivors getting proper help to further her bullshit

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