Friday, 14 July 2017

Chuckles Chat #25 The Rapist Thug Hero

Welcome to Chuckles Chat where great blogging minds unite to discuss the topics of the day mainly in the book and blogging world. I'll be sharing my thoughts on a topic and then inviting you all to share your thoughts. It's ok to disagree but PLEASE be respectful of each other's views! All of the comments on my blog are moderated and offensive posts ie racist, bigoted will not be published! 

Today I'll be discussing the use of a violent thug or rapist as a hero in romance books. It is something that I see a lot in paranormal romance books and I'm aware that it is creeping into ordinary romance and YA books.

I hate this, I really do. When I read about my male hero I want him to be someone I like and root for. He can be flawed or almost too good to be true as long as I like him and he is well written. However what I'm seeing instead are abusive males who attack women yet we are supposed to swoon at how manly he is for being that way? NO NO NO!

It started for me when I read Kresley Cole for the first and last time. Our hero was tortured for many years and when he escaped he fixates on a girl and starts chasing her all over town, trying to rape her several times. One chapter later he has caught her and within seconds of him touching her, she is melting and swooning? Look I'm sorry if you like this kind of book, but I don't find anything remotely sexy about this plot. He's trying to rape her and she is suddenly in love with him? If a guy chases you around in the dark and grabs you in a park to rape you, are you going to feel desire for him? I find this wrong on so many levels even if it is fiction. I can say quite clearly that I have never had fantasies about being raped. Ever. And I don't want to read about a rapist as a hero with the excuse that he only does it coz he's had a hard life. That is what defence lawyers say when rapists are in court. I don't need it in my fiction.

It is the same with the domestic violence kind of hero. I've got no time for that either. I saw this in Karen Marie Moning's Darkfever. People raved about hot and sexy Jericho Barrons is but for me he is a vile abuser of women and I don't get what is sexy about that or why anyone would want him as a book boyfriend. The guy grabs Mac by the hair and drags her around the room screaming at her about being stupid. On another occasion, he grabs her and squeezes until he bruises her ribs so badly that she can't wear a bra. What is sexy about a guy like that??? Is this really what women aspire to have as a boyfriend? If so I have to say that celibacy will continue to be my friend!

People talk a lot about the Fifty Shades series being an example of an abusive relationship and the haters are saying that this kind of book should not be written. Now I have never seen the film or read the book so I won't pass comment on something I know nothing about. I have no idea if this is an abusive relationship but there are certainly plenty other examples in fiction.

Abusive characters like this in YA really concern me. The boy seems to treat the girl like a piece of crap, being obsessive and controlling and the female MC finds it 'sweet' that he cares so much. No that is about power and control, not love. Reasons and excuses are given for why this wonderful boy is striking his girlfriend and it really bothers me. YA fiction like this is suggesting, in my opinion anyway, that abusive and controlling men are normal. I worry that impressionable young girls and women who have this guy as a first boyfriend may think this is how relationships are and end up badly abused.

What do you think of abusive characters being romantic heroes?

12 comments:

  1. I cannot agree with you more. The abusive "swoony" hero is something I'm passionately against, and I HATE how sexual violence or violence of any kind against women is supposed to look sexy or romantic coming from a guy like that. LIKE WUT THE HECK?! It's so messed up and literally makes my blood boil. I blame Fifty Shades for this mutilated form of "romance".

    Great post :)

    Amy @ A Magical World Of Words

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    1. It's a real pet hate of mine! Male authors can be bad for giving rape fantasies to their female characters as well ie Peter Benchley in Jaws. I don't know of ANY woman who has ever fantasied about being raped!

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  2. Such valid points. I have never seen how this could happen in books time and time again. I remember years ago it happened on a US soap opera and the two (Luke and Laura) ended up being a fan favorite couple for years (yet, he raped her in the beginning). Maybe it started the trend for it to be acceptable - who knows.

    I read 50 Shades a few years back because I was curious and because someone gave it to me. I don't know if I considered it abusive or just kind of pointless. I'm the wrong person to ask about it in YA books because I was always on the bandwagon that Twilight was abusive. I used to argue with my old boss (who LOVED Edward) that the whole Edward and Bella relationship was domestic violence in the making - he told her what to do, what to wear, where to go and she was so co-dependent. I did it half in fun because I liked to rile her up but I also meant a lot of what I said.

    Great discussion yet again!

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    1. I would've hated a show like that one you described...jeez I hate having rapists being loved in books and tv! I don't remember enough of the interaction in Twilight...maybe I'd find it abusive if I read it again. Mind you I don't want to read it again as I think I'll find it too slow! I must admit I've had no urge to watch or read 50 shades! I have heard that it is erotic fan fiction of Twilight though.

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    2. It is and if you hate Bella (like me) than you would more than likely hate Anastasia.

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    3. Bella didn't greatly bother me one way or another which puts me in the minority! I think I would hate Anastasia from the little I've heard about her!

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  3. I totally agree with you. Rape is not sexy. If a guy rapes someone in a book, I’ll hate him forever. Nothing he can do will make me like him after that.

    I read 50 Shades, but it was so long ago that I don’t remember it very well. I mostly remember the terrible writing. I don’t think there’s rape in the book, but the girl agrees to do dangerous/painful things to please the guy. She ends up getting badly hurt. Yeah, not a fan of that.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. I'm in total agreement-nothing will make me like a rapist character. I got annoyed with a scene in the Morganville Vampires where a group of frat boys drugged a girl with plans to gang rape her but when the vampires attack, she holds the hand of the one who drugged her for comfort!!! WT actual F???

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  4. Abusive heroes are my biggest pet peeves in YA. I really don't enjoy this trope of glorifying/romanticizing the "Bad Boy", and whenever I see it in my books, I just get turned right off.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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    1. Yes, exactly! I'm not a fan of the hot bad boy giving off the rapist or domestic violence vibe. Ugh!

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  5. I definitely agree with you. There is nothing heroic about abusive d-bags and I would never in a million years want young, impressionable women and girls to think that that kind of relationship is the norm.

    As for the 50 Shades garbage...I first of all can't ever get behind something that is FAN FICTION based on another stupid series that was also misogynistic (Twilight). Secondly, while I never read the books or saw the movies, from hearing people I know talk about them, yes it was a controlling and manipulative relationship also.

    Basically...there is nothing remotely sexy about rapey, abusive assholes. The end.

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    1. *giggles* great comments Sarah! I liked Twilight at the time but my reading tastes have changed a lot and I doubt I'd like it now. I think I'd notice all these flaws and it would be too slow as well. 50 shades and that kind of abuse relationship would not interest me at all!

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