Olivia Waite is a romance author, practicing feminist, and wide-ranging dilettante.
The book world had highs and lows in 2014. While it’s wonderful to celebrate the great moments of the past year, it is also important to learn from our mistakes. The world of literature and book blogging has had some serious stumbles. Here is a list of things we think that could be done better in the coming year.
Call out coded sexism in discussions about YA, Romance, and Erotica.
“Mommy porn, smut, and adult readers of YA” have all been sneered at women by judgmental outsiders, and a few insiders struggling with internalized prejudice. If you’re a woman in any part of the literary community you’ve been judge whether on your qualifications, authority, or simply on the books you choose to read. It needs to end.
It is 2015, women have been on and at the top of the best sellers list in numerous genres for decades. We shouldn’t have to prove ourselves, especially not in genres where we are the majority both as authors and readers. We certainly shouldn’t have to put up with backward, sexist media that wants to shove us back into the kitchen or sitting rooms, or shame us over our sexuality. Women of all ages like sex, like to read and write about it. There is nothing wrong with this, no matter the genre. We need to call out conversations that are coded ways to undermine women’s authority and autonomy to write and read whatever we want.