2020 Series To Finish Challenge

I learned about the Series to Finish Challenge right here on WordPress. Basically, you challenge yourself to finish some book series over the course of 2020. It doesn’t matter how many books you have left in the series. It could be 1 or (as in my case) 13. You can pick any series, so long as the series is completed.

Most people I’m following seem to have chosen between 3 and 5 series to finish. I’m going with 3, because the first one on my list is a doozy.

Here are the series I aim to finish in 2020! Wish me luck!

Series 1: Wheel of Time By Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

I’ve only read the first one and part of the second one. There are 14 books in the series, not including the prequel, which I will also be including in this challenge. Fantasy booktuber Daniel Greene advises reading the prequel after book five.

So, I have to finish Books 2-4: ‘The Great Hunt’ ‘The Dragon Reborn’ and ‘The Shadow Rising.’

Book 5, ‘The Fires of Heaven’

The prequel, ‘New Spring’

Books 6-14: ‘Lord of Chaos’ ‘A Crown of Swords’ ‘The Path of Daggers’ ‘Winter’s Heart’ ‘Crossroads of Twilight’ ‘Knife of Dreams’ ‘The Gathering Storm’ ‘Towers of Midnight’ and ‘Memory of Light’

My cat Leo wants to show off the gorgeous hardcover ‘Crossroads of Twilight’ that we got for only a buck at a library sale. I freaking love library sales.

If I ever manage to make it through the 4 million plus words (not kidding. Neither Jordan nor Sanderson are known for their brevity), then I’ll move on to the other series I’d like to finish this year.

Series 2: Unwind by Neil Shusterman

I loved book one and I’m about halfway through book two right now. I need to knock out books 2, 3, 4, and also spin-off books 1.5 and 4.5.

I absolutely adore the first book and the second one is great so far. It’s by far the most interesting dystopian world I’ve ever seen and I’m not usually a dystopia reader. Or a YA reader. But these books are so damn good, it doesn’t matter. I’ll defect from the adult genre for a great concept.

Speaking of YA, the final series on my list is a YA classic.

Series 3: The Time Quintet by Madeleine L’Engle

As with the other two series, I’ve only read the first. I really loved it. I didn’t read it when I was a kid though. Somehow I never crossed paths with this book as a kid. Maybe I was too distracted by Harry Potter. But since it’s a classic of Christian fantasy/YA Fantasy, I decided I should read it.

I rented the audiobook through my library’s Overdrive app and spent the past couple of weeks listening to it on my lunch break. I just rented the second book through the same app.

I only recently discovered the joys of audiobooks and I’m loving how easy it is to cram more books into my life. I can play books while driving, eating, cooking, dying my hair. It’s awesome. Even when I’m doing something where my hands or eyes are busy, I can still ‘read’ books. I think I’ll knock this series out pretty quick with my library’s audiobooks.

I have to read books 2-5: ‘A Wind in the Door’ ‘A Swiftly Tilting Planet’ ‘Many Waters’ and ‘An Acceptable Time.’

So, that’s it! My series goals for this challenge are to read a total of 14 books from the Wheel of Time Series, a total of 5 books from the Unwind Series, and 4 books from the Time Quintet.

I noticed a few similarities among these series. They are all speculative. Two are fantasy and one is Sci-Fi. Two are YA, which is unusual for me. I usually prefer adult fiction, but I’m not averse to books for younger readers. And finally, two are classics of the fantasy genre. I’m trying to read a lot more beloved fantasy classics, so that I can grow in my own fantasy writing.

What about you? Are you thinking of completing the 2020 Series Challenge? Which series will you finish? And do you see any similarities among the series you picked?

Have you read any of the series that I picked? No spoilers! But what did you think of them?

My husband is reading Wheel of Time with me, and I have one internet friend who loves the Unwind series. Other than that, I haven’t had much opportunity to discuss these books with anybody, so feel free to share your thoughts in the comments! I look forward to hearing from you 🙂

December DNFs

I’m trying to do a lot less DNFing, but sometimes, I’m just not feeling a book. Here are the books I couldn’t push through in December 2019.

  1. The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston

I didn’t know anything about this book before downloading the audio book via my library’s Overdrive collection. Honestly, the only reason I picked this book was because it was one of the VERY few fantasy books available. I feel like every time I go into Overdrive for an audio book, I end up getting something I didn’t actually want to read. I only play audiobooks while I’m cleaning, dying my hair, or eating my lunch at my desk at work. So, I guess maybe that’s the reason why I don’t plan ahead and ever put anything on hold. But I digress, this was the audiobook I ended up with.

The narrator was awful. Her accent was irritating. The voice of the male love interest sounded like my grandfather. She made him sound so old and crotchety.

Then there was the content itself. It was a mixture of boring and confusing. I didn’t care for the switching between first and third person. That’s some avant-garde fantsy-pants shit that I’m just not about.

The main character was obnoxious and unlikeable. I do enjoy a flawed character, maybe even a character I disagree with, but a character that is straight-up obnoxious doesn’t really fit that bill. She was very r/notliketheothergirls. Nothing she did made sense.

Her being mute is treated like a personality trait. It isn’t. Brackston used this as a cop-out to not write an actual character. And the guy likes Morgana because she is mute…..Ew…There are some very icky implications there.

I DNF’d 50% of the way through.

I also want to mention that the book has a very low average rating on goodreads, so it doesn’t look like I’m the only one who feels this way.

2) The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

This book is a DNF for now. I’ll go back to it one day. But for now, I just can’t get through it. I’m not a fan of complex worldbuilding. I prefer easy to understand worlds and soft magic systems. Of course, the obvious question is must be; then why in the fuck did you pick up a Brandon Sanderson novel? Your preferences are the exact opposite of what he’s known for.

I know, I know. This is a me problem. I guess I want to get more into Epic Fantasy, but everything in my preferences as a fantasy reader is rebelling against it. This is a series that is super hyped. Some of my favorite booktubers wax poetic on it, and my husband is reading it, so I thought we could enjoy it together like we’re currently doing with the Wheel of Time series. My husband is actually enjoying this book a lot. Me, I’m struggling, but one day I’ll buckle down and push through it.

The characters are cool and the storms that break the world are neat. Maybe that will be enough to salvage the read for me.

I DNFed at 15% of the way through this 1,000 page monster.

3) Promises From the Past by Victoria Bruce

I picked this up in a used bookstore, because the cover is gorgeous and it’s a time travel romance! I love time travel romance. Hands down, my favorite romance sub-genre. Second favorite sub-genre is historical (which overlaps with the time travel subgenre;)

I got a little over sixty pages in before I gave up. Not sure if I’ll ever attempt to read it again. The tone was weird and not at all what I was expecting in a romance. It read as a lot more of a mystery with Southern gothic vibes. The imagery and tone are very dark.

In the very first chapter, there’s this dilapidated farm with this creepy old woman who wants to serve the MC and her husband (yes, husband, I’m hella confused) a starving goat.

The heat is sweltering and adds to the general tone of Southern creepiness. There’s a scene where the MC enters a potions/voodoo-esque shop and sees a jar full of leeches, before fainting.

Really, I’m just at a loss as to what the fuck this book IS. That cover screams romance, but I’ve had nothing but mystery so far and I didn’t sign up for a mystery. I knew from the back blurb that mystery would be part of it, but so far it’s been all of it.

This one was DNF’d at around 15%.

4) Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

“Newell Convers Wyeth (1882 ? 1945), was an American artist and illustrator and a student of Howard Pyle. He illustrated 112 books and did over 3000 paintings.”

This is another audiobook I got through Overdrive, mostly because it was one of the only classics available. I remember I first tried to read it when I was eight. There was a big illustrated version that I got from my school library.

Despite my love of nautical books, pirates, and anything to do with the sea (some of my favorite books ever are ‘The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle’ and ‘The Cay’) both when I was eight, and trying to read again at 31, I couldn’t get into this beloved classic. Everything was very boring and I couldn’t get invested in the characters. I just don’t care if they find the treasure or not. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but this book didn’t hook me and listening to it was a chore.

I DNF’d at 15%.

5) Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

There was a lot I liked about this book and I don’t have any major criticisms of it. I will go back and finish it eventually. The thing is, I knew this book wouldn’t be completely my speed. I don’t like humor in fiction. I don’t like books that try to be funny. That’s just not what I go for in books, so I knew this might not be to my taste.

I actually ended up enjoying it far more than I thought I would, but at the end of the day, this isn’t a book that super appeals to me, and there are other books I’d rather be reading.

I have nothing negative to say about the book. It’s not my taste. I do want to read it because it’s such a popular book in the fantasy genre, but I highly doubt this will become one of my favorites. At best, the rest of the book will go like the first part I read; I’ll enjoy it a little more than I thought I would, with no major complaints, but not loving it either.

I DNF’d at 30%.

What about you? What books did you DNF in December? What are you reading now?

Happy New Year!

The Vitriolic, Woman-Bashing, and Male-Genocide-Promoting Hatred of PinkPill Feminism

The Incels’ main gathering space on reddit, r/braincels, was banned in September of this year, along with r/geekcels and several other smaller incel subs. Several documentaries have been made about how entitled and hateful incels are. r/inceltears is a huge subreddit dedicated to taking screenshots and mocking incels.

Despite the mocking and mass-banning of the incels, and despite the fact that none of the femcel gathering spaces have been banned or even quarantined, femcel “pink-pilled” feminists believe that their disgusting misandry, their delusional misogyny that they don’t even seem to be aware of; they believe these horrific views are justified because (supposedly) men are sexist all the time and nobody gives a crap when men do it.

Basically….WAHHHHHH, it isn’t fair! I wanna be a sexist piece of shit TOO!

Yeah. Then deal with the backlash, you fucking crybabies. If people didn’t give a shit about male misogyny, then r/inceltears wouldn’t exist. Then r/incels wouldn’t have been banned several years back. Then r/braincels wouldn’t have been banned this fall. Then the BBC wouldn’t be making documentaries about incels.

Nobody even knows what the fuck femcels are (and who can blame them, that gigabitch moderator has a boyfriend…allegedly….WTF even ARE you guys?). If people really react so disproportionately to women “no longer being nice and polite” then where is the femcel documentary? Where is the large mainstream reddit sub devoted to mocking you guys? Where is the mass hysteria that a movie will send you all into a murdering rampage? The femcel claim that everybody ignores incels but freaks the fuck out over femcels BECAUSE MISOGYNY is patently false and a flimsy fucking excuse to act like dickheads.

Femcels. Y’all are a bunch of dickheads.

They’re so freaking sensitive and they make no sense. Reacting to another human’s speech is not policing people’s thoughts. WTF??

I can not stand the lack of logic here. Sure, you can have your opinions. And others can have THEIR opinions of YOUR opinions. You’re an idiot if you think anyone reacting negatively to your opinions is “the thought police.” You’re too damn sensitive and you should go take a nap before you hurt yourself. Go lie down. Rest your pretty head. The mental exertion is obviously too much for you.

You heard it here folks. The femcels feel like they have the right to be sexist against men. I suppose they do. But then they ugly cry all over reddit if anybody calls them misandrist.

Femcels: I am sexist against men and feel like I have the right to be!

Everyone else: That’s….a little fucked up and misandrist.

Femcels:

All men rape and kill babies…..K

You really complaining about the word ‘bitch’? You advocate aborting all male babies. You say all men are pedophiles and rapists.

Fuck you, BITCH.

Go cry.

But they don’t need to clarify NOT AL MEN. They obviously don’t mean ALL MEN. Not when they’re saying stuff like this. Holy hell, these B-I-T-C-H-E-S make my head hurt. Yeah, bitch is just a word. I’m not gonna stop saying it. Or the word dickhead. Or the word asshole.

Again, go cry about it.

No u

It’s the only argument they have.

Hypocrites. And they don’t even care that they’re hypocrites. They don’t have an ounce of integrity.

Here’s the misogyny. They refute the existence of female agency. No woman could ever willingly engage in kink. Men always have all the power in every male/female interaction.

Ughh…and that’s feminism….ta-da! XD

Reddit, I know you’re run by a bunch of radical feminists, but for real, you gotta ban these guys. If you’re gonna ban the incels, you have to ban the femcels.

Anyone who identifies as a feminist should be even madder than me.

Go flag their posts if you’re mad.

r/pinkpillfeminism and r/askpinkpillers

Those are their feminist subreddits. They also have other subs dedicated to other femcel issues. These include: r/trufemcels r/trunormies r/theglowup r/femaledatingstrategy (possibly-there is some contention as to whether the majority of FDS is femcels or larping incels-I shall include it because gigabitch and other prominent moderators of femcel subs highly endorse this sub). r/vindicta r/FDSSuperfans and r/Christmas_Cake

Some other non-femcel radical feminist subreddits that also endorse violence against men include r/thefairersex and r/gendercritical

4 Star Review: The Family Upstairs

I decided to read this book because I saw it was one of Colleen Hoover’s current reads. While I wasn’t a fan of “November 9,” when I gave Hoover a second chance and read “It Ends With Us,” she freaking blew me away. So now I follow her on goodreads and, apparently, take recommendations from her.

Also, “The Family Upstairs” is just a really good title and I’m always a sucker for a good domestic suspense. (I mean, I did write one that has 51k reads on wattpad, not that I look for reasons to awkwardly pitch my own work or anything…hehe….who would do that?)

Well, Colleen Hoover didn’t steer me wrong. I really enjoyed this book. I gave it four stars on goodreads. There was enough to keep me guessing throughout the story. At first I felt like skipping between past tense first-person and present tense third-person was annoying, but it weirdly grew on me over the course of the book, and in the end, I found myself feeling like it worked.

Henry was by far the best character. He wasn’t fully evil or fully good. He was twisted, but still remained oddly sympathetic. Even though it starts in the present and then darts back into the past, and we know the basics of the ending from the very start, enough was left out to keep things interesting. I enjoyed how things were revealed to us one nugget of information at a time.

The descriptions were beautiful and grotesque. Henry’s descriptions of Birdie were especially vivid. You could really tell how Henry felt about each of the other characters by the way he described them.

Now I will reveal a few spoilers. Go away now if you don’t want them———————————————————————————————-

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The biggest shock at the ending was that Henry was behind Phin’s illness the whole time. And the fact that Phin only pushed Henry in the Thames because Henry tried to kiss him, I couldn’t believe what an unreliable narrator Henry was, and I LOVED it!

My only criticisms of the book are that, while the mystery aspect was fun, this book didn’t have an edge-of-my-seat gripping quality. I think what could have made the book a real page-turner was if it had spent more time in Henry’s POV and showed the decline of the household more slowly. I also think that giving away less of the details right at the beginning.I really found myself wishing that there wasn’t such a heavy reliance on time-lapses and glossing. I wanted to see the slow decline of these people and their lives. And Libby’s story wasn’t really all that interesting. Lucy’s was more interesting, but I still found every Libby and Lucy chapter to be a bit of an annoyance. The only really great elements of those chapters were the new bits of information we learn about the house and the lives of Henry and his siblings.

Also, I figured out Lucy was Henry’s sister right away. How could you not? She’s the only character without a name when we’re in his POV in the past. Every other character has a name, but with her it’s just “my sister.” If it has to say “my sister” thirty times on a page, so be it. It wasn’t clever. Just annoying. A better way to not give away Lucy’s connection to Libby would be to give her another name. I mean, she has new documents with a fake name on it anyway and she’s totally distanced herself from her whole life. Giving her a different name would have been a much less obvious way to go about this “twist.” It’s not really a twist if I can see what’s happening by the fifteenth use of “my sister.”

And I found the title slightly misleading. There isn’t really a “family upstairs.” They become intertwined with Henry’s family so quickly (at least in terms of Henry’s POV page count-there’s a LOT of time lapses and glossing), that the title barely makes sense. It’s ominous and all, and it would be a good title if it fit, but it doesn’t.

Overall, this was a good book. It was entertaining and kept me guessing. The ending genuinely surprised me. Henry was a wonderfully three-dimensional character and the best way to improve this book would have been to sacrifice a TON of Lucy and Libby’s chapters and give that page count to Henry. Really, I cared so little for Lucy’s life of playing the fiddle on the streets of France and Libby’s life selling kitchens and trying to date. It was all just so boring compared to miscarriages and imprisoning children and strange polyamorous family dynamics that include a man impregnating (or at least it looked that way) both a mother AND her underage daughter. That house was fucking wild. THAT is the content I wanted.

When in doubt, writers, keep it simple, just write the exciting stuff. You don’t need to slow it all down with POV characters that are boring as hell compared to the “good” POV, and with how interesting Henry was, there’s no way Jewell didn’t look forward to his chapters more than either of the other main characters.

I will say Jewell must have put a lot of work into crafting such a complex plot, going back and forth in time, among several POVs. Each little clue unfolded and revealed its secrets eventually. There wasn’t one gun in this story that didn’t go off. The level of detail and thought put into this story is truly breathtaking.

I recommend this book for anyone who enjoyed Paul Tremblay’s “Head Full of Ghosts” or Jeffrey Euginides’ “Middlesex.” There was a dash of horror and a whole lot of domestic suspense, coupled with the kind of intergenerational intrigue that Euginides crafts.

I’ll be making it a point to check out Jewell’s other books shortly. She’s a talented writer that I need a LOT more of in my life.

Why Are So Many Feminists Pretending Women's Pants Don't Have Pockets?

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I’ll cut right to the chase. I’m sick of feminists straight-up lying that women’s clothes don’t have pockets. I don’t even use pockets and every fucking pair of pants in my closet has pockets.

Do you hear me? I don’t use pockets and yet all my pants have them. Large pockets big enough for my iPhone 6. Normally I keep it in my backpack, but I checked just for the sake of this article. It fits in all of my pants, except one pair. Nine out of my eleven pairs of pants have pockets big enough for my phone and I am the proud owner of these pockets (I know, swanky) by fucking accident.

But maybe I just had really great luck. Maybe I own the only eleven pairs of female pants with pockets.

Nope. I took a walk through Target yesterday. The vast majority of female pants had pockets.

Then I took a walk through Kohls. Pockets to no-pockets was about a 70/30 split.

Then I went to Savers. Same deal. Lot of fucking pockets.

Wal-Mart had pockets too.

Stop straight-up lying for victimhood points.

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And for any lurking MRAs, like if you really want to troll (and God, I fucking hope you do), can you start calling the fact that purses are made for women sexist? Like, could you please? That’s about how stupid all the angst over pockets is. Just start saying you’re oppressed because purses aren’t made for men, and women have far more options when it comes to bags.

That’s some good first-world oppression right there.

If I find out tomorrow that the silent puppeteers of modern feminism are actually trad-con men trolling the fuck out of us, I will not be surprised.

But then, maybe feminism really has gotten that stupid. It looks like an example of Poe’s Law in action, but it’s really just entitlement. It’s really just a bunch of middle-class millennial women who ran out of shit to complain about. And I say that as a millennial myself. This pockets shit. I feel it in my bones. This is our thing.

And to everyone ignoring reality to make themselves a victim of….an imagined lack of freaking pockets….all I have to say is, can you not?

Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

You embarrassing me in front of the inkels right now. For real, you making feminism look stupid by ignoring reality.

Okay, peace.

Women who have been best friends for nearly 80 years move into same care home — WTVR.com

MANSFIELD, England (WJW) – They’ve been best friends for nearly 80 years and that’s never going to change. Olive Woodward and Kathleen Saville love each other so much they now live in the same care home in England. The two women, who are both 89, have reportedly been friends since they were 11-years-old. Saville has…

Women who have been best friends for nearly 80 years move into same care home — WTVR.com

EmOTioNAl LAboR: Just One of the Many Reasons I'm Parting Ways With Feminism

I’ve been calling myself a feminist since I was ten years old. I grew up in the heyday of the SpiceGirls. Girl Power. Girls are just as strong as boys. All of that. I believed in feminism with all of my heart.

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Moving into my teenage years, I became more serious about my feminism. I started reading about issues like abortion and stem cell research. I read up on both sides of these arguments. I also became very interested in female sexual objectification in the media. I started reading books on the subject. My favorite was Jean Kilbourne’s “Deadly Persuasion.” I went on to watch her “Killing Us Softly” documentaries. I even became friends with an adjust college professor and finagled my way into attending a few Women’s Studies courses for free. She used to give me a ride from my high school to the campus and then home after. (She was a nice lady and I was a weird teenager).

Growing up in an abusive home and witnessing domestic violence firsthand, violence against women was another issue close to my heart. By college, I was reading Susan Brownmiller.

I loved being a feminist.

I believed in the ideology with all of my heart.

People often made jokes about what an “obnoxious feminist” I was.

I took it all in stride.

I loved being a feminist. Because feminism was important. Women, nay-the world, needed feminism.

But I don’t feel this way anymore, and the reasons are nuanced and many. I won’t be able to fit them all into one blogpost. I’d have to write a manifesto (and I’m not super interested in writing longform non-fiction).

Please understand my disenchantment with feminism can not be encapsulated in this one blog post. I will only be attempting to explain ONE of the many reasons I will no longer call myself a feminist.

And just to be clear (for anyone waiting in the wings to cry “If you believe in equality between the genders, then YOU ARE Feminist!!) I wasn’t the first one to say, “Hmmm….maybe I’m not a feminist.” Other feminists were.

Photo by Ian Joseph Panelo on Pexels.com

I do not believe in the patriarchy. I do not believe that women are systemically oppressed in the Western World. I do believe that men and women are equally capable and should have the same opportunities and privileges. This should mean I’m a feminist, right?

Wrong according to fellow feminists. Since I believe women already HAVE the same opportunities as men, because I do not believe men are unilaterally in all areas of life privileged over women (and in fact men are the disenfranchised ones in many areas, including homelessness, the education gap, higher suicide rates, mainstream genital mutilation at birth, among many MANY issues), because I believe that women already have equality, I have been told I am not a feminist.

I do not believe that as a white middle-class woman in America I am oppressed. I do not believe my gender holds me back at all. I am not a victim of anything. I used to believe I was. As I’ve grown older and my worldview has expanded with my life experience, I no longer feel this is the case. I’ve been told in no uncertain terms; if you do not believe in the patriarchy then you are not a feminist.

So…*shrug* I’m not a trad-con or anything. I used to think only weirdo traditional conservative women steeped in internalized misogyny were the types to say, “I’m not a feminist.” But the feminist movement makes no room for women who believe that women have already achieved equality. I’m not worried about leveling the playing field, because it looks plenty level to me. I’m only worried about maintenance. This statement alone got me banned from four separate online feminist communities:

“I don’t feel oppressed at all. I don’t think my gender holds me back, and women have all the same opportunities that men have

This brings me to the main topic of this post: silly little strawman issues. The fact that modern Western feminism is focused on issues such as the supposed lack of pockets on any and all female clothing (I have pockets on all my pants. Does feminism know about Target?), the “pink tax,” and my personal favorite: Emotional Labor; the fact that these are the current feminist talking points proves my point that women have already achieved equality.

Feminists use Emotional Labor as a catch-all for several different “issues” and I use that term as loosely as possible. They are as follows.

  1. The emotional work required in customer service jobs. Smiling and being nice.
  2. The imbalance in housework (I think technically it’s meant to be something separate, but I’ve seen a lot of feminists use the term in this way).
  3. The emotional work required to “run a household.” Some examples I’ve seen used are tasks such as keeping track of family members’ schedules, remembering birthdays, sending thank-you cards, etc.
  4. Listening to and supporting their husbands. Feminists claim that all heterosexual relationships are one-sided, and anytime a man goes to his partner to talk out his problems, it’s patriarchy.

Okay….deep breath…I’ll tear down these points in the order listed above.

  1. You can’t get a customer service job and then make surprised Pikachu face when *gasp!* you actually have to perform customer service. Yes, you have to smile and be nice to customers.
I have to smile and talk to customers! P-P-P-Patriarchy!

But let me add this, I used to be a Front End Supervisor for Home Depot. My department was about a 50/50 split males and females (and a couple of FtM trans people-we had a diverse department). You bet your ass the male cashiers had to smile and make nice with customers. It’s part of the job. Hey, I am all for paying customer service employees more. They are absolutely underpaid and undervalued, but don’t use this bullshit argument to make the case.

2. Don’t marry men who don’t care about you. And anyone who doesn’t listen to your feelings and strive to compromise doesn’t care about you. A husband who refuses to split the housework 50/50 is a symptom of a larger problem: an unhealthy relationship.

This a YOU problem, girl. Your relationship sucks.

Thankfully, you’re a feminist! A strong empowered woman, and you have the power to change this TODAY. You have complete control over what you accept in a relationship.

3. Oh! The labor of remembering schedules and making appointments! The oppression! Are men oppressed because they do most of the repairs and upgrades in Western households? If sending thank-you notes is EMotioNAL LABor, than what the hell is changing the wax ring on the toilet, cleaning out the gutters, special ordering storm doors, and keeping track of when the oil needs to be changed on the car?

I know some feminist is waiting in the wings to tell me it’s sexist to say men do the majority of that shit but like….come on. Gender roles are only still in effect when it’s convenient for you? Women are spending all their time on bullshit like sending thank-you cards and remembering birthdays (for real, why in the fuck?) and also doing all the home repairs and car maintenance? I feel like…no. And did I mention I was a manager at Home Depot for about half a decade. Yes, across multiple stores in multiple states. It might sound real pretty to say that women do everything men do (and hey, you want to build your own deck, go for it! I ain’t stopping you!) but I have seen the reality. Men still do all this shit.

I’m waiting for one of them to collect some data and slap a pretty name like “Emotional Labor” on the stress that comes with chasing down the contractor to find out where the hell the double-hung windows are, because that has to at least be in the ballpark of remembering birthdays, right? (I’m being sarcastic. That’s a lot more stressful. It is a known fact that contractors never answer their phones and special orders are always six weeks late minimum).

4. If you think listening to, supporting, and encouraging your man is “labor” than I’m not surprised he never does the dishes. You’re a shitty partner.

*Peace*

WorldBuilding: Crafting Magic — A Writer’s Path

by Whitney Carter Fantasy is virtually synonymous with magic, all the way from fireball wielding sorcerers to dragons to simple elemental manipulations. It is in our epic tales, slaying wicked villains, enabling bold heroes, creating social divides and protective wards alike. Given how varied in trait and definition “magic” can be, you’d be […]

WorldBuilding: Crafting Magic — A Writer’s Path

Five Examples of Internalized Misogyny in The Romance Genre

I love romance. Really, I do. But dammit if that genre isn’t on a level of internalized misogyny cringe that r/redpillwomen wishes it could reach (keep trying, ladies. That post about how women are water waiting to be molded by men-the supposed ‘containers for women’-came pretty darn close.)

Let’s dig into it. Internalized misogyny. Go!

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1 The Virgin Protagonist

But let’s be real, it isn’t so much the fact that the protagonist is a virgin. It’s the way the narrative frames her virginity. In the romance genre, virginity is often used as a symbol of purity and moral superiority. The protagonist’s “innocence” is harped on.

Often she is juxtaposed against a sexually-active female antagonist. This antagonist is usually minor, a “slutty” blonde in class who has the gall to flirt with the male love interest (often before he even knows the protagonist exists and she has no claim to him, but still, what a bitch, right?) The adjectives used to describe this brazen hussy with the absolute uncouth to actually signal interest in a man (the horror!) almost unilaterally have a negative connotation. This girl wears “too-tight” skirts, “flaming” red lipstick, and “dagger-like” nails. Every interaction she has with the male-love interest is made to look desperate and unseemly. She bats her eyelashes, giggles uncontrollably, latches onto his arm possessively; you get the idea.

Innocent virgins who wait around for men to choose them=good.

Women who own their sexuality and aren’t afraid to go after the men they like=bad.

Has anyone told the romance genre we’re actually in the third (fourth?) wave of feminism? They seem to be stuck somewhere between the first and second. Like, women can vote and hold jobs (usually in publishing houses or bookstores), but no self-respecting woman would sully her good name by admitting she enjoys (gasp!) intercourse.

2. She’s Not Like The Other Girls

If you don’t know what the NLOG phenomena is I highly recommend watching this video by one of my favorite content creators. She also explains why the reaction to the NLOGs, the ‘Pick Me’ language is equally sexist. Which is exactly what I told the femcels. I’ve said it once and I’ve said it again, I detest femcels; they are my sworn internet enemies until the end of time. They’re way too nasty without a legitimate enough reason to be so. At least most of the incels are probably clinically depressed. But half the femcels admit to having boyfriends, all while shitting on fat/ugly men and the women who dare to date them (you awful ‘pick me’ desperate bitch! We ALL want to fuck Chad and you’re lying for male validation!) Anyway…I digress. Here you go:

The best example of the NLOG narrative I’ve read lately is Johanna Lindsay’s “Joining.” The MC loves to hang out in nature, raise birds of prey, and dress like a man. She describes women who are conventionally feminine as vapid and shallow. Lindsay didn’t invent this.

The protagonist proving how deserving she is of love by being quirky and interesting (as if these qualities are incompatible with femininity) is a classic hallmark of romance. I’d say it goes back at least as far as Austin’s work, but probably even further than that.

The protagonist is never actually interested in romance. She’s independent! She’s strong!

So, strong women can’t be interested in romance…no, of course not, that’s just silly vapid female thinking. Sorry, my brain don’t always work so good with all my lady hormones.

I don’t know about other romance readers, but I am SOOO freaking ready for a romance heroine who actually wants to be in love. Not one who falls in love despite herself.

I mean, as romance readers, we have an interest in romance. Do we view ourselves as silly vapid females?

This is a lot to unpack. The internalized misogyny is actually pretty painful once you get started. It gets worse though…

3. Dubious Consent

I’ll be plain and clear here. I’m sick of female protagonists getting raped.

And I’m not just talking about the clear-cut that-was-definitely-rape-holy-shit! scenes, like the one I’m still traumatized by from Judith McNaught’s, “Whitney, My Love.”

I’m also talking about the more insidious, sneaky stuff. Like Colleen Hoover’s sexual assault scene in “November 9.” Fallon says, “Stop.” And Ben responds by saying, “I’m trying. Ask me again.” In between these two lines of dialogue, there’s a lot of steamy narrative meant to make the scene erotic and appealing.

Dear Romance Writers: Stop Trying To Make Rape Sexy. Full Freaking Stop.

And Hoover has since come out and said that this scene was an editing error. Apparently, the dialogue between the two main characters was supposed to be referencing some in-joke, but the in-joke was cut from the final draft, making the scene seem worse than it is.

That’s a flimsy excuse that I’m not quite sure I buy, and even if I did, there shouldn’t be any in-jokes that could be construed as sexual assault. Even with all the in-jokes in the world, if a woman says “stop” and it isn’t some carefully-negotiated scene of consensual nonconsent complete with safe words, then the dude should stop and check in. Also, women shouldn’t jokingly say, “stop.” Women can muddy the waters of consent too and I don’t like it from either side.

Cherry Adair’s “In Too Deep” is another example (although to be fair to the specific works I’m calling out, there are a LOT of other books I could have gone with. Dubious consent is a major problem in the romance genre). In this cringe-tastic example of propagating rape culture, the main character is saved from a shipwreck by a super hunky dude. She’s afraid of the storm, so she sleeps in a bed with him. As she is sleeping, he starts kissing and groping her. She wakes up and he is already all over her. And she is into it! Adair really strove to make a man pawing an unconscious woman he met only hours earlier look sexy. It ain’t sexy! STAHP.

4. Youth

The vast majority of romance novels have a female protagonist between the ages of 18 and 23. This is despite the fact that the male love interests tend to be a wide variety of ages. Sheila Roberts’ contemporary Christmas romance ‘Christmas in Icicle Falls’ (which I had issues with for other reasons) and ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’ (which I also wasn’t crazy about) are the only two romance novels I’ve ever seen with elderly women falling in love.

Forget elderly, what about middle-aged? Where are the romance novels with women in their 30’s?

I guess there aren’t any since women over 25 shrivel up and die, right? For real, can a woman past the prime age of 24 even HAVE sex?! That would just be crazy.

5) The Dread

The Dread is an idea I’m pulling straight from the pick-up artists over on r/asktheredpill. These men believe that women only like men who have other women after them. Here, look:

I didn’t always have a name for this phenomena in the romance genre. This element of female FANTASY, just soak that in-romance is female fantasy, where the female protagonist competes with other females and wins. Is this something any women in the world are actually getting off to?

One scene that comes to mind is the weird-ass part of the 50 Shades trilogy, where Christian’s crazy-ex shows up (and we could really dig into the misogyny behind the crazy ex character trope, but I’ve digressed enough). The part that made me cringe so hard I think I got whiplash was when Christian tells Ana that he gave his ex a bath. A BATH. Because she was so filthy from being so severely depressed for so long.

Ew. Okay, maybe I’m being a little bit of an NLOG myself now. I guess I’m hoping there actually aren’t any ‘other girls’ getting wet to the idea of their man bathing a woman on the brink of a psychotic break.

There’s also the sub-genre of historical romance known as the Shiek Romance. Maybe these aren’t published anymore now that we’re living in such progressive times (but for real, can the romance genre catch some of that SJW energy?) All I know is I keep finding them in used bookstores and I’ve bought a few and that’s a me-problem that I will cop to. These books usually involve a harem. This is a man who has been banging loads of women on the regular, but then the protagonist shows up and she is so special and wonderful, that he gives up all other females FOR HER. SHE IS THE SUPERIOR FEMALE!

I might enjoy the historical setting and some of the power imbalance (sorry-tis true) but the dread? I’m not feeling it.

Throw it away. Throw the whole trope away.

Stop proving all these red pill jokers right. (Isn’t Joker blackpill?-shhh….none of my readers are weird enough to get that joke…..or ARE they? Leave the weirdness in the comments below!)

Okay, that’s all I got for you. The Romance Genre is horribly misogynistic and in an SJW-world, I don’t understand why a purple-pilled MRA like me is the one complaining about it.

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