Thursday, October 20, 2011

Do the Women Who Read M/M Fiction Care About Political Implications?

I'm really just throwing this question out there because I don't have a clue.

And being that this post will be up for a long time, I'd like to think that a few people will comment. If they don't comment, that just might be the answer I was looking for.

But I am curious about whether or not the many women who read m/m romance and fiction (or write it) actually care about the political implications the LGBTQ community experiences. Or is it just about happy endings and reading sexy scenes?

I was recently told that the women who read m/m don't care about political implications. I personally don't agree with this, but it was one of those situations where I wasn't in a position to offer my opinion. I think the women who read and write m/m do care. I've been in touch with them and I've listened to them closely. But I could be wrong. So I'm hoping to gain some insight.

And I know it's a discreet sub-genre. So feel free to comment anonymously. I'll never know who you are.


Pixie said...

Hi Ryan, I think that more women than you think care about what goes on politically in the LGBTQ community, we may read these books for enjoyment and they may be fiction but at the end of the day they give us insight into what Gay people go through, not only by how the people on the street, family and friends treat them but also how Governments treat them as well, it gives us the chance to look into it more fully and to take a stand and to add our voice in support.

ryan field said...

I completely agree with you. I talk to a lot of these women all the time. Thanks for commenting!!

Erica Pike said...

I'm over a year late with this response, but I've been looking through your very impressive and informative posts and decided to comment here.

When I started out reading and writing m/m, I didn't really consider much of the things that GLBT people have had to go through. It may be because I live in Iceland and GLBT rights are very advanced here. In fact, it's illegal to discriminate against GLBT people in any way (public speech included) and if someone were to say something negative about a GLBT person in the press, there'd be a whole lot of angry citizens all over Iceland. Gay couples can walk hand in hand here and kiss without being harassed. It might also be because I've personally never been "against" GLBT people. To me, they've always just been people.

However, after I started reading and writing m/m, I've become more aware of the problems outside my little island. Mostly I read about what's happening in the USA, but also in other countries. I'm outraged when I read about the injustice. I've become very invested in doing what I can, which isn't much, but at least it's something. I sign petitions, I re-tweet, share posts on facebook, blog about things, try to get people involved (which was the whole point of Hop Against Homophobia), and I've become a very active supporter of the Icelandic GLBT center, offering financial aid, volunteer work and I recently got fellow m/m authors to donate over 70 m/m books to the center's library that had only very old fiction books. My family now also gets some education when I speak of GLBT, and some probably think I'm lesbian now, but I don't care if they'd think that. I wouldn't find it offensive if they did.

As for literature, I like both books with everyday lives that have happy endings and books that focus on the deep issues of the GLBT community (though I prefer if there's a happy ending to those too). I think both are important: to see that GLBT people are just everyday people like everyone else, and to see that they're facing serious issues and injustice.

Whether or not female readers of m/m have turned into activists, I believe that they'd be very willing to defend GLBT rights if needed. They are also often mothers who will educate their children of the importance of non-discrimination. I, for one, make it a point to always include "girl and girl" and "boy and boy" when I talk about relationships with my little boys. For example, I've asked my sons if there are any girls or boys they like. They're only five and a half, so they're not all that interested in anyone. Recently they did talk about some girls though, so they're probably not gay, but I still include the "girl and girl" and "boy and boy" when we talk to make sure that they won't feel that it's unnatural if there's some other kid in their year who is GLBT.

ryan field said...

Thanks for commenting. What's interesting is that since I wrote this post I've been reading polls and seeing that more people are starting to accept the idea of gay marriage. And it hasn't been that long either. I'm hoping that continues and we evolve through acceptance.