The other day I was participating in a conversation about smaller government (a very big thing within a sub-circle of my Facebook friends), when a particular person we'll call Andrea decided, as some liberals are want to do when they find themselves on the losing end of a well thought out multi-pronged argument to change the topic by dumping on my book cover and saying I should be ashamed about objectifying women.
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Sure, let's talk about how I objectify women. My avatar picture is my commercial debut called "Line 21". It's the story about a woman who's in debt to her uncle the loan shark, and the only way that she can come up with the $2000 in five day is to become an adult movie actress.
Now, if you have an issue with a woman using her body to earn money to pay bills, pay tuition for college, or simply to live a better life, that's your prerogative. But I can point you in the direction of dozens of women who do just that with what they do, be it with making movies, dancing as a stripper (Gold's Club anyone?), be in rap videos, what have you, in order to better themselves.
So please, tell me how writing a story about a woman who has an ethical quandary in using her body that way is objectifying her?
Andrea, do yourself a favor and go to a bookstore or surf Amazon and you'll find quite a few books written by women who have done exactly that, and not only have made a career out of doing it, but built a solid money making company out of it as well.
I finished the comment by doing a brief pimp of my book.
Suffice to say, Andrea didn't really have a response to my comment and instead switched to another topic of discussion.
However, the question itself did get me to think about what I write and how I write it.
While it's true for the most part that my stories are dripping with sex, or rather, have lead characters who simply ooze estrogen, it's also equally true that I make a genuine effort in creating my character as strong as they can be. Again, I know it sounds cliche, but I do enjoy making my characters use sex as a weapon of control.
Line 21 does have an underlying theme of control, in that Jeannie discovers (belatedly) that she can basically control her slice of the world simply by using what she has.
In my short story Red Stripe punk rock singer Krystal also uses her body, as well as her voice, as a weapon to control, inspired and incite the crowd with tragic consequences.
The point I'm trying to make, is that in adult fiction (as well as other mediums) sex sells, and thus requires a writer to use a certain amount of that particular weapon to enhance and/or round out a story. Doesn't necessarily mean that we objectify a woman (or man for that matter), only that we are using the gift that we have to the best of our abilities. No more and no less.
So my question to you is simply this: What is your opinion about turning a woman (or a man) into an object of desire and/or fantasy for the purpose of a story?