Romance authors hold a bigger influence over society than any other genre. That means they have one vital responsibility at all times: Never portray abusive behavior as romantic.
Producers of romantic media hold a heavy influence over something fluid, ambiguous, subject to opinion, and a basic tenant of our social biology. In some form or another, romance is something everyone has to deal with on a regular basis. We are all affected by it at some point in our lives.
I cannot condemn the relationship arc between Ren/Solo and Rey at any point in the three-movie series. Even without knowing that Kylo Ren would redeem himself and return to the light as Ben Solo, I still could not say that it was wrong for the screenwriters to portray their relationship as they did. Why? One reason, and one reason only: Rey’s response to Ben’s abuse.
About a month ago, I did a virtual interview with the fabulous Terri Jones on her Author Chat YouTube Channel. And let me tell you, I was nervous as all hell. But it was a fantastic experience, and Terri came up with some EXCELLENT questions. She really had me digging deep into the topic of abuse portrayed as romance.
Okay, let me start this out by saying that Futurama is my all-time, hands-down, no-question, favorite show of all time. But there is one episode that, even though it’s just as well done as every other, toes right up to the line of offensive. In case you couldn’t tell by the title, the episode in question is S03E05 Amazon Women in the Mood. Did this episode cross a line in terms of consent and sexism? How far is too far?
Rating: DNF – I was willing to put up with the mediocre writing, because the smut seemed promising. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to the steamy scenes hinted at in early chapters, because it turns out Lord Caire is a magnificent asshole.