I thought I should post something comment worthy during Rachael Harrie’s Platform Building Campaign. I saw a tweet the other day asking, as near as I can remember, “Why do book reviewers feel they have to warn of LGBT content? Seriously.” So I’m giving my serious answer and then leaving it open for polite debate. Be warned, I will remove any disrespectful or hateful comments, so don’t lose your head.
First, that tweet ignores the purpose of a book review. Last I heard, reviews are supposed to inform others about a book’s content, at least in general terms (not spoilers) so people can decide what books they want to read. Unlike in real life, readers get to choose their company. Some people want to know more than the blurb reveals before making a decision, especially if they are going to encounter something presented as positive that conflicts with their core beliefs. Note that I did not say religious beliefs, although that might be the biggest factor for some people.
Those who hold that alternate sexual preferences are entirely genetic, with little free will involved, ought to consider that aversion to alternate sexual preferences could also be genetic, built into the human species to ensure its survival. Those who think alternate sexual preference may be or is genetically influenced but still a matter of choice ought to give heterosexual people the same freedom of choice in recreational pursuits, including reading.
I personally question any negative use of the word “warn” as if informing that danger of any undesirable outcome, real or perceived, is a bad thing. Statistically speaking, the large majority of the population is heterosexual. Is it that surprising if the majority wants to spend recreational time with other like-minded people, even if those people are pretend, characters in a book?
And then there’s the question of age appropriate content. All parents have the right to make an informed decision regarding what level of sexual content their children read, just as they do for other potentially objectionable material.
Note that I did not “warn” of LGBT content in a recent book review because of multiple factors. One, the author made no attempt to promote or glorify the lifestyle; her main character simply met some gay men. Two,the gay relationship was a minor part of the plot. Three, the two partners were part of a long established crime-fighting team the main character had to work with, presenting an exercise in judgement appropriate to the age group for whom the book was written (college students). Three, there were no sex scenes of any nature.
In your comments, I don’t need to see links to scientific evidence or scriptures. I’m a Clinical Laboratory Scientist by training and read most of the scientific studies and the scriptures too. The question is whether a book review should inform of LGBT content. Please remember I’m talking about recreational reading. And please, don’t make me regret this post by ranting, pro or con. Keep it civil because we all share two things in common, our planet and race (the human race).
Whether or not this is all too serious for you, please go to my last post and tell me how you like the short new intro to my middle-grade fantasy book Earth Won and/or enter my books and chocolate contest through the tab at the top of my blog. My chocolate preference may be genetic but it’s my choice to indulge it. Rafflecopter chooses a winner on the 11th of every month via Random.org, and there’s a Book Depository option for international winners like the last one. I hope you enjoy your visit.