Melusine and the romance of victimhood

I picked up Sarah Monette’s Melusine at the library, on the “recommendation” of this review. I admit I was tempted because I wanted to see how bad things got.

Here’s one thing I have to get out of the way first. Melusine is advertised as a gay romance. Melusine is definitely not a gay romance. There’s exactly one non-abusive sexual relationship between men in the whole book, and it’s broken up in the very first pages.* There are, of course, plenty of men forcing boys into child prostitution, men committing physical abuse against other men, and men coercing other men into sex acts. None of this is portrayed as part of a sexual fantasy where somehow there’s no harm and no foul, it’s all meant to be physically and mentally harmful to the victim. It’s a little like Sebastiane if somebody removed all the nasty kinky parts where men enjoy fucking each other and just left in the part with the arrows. Continue reading →

I’m a mean jackass, but I am suspicious

I’m a mean jackass, but I am suspicious of Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy announcement.

Or rather, I’m suspicious because of all the issues surrounding the announcement. I don’t have a problem with Jolie herself–I don’t think she’s the best actress but I don’t think she was a useless human being until today or that what she’s done is wrong. That said, I’m not sure if I want to know what’s going to come out of this. Continue reading →

Mary Beard and the question of liking what you like to wear

Mary Beard, famous Cambridge scholar of antiquity, has written an article about her love of shoes (warning: Daily Mail link). This has caused some response because apparently women are not supposed to write about shoes, because it makes them look silly. I think it’s silly to think that women have ever written about shoes in the first place. Continue reading →