The other day we were visiting some family friends. While we were sitting and talking, one of the women (in her 90s) brought up how she didn’t think sex had a place in books. She told me she wrote to an author and complained about the way she put sex scenes in her stories. Her main argument was: What if children read it?
My response: Adult books aren’t written for children. They’re written for adults. If children are reading them, their parents are at fault for not paying enough attention to what their children are getting their hands on and reading.
I also made if very clear that people who write ADULT books don’t have children in mind when they’re writing them, because the books are for adults.
Later, I was informed that the woman thought I was “opinionated.”
This didn’t offend me in the least. I know I am. I’m proud that I know myself well enough to stand up against something I don’t like or believe in just because it might upset someone else. I can’t live with the what-ifs of others and be true to myself.
People have to be responsible for themselves. This goes along with people getting offended, and the thinking that the author is ultimately responsible for who gets their hands on their books, regardless of the genre or age group.
I can’t be responsible for a child getting a hold of one of my stories or books that isn’t written for their age group. That child and their parents are responsible for regulating their intake of literature. That’s the truth. Take it or leave it.
Stop blaming everything on the authors. If you don’t like what they write, find an author you like better. God knows there are plenty of authors out there and they could use real fans.
Authors don’t sit and think about how everything in there work will offend people, or make them like their work better. We sit down and we tell a story. Maybe it’s a happy story. Maybe it’s an ugly story. Maybe the characters are messed up. Maybe everyone in the story is completely sane. Who knows! At the end of the day (unless it’s nonfiction) it’s all made up and not real anyway; it’s just a story for entertainment. If the stories authors write happen to push your comfort zone and make you think beyond you’re own experience, so be it! But don’t blame the authors for what you like or don’t like. We didn’t write the story to personally piss you off.
Read and be enlighten, and stop pointing fingers at authors who have no control over each reader’s likes and dislikes. Because, if you continue to do so, you might just run into a writer like me who will straight up tell you you’re wrong.
©Rebecca Besser, 2013. All rights reserved.