ClitLit – Women, Romance Fiction and Patriarchal Discourse

January 5, 2010

Oh Karen Templeton No! #2 – Slut-Shamin’

Now, it might be a bit unfair to pick specifically on Karen Templeton for this one, because she’s definitely not the worst offender here. She’s created a rare thing – a heroine with three ex-husbands who isn’t exactly ashamed of it. This is unusual, and kudos to you, Ms Templeton, for going there.

But as I’m determined to make this book my bunny after taking an instant dislike to the heroine, her wardrobe and all of her intricately described furniture, I’m going to go there.

“…to point out to her aunt that if she spent less time time in a horizontal position… in the company of men of dubious character…” (p.35)

“…not to mention an appalling number of ‘gap guys’ in between…” (p.47)

– Templeton, K., 2007, Pride and Pregnancy [Harlequin Mills & Books]

No, Karen Templeton. You do not get to create a sexually liberated heroine and still participate in patriarchal dialogue of  female sexual interrogation and oppression. If you had a whole bunch of gap guys between your husband, good for you. If your aunt wants to sleep with men of dubious character, it ain’t your business, sister.

Here we see clearly the contradiction present in so much romance fiction – female sexuality is at once celebrated and interrogated. And, Karen Templeton, I think you could have done better, so all I have to say is:

OH KAREN TEMPLETON NO!

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