Mommy Porn

A few weeks ago, I was talking with friends about the emerging trend of “New Adult” fiction; it appears “Young Adult” has moved on. Some call it “YA with sex” but NA authors dislike that reductionist definition. It’s a different set of experiences. I like some of what I’ve read. One made me want to hurl my Kindle at the wall.

However, this discussion begged the question by one friend: “There’s YA, NA, and individual genres; when do we get our own?”

To which I responded: “We get 50 Shades of Mommy Porn.”

And this saddened me. For one thing, I hate, loathe, despise, and abominate the word “Mommy.” It grates on my nerves. Don’t get me wrong– my kids can call me Mommy, but that is all. That’s how the word is intended, as a title of sorts, to be used by children. When an adult, or industry, uses it, you may as well pat me on the head and turn me away from the voting booth. It’s a term co-opted after the second wave of the feminist movement in the 60s and 70s to disenfranchise us and get us back in the kitchen where we belong.* It’s a diminutive, meant to downplay the importance of not only us, but anything we do or say. It’s the dumbed-down, junior version of the grown-up thing they’re talking about.

Think about it:

Mommy track. For those women who aren’t serious about their careers.

Mommy blogger. The first person who tries to call this a “Mommy blog” will find himself in a lot of pain. Just saying.

Mommy juice, and other cutesy names for wine, as if I can’t drink a Malbec, Cabernet, or Carmenere.

Mommy-van. Right, like once we pop out a kid we have to drive a minivan. And not just a minivan, but a Mommy-van. (OK, confession time: I drive a Volvo station wagon, which probably isn’t much better. But on nice days I still get to cruise in the sporty red party car).

And so do we also have Mommy Porn. This lovely term to describe the recent surge in popularity of erotica among women. Not just housewives, and not just moms, but women– so let’s call it Mommy Porn anyway, right? Because God forbid we should be taken seriously.**

And yet, it’s quite the industry. Fifty Shades- themed lingerie, sex toys, even hotel packages. (Holy hell! Buy a crop and a set of fuzzy handcuffs and play with them at home like normal people!)

In the above-linked article, I think we come down to it:

‘It’s not for everyone, but as more women explore these once-hidden precincts, perhaps men won’t complain the next time their partners want to bring a book to bed. They say a good sex life makes for a happier home, for women and their partners, updating the old adage — happy wife, happy life.

“We have real chemistry, we have real intimacy, there’s lots of romance,” said Angie Rowntree. “It’s not all about the sex, there’s a reason for the sex, and because women are in a position of power. That’s it.”‘ (emphasis mine)

Oooh, now we come down to it! We’re in a position of power. So by all means, let’s take that away.

Sigh.

Where was I? Oh, yes, the popularity of erotica for women. I think that’s a better term, don’t you?

The good thing about the craze is that well-written erotica and steamier traditional romance has become available. Publishing houses are actively seeking it out. And we need not be as ashamed to read it as we once were. Though I have children, so I’ll still keep mine on my Kindle, thanks.

Returning to the idea of a genre for us: what would that be? What kinds of experiences are unique to those of us in this point of our lives: school-age children, mid-to-late-thirties, married for a while…

Who wants to read about that?

Judy Blue wrote about it in Wifey. OK, that was pretty good. We need to expand that, come up with more, not just re-write the story, change a few defining characteristics, and publish it as new work.

Because that would fail miserably, right?

“They” say to write the book you want to read.

Food for thought.

*For more on this topic, check out The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How it Has Undermined All Women by Susan Douglas.

**The Mommy Porn rants have been done, too. Nothing new here, just me joining my voice to the ever-drowned-out objections. Check out this one.

Advertisements

About Kerrie Strong

Years ago, I chose to suppress my creative side in favor of a career (or two, or three) in science. This blog is filled with exercises intended to reverse the atrophy of my right brain. I hope you enjoy my ramblings.
This entry was posted in Rants. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s