Hi there! Earlier today, Christine over at Padfoot's Library wrote a much-needed post on genre discrimination and how it affects readers like you and me. She brings up a lot of good points and I wanted to share my thoughts on the topic as well - you can read her post here!
It's been happening for ages, but it seems there's been a recent surge in intolerance for certain genres. Christine states it in her article - we're talking specifically about the Young Adult, New Adult and Erotica genres. There's this stigma attached to them - that the romances are all ridiculous and unhealthy, the sex scenes too graphic...these statements may be true of some, even many books in a specific genre, but it's unfair to lump them all into one unsavoury description.
Christine touches on the idea of abusive relationships in books and how readers react to these situations. If multiple people think a novel is romanticizing an abusive relationship, I think it's important to take that into account and talk about that aspect of their interpretation. Not all readers recognize abusive behaviour and it's always important to be knowledgeable about that and see the signs. In this sense, I think it's good that people talk about this kind of thing when they read about it. If another reader wants to continue reading the story for their own entertainment (that's what reading is for!), then that's fine - as long as they understand why and how the characters are imperfect and abusive.
At this point, I think it's important to remind you: if a book ever makes you uncomfortable, put it down. You're not obligated to finish reading any book that upsets you or makes you uneasy, unless you want to. And if you do want a book like that, that's totally fine - that's what the horror and thriller genres are for!
I'm glad Christine made a post like this because I think it's really important to speak out when you feel strongly about something, and the disdain that so many people have been expressing for certain genres is affecting a lot of people's enjoyment of the bookish community - which is really sad, because this community is full of awesome people who should be able to enjoy the genres they love without fear of being jeered at.
Books are meant to be enjoyed and to teach you something. Even a situation like this, where there's been a lot of negativity, can produce some good. Let's keep this discussion going!