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Telling Someone to "Grow Up" via the Internet is the Equivalent of Throwing a Temper Tantrum

That's some title, isn't it?  My old psych professors would shudder at its lack of brevity that's for sure.  It does, however, get right to the point of this post, which is going to be a bit of a rant over an attack on a comment I made about why I do not like the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon and why I plan on skipping the television show that is being made based on it.

Let me explain a bit: a few years ago, I attempted to read the first book in the series because I had heard some really good things about it.  Plus, time travel.  Unfortunately, it was the ultimate DNF for me.  I don't remember how far I got into the book before I forcefully deleted it from my Kindle, thanking God that I hadn't paid a dime for it, but what I do remember was my disgust over the fact that Claire, the heroine, was married (happily enough to be having sex with her husband within the first few pages).  Yep, she was married and since she would soon fall through a wormhole, there was definitely not going to be a divorce.  Now, I don't expect my romance novel heroines to be perfect (wouldn't that be boring?), but what I do expect is that they be free to enter into an adult relationship.  Being married is the total opposite of that.  (Also, it turns out that Claire is knocked up when she falls through said wormhole and it is revealed in another book that Claire manages to get the baby back to her husband in the 1940's, leaving her.  What a wonderful person she is.)

Not long after I stopped reading, I found out about a scene in which Jamie, the hero--I use this term extremely loosely--, beats Claire.  Okay, yes, many men beat their wives/girlfriends/children throughout history, but not ALL of them did.  There was no need for Jamie to beat Claire, especially since his reasoning was that if he didn't beat her he would lose his standing within the Scottish highlander community.  Poor baby.  Being a decent human being = not being a man.  Right.  Thanks for that lesson.  I could have lived my entire life without learning that.

Fast forward to the present.  It turns out that Outlander is being made into a t.v. show by Starz and I'll admit that I was curious about the casting choices, so I checked out an article posted on TVLine.com to see if the man they casted as Jamie is at all similar to how I pictured him (he is, which is really cool).  I ended up commenting on the article because the amount of squeeing over this book was disturbing.  Here is my comment:
This is one series i won’t be watching. I tried reading the first book and once i realized that Claire was married–somewhat happily–before falling through the wormhole, i was done. there is nothing romantic about adultery. Then, of course is the fact that Jamie beats Claire. Sorry. Not happening.

This, apparently, made all the fangirls'/fanboys' heads explode because there was a bunch of hate sent my way just because I disagreed with them.  Basically, they all claimed that historical accuracy is more important than not offending people.  Okay, let's look at this argument for a minute.  First of all, historical accuracy is all fine and good (I definitely do not want to see a cell phone in a book taking place any time prior to the mid-1980's), but was this bit of accuracy really necessary?  We know that men of any time in history have used their fists on anyone that they wanted to intimidate.  Do we really need to see it in a book or on television just because it may have been acceptable some time in the past?  No.  We don't.

Next, there is the idea that not wanting to offend people is LESS important than historical accuracy.  I'm sorry--wait, no I'm not--but you are wrong.  The people that are being offended might very well have been abused in the past and if that is the case, the offense is more than likely coming from the onslaught of negative emotions that is coming at them.  Many victims of abuse suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and scenes like that can very well trigger a back slide in their recovery, flooding them with vicious memories.

Now, I may not agree with those comments, but everyone is entitled to their opinion (no matter how wrong it is).  There were, however, two other comments (there may have been more, but after two I was seeing all shades of red) that really pissed me off.  Here's the first, written by someone nicknamed CGSmiles:
then forget the books and DON’T WATCH THE SERIES…ENOUGH SAID..GEEZZZZZZZ…GROW UP…

Nice, right?  I don't agree with him/her, so I need to "grow up."  How very adult of you to point that out.  Listen, if you want someone to respect your opinion, then maybe you should respect theirs.  Isn't that taught in Kindergarten?  It is time to put on your Big Girl Panties and Man Up.  Not everyone is going to agree with you and if your go to response is "grow up," you're going to have a lot of problems in the real world.  Try telling your boss or your co-workers that the next time they don't agree with you.  See how far that gets you--my guess is right to the front of the Unemployment Line.

Then, there was this comment by Meg:
IT WAS A SPANKING. We get your position, as you’ve posted it plenty, find a new page to troll.

Let me clarify something.  In Meg's world, plenty means 1 comment (my original) and then two defenses against the aforementioned attacks.  I must remember that plenty = 3.  Thanks, Meg!  Now, here's a lesson for you: just because someone disagrees with you does not mean that they are a troll.  It means that SOMEONE DISAGREED WITH YOU.  As people do.  All the time.  If you have not learned this lesson by now, there really is no helping you.

Here's another lesson for you, Meg.  Yes, it was a spanking.  However, it was a spanking that was used to portray Jamie's dominance over Claire so that he would not look like a weenus to his fellow Neanderthals.  Can't we agree that beating women, NO MATTER HOW "CIVILIZED" THE BEATING WAS, is WRONG?  Not all men felt the need to beat their wives, and while some did, that doesn't make it okay.  At all.  The fact that so many people don't see anything wrong with this is more than a little scary, especially in a world where Rush Limbaugh felt comfortable enough calling a woman a slut just because she wanted the pill to be covered by insurance and where politicians can quietly pass laws requiring transvaginal ultra-sounds, which are painful and incredibly invasive, just because they think that it will shame women into keeping babies that they do not want or cannot afford to take care of.  People need to wake up or we'll end up right back there being beaten with Claire.   We cannot let that happen.

Comments

  1. I love Outlander, I love Diana, (yes, I've met her and spent time with her in real life) and I particularly love the controversy created by her books, precisely because they provide such fascinating discussions. This is a 'big idea' kind of book, not a formula romance novel, so it's going to raise issues. The themes are complex.

    Face it, life wasn't the same in the 1700s for women. They WERE property. (Heck, my own mother was not considered a 'person' under law when she was born!) Having a modern woman face the issues, rather than pretend they don't exist is the whole point. How would YOU respond in similar situation? It's all context. It's not a black and white world, and Diana paints the real shades of grey. I love her for asking the real "What IF?" of her imaginary scenario predicated on time travel, and not sanitizing any of it. That would have been wimpy. Writing about something isn't promoting something. It's revealing it for people to look at, consider, and debate. I hope I do that with my own books: Raise real questions. Prompt debate.

    You're free to disagree. :-)

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