In defense of the romance genre

Trump surrogates have been all over the map trying to defend their candidate from his own words on the leaked video. First, it was just “locker room talk”. And was he really saying anything that bad? No…that’s not sexual assault he’s describing. Besides, Hollywood has glorified rape culture for years… Just look at 50 Shades of Grey!

That last one gets me. Really? As a romance writer and reader, I’m no fan of 50 Shades of Grey, but I did read it, and I know that the author made it very clear that the actions were consensual. The female character even signs a contract, for heaven’s sake. You’d think that would be something an American businessman would understand. But besides that, how does this even apply? Are they saying a work of fiction is somehow comparable to running for President of the United States? Are they saying that Donald Trump has been unfairly influenced by the glorification of rape culture in books, movies and television?

Can he not separate reality from fiction?

No. Don’t use 50 Shades of Grey or any other work of romance fiction (and believe me, I only reluctantly include 50 Shades in that category) to excuse bad behavior. Don’t say that we can’t be offended by Donald Trump’s words if we read it. Because romance fiction, erotic or not, is fantasy. It is not meant to be believed or acted out.

Unless you really can’t separate reality from fiction, you cannot brag about sexually assaulting women and then compare it to books, movies or television. And if Donald Trump can’t separate reality from fiction, he sure as hell should not be running for President.