Communicator (communicator) wrote,

Read what you like

jekesta ranted eloquently on the subject

"What You Like Reading is not necessarily all that connected to your political opinions/sexual orientation/favourite flavour of icecream or anything like that."

I think this subject came up within the context of fannish wars and arguments: a world I am entirely outside of. Needless to say I wouldn't condemn any fan for her likes and dislikes, but I'm quite interested in the subject of politics and sexuality and its influence on what you like to read.

I think your personality and what you like reading are probably connected in some way, but a loose non-obvious way. I associate some things I don't like with political opinions. For instance I don't like wimpy female characters, and I associate that with my beliefs. But is that a correct inference? If someone enjoys reading about drippy women can I infer anything about her beliefs? Perhaps. If she only likes reading about male characters can I infer anything? Perhaps not (paradoxically).

Enjoying all-white Pride and Prejudice doesn't imply you are racist. Enjoying LotR doesn't either, but there is some kind of issue lurking there. Positively disliking the presence of black characters might show you''ve got a problem. And so on. In other words, it's complicated, and you have to resist making simplistic inferences.

What about sexuality and what you find sexy when you read? A cliche is that 'what you fantasise about tells you most truly what you are'. For example, one might be tempted to think that a person who always concocts/reads sexual fantasy around their own gender is homosexual (and contrariwise). It sounds so plausible but I'm pretty sure it isn't the case. And I conclude, from being a woman of the world, hem hem, that the same goes for stuff like sexual violence, peril, romance etc. You can make up a plausible theory about how fantasy, reading, and reality are closely linked but the theory doesn't work. I don't know why not.
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