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Friday, Jul. 23, 2021 - 10:14 p.m.

Today I learned (and it’s entirely possible I learned this a while ago and forgot again), that an author I liked very much in my childhood was kinda icky in some ways.

The person who I discussed this with said she feel weirdly groomed by these books she had loved, when she found out.

And I suppose I do too. I have so many mixed feelings around these topics because I was sexual at a young age and at the time I never felt abused, exploited, or any of that. If anything I was quite interested. I have no regrets, though I was also very lucky.

As an adult, I can say, though this is how some adolescents are going to be due to variations in sexuality, but any decent adult will not be involved in it because of the power imbalance and potential for lasting damage and the impossibility of true consent.

(Would I, adult me, revoke consent on behalf of adolescent me? No. I’d do it again, most of it. Does that mean I got broken somewhere along the way? I really don’t know.)

In this case, the author did have characters and depictions of women that skewed to excessively sexualized. Even very young ones. Much more so apparently in later books that I didn’t read, but those elements were there in many of them that I did.

So to me, were those characters natural and just reflected how I saw myself anyway? Or did they shape my own internalized misogyny, indeed groom me in a way? Had I only had access to wholesome, non-sexualized portrayals of girls and women, would that have had a negative effect on me as I would have seen myself as even less normal than I already did? Did it only set me up to also objectify women?

I have no answers to these things. It couldn’t have been a good thing, to read some thing written by an adult man that was, literally, fantasy. One can imagine these subjects approached by women would be more honest and accurate. And god, the 80s. It was all so, so fucked up.

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