Heartiste has an excellent post on how we ignore the effects of “female pornography” today, and how destructive it is on female behavior. Go read it here, and then come back for my comment on it below (which I also left there):
Absolutely true. And people have noted this for a long time. I was even going to write a post about this, well done beating me to it, Dark Lords!
I would add that Netflix/Lifetime/Law & Order: SVU-ing of TV has made it all the worse. Not only can she read it, she can watch it streaming, in huge “binge watching” chunks till bed on weeknights and all on the weekends while recovering from her hangover and one-night stand. Eight to ten hours of pure nonsensical fantasy. What an impact on her psyche!
In Victorian Times, one of the signs of a woman with mental/emotional problems was if she read novels—especially “French” novels. Occasionally, you’ll see feminist websites today pass around and laugh about lists of the “signs” of “female hysteria” from that time—-which included novel-reading, obstinacy in obeying their father, and desire to wear pants.
Looking back, however, from a 21st century red pill point of view, it’s clear those “signs” were spot on. A quarrelsome woman knee-deep in exotic fantasies via market-fiction, wanting to wear non-feminine or non-wholesome clothing, and rejecting her father’s authority—what are those except signs of a broken woman today, who will be riddled with tattoos, piercings, one-night-stands, and tagged with a future as a miserable single mom?
Some 19th Century serious novelists were up on this. In Anthony Trollope’s The Eustace Diamonds, one of the ways he signals that the main female character is of low moral quality is that on Sundays, instead of going to church, she stays in bed all day reading novels. This leads her to her having a very bizarre book-inspired fantasies that she gradually thinks will become real—that a “corsair” (i.e. a pirate) will come, kidnap her, and take her away to exotic lands and become her lover. That main character’s solipsism is positively Becky Sharpe-esque.
Also, as to Jane Austen—Austen was actually partially mocking the romance-genre of her time, as she herself was quite conservative on social issues; for example, she was critical of the young British prince of her time being foppish and unserious and a party-boy.
Austen’s mocking/parody tone was much in the same vein that Don Quixote began as a mocking of the chivalric romances popular in Cervantes’s time. Austen’s novels had a satire in them that hasn’t come down—having her be a representative of romance today is a little bit like having Mel Brooks’s History of the World, Part I become known in about a century as a work of serious historical fiction.