Jerks, Nice Guys, and Female Self-Awareness: An Example

At the fiction-related web site www dot fantasybooklane dot com the proprietress, Erica, has a book review of the novel Stones and Finger Bones by Jessica Minyard.

In the review she writes,

The only thing truly marring this otherwise excellent story is that the heroine is predictably stricken with Stockholm Syndrome. Why oh why do so many fantasy females fall in love with their captors? I’d rather she fell in love with a frog, or anything, anyone, anywhere. I wish authors would stop doing this. I knew it was coming, but I hoped beyond hope that Ms. Minyard would surprise me. Unfortunately, she did not.

Now as soon as I read this, of course, I had to roll my eyes, snort, and shake my head ruefully, as well as display many other physical signs of weary but amused exasperation. How can women be so clueless about themselves? Women love men who are powerful and amoral. Of course abducted chicks are going to suffer from Stockholm Syndrome, and of course women are going to fantasize about that and include it as a story element. This level of cluelessness on the part of the reviewer was stupid enough. But wait! There’s more! The review continues,

If it hadn’t been for all the evil magic, I probably would have stopped reading.
Now for the dark magic. My favorite character was the evil one, Marel, because he is so wonderfully evil. He summons dark spirits to help him gain the throne, and why not? I love a good villain, and he fit the bill nicely.

Yes, really! She just wrote a paragraph lamenting the woman falling for her captor, and then she followed it with that! “I love a good villain” indeed. My goodness. Sometimes the lack of self-awareness or any kind of introspection or self-monitoring by females is astounding.

Just to make sure the point is clear, she next writes this:

I did not care for lead male Rycen. He is nothing special just your typical fantasy hot guy.

In other words, loves the villain; is bored by the good guy. Women, repeat after me: “We women like nice guys; we don’t jerks. We like nice guys; we don’t like jerks…” LOL.

For anyone who wants to read the entire review, it’s in the fantasybooklane site’s Archives for March 2015.

Related: Has anyone ever done a gender breakdown of so-called Stockholm Syndrome? I suspect it’s actually “female captive syndrome” but I tried to find out once, and… it’s surprisingly hard to find data on this.

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