for your reading amusement…
A wonderful new coinage appeared a few years ago, and it is so appropriate to this book that I have added it as a tag; "mansplain." I invite the reader to google for its meaning.
This small book, ostensibly about a form of erotic romance known as "slash" spends 85 of its 100 pages of content explaining the writer’s theories about "female mating strategies" as this field likes to call it, and barely 15 pages talking about its ostensible subject.
After a very cursory and confused description of the earliest forms of slash, which the authors dismiss as identical to standard hetero romance, they offer this insightful notion; "Some women don’t want to become Mrs. Hero, they want to be a hero too," and then note that "these women were tomboys when they were younger." This does not tell us anything illuminating. I would expect an evolutionary psychologist to be intrigued by this seeming contradiction in strategies. But that’s where the book ends– just where it should begin.
I will say that Symons is an unusually flexible evolutionary psychologist. He does say that biological heredity is only one of the forces that influence human choices, and, in fact, he speaks scornfully about populist theories such as "selfish genes" that "constantly whisper in the ear" about "maximizing reproduction" and suchlike. This is the reason I give the book any stars at all.
But when the authors begin explaining slash they do so in a voice that many women will recognise, I am sorry to say, that of the dismissive bemused male. I am inclined to write a scenario in my head, about the way this book got written. How much of it is actually Ms Salmon’s contribution, I wonder?
And what would she change now? Given that the book is nine years old, and so very much has changed in the genre as more women add their influences and more women become more self-aware as a result of the never-ending conversations within the genre’s followers, this book is absolutely, one hundred percent, a waste of time for anyone looking for actual insight into the slash phenomenon.