Remember how I was supposed to be taking the week off blogging? Sometimes, shit comes up that can’t wait. Like this shit. This steaming pile of shit.
Before we proceed, here’s what I’m going to ask you to do:
- Do not buy this book
- Don’t buy it for curiosity
- Don’t buy it to see how bad it is
- Don’t buy it because it’s just $0.99 and you “had to know”
- Don’t leave a comment about how you bought it
- Don’t leave a comment about how you read it
- Don’t leave a comment about censorship
- Don’t leave a comment about “slippery slopes”
- Don’t leave a comment about the first amendment
- Don’t lecture anyone in the comments about book burning, censorship, art, etc.
- Don’t defend Thomas Jefferson
- Don’t use Thomas Jefferson’s words to defend this fucking atrocity
- PLEASE DO link in the comments any blog posts or articles written by women of color with regards to this book
- PLEASE DO let me know if I wrote anything fucked up with regards to racism and slavery
If you do any of these things, I will have a fucking stroke, so help me god.
From this point on, TRIGGER WARNING FOR HORRIFIC AND OPPORTUNISTIC RACISM AND MANY, MANY REFERENCES TO RAPE. REALLY EVALUATE THE DAY YOU’RE HAVING AND THE DAY YOU WISH TO HAVE BEFORE YOU CONTINUE TO READ.
There is Thomas Jefferson/Sally Hemings paranormal BDSM erotica. This is a thing that exists. The title? Thomas Jefferson’s Mistress:: Werewolf Fetish Vampire MILF Sex Slave. Since this blog gets a pretty wide readership, I’m concerned that some of my international readers might be unfamiliar with the story of Sally Hemings…actually, I’m concerned that some of my American readers are also unfamiliar with the story of Sally Hemings, because we don’t generally talk about her unless white people are doing genealogy projects that reveal that they’re related to her. So here we go:
Sally Hemings was enslaved by Thomas Jefferson, who started raping her while she was somewhere around fifteen years old. This is the Thomas Jefferson who wrote the Declaration of Independence and drafted a law proposing to end the import and sale of human beings into slavery, but he kept his own damn slaves and was totally cool with raping them.
Some scholars say that Jefferson was so attracted to Hemings because she resembled his late wife. Which made sense because she was his late wife’s half-sister. Hemings gave birth to six children as a result of his repeated rapes, all of whom remained slaves in the Jefferson household. So, the Founding Father and defender of liberty, Thomas Jefferson, not only raped one (who knows, probably more) of the many slaves he owned, but he enslaved his own children. Of the six, four survived and were freed when they reached adulthood, but not Sally! Nope, she was Jefferson’s slave until he died, whereupon she was freed and lived the rest of her life–nine years–with her sons.
Over the years, historians have done a lot of justifying on Jefferson’s behalf with statements that begin, “He was a man of his times,” or “If we judge him in historical context,” and end with an utter failure to acknowledge that no matter what time it was, owning another human being is monstrous. Or they take an even more disgusting tactic, suggesting that Hemings consented to and was happy in the relationship, still ignoring the fact that a slave has absolutely no power to consent to a sexual relationship with the person who is actively owning them as though they were not a human being but a piece of property.
Those two statements I’ve italicized there? Those are two things which white people as a general group just do not understand. We have numbed ourselves to it. Oh, we’ll go see movies about slavery and civil rights and cluck our tongues and think, “What terrible people those white people were,” and congratulate ourselves for not being those white people, but then we turn around and defend white men in our history who have done some really horrible shit.
Or, somebody gets the bright fucking idea to write a $0.99 e-book wherein Jefferson and Hemings engage in fetishized slavery. And they write it under the pen name Fionna Free Men.
Look, I know that censorship is bad. I know this, because there’s a whole amendment about freedom of expression in the Constitution. It was written by James Madison, who based it off a bill that Thomas Jefferson introduced in the Virginia legislature in 1779. So, the existence of this “erotic” short story fetishizing slavery and rape, about a real slave owner and the real woman he raped from the time she was a little girl is protected by a law that was originally the work of that slave owner who raped that little girl. Not only does this book exploit the rape and enslavement of Sally Hemings, it uses the historical political power of her rapist against her over a century later. Even in death, she’s being violated, but our laws say that we can’t violate the author’s rights to write and publish this shit.
But you know what isn’t a violation of the author’s first amendment rights? Whether or not a retailer chooses to carry this piece of trash book. So I’m urging you to take time out of your day to contact customer service at these retailers and tell them what you think about their company profiting off of a book that glorifies the rape of women of color by slave owning white men, and by extension promotes sexual violence against women of color today.
U.S. and Canada: 1-866-216-1072
Spanish Support: 866-749-7538
To contact via email, you’ll have to jump through their myriad hoops. The first one is here.
Barnes & Noble
U.S.: 1 (800) 843-2665
“Contact Us” start page (this may require a sign-up)
U.S. 1 (855) 732-3662
I didn’t find evidence of this book’s presence on Smashwords.com, allromanceebooks.com, or the iBooks store, but who knows if it will pop up; “Free Men” is a prolific author who also sometimes goes by “Fionna Freemen,” Fionna Freeman,” or “Fionna Free Man X”.
PLEASE, PLEASE, I URGE YOU NOT TO BUY THIS BOOK. NOT TO SEE “HOW BAD” IT IS. IT IS BAD ENOUGH WITHOUT KNOWING THE CONTENT. ITS EXISTENCE IS BAD. IF YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST READ IT, AND I DON’T KNOW WHY YOU WOULD WANT TO, FIND A PIRATED COPY OR LEARN TO LIVE WITH DISAPPOINTMENT.