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Don’t Do This Ever: “WHAT THE FUCKING FUCKITY FUCK FUCK FUCK?!” edition

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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 SlaveSince 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.

2005-Westward-Journey-Nickel-1
Here he is on our money. Note the word “liberty.” He also helped “liberate” a lot of Native Americans from their goddamned homes and land.

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.

Amazon.com

U.S. and Canada: 1-866-216-1072
Spanish Support: 866-749-7538
International: 1-206-266-2992

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)

Kobo

U.S. 1 (855) 732-3662

Kobo “Customer Care” page with international phone numbers and email addresses

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.

93 Comments

  1. Quin
    Quin

    What the hell is wrong with people?!

    March 4, 2015
    |Reply
  2. Meoskop
    Meoskop

    Word is the one linked isn’t what started the buzz – apparently there’s a “reputable” work in progress.

    March 4, 2015
    |Reply
  3. Jo
    Jo

    My roomie and I read the phrase “There is Thomas Jefferson/Sally Hemings paranormal BDSM erotica” and had to take a break for watching videos of puppies learning how to howl before continue reading.

    The only thing I have to add “What even…?” with a raised eyebrow and an expression of utter confusion in my face.

    March 4, 2015
    |Reply
  4. Carolina West
    Carolina West

    I can’t even with this. How sick are some people that they think publishing, let alone writing, fucking shit like this is acceptable on any level? Don’t even get me started on the idiots who will buy this just because it’s “erotica” or whatever. I’d rather burn myself with a soldering iron over and over than listen to people try to justify shit like this. There’s a reason I don’t respect most of the white people we learn about in history class; most of them are just pathetic, dirty hypocrites.

    Except Abraham Lincoln. Vampire hunter or not, he is awesome.

    March 4, 2015
    |Reply
  5. Heather Sands
    Heather Sands

    Just to be clear I’m in no way defending this book just giving food for thought…

    Gladiators – slaves
    Vikings – enslaved those the conquered
    Conquistadors – enslaved those the conquered
    Romans – same thing
    White sex trade – slavery happening today

    Pretty much big a time in history when one group wasn’t enslaving another. And yet no one gets up in arms about those stories.
    Greeks – same

    March 4, 2015
    |Reply
    • Yaira M
      Yaira M

      You are missing the point and letting your prejudice speak for itself. This situation was not consensual and speaks to power dynamics that should not be normalized or fetishized. The story of Sally Hemmings and Jefferson is constantly misconstrued in history and doesn’t deserve to be romanticized. This was clear exploitation and racial mockery being played out with the guise of clever, humorous piece of writing. No one is “up in arms” about the sole issue of slavery in this case anyway; it is about the false, harmful portrayal of a relationship that should NEVER be treated like fictional love story.

      March 5, 2015
      |Reply
      • Seranna
        Seranna

        Yaira, I really feel for your point of view. While I don’t agree with what’s been written, it’s only the tip of the iceberg. The other day I found out there is porn that specializes in … well, I don’t want to say it. But it’s racist. Any time you single out a white person and a black person SOLELY for the color of their skin, it’s racism. But people buy it, they love it. It makes me ill, that all the work we are trying to accomplish, saying that everyone is equal, is not the case. Demonizing Jefferson is not the way. In fact, he took care of her, and the reason her grandkids found out is because she had a photo of him. Does it make it right? Probably not. But he was way ahead of his time, in a society that didn’t recognize relationships between people of different ethnicities.

        March 12, 2015
        |Reply
        • thegreatestdragon
          thegreatestdragon

          Jeezy creezy…no, just…no

          March 13, 2015
          |Reply
        • FedUpMore
          FedUpMore

          “Demonizing Jefferson is not the way. In fact, he took care of her, and the reason her grandkids found out is because she had a photo of him. Does it make it right? Probably not. But he was way ahead of his time, in a society that didn’t recognize relationships between people of different ethnicities.”

          There’s just so much awful shit in this paragraph that I will just address it piece by piece. 1) You can’t “demonize” something that is already a demon. She is just stating facts. Your hard on for Thomas Jefferson will not save him or his legacy; he deserved that and so much more. 2) If you rape a child that you own as a slave into adulthood and get her pregnant multiple times and keep her and these children enslaved, there is NOTHING that you can do to “care” for these people, except give them all your money and put a bullet through your skull. Since Jefferson obviously did not do this, he did not “care” Sally or her children. 3)Not knowing that your grandfather was a raping slavemaster does not make him a non-raping, non-slavemaster. 4)No part of this situation has ever been or will ever be right. 5)Are you trying to be ignorant?? Thomas Jefferson raping a slave child and getting her pregnant does not IN ANY WAY make him “ahead of his time”; he was right there with the rest of the enslavers. 5)Did you read the fucking article?? This “relationship” you speak of was rape, plain and simple. And if you were educated in more than disturbing, dehumanizing, racist, probably illegal, porn you would know that this “relationship” was recognized: google Slave Codes. They were laws that stated, among other things, that any child that just so happened to be born of a slave woman, no matter who the father was (and really it could be absolutely anybody at all couldn’t it) was to take the status of it’s mother, i.e. black slave. So Jefferson’s sick “relationship” with Sally Hemmings was thoroughly recognized and covered by the laws that not only acknowledged that sex (rape) had occurred between a white male master and his black female slave, but made sure that the children born from these rapes were legally given no more rights than their mothers. As an added bonus, it gave enslavers a free way to obtain more slaves while also busting a nut or two. How dare you post this kind of sheer fuckery and try to pass it off as deep and meaningful knowledge.

          July 11, 2015
          |Reply
          • ViolettaD
            ViolettaD

            How could anyone have a photo of him when he died about 10 years before Daguerre perfected his process? There were attempts in the 1820s to make images using silver nitrate, but they produced only shadows.

            July 12, 2015
    • Also, at what point would a story about a Viking raping an English woman be a FUN story for shits and giggles? The American slavery example Is even more raw because a buttload of people already have to deal with this nastiness being erased. It’s a charged topic for ancestors that people still remember, and with racism that people still deal with.

      March 5, 2015
      |Reply
    • xebi
      xebi

      I know this isn’t quite the point, but…

      Thing is, the Greeks, Romans and Vikings aren’t still oppressing people today.

      On the other hand, Black people are still treated as second class citizens.

      And I was pretty upset when I learned at school about what really happened with the Gladiators, made to fight to the death for rich people’s sport. And what the Vikings et all got up to. I hate how it’s all romanticised. But I don’t actually hear jokes about them raping and enslaving people.

      March 5, 2015
      |Reply
      • ElBandito
        ElBandito

        ‘On the other hand, Black people are still treated as second class citizens.’

        Truth. Right up there. There’s a lot of text books and articles that discuss whether men like Thomas Jefferson had wound up causing more than a century of prejudice and abuse against black women (especially since there were SO many Sally Hemings throughout US history, some of them were even sexually abused since they were 12, and when the abolitionists tried to talk about it, a lot of slave owners wrote to newspapers bragging about what they did. Some of them even blamed their slaves for ‘tempting’ them and made up sciencey findings so they can claim that ‘black women’ were naturally ‘promiscuous’). You can find so many of those actual letters in museums nowadays. The worst thing is that after slavery was abolished, a lot of white communities looked up to ex-slave owners on how to treat ‘those negros’, which influenced the Jim Crow laws and how they treated POC rape and abuse victims.

        Seriously, we forget that a lot of slaves, once freed, were at a disadvantage because they were inside civil war zones, didn’t know how to read or didn’t have life experience beyond working in fields or within the tight constraints of a household. A lot of them were taken advantaged by other people, including their ex-slave masters (as several women had to go back to them, so their families can survive). In 1865, a man named Colonel Samuel Thomas as even asked to survey parts of the US to determine how the freed black people were getting on in society. The results were mostly NOT GOOD. It’s no surprise that a lot of white people still went on to abuse black women and kids afterwards, and it wound up influencing the way the police and authorities dealt with POC victims of crime and rape for more than a hundred years.

        March 5, 2015
        |Reply
      • Clodboy
        Clodboy

        “Thing is, the Greeks, Romans and Vikings aren’t still oppressing people today.

        On the other hand, Black people are still treated as second class citizens.”

        If you think it’s shocking how shittily today’s America treats its black citizens, you don’t want to know how today’s Greeks treat Middle Eastern immigrants, especially following the country’s financial near-collapse.

        March 6, 2015
        |Reply
        • xebi
          xebi

          Fair point. I meant the Ancient Greeks as a culture. But of course you’re talking about their descendants.

          March 6, 2015
          |Reply
    • Leigh Stevens
      Leigh Stevens

      All of this is true, but early Americans were by far the most brutal to our slaves. In most cases, slavery in the places you mentioned,people could buy their way out, or it was only for a set amount of time. Very, very rarely was it for the enslaved person’s entire life.

      March 5, 2015
      |Reply
      • Alex
        Alex

        Exactly! And it wasn’t based on any idea that one race was inferior to the other and therefore just meant to be slaves. America was pretty unique in that regard.

        March 6, 2015
        |Reply
    • Alex
      Alex

      Holy fucking shit. YES, slavery has been going on for a long time. Black slavery in the US was the first time it based on race – the idea that one was just suited to being slaves while the other was naturally entitled to own them – rather than conquering as a result of war or indentured servitude.

      All slavery? Absolutely awful. Black slavery? Not even that long ago and a huge part of North America’s founding as a part of European colonialism. And because that particular slavery was based on race, *it continues to negatively affect Black people even to this modern day*. Do you understand that?

      “White sex trade” are you fucking kidding me? You think white people don’t traffic women and children of colour all the goddam time? Fucking hell, read up on the history of slavery and on current sex-trafficking again, only this time try to take off your white lenses.

      March 6, 2015
      |Reply
      • anonymos
        anonymos

        “scientific” racism (the idea that blacks were inferior and deserved to be enslaved) was not limited to America. pretty much all white people felt that way. There were tons of Europeans writing stupid theories on the topic. It also occurred in other countries in the Western hemisphere (for example, Haiti, the only country where the slaves successfully rebelled). Classifying race-based slavery as a US phenomenon minimizes its impact. Perhaps *you* need to read up on the history of slavery.

        March 6, 2015
        |Reply
        • Alex
          Alex

          I can see how my comment’s wording may have come off that way, but if you think I was exonerating white Europeans of their racism or their role in Black slavery, you are mistaken.

          March 6, 2015
          |Reply
    • Amanda
      Amanda

      I also would not read erotica about a modern white sex trade ‘couple,’ or a Roman and a Greek/Germanic/whoever slave, or a Conquistador and a Native American… so the point stands. It’s disingenuous to imply that nobody would get upset by these other dynamics, who would want to read about the erotic adventures of a modern sex slave either??

      March 6, 2015
      |Reply
    • Actually, I’m pretty sure all of these instances make people infuriated.

      March 14, 2015
      |Reply
  6. Mitzy247
    Mitzy247

    Violated even in death.

    Sums it up for me.

    March 4, 2015
    |Reply
  7. I’ve written a lot of odd stuff. Some crime. Some horror. Some stuff with intense sexual scenes. However—

    A couple of things strike me: 1) It’s OK to write whatever you want. But you need to understand that *publishing* said work may cross a line. I can’t understand what in the hell was going on in this writer’s mind; 2) There’s a ton of “master/slave” fantasy out there (the “_____ of Gor” series from Tor Books back in the 80s comes immediately to my mind) … the writers there get around *some* (not all) of the “ick” factor by these characters being complete fantasy, not based on historical characters; and 3) jesus fucking christ, man. it’s goddamn rape porn about Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings. for fuck’s sake. what asshole thought this was a good idea?

    March 4, 2015
    |Reply
    • mimijones
      mimijones

      Fuck but you summed up everything I wanted to say right there.
      I’ve read some pretty horrible shit – this isn’t the worst I’ve heard of, tbh – but most of it has had the decency to stay in its depraved corner of the Internet under the cut behind copius trigger warnings. I’m the biggest anti – censorship person you can find, the ‘I’d rather die than impinge someone’s freedom of speech’ type, but that doesn’t mean that Fionna Freemen or whatever the fuck their name is shouldn’t go through life branded as ‘the monstrous person who wrote, published and made money off of slave rape’.

      March 5, 2015
      |Reply
  8. Kerry
    Kerry

    Whitewashed in more ways than one–they didn’t even put a picture of a black woman on their cover.

    March 4, 2015
    |Reply
  9. Benjamin W
    Benjamin W

    I.

    What.

    March 4, 2015
    |Reply
  10. Amber
    Amber

    I contacted amazon about this, and a lovely and very helpful consultant named Dayana promised me she would do everything she can to ensure that it is removed.

    March 4, 2015
    |Reply
    • A. Writer
      A. Writer

      Oh, good work Amber. I have to admire people who take the time to try to prevent writers from being read by other people who might want to read them.

      I’m sure you’re correct in your opinion that this book and all the stories in it will never be the thing that makes someone else see the light – about anything, ever.

      Because any story that talks about bad things without clearly putting a “trigger warning” label right where you can see it, is just, y’know, BAD.

      March 29, 2015
      |Reply
  11. Amber
    Amber

    The book isn’t on B&N anymore. Whoo!

    March 4, 2015
    |Reply
    • A. Writer
      A. Writer

      Congratulations Amber!
      You’ve joined the group of citizens who believe that they should get to say what’s available for other citizens to read, based on what you personally consider offensive .

      Way to go! Now if everyone would do the same as you, we could have a nice, sanitized world where everybody was just like you.

      And at such a small price, too; the right of everyone to read and write whatever they want, rather than having someone else decide for them.

      March 29, 2015
      |Reply
      • Amber
        Amber

        I am a customer of Amazon and barnes and noble, so I have a right to complain about things I find offensive. If you don’t like that, you can fuck right off because I don’t care.

        March 30, 2015
        |Reply
  12. Update us if you do find it on Smashwords. I have a friend who works there, and I can talk to them about it.

    March 5, 2015
    |Reply
  13. Rhiannon
    Rhiannon

    You are correct in thinking that those of us outside the US wouldn’t have heard of Sally Hemings. I went to high school in Canada and we didn’t really learn US history, mostly European. I share your horror that this type of story exists though.

    March 5, 2015
    |Reply
    • Ange
      Ange

      I’m Aussie and had heard of her quite a bit. We have our own rather shameful history and I guess the stories paralleled enough for comparison.

      March 5, 2015
      |Reply
      • Sonya Heaney
        Sonya Heaney

        I wouldn’t say that’s common, though. I majored in history during my secondary education in Australia in the 90s, and I’ve never heard of her. In fact, I couldn’t have told you anything much about Thomas Jefferson in relation to anything else either.

        March 10, 2015
        |Reply
  14. Mr.Blonde
    Mr.Blonde

    You should stop believing you job is to protect people according to your own beliefs. I’m an adult so I read whatever I feel like reading and not what other people says it’s good enough for me. But if you can refrain yourself, I’ll give you a tip: there’s a book from one Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, called Faust. Go and tell people they shouldn’t read it on the account that a man makes a pact with the Devil. That surely must be more horrifying than this book.

    March 12, 2015
    |Reply
    • Erika
      Erika

      Thank you!!! I can’t believe some of these idiots. Why even bother tripping over a book, if it’s not their cup of tea then don’t friggin read it. It’s as simple as that. I’ve read worse things then this book… and yes, I bought it just because I hate idiots who try and tell me not to do something. With all the stupid people on this site. The author in question needs a bit of support from the good people in this world.

      March 13, 2015
      |Reply
      • Zoriax
        Zoriax

        You’re absolutely right! Also, you know what? This story has inspired me to write my own BDSM-fantasy historical romance! I’m proud to present “Adolf Hitler and Anne Frank-”
        See what I did up there? NO THAT F***ING SHIT WOULD NOT BE OKAY. AND NEITHER IS THIS F***ING BOOK.

        March 27, 2015
        |Reply
        • A. Writer
          A. Writer

          You are confusing “THAT F***ING SHIT WOULD NOT BE OKAY TO ENDORSE”,
          and “THAT F***ING SHIT WOULD NOT BE OKAY TO ALLOW TO BE PUBLISHED, OR SOLD.”

          Don’t act like there’s no difference between loathing an idea, and taking steps to supress that idea.
          There is a huge difference. It’s the difference between a country with freedom of speech and a country where people can not say and write and read whatever they want to.

          If you find the very idea (of a story you have not read) utterly repulsive, guess what? You can announce to the world (and the author) that you find it repulsive. As often and as loudly as you like.
          Perhaps the author will reconsider writing stories that affect people so strongly. And perhaps they won’t.

          But if, in your self-righteous sense of indignance, you take action to try to deny someone else the right to make up their own mind about whether or not the words in a book are offensive to them, you have firmly planted yourself in the same position as the “righteously offended” men who shoot other people in order to enforce an idea of right and wrong.

          Ideas and words do not take away your right to live the way you feel is right for you. If you don’t like it, don’t fucking read it. It’s that simple.

          Now compare that to pressuring businesses to censor the ideas and words of someone else, because YOU don’t want to read them AND you don’t want anyone else to, either.

          See the difference?

          It’s not about whether or not this story is crap. That’s an opinion.
          It’s about whether or not people who think it’s crap should be able to make this story unavailable to other people simply because (in their opinion) it’s crap.

          Be a fucking responsible American citizen and uphold our rights – ALL the time, not just when it happens to suit your taste.

          Sincerely,
          A. Writer

          P.S. Writing, “F***ING” is just retarded. Everybody knows what word you’re referring to – and if they don’t, they’ll go find out. And it probably won’t corrupt them.

          March 29, 2015
          |Reply
          • Zoriax
            Zoriax

            How, exactly, is Jenny going to “pressure” publishing houses into not publishing this book? With a personal army? With a mind-laser?
            She’s just shouting: “Hey, I think this book is really offensive for these reasons; if you agree with this, feel free to not buy it and to convince others to do the same”.
            But it’s not a matter of “will this book be liked or not”. It’s a matter of “people are finding this book offensive, and the author doesn’t give a crap about it”. What, am I allowed to write a book about a “hero” whose purpose in life is to kill all the whites, sell it as romance, and dismiss all protests with “don’t like, don’t read”?

            Oh, right, all authors are immune from all kinds of criticisms everywhere. I keep forgetting that.

            April 24, 2015
  15. Kagoma
    Kagoma

    I have one thing to say about this:

    It’s a fucking book
    It’s fiction
    it isn’t real
    the only real element are the names
    it’s a fucking book
    it’s fiction – just like the bible

    March 12, 2015
    |Reply
    • Erika
      Erika

      Is there a “like” button around here for your comment… cause I love it!

      March 13, 2015
      |Reply
    • thegreatestdragon
      thegreatestdragon

      yeah, it’s not like it’s based off, you know, real life and real people or anything. Oh wait, it fricken is

      March 13, 2015
      |Reply
  16. Mandy
    Mandy

    Interesting…You promote your “fans” to commit a federal crime by pirating. Kudos. Secondly yes today a 15 year old is a child but in Jefferson’s time they were married having babies. Sorry we can’t roll back the clocks and change the way our forefathers functioned. Also if you took the time to read Sally’s own diary you would know she was happily in love with Jefferson and cherished their time and children together. Personally I think the writing is juvenile and droll, not that I would spend much time on erotica bdsm fan fiction. But you admit to never reading it. Nor do you advise your fans that this is a collection of books not just one. That it is a collection of books about famous people in the past turned werewolf or vampire (so much for historical context right there) and their mistresses. You should be so proud of yourself using your big badness to hurt other indie offers. God knows you were never just starting out and sucking horribly at it….oh wait.

    March 12, 2015
    |Reply
    • I'm here
      I'm here

      Why do people keep insisting there was a diary?

      March 16, 2015
      |Reply
    • Just an FYI, Sally Hemings didn’t have a diary. Historians are pretty sure she wasn’t even literate, as teaching a slave to write back then was criminal.

      March 16, 2015
      |Reply
      • ViolettaD
        ViolettaD

        That law was sometimes broken, as in the case of Phyllis Wheatley.

        March 30, 2015
        |Reply
        • The occasional breaking of the law does not make this diary people keep citing any more real.

          There is an opera called “From the Diary of Sally Hemmings.” The libretto is completely fictional. If this is what people are referring to, they need to learn to tell the difference between historical documents and historical fiction.

          You can debate a lot of things in this issue, but Sally Hemmings herself did not leave a diary that has ever been found by historians and therefore you cannot consult her “writings” in this issue.

          March 30, 2015
          |Reply
  17. Special Snowflake
    Special Snowflake

    What a bunch of whiney fuck-waffles.

    March 12, 2015
    |Reply
  18. mimijones
    mimijones

    Hmm. Well it appears that the backlash has descended in full force, Mrs. Trout. May you stay strong in the face of adversity.

    March 13, 2015
    |Reply
  19. FarFarAway
    FarFarAway

    Wow.

    I’m half white, half black. I can’t believe some of the previous commenters.

    I can’t believe anyone would equate a verified historical incident of slavery & rape with the story of Faust (=complete fiction). Great comparison, genius.

    Oh, and “the only real element are the names”? Have we forgotten that these are historical figures, and therefore REAL people who had real lives at one point? And some people’s REAL lives involved being owned and regularly raped by other REAL people?

    And the “way our forefathers functioned” was to own slaves. So because “we can’t roll back the clocks,” that means everything is all good?

    It’s not anywhere close to good.

    March 13, 2015
    |Reply
    • thegreatestdragon
      thegreatestdragon

      I thought all the later comments were going to be trash, and then I found yours, right there at the bottom, and it is gold. Thank you so much! Yes, this, all of it

      March 13, 2015
      |Reply
    • Mr.Blonde
      Mr.Blonde

      Is it promoted as a text book, topic history? No, it’s not. I suggest you and Jenny and all the people that feels the need to save the rest of us from reading stuff YOU don’t like or that YOU consider offensive limit the need to be a control freak to your own things, your own books and your own life. If you don’t like a book it’s ok to say so, but let other people decide if they want to read it or not.

      Jenny lists 12 things in the DO NOT category, including DO NOT talk about censorship. Oh, the irony…

      March 16, 2015
      |Reply
  20. I feel strongly that authors, while we do have free speech, also have a responsibility as authors. We don’t need to “roll back the clocks” when in Texas it was a fight to have the reason for the Civil War as the South being opposed to the abolition of slavery included in history textbooks. In 2014. And they did leave in that Moses contributed to the writing of the Declaration of Independence. Or the Constitution, or both. This may seem off the topic, but we are living in an era right now when, as several people have pointed out, black Americans are still treated as second class citizens and history is being twisted in some really weird and incorrect ways.

    Fiction is fiction, yes, but the bible as fiction is still the basis of religions which have caused how many thousands of deaths? It’s not fiction to the people who base their lives on it. And when “fiction” uses actual historical figures and romanticizes actual historical events that have been warped by the author–this is what I mean about author responsibility–yes, she has free speech, but that’s simply not a responsible thing to do. I don’t mean that authors should self-censor, just that they should use common sense. I don’t mean authors shouldn’t push the envelope, just that they shouldn’t blow right through the envelope into things that would never occur to anyone in their right mind as a good idea. I don’t understand the genre of rape fiction as a whole anyway, but to take an actual historical situation and glorify it? That’s reprehensible, historical situation or not. Especially given the people involved.

    No, the people who are protesting this book are not whiners. They’re people who have the intelligence to notice something that’s truly wrong when they see it, and call the person on it instead of sitting idly by and twiddling their thumbs. That’s a first amendment right as well. Protesting the book, that is. Sitting idly by and twiddling their thumbs is what everyone was doing who should have been telling the author this was a horrible, terrible, idea.

    March 13, 2015
    |Reply
  21. […] Author, Jenny Trout wrote a blog post about how horrified she was by this book and told people not t… She stuck to her ground and had an argument with someone (I won’t dignify by posting that person’s name here because that person doesn’t deserve to have their name on my blog) on Twitter. This person, who refused to understand Jenny’s point, may have gone to Anne Rice, who dedicated a post on her Facebook page, she calls People of the Page about bully reviewers and how Jenny Trout is one of them, posting a picture of Jenny that Jenny took after her argument with this person that continued to fall on deaf ears. […]

    March 14, 2015
    |Reply
  22. ViolettaD
    ViolettaD

    There were numerous sex-n-slavery books in the 70s: for instance, the notorious Falconhurst series (including “Mandingo,” which was a hit blaxploitation movie, and one obvious influence for “Django Unchained” ). Bodice-rippers from that decade feature Norman-on-Saxon rape, pasha-on-European-kidnapped-by-Barbary-pirates rape, and GOK how many nobleman-on-streetgirl/peasant/disguised lady-of-quality rapes. Is the Sally Hemmings BDSM book offensive because it is based on (and a distortion of) a real case, or is it just that the reading public no longer considers fantasies of sexual violence escapist fare just because the bodice being ripped off is from a centuries-old pattern?

    March 14, 2015
    |Reply
  23. Amara D
    Amara D

    LOL, you just gave this book so much free publicity. What were you thinking? OF COURSE we’re going to buy a copy.

    March 15, 2015
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      A fool and his money are soon parted.

      March 16, 2015
      |Reply
  24. Amara D
    Amara D

    “Look, I know that censorship is bad.”

    “Look, i’m not racist but..”

    March 15, 2015
    |Reply
    • A. Writer
      A. Writer

      No kidding.

      March 29, 2015
      |Reply
    • Klaus
      Klaus

      Censorship is thrown around too casually, I think. In China they broadly and actively restrict access to information regarding the Tiananmen Square massacre. The only information you’d receive is state sanctioned and that is the only narrative allowed.

      And nothing like that is happening here.

      March 29, 2015
      |Reply
  25. myself
    myself

    I’m gonna buy it and I’m gonna pirate your book, fuck you

    March 15, 2015
    |Reply
  26. Eggo
    Eggo

    Thank you for telling me about this great book! I would never have bought it without your recommendation.
    Please keep trying to blacklist black authors so the rest of us know to buy their books.

    March 15, 2015
    |Reply
  27. Your Mom's Dick
    Your Mom's Dick

    Half witted, verbally untalented, perpetually offended, likely fat, definitely immature, Marxian-Feminist is butthurt about something. Whoa, that doesn’t happen much. Oh, wait, it does– like six times a day. Fuck off and die you cunt. Fuck you and your idiot worldview and its necessity for such a cretinous concept like a trigger warning.

    Don’t like Thomas Jefferson? Don’t like the document he co-wrote? Then hurry up and buy a one-way ticket to sub-Saharan Africa, or Syria, or North Korea and lets see how your privileged middle-class white feminist (fat) ass will make out there.

    That you took a bunch of history and distorted it is worthy of insult, but that you’re going on about how horrible this book is and how it’s “racist” is doubly so worthy of you being called the complete idiot that you are. A black woman wrote this book. But feel free to lecture a black woman about what it means to be black and the slavery of American blacks several centuries ago. Because you, as a white feminist, are so much more knowledgeable than everyone else.

    Fuck you you stupid fat white cunt.

    March 15, 2015
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      “You’re immature and offended by something and you being offended makes me offended so CUNT CUNT CUNT CUNT CUNT FAT FAT FAT FAT FAT FAT FAT!” *commenter starts crying because no one thinks he’s important*

      March 16, 2015
      |Reply
  28. Cunt
    Cunt

    you’re an idiot

    March 15, 2015
    |Reply
  29. Bill Simpsons
    Bill Simpsons

    You didn’t read this book, you fucking cunt. Maybe when you produce something worthwhile (instead of whining how you’re a victim), you might be taken seriously.

    March 15, 2015
    |Reply
  30. Rufus T. Harlemberry
    Rufus T. Harlemberry

    Wow. Just wow. I can’t even. Literary Hitler.

    March 16, 2015
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      Considering the Nazis banned and burned books, I think you could have just called me regular Hitler.

      March 16, 2015
      |Reply
  31. Luna
    Luna

    Holy shit, did this get linked someplace awful? Jenny, thank you for saying the things that need to be said. I hope the author (of the story and some of the comments here, seriously, do you people not realise what you sound like? “Someone has an opinion I don’t like, waaaaaaaahhhhhh, *uses all three of the insults they know*”) reach a place of embarrassment that they ever wrote such tripe.

    March 16, 2015
    |Reply
  32. Suzanne
    Suzanne

    I challenge this author, Fiona Free Man, the “alleged” woman of colour of this 19 page piece of words (for I loathe to call it a book) that is at height of this debate to step into the fray, identify herself (and with a picture, too) and defend her written words. For all I am seeing, after following multiple treads since this whole debacle started, is KW and other ignorant, uneducated individuals spouting vulgar names at Jenny who had the bravado to speak up against a premise that violates humanity. And yes, I include Anne Rice in that description of ignorant and uneducated.

    I also challenge Stephanie Dray and Laura Kaye, who started this fuckstorm in the first place with their callous jokes about slavery, to take their apology one step further and tell Anne Rice, Kevin W and followers to STFU, with the name-calling.

    Disagreeing with a person’s opinion is one thing, but resorting to this level of vulgar bullying resembles certifiable insanity.

    And an open challenge to Anne Rice, KW and others who have an issue with me supporting Jenny Trout, feel free to ask Jenny (or search) for my e-mail address; I will gladly engage in an intellectual debate on this issue. Without calling you names.

    March 16, 2015
    |Reply
  33. A. Writer
    A. Writer

    Ms. Trout,

    I haven’t read this book, or any of the stories in it. I believe I’d probably find it offensive and without redeeming value.

    But seriously, how can you tell people to try to get a book taken off the shelves because you find it morally offensive, then have the gall to say,
    Don’t leave a comment about censorship.
    Don’t leave a comment about the first amendment. ?

    You’re missing the the whole point of freedom of speech.

    If this story is offensive garbage, it will prove itself to be offensive garbage.
    Personal and social evolution is not the result of people with “good” morals (like yourself) making all the “offensive’ literature become unavailable or hard to get.

    “Look, I know that censorship is bad. I know this, because there’s a whole amendment about freedom of expression in the Constitution.”

    Really, that’s how you know this? I would have thought you’d know it because you, a writer yourself, have thought about it long enough to realize that freedom of speech is like justice – either it applies to everyone equally or it is simply one group of people imposing their ideas on others in the name of a higher ideal.

    If you want to make the world better, go out and create something better.
    Write something that shines out as superior to the offensive garbage.
    Because that doesn’t lead to the offensive and dangerous attitude that you should be able to take away other people’s right to read and write with the same freedom you have.

    Sincerely,
    A. Writer

    March 29, 2015
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      The reason I said, “Don’t leave a comment about censorship” is because many people, and I believe from your comment that you fall into this category, don’t understand what censorship is. I am not advocating for this book to be destroyed, every trace wiped from the earth, or made illegal. I suggested consumer action–also protected in my country as a freedom of expression. Fionna Free Men is absolutely free to write whatever they want to write. Merchants do not have an obligation to carry their writing.

      That’s why it’s not censorship. No one is being stopped from expressing themselves here. They’re just being denied a platform, which is not a guaranteed right in the first place.

      March 29, 2015
      |Reply
      • A. Writer
        A. Writer

        Thank you for explaining your reasoning. I respectfully disagree with you about the definition of censorship.
        In its most extreme form, censorship advocates for books to be destroyed, every trace wiped from the earth, or made illegal. But that doesn’t go over well in this country, in general.

        Economic censorship such as you are advocating for is still, at the core, a group of people making threats. In this case, to negatively affect a business if they impartially stock and sell writing that you personally find offensive.

        No, you’re not threatening bodily harm but you are saying “I don’t think this should be available, so unless you censor it yourself we will take our business elsewhere.”

        You are saying, “It’s not enough that we don’t want to read it. We want it not to be read at all, to whatever degree we can make that happen.”

        That’s censorship.

        March 29, 2015
        |Reply
        • ViolettaD
          ViolettaD

          Jenny Trout doesn’t want you to read this; you are free to ignore her and read it. Some have contacted B&N about getting it off the lists; B&N is free to ignore them. Of course the idea of a sex fantasy involving Hitler and Anne Frank is repellent; there’s a movie called “The Night Porter” in which a concentration camp survivor encounters one of her former guards and has a twisted relationship with him. Feel free not to rent it.
          Are we not to be bitchy? I see the Angel in the House isn’t dead yet, despite Woolf’s efforts to kill her–the PC brigade have brought her back:
          ============================
          From: Professions for Women – Virginia Woolf:
          And while I was writing this review, I discovered that if I were going to review books I should need to do battle with a certain phantom. And the phantom was a woman, and when I came to know her better I called her after the heroine of a famous poem, The Angel in the House. It was she who used to come between me and my paper when I was writing reviews. It was she who bothered me and wasted my time and so tormented me that at last I killed her. You who come of a younger and happier generation may not have heard of her—you may not know what I mean by the Angel in the House. I will describe her as shortly as I can. She was intensely sympathetic. She was immensely charming. She was utterly unselfish. She excelled in the difficult arts of family life. She sacrificed herself daily. If there was chicken, she took the leg; if there was a draught she sat in it—in short she was so constituted that she never had a mind or a wish of her own, but preferred to sympathize always with the minds and wishes of others. Above all—I need not say it—–she was pure. Her purity was supposed to be her chief beauty—her blushes, her great grace. In those days—the last of Queen Victoria—every house had its Angel. And when I came to write I encountered her with the very first words. The shadow of her wings fell on my page; I heard the rustling of her skirts in the room. Directly, that is to say, I took my pen in my hand to review that novel by a famous man, she slipped behind me and whispered: “My dear, you are a young woman. You are writing about a book that has been written by a man. Be sympathetic; be tender; flatter; deceive; use all the arts and wiles of our sex. Never let anybody guess that you have a mind of your own. Above all, be pure.” And she made as if to guide my pen. I now record the one act for which I take some credit to myself, though the credit rightly belongs to some excellent ancestors of mine who left me a certain sum of money—shall we say five hundred pounds a year?—so that it was not necessary for me to depend solely on charm for my living. I turned upon her and caught her by the throat. I did my best to kill her. My excuse, if I were to be had up in a court of law, would be that I acted in self–defence. Had I not killed her she would have killed me. She would have plucked the heart out of my writing. For, as I found, directly I put pen to paper, you cannot review even a novel without having a mind of your own, without expressing what you think to be the truth about human relations, morality, sex. And all these questions, according to the Angel of the House, cannot be dealt with freely and openly by women; they must charm, they must conciliate, they must—to put it bluntly—tell lies if they are to succeed. Thus, whenever I felt the shadow of her wing or the radiance of her halo upon my page, I took up the inkpot and flung it at her. She died hard. Her fictitious nature was of great assistance to her. It is far harder to kill a phantom than a reality. She was always creeping back when I thought I had despatched her. Though I flatter myself that I killed her in the end, the struggle was severe; it took much time that had better have been spent upon learning Greek grammar; or in roaming the world in search of adventures. But it was a real experience; it was an experience that was bound to befall all women writers at that time. Killing the Angel in the House was part of the occupation of a woman writer.

          March 30, 2015
          |Reply
      • Mr.Blonde
        Mr.Blonde

        Would you kindly tell me what’s the difference between not advocating for this book to be destroyed, every trace wiped from the earth (was the drama needed here? You made it sound a bit like without “wiping every trace from the earth” it can’t be really censorship) or make it illegal, and ask (quite emphatically) people not only not to buy it but also to call every major retailer’s customer service to push them to not sell it?

        According Merriam-Webster, a censor is “a person who supervises conduct and morals”. Mind you, we all have opinions about conduct and morals, but having them is not the same as “supervise” them. You are not only supervising the morals of this book, which means censorship, you are also actively acting against it, to avoid one of two of the following things:

        – That the author makes a profit with her work
        – That the rest of the world read it because for you it is quote a steaming pile of shit unquote.

        I wonder what would you think if someone with a blog that has a “pretty wide readership” says what you write is a pile of steaming shit, and ask everyone not to buy what you write and to call every retailer and push them to stop selling what you write. I bet your views on censorship would be totally different then.

        Look, Jenny… I’ve seen you twitter (I’ve just answered one of your tweets) and I think you’re quite right in a lot of things you say. I think you had the best of intentions when you wrote this blog because you think what Thomas Jefferson did was wrong and it didn’t need to be advertised it in a book. I get that. But freedom of speech means people can say things and talk about things even if you don’t like it. It is very healthy to let people decide for themselves what’s a steaming pile of shit and what’s not. And if what somebody says is dangerous or can lead to somebody to be harmed in any way, then it should be made illegal. If it’s not illegal and you think it should, the way to go is fight for the legislation about it, not to legislate yourself.

        PS: Why are you so sure about the fact he “raped” Sally? I mean, I’m not from the United States and I didn’t know about the whole thing (nor that Jefferson seemed to be such a monster), but unless you’ve got your sources from Sally herself, I would at least give room for the possibility that she loved him and he loved her. When someone is so convinced about something and says it like it’s a undisputed fact (like the Alps are in Europe and California in USA) it always gives me the impression that person is trying to indoctrinate and the first reaction is to reject what that person says. There’s a lot of people like me, so I wouldn’t be surprised if your blog actually made a few people buy a book that wouldn’t have otherwise.

        March 30, 2015
        |Reply
  34. mimijones
    mimijones

    The reason why Jenny, and a lot of other people, call it rape is because Jefferson owned Sally. Even if there was evidence (i.e a diary, which there isn’t. She may have ben literate she might not have been, but we have no authenticated documentation) that the relationship was loving, there would still be an element of coercion because of that.
    Evidence suggests that Jefferson treated Sally tolerably. He had her vaccinated against smallpox, as he did to all the slaves and servants that worked in the house near the Jefferson family. He paid her a small wage whilst in France, that monthly was four to six times less than what the servants made (and remember, toom and board was provided for both servants and slaves.) he spent 30 dollars on clothing for her, he also spent three hundred dollars on clothing for his daughter and it’s implied that Sally needed the new clothes to accompany the daughter to balls as her maid.
    None of this, to me, suggests a passionate love. It sounds like a man of his time treating a slave as he thought it was fair to treat her, and occasionally bedding her because she was the half-sister of his deceased wife.
    The only thing that suggests that Sally was not unhappy with her situation was that she did not petition the French government for her freedom and returned to Virginia with the Jeffersons.
    Sources: http://www.monticello.org/site/plantation-and-slavery/appendix-h-sally-hemings-and-her-children
    Sally was a slave, and therefore did not have the option to say no. We don’t know if she wanted to, but any yes said under those circumstances is tainted by that fact. The expenditures I listed do not show a man madly in love, and if you believe you can’t deduce that from his spending, answer me why credit card statements and bank records are the first things PIs look at when investigating of a man is having an affair.
    If he’d at any point freed her, I would question the use of the word rape. And for those of you who say it couldn’t be done in that era, Sally was the child of a white man and a half white mother, and could almost pass for white herself. It’d has been done under similar circumstances:
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dido_Elizabeth_Belle

    March 30, 2015
    |Reply
  35. Frill Artist
    Frill Artist

    Jenny’s face when she realizes the book was written by a black woman…

    July 1, 2015
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      Since you guys are all crawling out of the woodwork again:

      1. I don’t blindly post this stuff. I research it. I googled any iteration of Dick and Fiona Free Mans’ pen names that I could, and turned up absolutely no indication of any online presence at that time.

      2. After twelve hours of continuous online harassment directed at me and several of my readers, Kevin Weinberg (author of the article that drove you here) managed to somehow scrounge up evidence of Fiona Free Man being a black woman. He then proceeded to use this as proof that I intentionally sought out a black author to harm solely on the strength of my racial bias. This story has changed several times, as Weinberg’s stories often do. In some versions, I attacked this author for being black and have caused great harm. In others, I attacked this author without knowing she was black and therefore have caused great harm. In my favorite version, I am a racist because I was willing to attack a white author for this book, but wouldn’t have addressed the issue with a black person.

      3. Fiona Free Man has yet to come forth to verify or comment on any part of this controversy.

      4. Whether or not Fiona Free Man is a black woman (and Fiona, if you’re out there reading this, I apologize for my doubt, but as Kevin Weinberg routinely lies in his online crusades, I’m not sure I can trust the single piece of video evidence he somehow miraculously found to support his point), the point stands: the book uses the relationship between Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson as a cheap plot device for no reason other than to sell a 99¢ ebook, and is in extremely poor taste.

      As a side note: the only people who still seem to be concerned with this incident are Anne Rice, Kevin Weinberg, and STGRB. Whoever is behind the Dick and Fiona Free Man pen name or any of its myriad iterations in the four months since this post was made, so they are apparently either unaware of this incident or they simply don’t care.

      I suggest you follow their lead.

      July 1, 2015
      |Reply
    • Klaus
      Klaus

      And?

      Some females love Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter. Some black people idolize Riley Freeman from The Boondocks. The race/sex/gender/orientation of the fan is irrelevant, it doesn’t change the fact that Draco is racist, cowardly and cruel or that Riley an ignorant, suburbanite, wannabe gangsta.

      July 2, 2015
      |Reply
  36. Lee
    Lee

    Did you every apologize to Fionna Free Man about this? It’s one of the worst cases of harassment I’ve ever seen.

    January 15, 2016
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      First of there’s no concrete evidence of who Dick and Fionna Free Man are to even contact her/him/them, and second, who are you to demand an apology for people you don’t even know? Why are you even here? This post is from last year.

      January 15, 2016
      |Reply
      • Alex
        Alex

        Just a couple of things:

        – Lee didn’t demand anything, just asked.

        – You didn’t need to know who her/him/them were to write this blog, DEMANDING (it seems for you it’s not a problem to demand people you don’t know to NOT buy a book from someone you don’t know) not only not to buy the book but also to call the retailers to complain about it. Why do you now need to know who her/him/them is/are to public apologize for one of the worst cases of harassment Lee and I have ever seen?

        January 15, 2016
        |Reply
        • JennyTrout
          JennyTrout

          This post is almost a year old. Whatever fight you imagine yourself riding into on a white horse is already over.

          January 15, 2016
          |Reply
          • Alex
            Alex

            It’s never too late to apologize, and the only one fighting, probably her ghosts, were you. You should be sorry of have written this post, however old it is, and apologize for it.

            January 15, 2016
  37. ViolettaD
    ViolettaD

    Let’s clarify freedom of expression here. Jenny has a right to criticize this book and ask readers not to buy it. Her readers have a right to comply, or ignore her and buy the book and praise it on Amazon if they choose. Jenny has a right to change her mind later–or not, and apologize–or not. You have a right to criticize Jenny’s opinions, but since this is her blog, she has a right to tell you to go piss up a rope and post on your OWN blog.
    I THINK this is how it all works, but let me know if I’m wrong.

    January 15, 2016
    |Reply
    • Alex
      Alex

      so basically, short of punching me in the face, everything another person does to me falls in the figuro of freedom of expression? It seems to me you’re stretching the concept a bit too much.
      She has the right of expressing herself, but asking people to do bad things to others isn’t freedom of speech. It’s harrassment, and if you ask your friends to go and attack another person you’re not being free, you’re being a bully, it doesn’t matter if you’re in your own house or not. And yes, you’ve guessed right: she doesn’t have the right to tell me to go and piss up a rope (which she didn’t) even if I has disrespect her (which I didn’t) because two wrongs don’t make a right.

      January 16, 2016
      |Reply

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