Whew… that’s a mouthful, eh?
Awhile back, I made the flip obversation on Goodreads, that I think our reading and understanding of books—especially those in the young adult category—is often very influenced by the generation whose culture with which we most identify.
I gave the example of how often I come across reviews of books I’ve read where the reviewer is very critical of what she reads as “slut shaming” in the novel (check out the reviews of Fracture, for example). And, honestly, it’s not something I particularly notice (I’m at the tail end of Generation X)—and I’ve got a couple of women’s studies degrees. (I’m not saying it’s not relevant, it’s just not on my radar, because that was a big issue long after I was solidly in Grownupland.)
Condom usage (or lack thereof) is another time this division seems to show up. When I read a novel and there’s sex and there’s no condom, I freak the hell out, because I grew up in the 80s/90s where AIDS was an automatic death sentence and well before teen pregnancy was glamorized with all this Teen Mom malarky. I’ve been told by people older than me that they don’t care for mention of condom usage because they think it’s “disruptive” or “jarring.” (Their argument is that the condom usage is implied.) And I’m all, “Dying is disruptive!” And, now, interestingly, I’ve heard the same from people in their 20s on this topic. (Which boggles my mind, but that’s another subject.)
My mom (60s) has very different reactions to things than I do, which I always think is fascinating. And, when we got into this discussion on Goodreads, folks in their 20s had very different thoughts that I. Obviously, a lot of that is just different tastes and other things such as geography, but I think generational contexts are enormous.
So… where am I going with all this?