Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What is the definition of M/M?

What is the definition of M/M? It seems I’ve misunderstood.

I’ve been watching, and reading, the latest brouhaha in the M/M community for about the last week. I never realized there were ‘rules’ as to what qualified as M/M, or I guess I didn’t realize how strict the ‘rules’ were. I guess I misunderstood the definitions. Oh, I understand that M/M stands for Man/Man. I’m not a complete dunce. But I didn’t realize that meant Penis/Penis, only penises allowed.

I started thinking about all of this when I’d heard that a book I read, and loved, a few weeks ago wouldn’t be reviewed by some large M/M review blogs because a 3 page scene with a Bi male MC, a gender fluid (at least that's how I perceived him) MC and a woman disqualified the book from the ‘rules of pure M/M’. Seems I mistakenly thought that since the 2 MC’s being men and having sex w/each other, made it book fall into the M/M category.

Guess not. I’m confused.

The fact that a small ‘girl cooties’ scene in the series violated some kind of “pure” M/M genre thing irritates me, but that’s not really why I’m writing this post. Not wanting women in your M/M books is a personal preference I suppose. I personally don’t love them in mine, more because I hate the way women are portrayed in romance books than vaginas mess up my gay sex. But whatever. The whole thing annoyed me, but not enough to blog about it. I let others do that since they did it so well.

What has me up in arms today is a post I saw yesterday on Chicks & Dicks blog written by Jessewave. The post and the comments have me down right angry and disturbed.

Now, may I just say, I do agree that a blog should be able to review whatever they want. I do. To have someone try to tell me that I HAD to review a book I don’t want to read I’d probably fly the finger at them. However, that being said, I’m not some big review site for the genre, and I don’t claim to be contributing to the success of said genre. It seems to me that if that’s the site you have, you have a different responsibility than a small personal blog. Maybe that’s naive of me. I dunno. I suppose that if you don’t want to review M/M books with any F thrown in… fine. I tend to roll my eyes and think… whatevah.


To exclude trans books because you perceive it as something other than “pure” M/M is… is… full of WTFery to me. To not see how offensive that is adds to the WTFery.

How blind can one be?

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t understand how books with trans men identifying as gay men is some kind of exclusion to the Man/Man Romance thing. A trans man is a man. If he loves another man, he is gay. Man.Man. M/M. Seems to fit perfectly, even under this M/M “purity” test. To say it doesn't is… is…

…making me snarl again.

The whole thing reminded me of that disaster last November I watched until I was sick. Who’s a real man, who isn’t a real man, who’s a he, who’s a she, who qualifies, SHOW ME YOUR PENIS! And then be shocked, outraged and cry when people got hurt and offended at the bigotry and ignorance of it all because the offenders have some personal claim to phony rainbow blur.

What a crock of…

*deep breath* I’m getting worked up again. I need to end this post before I start lose my slim hold on my control.

I guess I just wanted to say… sites can review whatever they want. So be it. But I wanted to also say that claiming to review books under rules of ‘pure’ Man/Man only and exclude trans books IS the same thing as saying that trans men aren’t ‘real’ men. It’s disgraceful, it’s transphobic, it’s… it’s… disturbing.

To say the least.

I also wanted to say, Hi, name is Amara Devonte. I love M/M books. I read them, I occasionally review them. I see no basis for excluding Trans* books or Trans* characters and classifying them as ‘other’ or ‘exception to the rule’. I find it insulting and wrong to do so. This behavior in a genre I thought was supposed to be about love, acceptance, tolerance and rainbows… saddens, upset and disturbs me.

Now that I’ve got myself all worked up again, I have to go now. Before bad things come out of my mouth.

The end.


  1. *laughs* One thing's for certain: I never expected any of these kind of M/M review sites to touch Black.

    Nor do I.

    Their loss.

    I get not wanting to. Their reviews are specific. You won't catch many het romance sites reviewing menage books that *don't* focus on the female or that have a focus on a main romance between the two men instead.

    Their restrictions aren't doing them any real favors. But it's their prerogative. Variety is the spice of life, after all. But obviously there are as many narrow-thinking readers as there are narrow-thinking reviewers.

    C'est la vie.

    1. I didn't expect them to touch Black either. I'd assumed that the comment about refusing to review the "hermaphrodite book" was Black and I'd be lying if I said I didn't hackle a bit at that. But, you know, Mamba is a hackley one, soooo... can't be helped.

      I do understand restrictions. I suppose I have some too, even thou they aren't itemized all official like. My main problem is with the "trans fall into non-male catagory" thinking. Bothers me much.

    2. Yeah, there are some people that take such pride in their labels. In preserving the sanctity of segregation.

      We're humans, not articles of clothing.

  2. You are SSOOOO right. A sexual organ does not make a person.

    1. Thanks. It really bothers me when people go there. I'm glad that some people agree. :)

  3. Well said. This whole "you're not a real man" is one of the things that trans* people have to constantly content with.

    1. Thanks.

      I know, and it makes me frustrated and sad. And seeing it come from within the genre just... *sigh*... yeah...

  4. ::hugs tight:: Thank you for this! :-) I wish others shared your views.

    1. *hugs back* I wish more people did too.

  5. What fries me is the absolute refusal to see what this policy is doing to individuals and the community in general. Yes, I agree. People should have the freedom to review whatever they want. At the same time, we're talking about a blog that swings a big stick in a small genre. They have clout. They're creating a false sense that anything other than two penises is unwelcome in the m/m community. It's just not so.

    If you personally don't want to read books with trans* characters or icky girly bits, OK. But this is a site with multiple reviewers. You can't tell me that there isn't *someone* out there who would be willing to give them a fair review. The only conclusion then is that you are willfully excluding bi and trans* folk. Not cool. Saying "this other blog, that's much smaller and less influential, reviews your kind of books, take them over there." Also not cool.

    1. I'm torn on that part. Part of me /does/ want to say that being such a big blog with such clout, claiming to be contributing to the success of the genre, yes, it would be nice if she would review a wider scope. However, as a blogger, and a blogger with an "I review only what I want to" policy myself, no, I can't agree in forcing anyone to review books they don't want.

      My big issue is in the "pure M/M only and no trans" statements. It says that transmen are different, they are in an 'other' category. That is wrong. They ARE men. If a blog, Wave or any other, only wants to review cisgender M/M, fine. Say it. Don't claim M/M when you don't mean it and run around classifying trans as 'other'.

      I know for a fact that it hurts people. To be told that it hurts people, and STILL not acknowledge it... full.of.WOW. to me.

      So many people tried to explain it. Apparently, bullies all. *shrugs* I, fall on the side of the bullies. I'm ok with it. :)



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