Multiple Enthusiasms

Infinite jest. Excellent fancy. Flashes of merriment.

Whatever’s Big Idea: Lauren McLaughlin

Over at John Scalzi’s blog Whatever, Lauren McLaughlin guest-posts conerning gender politics in her new novel, <i>Cycler</i>, which sounds way more interesting than just being a novel about gender:

The problem with this approach is that it presents the opposite sex as, at worst, the enemy and, at best, a dim-witted booby prize. How can you love someone you have basically manipulated into a relationship? Anyone who’s actually been in love knows that love is a wild and lawless thing. Attempts to decode the endeavor with comforting gender stereotypes might sell a lot of self-help books, but they won’t guarantee smooth sailing. Just ask The Rules co-author, Ellen Fein. After “capturing the heart of Mr. Right” by putting her own rules into action, she wound up divorced.

Whatever » The Big Idea: Lauren McLaughlin.


  1. Wow–I literally had a violent reaction to that excerpt. McLaughlin says, “Anyone who’s actually been in love knows that love is a wild and lawless thing.” Then, she ridicules those who try to decode such a thing. But, in calling it “wild” and “lawless”–while claiming that “anyone who’s actually been in love” most certainly agrees with her–she has attempted to decode…just like Fein.

    I, for one, have been in love–am currently in love, and have been in love for some time–yet, I do not think it’s a wild and lawless thing. I think that’s as dangerous a claim and as stupid a claim as anything from the mouth of Fein. So, does that mean I know some other love or that my love is somehow less than?


    People who attempt to sneer at others over their ideals of love are better off keeping it to themselves. Truth is, love differs from person to person–and it’s absolutely none of my business how or why other love–or what it means to them. It’s intensely personal and expressing what it is exactly will most always get you in trouble.

  2. Oh, and I see the typo in the last paragraph–got riled and started typing too fast.

    Bottom line, stop theorizing and condemning. Try doing it. No one’s an expert on anyone else’s relationship or reality.

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