Well, here’s a new put-down. I heard it first at LitReactor, where the article author used the literary equivalent of rubber gloves: inverted commas. In the comments they didn’t bother, and thus a new derogatory phrase is born, validated and shared.

It hurts on a few levels. First, there’s the whole sneery implication of ‘Mommy’. Once you’ve bred you’re a MILF, a yummy mummy, or a Mummy. You’re not a woman anymore. In fact, this phrase is generally used to refer to women over a certain age – kids are almost irrelevant.  The condescension is hard to put your finger on – so it’s hard to fight. ‘Mommy’ is a statement of fact, I suppose, for, say, me. Which provides a handy smokescreen for the nasty misogyny wrapped up in the context and the patronising absence of various other possible terms (why not just ‘women’s porn’, for example?).

And then there’s ‘porn’. Funny, cause I kind of thought that now we’re all so down with the sex there was no longer a derogatory implication in the word – in fact, I thought it had almost gathered some dirty cachet. Some harmless but slightly illicit appeal. Maybe not. Although in some cases writing sex is seen as a daring little thrill, something to prove just how fucking brave you are, seems the snobbery and childishness of some parts of the literary world doesn’t fade so easily. So, yes. Sex is still tawdry, silly and base. Take a note, everyone.

Last, couple the two words together, and what do we have? A blowsy woman in a shapeless pinny, wringing her hands with dumb sexual frustration. A stupid breeder who’s no use to the world anymore because she’s exhausted her sexual capital and therefore her worth to the wider world. A woman with so little imagination/taste/intelligence she has to resort to reading about sex.

Look a bit fucking harder. This is what we have. We have a woman, torn in so many directions, sick of being ignored, sick of being laughed at, sick of being dismissed. Tired of the whole damn issue. Yes, women read porn. Yes, we have children – or even don’t, and still get older. Though it may make some people screw up their impeccably tasteful noses, we still have sex and want it.

Yes, we have Mommy Porn*. Grow up and get the fuck over it.

*UK version: Mummy Porn – as yet unseen in the wild.

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