The Mommy Porn Phenomena leads to Rabbit Catching journalism.This is a slightly expanded copy of my comment posted at the newspaper. The difference is due to word count limitations on the SMH site.
This article starts off on the wrong basis by taking this assumption as true.
“Porn is bad because it fosters unreal expectations about what women should look like and how they should behave in bed.”
There are a lot of arguments about why Porn is bad. This is not a legitimate or even widely used one among people who think seriously about the issue. Upon which the whole argument relating it to Romance falls. Along with the Headline which clearly shows the Editors are Rabbit Catching it trivialises what could have been a meaningful discussion on the place of romance and porn in modern society. People think that the popularity of BDSM lite romance 50 Shades has blurred the lines. Note the use of it as the illustration for a 'typical' romance novel. Another anomaly that a good number of reputable authors of romance would take issue with.
I characterised this article as trite and meaningless the first time I read it. Sure it's a nippy little article, presses the right buttons to spark peoples interest and got the twittersphere in a minor buzz. But if porn and romance demeans the roles of those reading it, surely rabbit catching does the same for journalism. Even the loose interpretation of variant figures makes one wonder how much serious thought went into the article.
This might have started off intending to be a lightweight rather humorous take on the whole 50 Shades as Mommy Porn phenomena, but it signifies a deeper malaise when editors waste the talents of their writers skimming over issues, trivialising real concerns and appearing to criticise the simple pleasures of large sections of the populace.
The only possible excuse for it is that it appears on the Life & Style pages and therefore is probably targeted at women who don't think deeply about anything other than their next manicure or romance novel.