Reforming The Sheikh

An academic writing about Mills & Boon romances tells us that English ladies venturing into the tropics to create a racier erotic narrative ‘never lose their moral foundation. The heroines normally wind up reforming the sheikh.’

One would like to ask this scholar whether the conventions dictate that only the English have morals, or whether only women have morals? The former attitude used to be widespread, while the second still is. There is a third possibility, namely that only ignorant provincial women have morals and that the business of life is to spread this infinitely self-satisfied primitivism to the four corners of the globe. We might even coin the term “Mills&Boonianism” to place besides the more venerable “chauvinism” and “racism”, considering the mentality of romance readers to be a kind of ethnic identity that requires the destruction of all others.

One might also hope for a satire in which we see the sheikh adapting to his new moral existence, in which his Oasis of the Low-Slung Palms is replaced by the immaculately scrubbed front step.

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