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What the Heck IS This Book Tagline About Whether a Straight Woman and Lesbian Can Be Friends?

I have literally never wondered this

Cover of Meeting Millie, a sapphic romance novel by Clare Ashton

You can file this one under things that make you go, “Huh?” A book’s tagline is asking the age-old question literally no one is asking: can a straight woman and a lesbian simply be friends? Of course, the answer is yes. Because why couldn’t they?

The book in question is Meeting Millie by Clare Ashton. On her website, Aston describes herself as “an award-winning author of sapphic romances and mysteries.” The book’s summary, per Goodreads, is: “Meeting Millie is a sapphic romance about the nature of friendship, how two people change over the years, and how they see themselves and each other.” The tagline in question is, “Can two women, one gay, one straight, be friends forever? Or does sex get in the way?”

I don’t know about you, but I hate it when I’m just hanging out with my gal pals—who are an assortment of gay, straight, and everything else on the spectrum of sexuality—and we’re having a good time, and all of a sudden, sex gets in the way. (Again.) It’s so irritating!!

Naturally, Book Twitter has honed in on this truly awful tagline and is having some fun. Note that you’ll have to click on the Tweet to expand the image and see the horrible tagline in all its glory. Trust me, it’s there.

This person has a pretty good, if obvious, point:

Here’s another Tweet, pointing out that this tagline relies on a dated, damaging stereotype of the “predatory” lesbian.

This seems to be one of those “road to hell was paved with good intentions” type of things. Ashton realized that the tagline was attention-grabbing, but perhaps not the good kind of attention-grabbing. She decided to take it off the book. The Goodreads page for Meeting Millie now reflects a tagline-less cover. (Note, you’ll have to click on the Tweet to see the tagline is no longer there.) Here is Aston’s apology:

As you can see, Ashton takes full responsibility for the tagline and its connotations. Meeting Millie is a self-published book. I imagine it’s extremely difficult coming up with ways to sell your book that honors its content, but also makes it marketable. Sometimes you hit the mark. Sometimes, as is the case here, you miss the mark by a country mile. It happens. I think it’s admirable that she quickly took accountability, listened to her readers and the general feedback, and then quickly made adjustments.

We all make mistakes. The important thing here is that the book is good and people who like sapphic romance get what they come for. I’m more of a trashy thriller smut reader myself, but I do not begrudge romance readers their druthers. We all like what we like. I hope Ashton delivers here for you, friends.

(Featured image: Goodreads via Clare Ashton)

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