Why is the romance genre inherently feminist?

2 Feb

(Originally posted to the Community section of MyMedia forum)

Because is written mostly* by women for (mostly*) other women, centering mostly* women’s needs, and pleasure, and joy.

And that, sadly (because women are just over half the human population of the planet, and still the immense majority of stories center on the male experience), it’s inherently feminist.

“Romance reminds us that women want, and it celebrates this fact. How sad that that’s subversive, but it is. Also subversive: the idea of women reading books that are escapist delights instead of “bettering” themselves via the male-adjudicated canon or, honestly, doing housework or tending to their kids. Romance novels are political because of, not despite, the fact that they are usually really fucking fun.”

(source: Who Gets a Happily Ever After)

* mostly and not all, because, you know who has embraced genre romance and the opportunity for positive representation it offers? Minorities, particularly those in the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. Because the idea of joy and love that triumph over the miseries of life is necessary for those to whom the world is already unwelcoming, simply by virtue of being

~ * ~

Please note that the piece linked, at the time I post this, states that Jules Cassidy, from Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters series, is a SEAL. He’s not; he was written, from his first appearance on, as an out and proud FBI agent. I’ve contacted the author of the piece, and I hope there will be an edit on this at some point. But if not, now you know.


2 Responses to “Why is the romance genre inherently feminist?”

  1. Bona 13/02/2018 at 1:47 PM #

    I agree with you, and I haven’t realised until now that it’s a very empowering genre for LGBT people as a way to express that they do also deserve love and a happy ending. Gay people for instance, do keep on appearing as tragic or ‘problematic’ figures in literary fiction. Thank you for such an enlightening thought.

    • azteclady 13/02/2018 at 4:15 PM #

      It pisses me off so much when people–particularly those who won’t even try reading romance, because ‘trash/mommy porn/women stuff’–go on about how women (and/or LGTBQIA+ people) looking for and finding love and happiness is trite/unrealistic, as if only misery is realistic/aspirational.

      So yeah, it’s empowering.

      (thank you)

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