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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Oh, I must. I really, really MUST!: A Rant from Rach

Hey bloggerverse. First, let me say Nona has been burning up the blog with excerpts from some great erotic romance novels on Santa's Naughty List for the Erotic Cravings blog hop! They've been hot, hot, HOT! And I hope you've enjoyed them as much as I have!

Now... on to my rant of the day...

Fellow Seton Hill Graduate and author friend, Tonya Burrows, posted a link to this article this morning, and as I read through it, all I could do was laugh.

The author of the article, Palash Ghosh, says, "After all, romance novels fall into the same sordid category as soft porn, violent comic books and anything written by Stephen King in the realm of literary "guilty pleasures."'

Oi! Where do I even begin to respond to that one, folks? Sordid, porn, guilty pleasures? YES PLEASE. I mean, sign me up, now. Are these supposed to be negative things, I ask you? In a world where women are finally (FINALLY) starting to own their sexuality, delve into the unknown, come into their own sexual identities, these are all good things. Now this article focuses mostly on historical romances, which I only read occasionally, but when I do, I LOVE them. I've noticed I really enjoy romances of all types, though I do tend to feel like something is missing if they're too saccharine sweet or all the naughty things are BCD. 

Ghosh goes on to say, "I know many... smart, attractive, successful, 'liberated,' modern females who nonetheless find some kind of deep satisfaction and vicarious thrill from delving into hyper-romantic, contrived and extremely unrealistic tales of handsome, manly heroes falling in love with virginal women, enduring a series of adventures, then inexorably ending in a happy resolution." 

Hmmm... let's inspect this. Smart, attractive, successful and liberated women can't enjoy a FANTASY of a handsome, manly hero?? Um, hello? Where is this rule written? And let's just compare the male fantasy portrayed in romance novels to the perfect blonde bombshells in those um... art films the average American Male fantasizes over. How is a man in romance novel any more "contrived and extremely unrealistic" than Pamela Anderson or Jenna Jameson? 

Let's move on to the article's statistics, courtesy of the Romance Writers of America: 

"*More than 9,000 romance titles were released in 2012, yielding sales of about $1.44 billion (more than triple the revenues generated by classic literary fiction), making it the biggest portion of the U.S. consumer market at 16.7 percent.
*Some 75 million people in the country read at least one romance novel in 2008, but most are long-time dedicated consumers of the genre." 
Hmm... then there's this little nugget, "I had thought that romance novels accounted for a very small fringe corner of the literary market." - If that's the case, then you must have been living under a rock, never been inside a store, read the NYTimes Bestseller List, or seen the headers on Amazon, Facebook, or any other type of website advertising romance novels. 
As you're here reading this erotic romance blog, you're an obvious fan and I need not continue on about all the ways in which the romance novel rocks, so I shall just say this... 
Women don't really have any desire to go back and live in a time when petticoats, corsets, and gloves were required at all times, when the only interests she was allowed to have were reading, painting, and childbearing, when she could not own land, earn money (except with her body), vote, have a say in her marriage or anything else as the article suggests ("Perhaps most women [even the ones who get lost in romance novels] do not want to go all the way back – but it is obvious, they are unhappy with how the world has turned out in the contemporary era.") 

It is simply this... 
Sometimes we (men and women alike) get disillusioned with our lives, get bored in the bedroom as well as the courtroom, and yearn for a fictional world on paper where we can live vicariously through words and characters who are bold enough to love with all their hearts, to fight with all their passions, and face all of the world's sometimes insurmountable obstacles to hold tight to the one they love. 

And so I ask you, readers, what the hell is wrong with that? 



  1. Right on, Rach! Every once in a while some know-it-all has to come along and tell us "little" women how silly we are to enjoy romance. How is it any different from guys imagining they're James Bond, drinking martinis, outwitting bad guys and hooking up with slinky beauties. Puh-leeze!

  2. Replies
    1. Rachell, darlin', you have hit a nerve. I'm scanning over past posts and this one caught my eye. I was deep in promo when you'd posted this, so forgive my lateness. Every once in a while, a pseudo-intellectual thinks she's being all feminist by spouting how low-brow romances are. As a 65-year-old woman who marched for equal rights, I resent this. The author of that article has no freakin' clue. None. Nada. Zip.

      We women seek to own our sexual identity, to embrace it, to enjoy the hell out of it. If reading romance helps, why not? We've moved into the courtroom, the boardroom, the backroom. If, at the end of the day, when the kids are in bed and we can snuggle in bed for some "me" time, we chose to read a romance, should we feel we're "dumming down"? No. We are leaving the cares of the day behind and rejuvenating our spirits. For some, the genre of choice is mystery or historical, but for most of us it's romance. She needs to step out of her pristine, emotionless, elitist bubble and step into the reality of the feminist world. My bet is she'd fumble for her article shows she's pretty damn clueless.

      I am a romance writer and I love my job.

      Your reply to her elitist nonsense was spot on. Yay you!!



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