Thursday, August 12, 2010
It happens on a regular basis. Some d-bag gets his panties in a twist and decides to hate on the romance novels. (There's a recent article on the SB's site here about how Bloomberg Business Week Blows.) The word "bodice ripper" is often used. I've seen some authors on a mission to reclaim the term, one of those "if we use it ourselves it has less power" kind of things, and I understand that. But the people who bandy it about when they're accusing romance of being porn for women or being fluff and not "real" like literary fiction, they're just being insulting. Degrading, even.
Can't we all just get along? ... Okay, probably not.
Romance writers get seriously pissed off when this sort of thing happens, and we quote sales numbers and percentages of the market and point out the many ways that romance rocks. And we're right, because it does, but that's not going to stop the haters. Much as it pains me, there were always be haters, because at the root of it, romance novels offer things to women that the haters don't want women to have. Fun. Empowerment. Enjoyment. An escape from the drudgery of everyday life. The idea that true love and happiness is possible. It's an industry that for the most part is made by women for women, and the haters are always going to look for a way to be d-bags and devalue the power of that. And damn, we are powerful (see above mention of profits and percents, we are the machine that drives the publishing industry).
So what's my point? I'll say it loud and I'll say it proud: I love romance novels. I read them, I recommend them to my friends and family, and I even *gasp* write them! No amount of asshattery will stop that, but I suspect that in a week, maybe a month, someone else will say something ignorant about those silly romance novelists and their porn. (Dude, seriously, have they seen porn? WTF?) And we'll all get riled again, and the process will repeat. But the important thing is that no matter how rude or ignorant the haters get, we never lose our love for our romance novels.
You hear that? If you want to take my Nora Roberts books, you'll have to pry them from my cold, dead hands.
Posted by Robyn Bachar at 1:23 AM