We spoke about the wage gap, fists in the air feminist issues last week, so let’s think a little smaller now and discuss an issue that, though subtle, though nuanced, is just as feminist and just as important. Food shaming in romance novels.
It wasn’t until I got older that I realized that promise, that paradise of women working as directors and doctors and lawyers, comes with strings attached
Girl on girl hate has become a ubiquitous theme in romantic comedies, novels, television shows and nearly anything catering to the pre-teen, thus creating a never ending cycle of vicious gossip, bullying and tormenting. Modern romance fights that tide.
If you haven’t seen the controversy stirred up on Twitter, The New York Times recently released an article in their seasonal roundup section about the romance world. At first, we rejoiced. Despite the powerful impact romance has on best seller’s lists, including that of the Times, commercial fiction is often ignored or scoffed at by New York’s literary elite, and the romance world was pleased to find representation in a major newspaper. Until we read it.
When I write strong female characters, I think of it more with the emphasis on strong character, creating heroines and female main characters that are strongly written, fleshed out and three dimensional. The character isn’t strong, necessarily, because of her physical abilities or emotional capacity. She is strong because the characterization is strong and complete.
And in knowing better, and understanding that romance is both subversive and aggressively feminist and forward thinking, I now hold it to a much higher standard than I ever did in the past.
Passionflix is the Netflix for romance lovers. It’s the Hallmark and Lifetime channels without the handholding and with all the kissing bits left in. It’s the future we, as a genre, have been waiting for for a long time.