Sometimes I write about important things. This isn’t one of those times. This is one of those times where I stomp my feet and beat my chest and demand that our alpha He-Men are also capable polyglots with an eye for Baroque art and a surprisingly vast knowledge of the erotic language in the Decameron.
Romance novels create a utopian relationship, critics often squawk. There aren’t any real men like this. Every reader or writer of the genre has heard the refrain in some way, shape or form and there’s a reason for that. It’s called sexism.
“A myth is a way of making sense in a senseless world. Myths are narrative patterns that give significance to our existence.” ― Rollo May
In the case of this book, I learned a little about what not to do.
Diversity in race, sexuality, socioeconomic background and more in YA books plays a fundamental role in providing young people with a sense of identity, belonging and validity. Most of the time.
Before we can avoid writing her, or accidentally scare ourselves into a corner and avoid writing women altogether, it’s important to ask: What exactly is a Mary Sue, and why don’t we want one?
The discussion is ongoing, but the panel was insightful, educational and full of actionable steps that authors, readers, and industry professionals can take to further an fully inclusive, fully intersectional romance genre.