|Reviews for Are romance novels art covers to blame for the genre discrimination?|
| Wordsmith1994 chapter 1 . 3/8
Yes, I agree about the covers! I am too embarrassed to explore them in the store so I don't know very much about what goes on inside the covers these days. I had a friend in uni who used to lend them to me - but here's the catch: I didn't really like them. I found the quality of the writing and plotting poor. I did like Anne Rice and I will always hold that Wuthering Heights is the ultimate romance novel. But then no one is afraid to admit they're reading Withering Heights!
I write a lot of m/m now and I tell pretty much everyone that I write romance novels. People are like: "Cool." If I said I was writing porn, that would not be acceptable. So "Romance" does get slagged but it's not as bad as porn. The New York Times has also written a couple of recent articles about Romance novels - the same way they do for spy novels, which I think is about time.
I've written an essay here called "Why I Write MM". It's a little hard to find because I deleted it and then put it back up and the deleted version (the system will say "story deleted") always comes up first. But I would be very interested in what you think of it.
I find Romance novels are about love but also erotic and thus involve a submission and domination dynamic (i.e. bodice rippers, so-called 'shirt rippers' in m/m). I think this is where a lot of the shame comes from, but it's what a lot of people want - both heterosexual women and gay men. How do we in a society that so values equality accommodate a desire for submission? I feel as if the narrative of the so-called free love '60s and '70s erased the erotics of power (of submission) because it doesn't fit in nicely with a 'let's be free' agenda. But in reality sexual desire and lust are not simple (or innocent) things.
Let me know what you think if you have time!