LLB writes on RtB about the career woman in romance. How come so many heroines give up their big-shot jobs in the city to move to the rural idyll of small-town America to be with their heros, she asks.
My theory: much like I suspect chick lit is impressing the idea of home-and-family-based personal fulfillment on young women instead of career-based fulfillment, I suspect that plot lines that follow this path are blithely parallelling a “back to nature” argument that women are truly fulfilled in a traditionally-established atmosphere. Rural America with wheat fields and family trips in the Winnebago are more natural and authentic than living in a box apartment high above the city.
It’s not “natural” for women to have high powered careers at the expense of being caring homemakers, and a heroine who gives up her career to follow her man to Rural Outskirts, USA, is fulfilling herself and her life in a more traditional manner.
So what does this say about career women who find love? How many romances are there in the contemporary sphere that feature women in business falling for hunky men yet still making the board room meeting the following morning? I know I’ve read a few category romances of women in fields like real estate and journalism, but what about business? Lucy Monroe’s The Real Deal comes to mind, and SEP’s Hot Shot but is it as rare as my memory thinks it is?
I’m not saying that authors choose a traditional-fulfillment ending for their plot do so deliberately, nor am I wailing on them for their betrayal of feminism. It’s a perfectly valid decision – one that I encounter a LOT on pregnancy message boards between the stay-at-home moms and the work-out-of-home moms, and one that I think is as valid as the other choice(s) available to women.
But the number of traditional/home-fulfillment vs. career-fulfillment, or rural vs. city fulfillment romances seem, in my memory, to be imbalanced. Does this mean I should go home and put my feet up, after baking a pie? Because I could totally go for pie.