The More Things Change, The More I Want to Rip a Bodice in Anger

Thanks to Mel Francis and Funky Bunny for the tip: as part of a promotion of Danielle Steel’s new book, the Today show is hosting a quiz: Do you Read Romance Novels?

And of course, there’s no “yes” or “no” option – there’s “yes” or “no” with patronizing embellishments! And no room for comments for me to say, “BITE ME you sanctimonious fucknuts.” You can say, “Yes, yes, yes! Bodice-rippers are my ultimate escape” or “No way. I don’t touch those books.” Or, if you’re feeling really ambivalent about the state of your bodice, “Sometimes, while on vacation or at the beach.”

The poll results reveal that many, many respondents seem to equate “touching a romance novel” akin to “cleaning out the sink trap,” “fishing a really noxious booger out of someone else’s nose,” or “taking out the trash.”

Here. Have a More Funner Poll:

 

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The Link-O-Lator

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  1. 1
    Mel-O-Drama says:

    I voted ‘infuriating’ but only because I’ve always wanted to ‘rip my bodice in rage’

    seriously, it’s just so unnecessarily condescending. And unrealistic. and annoying.

    I think the most appropriate answer to your poll would be “All of the above. Now I’m off to rip my bodice in protest.”

  2. 2
    closetcrafter says:

    I try not to let Kathie Lee be my arbiter of good taste

  3. 3
    SB Sarah says:

    Mel: Done. See amended poll.

  4. 4
  5. 5
    Mel-O-Drama says:

    Sarah, I cannot tell you how many ways I heart you.

    And now I want to rip your bodice off. ;x

  6. 6
    FunkyBunny says:

    *Snork*

    I Hulk Smash every chance I get.  (ANGRY BODICERIP!)

  7. 7
    Sara says:

    Infuriating! And a terribly written poll, as anybody who’s taken a basic research methods course would know. I don’t care if it’s not meant to be scientific; it’s embarrassingly shoddy.

    I believe there is a spot for comments, if anybody has the strength to try to engage in it: click here.

  8. 8
    Sara says:

    Oh, dear. I’m just a dizzy romance reader who can’t make the link work. Copy and paste everything after the colon to get to the comment page.

  9. 9

    I think the hosts of the Today Show should be required to wear bodices, then have them ripped off LIVE! IN PERSON! AT ROCKA-FELLA PLAZA!

  10. 10
    Kristen says:

    Once again, Mel is the bringer of awesome casserole.

  11. 11
    Toddson says:

    I found it especially amusing that on the same page was a link to their segment called “hottest bachelor laughs about loincloth pose” and had pictures recreating “sexy poses” … suitable for cheesy cover pictures.

  12. 12

    Yeah, I’m totally going to let The Today Show make me feel inferior for wanting to read romances.  Since they’re such hipsters over there.

  13. 13
    Sarabeth says:

    I chose infuriating because I like to Hulk smash and don’t get a chance to do it often enough. The bodice ripping? Could be fun!

  14. 14
    corrine says:

    At least they’re not alone; did anyone ever see Nora Roberts on Good Morning America? There’s nothing like a little condescending Charlie Gibson to start your morning off right.

    But it makes one wonder: if it had been a Stephen King or James Patterson book coming out, what kind of patronizing questions (if any) would have been posted then?

    It also makes one wonder: when did Danielle Steele become the poster child of the romance genre?

  15. 15
    Claire says:

    10 points to Sarah for Hulk Smash!

  16. 16
    holly says:

    Well, after my breast reduction a few years ago I threw out all my bodices; hell, sometimes I go without a bra.  I think I can dig up a camisole to throw away.  (And you know what?  If you get a breast reduction, you basically get a free lift with it.  44 year old boobs with no sag.  Wish I could say the same about all points south….)

    And – excuse me for a minute, all you Jackie Collins and Danielle Steele fans – but I can’t stand either author, and it pisses me off that they are the two that are always trotted out when some talking head starts talking about romance novels.  I can name 10 authors off the top of my head who kick Steele and Collins’ outdated, ungrammatical, inexcusably formulaic (does Danielle dictate her novels, a la Barbara Cartland?) asses.

    And when someone smirks at my romance habit, I smile sweetly and say, “English lit major, 3.5, master in library science.  And you?”

  17. 17
    Jaci Burton says:

    I had to vote all of the above in order to make Mel’s day. ;-)

  18. 18
    Mel-O-Drama says:

    I had to vote all of the above in order to make Mel’s day. ;-)

    Jaci! You know me so well. *smooches*

  19. 19

    *Hulk Smash* LOL!

    Well, at least 55% say they do read romance, even if it’s at the beach (Who put the sand in the vaseline?)

    Anyway, they put Kathy Lee back on TV. They’re already on my shit list.

  20. 20
    Chelle_St says:

    Myself, I giggled at the You-Might-Also-Be-Interested-In-The-Following-Headlines section:

    Send us photos of your bald and proud men – His Bald Pride, coming to a bookstore near you.

    Also, naturally, the sweetly condescending and everso-helpful:

    Want to save your marriage with sex? Write to us
    Having trouble sleeping? E-mail us
    Know a woman with a cause? Tell us about it
    Are you a fashion disaster? Tell us about it

    My personal favourite is
    Photo gallery: Your festive wedding pets
    because it conjures the mental image of my turtles in white bondage gear.

  21. 21
    Mel-O-Drama says:

    I started a discussion on newsvine about the article. Feel free to comment.

    http://oatmellow.newsvine.com/_news/2008/06/18/1587523-vote-do-you-read-romance-novels

    (hoping the link shows up correctly…)

  22. 22
    katiebabs says:

    Why do they ask if you read bodice rippers? I am trying to figure out when the last time I read a “bodice ripper” was? Maybe they should ask when was the last time you read a romance with the heroine as a hermaphrodite?

  23. 23

    I voted all the above.

    Corrine said, “But it makes one wonder: if it had been a Stephen King or James Patterson book coming out, what kind of patronizing questions (if any) would have been posted then?”

    Good point. I know I get sneered at just as much for reading horror as I do for reading/writing romance. The most common response I get when I say I read horror is, “Ew. You like that sick stuff?” as if there could be nothing literary or well-written or thought-provoking about a horror novel. Much like the wink-wink, nudge-nudge of people who sneer at romance saying, “Ew. You like that cheesy stuff?” as if there’s nothing literary, well-written, or thought provoking about that either.

    And of course, if you ask the people who sneer at romance/horror, they will nine times out of ten confess that they haven’t read in either genre in a decade or more, if at all.

    *rips bodice, revs chainsaw* ;-)

  24. 24
    Mel-O-Drama says:

    sigh.
    Let me try the discussion link again;

    http://oatmellow.newsvine.com/

  25. 25
    Jan says:

    Where is the PR from RWA when stuff like this hits the fan? I thought giving romance a better rep was part of the mission. Sic ‘em RWA.

  26. 26
    Shanna says:

    Any network show that would hire Kathie Lee is obviously *not* in touch with what the public likes.

  27. 27
    Cyranetta says:

    Just yesterday there was a conversation-starter in the Guardian circling a related wagon:

    http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/06/why_i_love_chicklit.html

    I particularly like the damn-your-eyes photo of Joanna Trollope, who looks like she could freeze Kathy Lee in mid-inanity.

  28. 28
    karmelrio says:

    Suck it, Kathie Lee.

  29. 29
    Deb Kinnard says:

    I’m 100% with whomever said Kathie Lee should not be on TV. How/why could she stand being on so many years with the Ugliest Celebrity Alive? I think he got his start in the media when some producer types got silly over lunch and said to each other, “Let’s go out on Rodeo Drive and find the worst face we can, and hey! I know! Give him a talk show! Giggle snort.” Man, his very face makes me wanna hurl, and she’s not too far behind.

    Arbiters of my reading material? I think not.

  30. 30
    Mel-O-Drama says:

    FYI:
    Barbara Vey (Publishers Weekly Blogger) is on it, too.

    http://www.publishersweekly.com/blog/88000…/460028246.html

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