More Positive Press for Romance

Will the awesome never cease? (I hope not!) There’s been some mostly savvy press about Ye Olde Romance Novels, from Huffington Post to Jezebel (I’m such a fangirl, they’re going to get a restraining order at some point) talking about the HuffPo. I’m giddy with the possibilities, I tell you.

Hillary Rettig wrote up a defense of the romance, positioning the genre’s demands for respectability and the politics at work within it between the Love As the Practice of Freedom? aka the Princeton conference on romance and larger social, political, and sexual issues at work in our culture.

While I don’t agree with some of the things that Retting said, I do love that she employs multiple critical perspectives to highlight all the ways in which romance is, to put it simply, important. It can serve as a reflection and barometer of our society’s attitude toward women, emotions, and sexuality, and toward humanity on the whole.

NB: Since barometers measure atmospheric pressure and are used to predict short-term changes, they are one of my favorite anaolgies because so many of the issues facing women that are highlighted in romance deal with pressure of one type or another, and the potential for change.

A factual correction: Rettig mentions that the GLBT chapter of RWA was founded after a “years-long struggle.” As RWA President Diane Pershing pointed out in her comment to the article:

There were not “years of struggle” before The Rainbow Writers Chapter could be formed as an RWA chapter. I have been on the board for five years and there has been no mention of it at all. I have checked with Allison Kelley, our Executive Director, and she says “When I read the article that Diane forwarded today, I was dismayed at the reference to the “years of struggle” before RWA approved a chapter for writers of GLBT romance. I can state with certainty that staff never knew a group was trying to form until a few months ago, and all we did was answer questions and help when needed.”

What warms the cavernous heart of my cockles is that not only is this a second positive and strong defense of romance on HuffPo, but that Jezebel picked up the article and discussed it as well – because smart women read romance, and it’s about time we stopped getting shit for it.

So I see your two HuffPos and raise you more positive romance press. Word.

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General Bitching...

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  1. 1

    I agree.  Romance reading has been around for time immemorial.  It’s time is gets it’s due and be recognized a great literature.  Think about how hard it is get a book written, published, and then capture an audience’s attention….it’s work.  It’s hard work.  I seen several interviews recently praising romance writing, and all I can say is it’s about time.

    Dottie :)

  2. 2
    Jessa Slade says:

    You gotta love any news story that ends with HEA. Imagine a newspaper that attempted more of those; maybe some of those 64 million Americans that read a romance would read such a newspaper.

  3. 3

    Hi – re the GLBT issue, as a member of the romance community, I have been reading for some time about problems of discrimination against GLBT authors and content for a while. In his Examiner article on the GLBT chapter, romance author Alan Chin wrote:

    For many years authors of GLBT romance novels who attended literary conferences had to contend with shouldering aside peer scorn, open discrimination, their promotional material removed from conference displays, and were denied equal treatment by some romance reviewers and review venues.

    It seems like the officials of RWA could have done something to prevent, or at least curtail, that “open discrimination” and were remiss in not doing so. HOWEVER, that is not the same as saying they resisted the formation of a formal chapter, so I apologize for writing that if it is indeed not true. – Hillary

  4. 4
    Ipomoea says:

    I love seeing the reciprocal site love between Smart Bitches and Jezebel!  There are some pretty big SB fangirls over there, as well.  Someone brought up the “romances are sentimental woman-hating claptrap” bullcrap on the thread for the article you linked to and there was immediate and fierce smackdownery.

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