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.