Quantcast

«

»

Jan 14 2013

The romance novelist and the guy with a truck

I don’t think I was aware of Alisa Valdes before. She wrote a memoir, The Feminist and the Cowboy: an Unlikely Romance. Sounds potentially good, in a way – she teaches him to understand that women aren’t lesser beings, he teaches her to appreciate horses and bad coffee. Culture clash made fun; meeting cute; oddly-matched couple models the potential for mutual broadening of horizons.

Yes but that’s not the plot. The plot is that she

falls in love with a cowboy who teaches her to reconnect with her “femininity” — and to never talk back, open her own car door or walk on the street side of the sidewalk.

Erm. That’s not a good plot. I dislike that plot. Throw that plot away and start over.

Well she has, kind of, but that’s because it turned out – surprise, surprise! – that the kind of guy who teaches a woman never to talk back ends up abusing her.

The book, which features a cover image of a woman’s bare legs tossed high with a cowboy hat perched atop one foot, has been heavily marketed to the anti-feminist crowd, even earning a plug from Christina Hoff Sommers, who called it a “riveting tale about how a brilliant, strong-minded woman liberated herself from a dreary, male-bashing, reality-denying feminism.”

But now the author, Alisa Valdes, a prolific romance novelist, alleges that the man who taught her to “submit,” and to enjoy it, turned out — after she wrote this love letter of a book about him — to be an abuser.

Has anyone called Christina Hoff Sommers for a comment?

It’s not that she’s entirely changed her mind, though. She considers herself a “Difference Feminist” (i.e., she sees men and women as having equal worth but as “not being necessarily the same or having the same abilities in all things”), and maintains that the cowboy helped her “to embrace my own female-ness in a way I had been trained to subsume.” She ended the email with a nod to her alleged abuser, “As the cowboy often said, there is the way things are, and there is the way we would like for things to be,” she tells me. “The only one that matters, ultimately, is how things are. We might not like it, and it might not be fair, but that doesn’t make any of it less true.”

That doesn’t make any of what less true? Feminism isn’t a truth-claim. Feminism isn’t an assertion that women and men are the same. Feminism is a moral commitment. Moral commitments depend on the idea – they are the idea – that “how things are” in the social world is not necessarily how things should be or how they have to be. The idea of equal rights, of equality, of human rights, does not depend on any claims of exact sameness. It does depend on a core of sameness, of an entity that has some sort of need for rights and equality; it rules out stones and daffodils and steam as rights-bearing entities; but it does not depend on sameness all the way down. The cowboy’s wisdom is bullshit. In the social realm, the difference between the way things are and the way we would like things to be is one way of describing the whole idea of reform, aka progress. That can lead to wishful thinking, yes, but that doesn’t mean it just is wishful thinking.

 

 

34 comments

1 ping

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    Eamon Knight

    I am very tired of hearing “men and women are different” trotted out as some sort of Profound Truth, which the evil feminazis are trying to deny. *People* are different, and yes maybe there could be some systematic (though I expect, largely statistical) difference between the sexes, but there is still no Platonic Masculine and Feminine that determine who we “really” are, and how we “should” behave towards one another.

  2. 2
    Ophelia Benson

    Quite so. I mean honestly – how obvious could it be?! Even if there are generalizations one can make about averages, so what? It’s still necessary (and only fair, and so on) to consider people one at a time. “No I’m sorry we’re not going to promote you, because women are on average stupider than men.” Not a sensible way to go about things.

  3. 3
    S M

    I wonder why there can’t be a book about some uppity Black civil rights activist who falls in love with a white redneck, who teaches the Black person to accept things ‘as they are’? It sounds so romantic!

  4. 4
    Lyanna

    Christina Hoff Sommers, like all anti-feminists hacks, never needs to take responsibility for the bilge she promotes to other women. She’ll just go on getting asked for comments on any woman-bashing propaganda that emerges from the swampy depths of our culture.

    So much of feminism has been about getting women’s differences recognized, because it’s a necessary precondition to liberty and equality. Reproductive rights, for example. To give women the same liberty as men, we need to acknowledge women’s different biology. Or rape-prevention and punishment–to make women as “secure in their persons” as men, we need to understand that women are especially at risk of rape because of cultural and biological factors.

    We want the same rights. That doesn’t mean we are the same; it means we need to take special note of how we are the same and how we are different.

  5. 5
    smrnda

    The problem with ‘there are a way things are and a way we want them to be’ is assuming that you can’t change the former into the latter. There was a time when slavery was ‘just the way things were’ and eventually, that stopped because people realized that they didn’t have to accept how things were, but that they could change them. Reality clearly contradicts the idea that tings can’t change.

    Also, notions of ‘masculinity’ and ‘femininity’ are very different in different times and places; in fact, it’s worth looking at ways that out of fashion ideas about masculinity get ridiculed across times, where the ‘macho man’ ridicules the aesthete, and where the aesthete later on in time ridicules the macho man as an uncultured savage, or the middle class business professional becomes the idealized man above the working class grunt of the ‘too far’ beatnik type. There’s no real ‘masculine essence’ or ‘feminine essence.’

    Something that I think might motivate this novel is middle class, educated guilt at thinking of rural, working folks as unenlightened rubes; the educated, (likely upper) middle class writer has to believe (for some reason) that the working class guy is full of wisdom her society has neglected – it’s sort of like the phenomenon of orientalism, but with class.

  6. 6
    Ahab

    In the Salon piece, it sounds like Valdes’ “coyboy” was knowingly grooming her for an abusive relationship. The last line of the article shows that, sadly, she has internalized the self-hatred he engrained in her.

    I for one do not believe that men and women are inherently psychologically different — individuals, yes, but not entire groups of people. I get nervous when people start promoting stereotypical gender traits and gender roles as “fact” because they usually use these ideas for oppressive ends.

  7. 7
    Sastra

    Erm. That’s not a good plot. I dislike that plot. Throw that plot away and start over.

    I like to think that, were he writing today, Shakespeare would have re-read The Taming of the Shrew and agreed.

    Years ago I was in a library book discussion group and had to read a popular romance by a well-known writer (this was back when the participants came up with the ideas for selections.) It was a typical “bodice-ripper,” a tale set back in the ancient days of pillaging barbarians and kidnapped maidens. The romantic hero was a brute, but the relationship between him and the spunky captive grew … more respectful.

    It was bad literature, but written well enough that I took out another one to read on the beach.

    No surprise, it was basically the same plot — and the same brute. This time, however, the setting was Victorian England and the fair maiden wasn’t booty in a war. The romantic hero was neither: he was clearly a controlling jerk and an abuser, both psychologically and mentally. I’d given all this a pass when it was set in 943 AD or whatever and he was supposed to be some sort of Viking. Oh, not anymore. It was jarring.

    I was later informed by others that yes, this author’s work was pretty much all on the same theme: women being insulted by, controlled by, and even physically manhandled by, the hero. This was romance? I imagined battered wives desperately reading these books in order to mentally frame their relationships as normal, perhaps even exciting. Gruesome.

    Turned out to be an informative book after all.

  8. 8
    Ophelia Benson

    Sastra, that’s a very popular and basic trope. I had fantasies about writing it up once upon a time. It’s Valentino and The Sheik, it’s that movie with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell (Overboard, I think), it’s that other movie, the Italian one, with a rich woman cast away on an island with a working class hunk. It’s ninety squillion other things. It’s Hepburn and Tracy.

    It’s very very annoying.

  9. 9
    sailor1031

    “…or walk on the street side of the sidewalk.”

    I am reminded of an early lesson in etiquette. “A gentleman always walks on the gutter side so that he can spit into the street without spitting across the lady”.

  10. 10
    Pteryxx

    I was later informed by others that yes, this author’s work was pretty much all on the same theme: women being insulted by, controlled by, and even physically manhandled by, the hero. This was romance?

    That reminds me, Jennifer Armintrout (who’s been hilariously trashing 50 Shades of Grey and its sequels for months) pledged to write a real, consent-based, anti-50-Shades romance. The first chapter just went up yesterday:

    http://abigailbarnettestheboss.blogspot.com/2013/01/chapter-one.html

    Background on the project: http://jenniferarmintrout.blogspot.com/2012/11/super-big-announcement.html

    Years ago, I did an interview with The Hathor Legacy in which I said that I didn’t think it was possible to write a feminist romance novel. At the time, I really didn’t think it would be possible. Then 50 Shades of Grey and all of its weird little copycat stories came along, and lo, I realized that it would be entirely possible to write a feminist romance novel. And I could do it in the exciting new genre that Cyndy at Brazen Reads called ” “unrealistic erotica involving little research and even less editing”. All I have to do is the exact opposite of everything in those books.

  11. 11
    jose

    The author, talking about her own “riveting tale” book: “a book that in many ways just doesn’t make sense to healthy people”

    Ouch.

  12. 12
    Nepenthe

    From the Salon piece:

    She has a new boyfriend now and, she says, he “wrote the cowboy a thank you note, for having ‘tamed’ me and made me a better woman, which I totally agree with.”

    “Thank you for having raped my girlfriend. She’s so much better behaved now.” Well crap. Now I’ve ralphed all over my couch.

    Let’s be accurate. The change was that the relationship became physically abusive. Teaching your partner never to “talk back”, as if she were a child? That’s abuse.

  13. 13
    Lyanna

    Ugh, Nepenthe, isn’t that awful? Poor lady, she’s been groomed to be the perfect victim.

  14. 14
    Southern Cross

    @sailor1031

    My catholic school version was that the gentleman walked on the outside to prevent the lady from falling into the gutter.

    When first exposed to this idea in class I blurted out that if the lady was silly enough to fall in the gutter she deserved to! Disciplinary action followed.

    What affronted an 8 year old self was the notion of my very capable female elders, and indeed the nuns themselves being so bloody useless. I remember this distinctly – down to the classroom and the teacher, so thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  15. 15
    Ophelia Benson

    Hahahahahahaha – it’s one of those Just So stories. I remember weird answers to that question from my childhood too. I suspect no one has a clue and everybody has just made up reasons! As Jonathan Haidt says we do about all moral questions. It’s to protect her from splashing; no, it’s to prevent her skirts from dragging in the spit; no, it’s because attackers approach from the street; no, it’s – and on and on it goes.

    Falling in the gutter. Ahahahahahahaha

  16. 16
    A. Noyd

    I read about this on Pandagon a few days ago. It just super creeps me out. And why does it seem like it’s always women who need to be taught how to be women from men and never men needing to be taught how to be men from women? Sort of gives away the lie behind the “equal but different” bullshit that keeps getting trotted out in stories like these.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Sastra (#7)

    The romantic hero was neither: he was clearly a controlling jerk and an abuser, both psychologically and mentally. …women being insulted by, controlled by, and even physically manhandled by, the hero. This was romance?

    Yeah, there are still a lot of those elements in so much of the fiction and comics aimed at girls and women in Japan. Sometimes it’s more toned down than others, but it’s still like the standard for “romantic” heroes. The main love interest in the fantasy series I’m reading now is like that somewhat, but the series is a bit unusual for fiction aimed at young women in any country in that both the love interest and a male friend follow the teenage female lead around supporting her as she tries to establish herself professionally in a male-dominated profession. That her career comes first is taken for granted by all three of them (at least in the first two and a half books, which is as far as I’ve read).

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Pteryxx (#10)

    That reminds me, Jennifer Armintrout (who’s been hilariously trashing 50 Shades of Grey and its sequels for months) pledged to write a real, consent-based, anti-50-Shades romance.

    Yeah, her recaps of 50 Shades are awesome. Though, I wouldn’t leave it at her “trashing” them; there’s a lot of really smart criticism there as well. She attracts a decent community of commenters, too.

  17. 17
    Timon for Tea

    “I was later informed by others that yes, this author’s work was pretty much all on the same theme: women being insulted by, controlled by, and even physically manhandled by, the hero.”

    And it is incredible to discover just how popular this fantasy remains among women even in the rich, emancipated (relatively) west.It is, surely, the dominant sexual fantasy, if we take sales of romance and pornography as the measure.

  18. 18
    theoreticalgrrrl

    Oh Timon. I was waiting for the “you women want it” crap to start popping up in the comments.

    Girls are groomed for this shit almost from day one, in every culture. Fairy tales where the passive princess waits for her prince to wake her/save her. We’re told submit because it’s God’s will, submit because it’s what Allah wants, what Jesus wants, what Eckhart Tolle wants. Submit because you’ll be a cool and sexay liberated woman rebelling against those nazi killjoy feminists. Submit, because it’s unladylike to be assertive. Submit, otherwise you’re a pathetic prude who only likes it “vanilla.” Submit, because you’re hurting your man’s sense of masculinity, and you don’t want to be a selfish, castrating bitch, do you? Submit because it’s your nature as a woman, so stop trying to fight it, damn you! After all years of this subtle and not so subtle beat down of your psyche, it can be easier to just give in to what your told you should want than to try to fight it. Because fighting it will just bring on more abuse, which you brought on yourself for being so uppity and selfishly only thinking of your own well-being and not being sensitive to your man’s needs.

  19. 19
    Ysanne

    And it is incredible to discover just how popular this fantasy remains among women even in the rich, emancipated (relatively) west.It is, surely, the dominant sexual fantasy, if we take sales of romance and pornography as the measure.

    What I find even more incredible is how almost every single mainstream media opinion piece that I read on this topic completely failed to distinguish between a sexual fantasy (which may not even translate to real-life sexual preferences, not even as role-play) and people’s actual lives outside of the bedroom (or dungeon): It all boiled down to “Turns out, women really can’t deal with all that power and responsibility stuff that feminism forced on them, so they should be bossed around and made to submit.”
    Interestingly, despite the common trope of the powerful male executive who likes to have his ass whipped by a dominatrix, this total confusion of reality and fantasy is hardly ever applied to men, and no one suggests that even sexually submissive males should withdraw from their position of real-life power.

  20. 20
    Timon for Tea

    “Girls are groomed for this shit almost from day one”

    Even if that were true, it doesn’t account for how entrenched this fantasy is in such a broad spectrum of women (or so it seems from Shades sales). There is surely no real doubt that this kind of stuff is a pretty mainstream sexual fantasy for a lot of women. I think it more likely that the sex drive accounts for the culture on this, but the Darwin/Marx face off wont get resolved here I don’t suppose.

    Ysanne is right though, that there is a massive difference between fantasy and desire, and we need to keep remembering that and saying it.

  21. 21
    theoreticalgrrrl

    “Even if that were true, it doesn’t account for how entrenched this fantasy is in such a broad spectrum of women.”

    I’m a woman, you are not, so you don’t know what you’re talking about. But you seem to have some need to believe it and defend it. Why is that? And if, as you claim, there is a broad spectrum of women who have this fantasy, that is testament to the broad and entrenched influence of mainstream religions across the globe that preach the Dom/Sub relationship that God demands from men and women. And it’s practically in every children’s fairy tale. I live in the West, it’s not different here because women can vote. We have a culture surrounding us that is constantly feeding us images of passive women/dominant men. And abuse victims sometimes act out in fantasy as a way to feel some sense of control over what happened to them.

    And then we have the assholes who try to use biology or science to justify a subservient role for women (cough, cough).

    Read 1984 by George Orwell. At the end Winston finally learns to love Big Brother and fantasizes about his own execution. I think that’s what patriarchal men want of women, to finally learn to love their oppression and stop kicking against the pricks.

  22. 22
    Hunt

    “Even if that were true, it doesn’t account for how entrenched this fantasy is in such a broad spectrum of women.”

    I don’t think “broad spectrum” is correct, but if you check in to PUA sites like “Roissy” or Heartriste or whatever he calls himself these days, you do find a significant number of young women totally buying into male dominance, submitting their profile to be evaluated for “sexual market value,” buying the folk evo-psych rationalizations for the alpha to omega male classification and so on and on. It’s hard to determine whether it’s more demeaning to young men or women, but it’s unquestionable that there are a significant number of people who subscribe to it. There seems to be enough compliant young women to encourage the entire PUA phenomenon. However, to actually validate them is yet another innumerate concession to bad statistics. It is simply the case that there are enough clueless young women to satisfy the impression these jerks have that their theories are valid.

  23. 23
    Timon for Tea

    “I’m a woman, you are not, so you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

    You are only one woman, so I am afraid you have no more advantage in talking about this sort of thing than I have. You seem very convinced that sexuality is socially determined, so I wonder how you account for the persistence of homosexuality and other ‘deviant’ patterns of sexual expression.

  24. 24
    punchdrunk

    Timon, are you genuinely unaware of the number of men who also have submissive fantasies?
    Are you going to use Action movies to argue about the ‘natural’ state of masculinity, as well?
    And what about those gay folks? How do they know who ‘naturally’ submits?
    And all those people who don’t have D/S fantasies, I suppose their genes just went wrong somewhere?
    You know, there are lots of people (of all genders) who fantasize about sex with centaurs and ghosts and giants and vampires. I wonder what evolutionary imperative that serves?

    I don’t think you’ve thought this through at all.

  25. 25
    A. Noyd

    Timon for Tea (#20)

    Even if that were true, it doesn’t account for how entrenched this fantasy is in such a broad spectrum of women…

    This pressure for women to submit permeates nearly all levels of all cultures, and you think that fact can’t account for the widespread entrenchment of such a fantasy?

    Here’s something to consider: men get conditioned into this women-submit-men-dominate fantasy, too. And so even we women who don’t care to submit have to deal with men who are acting out their supposed role in real life—in bed, out of bed, everywhere. In order for us not to submit, we’re required to put effort into fighting them, and that’s exhausting. So if you want to speculate that our occasional fantasies about giving in says something about our chromosomal destiny, you need to make the same speculation about men who entertain the same fantasies about giving up and giving in to the people trying to dominate them.

    (#23)

    You seem very convinced that sexuality is socially determined…

    Expression of one’s sexual orientation isn’t the same as one’s sexual orientation. But this isn’t just about sexual fantasies; it’s about all types of interactions.

  26. 26
    Timon for Tea

    “Timon, are you genuinely unaware of the number of men who also have submissive fantasies?”

    No, of course not, but I will be impressed when an erotic novel about the sexual submission of men sells 65 million copies … to men.

  27. 27
    Timon for Tea

    “It’s hard to determine whether it’s more demeaning to young men or women, but it’s unquestionable that there are a significant number of people who subscribe to it. There seems to be enough compliant young women to encourage the entire PUA phenomenon. ”

    I don’t know what PUA is but I want to say that so long as it is on the level of fantasy, I don’t see anything demeaning in any variety of sexuality.

  28. 28
    A. Noyd

    Timon for Tea (#27)

    I don’t know what PUA is but I want to say that so long as it is on the level of fantasy, I don’t see anything demeaning in any variety of sexuality.

    Uh…
    …….
    …wow…

    Have you ever considered the benefits of learning WTF you’re talking about before sharing your opinion?

  29. 29
    johnthedrunkard

    Most disturbing of all is that most men and women act out the same toxic memes without having enough awareness to even articulate them.

    Someday, Valdes MIGHT perceive how ridiculous, tragic and self hating her behavior and attitudes are. I am less hopeful about the Cowboy. The rest of us can, and must, do better.

  30. 30
    A. Noyd

    Timon for Tea (#26)

    No, of course not, but I will be impressed when an erotic novel about the sexual submission of men sells 65 million copies … to men.

    You can’t look at porn to find out what people really fantasize about. For all that we tend to consume porn behind closed doors, it’s still a social thing. The way it’s sold reflects that: it comes divided into mainstream and kink. Acceptable and utterly shameful.

    “Mainstream” porn more heavily reflects not people’s actual desires so much as what is considered safe to desire. In other words, there’s what we want and there’s what we’re allowed to want. Both men and women are judged more harshly for preferring porn that is outside the mainstream. But women are also judged for enjoying porn in the first place. So porn aimed at women tends to be even more restricted in terms of sexual dynamics, tropes, character types, and the like.

    This restriction adds deniability. We can point to the fact that our porn is just a sexed up conventional love story as a shield against being shamed for consuming it in the first place. We can say we’re really reading it for the love story. Similarly, the rape in bodice rippers was never really a literal reflection of women’s desires; rather, in times where women’s sexual agency is held against us, it’s natural that the protagonist of an erotic story would have sex in a way that few would blame her for.

    Even though a trilogy like 50 Shades is ostensibly about a kink (BDSM), the hardcore BDSM play is apparently either only hinted at or presented negatively (or both). The massive appeal of the books seems to be that the large amounts of more vanilla sex is wrapped around a story based in some very traditional—regressive, even—notions of masculinity and femininity. The amount of sex makes it a departure from the more usual stories directed at women, but not much of a departure. It’s still based on Twilight, which was written by a Mormon.

    So, rather than assuming 50 Shades and the like fulfill a direct, literal desire to be dominated, you should consider that it’s popular because, compared to the alternatives, it’s safer to admit to enjoying.

  31. 31
    Sastra

    Ysanne #19 wrote:

    What I find even more incredible is how almost every single mainstream media opinion piece that I read on this topic completely failed to distinguish between a sexual fantasy (which may not even translate to real-life sexual preferences, not even as role-play) and people’s actual lives outside of the bedroom (or dungeon)

    Heh, this reminded me of the one piece of dialogue I remember from the old tv show Maud, starring Beatrice Arthur as a modern day (70′s) feminist. (This is all from memory, so it’s probably not strictly accurate):

    Maud Findley’s husband, Walter, has just upset Maud by doing something she didn’t want done, as if he was in charge. She has been yelling at him:

    Walter (plaintively): “But Maud, you keep telling me “I want to be dominated!”
    Maud (dramatic pause, and giving him the Eye): “Walter Findlay … you know I have never said that standing up.”

    It got a huge laugh at the time, and was considered very racy for prime-time tv, as I recall.

    I am so old.

  32. 32
    sueinnm

    some of this I also wrote to Greta Christina in response to one of her posts about feminism and high-heel shoes. And I know no one but Ophelia is likely to read it. That’s okay.

    But this post is especially relevant to me. I am a feminist, and here is the great irony in my own life … I have been writing romance novels for 20 years. And I have resisted the stereotypes almost every step of the way. When I began, when “strong” female characters were becoming as common as “damsel” characters, I began with women who dressed in jeans and boots and such. I think I must have had “heroines” who wore skirts and heels, but of course I was basically writing some avatar of myself in both male and female characters, and I stopped wearing skirts and high heels after college (and only wore them before them to special events such as weddings, or to job interviews)

    After the first few novels, I increasingly tried to write women who were fully equal to the men, but even in the 90’s there was (and still remains) the expectation that the man will ultimately be the protector/dominant. That expectation became increasingly frustrating to me, to the point that that (along with the expectation of frequent sex scenes) led me to hate the genre. ( I was constantly thinking …. oh, is the heroine “too” strong? Is the hero not strong enough for the readers and my editor?)

    I continued to write in it because I am good at love stories and because it’s my sole way of earning money, but trying to buck the system ultimately led to my being let go and losing 3/4 of my income. (I might add that my disinterest in loves scenes is not prudishness; I actually enjoy writing “bondage” type sex–which is only appropriate in some novel settings–but I find average sex scenes rather boring compared to other aspects of building a relationship. And I’ve literally written hundreds of “love” scenes, as they have always been euphemistically called in the genre … though perhaps not now that erotica is so hot.)

    Now I have realized that writing romance has almost destroyed my writing soul, and though we will be very tight financially, I will not be writing another romance novel. Instead, I am writing fantasy—my first urban fantasy (based on Norse mythology, set in San Francisco) will be out in July from TOR books. I loved being able to make the woman protagonist earthy and “masculine” in the way I am, not interested in conforming to gender expectations, and as much or more likely to rescue the male protagonist/love interest as the other way around. I loved writing my version of mythical Loki as a pansexual trickster who prefers to embody himself as a man but can as easily appear as a woman, who loves sex, and who messes with everyone sexually and emotionally while not being quite the villain he seems to be.

    I guess what I’m getting at is that I have had constant conflicts in my mind and heart over writing in a genre I know most fellow feminists probably despise, trying to hit the right buttons for the readers, and keeping my writer’s soul from withering. It’s been a balancing act that ultimately, after 20 years, hasn’t worked. And yet though I’m not ashamed of most of what I’ve written, I’ve felt ashamed among feminists to admit what I’ve done for a living.

    This is all a rambling way of saying (as I finish what I hope will be my last romance novel forever) that I’m sick of boxes, and of feeling ashamed, and yet not fulfilling/able to fulfill genre expectations well enough to continue a career in the field. I have felt bizarrely alone in this way since I began my career and knew I didn’t fit in with most of the other romance novelists I know. Your post , though not specifically on the subject of romance novels in general, just got me going on things I’ve been thinking about for a long, long time.

    It has been a very strange, sometimes rewarding, often painful and confusing way of making a living. I hope I can make enough money writing fantasy so that I can continue, since that is what my heart truly loves, and where I don’t have to worry if the main female character is often “stronger” in some way or other than the male. And that the men don’t have to be stereotypically “masculine” or the women “feminine” and the characters can be who they are. (And even so, I know I still fall into gender traps without realizing it. All I can do is try!Sincerely,

  33. 33
    Ophelia Benson

    Well hey Susan how about if I make it a guest post? Then more people will see it. And I want to!

  34. 34
    sueinnm

    I would be very honored to make it a guest post, though I don’t have your thick skin and will probably be a little upset by those who tell me I’m a terrible feminist. Still, I want it to get out that some romance writers really have tried to make these novels more pro-feminist, though there is only so far the genre will allow you to go.

    Sue

  1. 35
    Guest post by Susan on genre and stereotypes » Butterflies and Wheels

    [...] wrote this as a comment on The romance novelist and the guy with a truck from last [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite="" class=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>