It’s time to respect romance novels as a genre

Juana Garcia / The Cougar

As the world slowly moves towards a more inclusive society, it’s time for romance novels to be seen as a worthy genre and given the respect and recognition they deserve.

Romance novels are a genre where the emphasis is on the relationship and love between two people. Novels generally have a satisfying end to the readers, a happy one forever.

Although romance novels are a thriving billion dollar industry, the genre is stereotype also soft or easy to read. Many are put off as guilty pleasures or light reading. The respect given to someone who reads a classic or science fiction is not given to a reader of romance.

In his research thesis The romantic publishing industry and its reputation Laurence Cameron notes how misogyny and patriarchal society play a major role in how people perceive the romance genre. The ridiculous thing about the genre is that it’s written by women for women.

Romance has a lot of different subgenres, such as historical romances, young adults, paranormal and eroticism. These novels explore many themes like self-discovery, self-love, healing and the pursuit of happiness.

While some novels contain explicit scenes, many do not. Reducing a romance novel to pornography or fluff not only insults the author and readers, but also ignores the wide variety of interesting stories produced in the genre.

Romance also provides a safe space for teens to explore their sexuality and interests. Cameron complaints people don’t like romance because it allows women to explore and control their sexuality.

It is true that society does not like women to appropriate their bodies as shown laws be adopted to govern women’s reproductive rights. Fwith fictitious and real women being able to take control of their own bodies and sexuality, it is empowerment.

Another criticism is that romance novels can contain non-feminist ideas like being a damsel in distress. While this may be true for some novels, love and romance doesn’t automatically make a woman weak. Additionally, many new romance novels have more progressive storylines.

Romance novels are ridiculed for being exactly what they are: emotionally rewarding stories that give women a satisfying ending. But it shouldn’t be. Women shouldn’t feel ashamed or guilty when reading a romance.

It’s time for women to be accepted to embrace their hobbies and interests. Romance is a valid genre and the only reason it isn’t seen as such is because of misogyny. It’s time to change that perception and respect the romantic genre.

Atiritka Kumar is a first year journalism student who can be contacted at [email protected]

Key words: books, feminism, romance

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