May 30 2014 6:56am

Romance Responds!

Last week, an article in The New Republic took another potshot (a scathing, entirely dismissive potshot) at romance, and the readers who enjoy it.

And the romance world responded: First, the Washington Post said, “Men, Stop Lecturing Women About Reading Romance Novels;” and then there's Bobbi Dumas in Kirkus Reviews offering a Defense of Romance, Vol. 2; and finally Eloisa James on Feminism, Sexuality, and Why Romance Novels Are More Than Worthy of Respect.

What is your best response when someone says something dismissive or ignorant about the romance genre?

h/t to Heather Waters for the post!

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1. ElizaB
If the men we are with were as good as romance book men, we wouldn't need to read the romances!!
2. CatW
My response is usually a scathing: "Yes, things women like are generally considered uncool. Maybe you need to examine your prejudices."
3. Kahintenn
"Don't knock it until you've tried it." And, I often find that women who read have read and liked romance, even if they didn't realize that's what they were reading. My mother, a voracious reader, is a good example; she would tell you she is not a romance reader, but she reads Nora Roberts, Maeve Binchy, Debbie Macomber, etc. and their books are frequently categorized as romance.
4. Torifl
I generally reply-Why do you care? My reading habits are the same as my bedroom habits...none of your business. For someone so dismissive of a multi million dollar business, you sure do spend alot of time talking about it." Then I flounce away. lol
Carmen Pinzon
5. bungluna
Another case of "popularity envy", perhaps?

Quite frankly, the guy who's spouting all that drivel is of no consequence to me or my life. I don't feel the need to justify my utter boredom with most of academia or so-called literary fiction.

People who constantly tear down others to build themselves up are sad, petty beings with nothing real to back up their over-inflated image of themselves, in my not-so-humble opinion. The literary elite in our midst is constantly attacking popular culture to hide the fact that they are mostly irrelevant to today's society. They are an incestuous bunch, often dependent on some someone else to translates them into a medium that we the people can actually enjoy.

There were plenty of cleaver, boring wordsmiths out there that nobody but snooty academics remember. Reading syllabuses all over the place are jam-packed with them! There's some good stuff there, I know, but most of it is irrelevant to me as a woman, so why should I spend my money on it when I can read something that actually speaks to me and my life?

I grow exasperated by the constant attacks popular entertainment endures, especially romance and it's female-centric community, and the knee-jerk need I still feel to blaze forward and defend myself because I enjoy it. I keep hoping someday soon I'll be able to ignore them with true indifference.
6. Stacymd2
I am surprised how openly sexist the New Republic article is. The responses that you posted were great. Fifty Shades of Grey is not a reflection of all romance and erotica novels. Romance has so many sub categories. If more men took the time to read romance novels they would find that most are no different than other genres.
Laura Bracken
7. Night -owl
I don't understand this attack against the romance genre and its readers. Should we all like the same thing? What a dull world that would be! Oh, because I don't like a particular genre, therefore, the whole world should hate it too,come on! Most books no matter the genre have some sort of romance running through them. To each their own, I say.
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