Warning ... this post might contain things that you disagree with ... this is of course simply my opinion....
The other day I was talking with an author friend and its really gotten me to think. It started as a simple, have you ever noticed something or other about historical and paranormal romance book covers and it sparked into something more.
I don't understand feminism. Merriam-Webster's definition is "The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities" or "Organized activity in support of women's rights and interest."
This I understand. That makes sense. Equality.
So what is going on in this world today where everyone is up in arms whenever a woman chooses something that others deem 'less?'
When TWILIGHT hit in popularity I remember reading comments and articles about how this book set women back decades. And how other "vampire" books do that as well. I keep asking myself, "Why, why is this setting women back?" Then as an author I'm thinking "Am I contributing to the regression of my gender?"
The answer is no. Because true feminism is about equality. Men are allowed to pick and choose what they like, what they want, what their preferences are. So why can't women?
According to the RWA (Romance Writers of America) the top book genres contain Erotica, Paranormal and Historical Romance. Do you know what those genres have in common? Strong male leads.
Pick up any historical romance and tell me there's a strong female shouting out orders and commanding the man of the house, telling him what to do. You won't find it. Yes, women tend to do their little tricks and command men in their own ways, but its subtle.
Try an erotic novel, who is the dominating factor there? The man. Sure, you have the stories with women who are the dominants and what not, but I would have to argue that's more of a sub-genre of erotica, not a general theme of erotica.
Also look at any popular PNR novel, again strong alpha males. Look at the top authors in that field, J. R. Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Karen Marie Moning ... do any of them have women who command the men as the strong alpha? No.
Now these genres all have strong women. But not women who dominate the roles. So why are women who choose to read these novels, or the authors who write them, being told they are hurting feminism?
If by definition feminism is the ability to choose whatever someone wishes, isn't that actually supporting feminism?
I even heard someone I work with say that this whole "BDSM craze is bad for women because it means we're being controlled." I told that co-worker that means she truly didn't understand what the BDSM concept was. Because anyone who actually studies it as a lifestyle or researches it for personal reasons (writing for me) would tell you the reality is, women who submit have all the power.
But back to my conversation with my friend. I'm still confused, what is so bad about a chivalrous guy? I tell you what, I love with my husband opens the door for me. When he waits on me for whatever reason. And I love it more when he dominates me. And I don't mean that sexually. I mean when he says "we are doing this or that." Do you know why? That's just one less decision I have to make. It's one less thing I have to worry about.
And that's why I think these genres are so popular now. Because women have so much pressure because of feminism. We are being forced to carry a lot of burden and at the end of the day, we just want to be taken care of.
I know this is all pretty random and kinda out of nowhere but ever since Amy and I talked about it that's what I've been thinking about. I went into Walgreens on Saturday and was looking at book covers. She was right, she told me the PNR or historical fiction predominately had an image of a man either larger than the woman, in a protective stance, or in a controlling position. And she was right.
Women just love an alpha. I also think it is why we love the 'bad boy' because they are going to be more likely to do these 'things' we all want. Unlike the good sweet boy next door guy.
So take it for what you want. Leave your opinion. I'm very curious as to what others think. Thanks for reading and have a happy Monday night :)