Today, I was perusing my twitter feed and hoping for the occasional cute cat video or NSFW candy from friends like Marie Sexton when I clicked on a link from author Daisy Harris.
Daisy had tweeted about being incensed at “bad science”, and her rant continued in tweet after tweet.
It’s not like Daisy to rant like that.
So, I clicked on the link (Shared reluctantly since I don’t want to give them any more publicity, but it would be good if you want to know what I’m talking about. You can read the offensive post here.)
Essentially, the article claims that romance novels can be addictive, and women should stop reading them, and start working on their real relationships.
Now, I’m sure there are women out there who are either afraid or intimidated by the idea of embarking on a real relationship. Many of these women might grab a romance novel and immerse themselves in the fiction instead of risking their hearts in a real scenario.
Many of those women might just as easily turn to alcohol, or to staying at home with a dozen cats (I’m halfway there) or facebook, or church, or dieting, or television! It is not that there is anything inherently addictive about romance novels, it is that they may simply be the security blanket of choice for a woman who has a mental or emotional problem.
I really wanted to add my comment to the post. I can argue a point without lowering myself to name calling or–as they did–bad science. However the site requires a person to register in order to post a comment! I have no intention of becoming their fan or getting on their mailing list just to call them out on their bad science and poor journalism.
So, if you please, here is place for discussion. Yes, my blog is set so that the first time a person posts, I have to approve it, but I’m usually pretty quick about that, and as long as it’s neither spam nor hate speech, the comments will stand as posted.
The shortlink for this post is http://wp.me/p1qnT4-az
Oh, for the love of….
See, the thing is, this sort of crap shows up periodically. The specific thing we’re being warned about changes, but the actual warning never does. The arguments made against romance could just as easily be applied to fantasy, or Star Trek conventions, or golf, or Pokemon, or just about anything that the “researchers” don’t see any particular value in. The problem is, a certain percentage of the population has a personality that is prone to avoiding real life, and will use anything handy as a substitute. It’s not the fault of romance novels, any more than video games are at fault when someone plays online for 36 hours straight before dieing of dehydration.
Bottom line: this too shall pass. Take a deep breath, speculate on the ancestry of the authors (preferably in Klingon) and worry about something important, like whether your cellphone is giving you cancer.
Was it written by a man? Some insecure men hate on romance because they think they can’t live up to that. (Like they can live up to Star Wars or Die Hard any better…)
Romance is not my thing (though I enjoy it as a subplot), but you’re completely right that it’s not the problem. In the situation described, it’s just as symptom. In the right hands, romance books are awesome. Some fantastic people are writing them!
The article is attributed to Kimberly Sayer-Giles, and I assume that is a woman.
I like Dan’s point about golf… I wonder how many men are hiding behind a sport instead of developing real, meaningful relationships? Perhaps we should ban all sports?
Just another form of censorship, IMO. That reeks of “book banning.” I didn’t read the original post, but, based on what you said, sounds like a bunch of self-appointed people trying to judge what others are reading. Honestly, who cares if there are people escaping by reading romance novels? We all escape real life sometimes, in our own ways. We even describe some books and movies just like that (i.e. “This is a good beach read.”) If you don’t like Romance novels, don’t read them. But don’t presume to be intelligent or knowledgable enough to tell every man and woman on the planet they shouldn’t read them, either. Thanks for the post, Mary Beth! (By the way, this is coming from someone who typically reaches for literary fiction, if given the choice. However, I will read anything that is well written, whether it’s romance, sci fi, or the cereal box.) 🙂
Ooh… I love a well written cereal box!
But I found myself getting addicted to them, you know, so I had to give them up… 😛
Of course I meant AMY Beth! Not MARY Beth. So sorry!
That’s OK! I answer to just about anything lol!!!
How sad that a woman falls for this – denying her own feelings and emotions by telling other women to deny their feelings and emotions.
Romances – the whole, huge gamut from inspirational to sweet and raunchy all the way to erotica – are 99% written by women for women.
Ergo, it leaves men out. That must make them s#!t themselves, eh?
If you don’t like romance novels, that’s fine too. Don’t read them. But don’t take mine away to make you feel better.
Exactly. I was highly amused by all the #RomanceKills jokes people came up on twitter in the wake of this ridiculousness! And I was very glad to see a professional response as well at http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jun/01/claim-romantic-novels-unbalance-readers?INTCMP=SRCH
I’ll respond just as soon as I get out of my hammock, where I’m alternately sleeping and reading a romance novel in hopes of recovering from an eighty hour work week. I thought the part that felt injurious to my mental health was the work week, but I guess I’m just too far gone to know what’s good for me.
LOL!!! Romance novels got me through the horrors of fertility drugs. Oh my, it was one thing to have all those weird hormones going through my system, it was another to have to put our lovemaking on a clinical schedule!
Meanwhile, the lovely young virgin was being seduced by the miller’s son who was secretly the heir to the dukedom even though he didn’t know it yet and…
… and as he held her close to his lean firm body she felt the hard evidence of his manhood.
To be continued.
Oh, Debra, you should pick up one of my “Choose Your Own Romance” threads and take it somewhere!