- Why The Romance Genre Is Interesting, Relevant and Important – even if you think it’s bad – Jodi McAlister pens an excellent defense of the genre without stressing sales numbers. “By women, for women” notwithstanding, it’s an enthusiastic argument for romance as a genre worthy of both discussion and study.
But you know what? IT DOESN’T MATTER. Even if you think romance is the worst genre ever and every single book published is a total piece of rubbish, these three reasons I’ve given above are reasons we need to be talking about it. Romance as a genre performs interesting, unusual, unique work. It can tell us fascinating things about culture and the way we read, and it is one of the few genres that is truly centred about women.
Given this, how can we possibly justifying excluding romance from the greater discourse around writing and literature?
- How Pregnancy Changed One Reviewer’s Romance Reading – Ah, the things you notice after living longer and experiencing more. Ten years ago, magical disability cures wouldn’t have fazed me. Now it’s all HULK SMASH.
It took me a significant amount of time to get pregnant. My husband and I were just about to start looking for a fertility specialist when I conceived. During this time, I was (obviously) very stressed, and my favorite stress relief bar none is a romance novel in the bathtub. As I read, I could not freaking believe how many romance novels were full of magical infertility cures, including the most patronizing one I’ve ever read, in which the heroine’s body was “just waiting for the right man.” Because apparently my husband was the wrong man? Nothing jolts you out of your relaxation bath by being poked in the eyeball by the exact problem you got in the tub to escape, that’s for sure.
- Female Bodies: A Weighty Issue – This is from a couple weeks ago, but it’s a great exploration of the crock of shit that is BMI and a “healthy weight.”
We have, as a society, such a completely disordered, distorted perception of female bodies that the vast majority of people are incapable of recognising what “overweight” actually looks like on a woman, let alone “healthy”. As such, we’re now at a point where women are not only raised to hate their bodies as a matter of course, but are shown, from childhood, a wholly inaccurate picture of what they “should” look like – a narrow, nigh on impossible physical standard they are then punished, both socially and medically, for failing to attain.
I don’t say this lightly. I say it because this is the only conclusion supported by the facts.
- ‘Staggering’ experiment brings hope for those with paralysis – I have some mixed and complicated feelings about this, but it’s interesting research and I’m happy for anyone who finds it gives them a better quality of life.
By coursing an electrical current through the four men’s spines, the research team, which included scientists from the Pavlov Institute of Physiology in Russia, appears to have “dialed up” signals between the brain and legs that were believed to have been completely lost.
All four men, after being paralyzed for two to four years, can lift their legs, flex their ankles and support their own weight while standing, though only when the device embedded under their skin is turned on.
In a response that shocked researchers, all four have regained bladder and bowel control, sexual function and the ability to regulate their blood pressure and body temperature – even when the epidural stimulation device is not running.
- Western atheists: You aren’t illegal in Saudi Arabia – I really need Western atheists to just stop. Their Islamophobia and need to center themselves in every discussion about religious abuse isn’t cute.
By declaring themselves “illegal in Saudi Arabia,” Western atheists co-opt an opportunity to direct attention to ongoing human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia.
It’s not much of an act of solidarity to deprive Saudi human rights activists—who may or may not be atheists—of much-needed global attention.
Instead, this decree should be viewed as a chance to remind the world that Raif Badawi could still be put to death for apostasy, or to put public pressure on the Obama administration to finally address the subject of human rights with our Saudi allies—something President Obama refused to do as recently as last week.
- Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person… – This is definitely a anti-oppression 101 post, but it seems like it could be a handy bookmark you could whip out if you’re ever trying to explain how privilege works to someone playing the “But I grew up poor!” card.
Years ago, some feminist on the internet told me I was “Privileged.”
“THE FUCK!?!?” I said.
I came from the kind of Poor that people don’t want to believe still exists in this country. Have you ever spent a frigid northern Illinois winter without heat or running water? I have. At twelve years old, were you making ramen noodles in a coffee maker with water you fetched from a public bathroom? I was. Have you ever lived in a camper year round and used a random relative’s apartment as your mailing address? We did. Did you attend so many different elementary schools that you can only remember a quarter of their names? Welcome to my childhood.
So when that feminist told me I had “white privilege,” I told her that my white skin didn’t do shit to prevent me from experiencing poverty.
The following two tabs change content below.
An ice hockey fan from north of Boston and the genre's most beloved troll, Ridley enjoys reading contemporary and historical romance, as well as the odd erotica novel. As someone who uses a wheelchair, she takes a particular interest in disability themes.