I am a huge romance fan, and particularly adore the work of Heidi Cullinan. This well-cited take down of The Mary Sue’s poorly thought out screed against the genre is a must-read for fans of literature, romance, or actual research.
Today we’ll unpack an article from The Mary Sue. “Tropes of Love: Gender Roles in Romance.” Sounds like a wonderful topic. We need more discussion of romance, and gender roles, and tropes are the best! Let’s go.
“I’ve always felt a strange fascination with romance novels. There’s no genre that the general public will associate with bad books faster than romance, with their bawdy covers and superficial plotlines. Of course, that’s an enormous generalization.”
Yes. That’s quite a generalization. It’s also disrespectful, it’s perpetuating an insulting stereotype, and it’s demeaning. Wow. Awkward start. But do go on.
In truth, romance has its good and bad books just like any other genre. Some are brilliant and some will make you feel ill. But there is something special to be said about bad romance novels: they illustrate gender roles better than any other form of media. It’s the books where the…
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