Over the last couple of months there seems to have been a rush of 'anti romance novels' articles. I'm not usually one to respond, I'm generally one of those people who can read something they don't like/agree with, seethe about it for a couple of minutes, then move on... But this article on The Telegraph website today really got on my nerves.
According to an article in the British Medical Journal, reading romance novels leads to marriage breakdown, infidelity, pregnancy, horns to sprout... Oh, wait, I don't think that last one is right. Goodness, if that happens when you read one of these books lord knows what shambles of a life the authors of these books lead... (Muhwah, to you wonderful people!). It's just all so silly.
There are a few things I want to nitpick/comment on -
1, "When it comes to romantic fiction, the clue's in the name; the genre is fiction not fact" er, well done Einstein! Seriously, is this person really a highly educated doctor...
2, "while romance may be the wonderful foundation for a novel, it's not in itself a sufficiently strong foundation for running a lifelong relationship. But I do wonder how many of our clients truly realise that" Whoa, hang on there. She makes a great point, up until that last sentence. That is dealing with a completely different issue. Right?! Someone who can't tell the difference between fiction and reality may have another medical problem altogether.
3, "not using protection with a new man because she wants to be swept up by the moment as a heroine would". Oh, come on! You can hardly blame a romance novel for this. Anyone who takes a gamble with their sexual health like this, once again, has another problem entirely; lack of knowledge about contraceptives and their use, dulled senses as a result of too much alcohol. I could go on all day.
4, and this is my favourite part... "relentless baby-making as proof of a relationship's strength". Apparently us romance readers/authors are to stupid to use a condom, one step away from a serious mental health issue as we think fiction is the same as real life, and too dim witted to be able to anything other than have (constant) sex with our partners.
It is ridiculous to blame something that is lightly linked to the issue in hand. In my opinion the British Medical Journal should be spending more time showing articles that deal with real problems... Cancer research comes to mind.
Another recent article described romance novels as addictive as porn (link) and a hilarious one from The Daily Mail wrote about the romance authors attending the RNA summer party as having one foot in the grave whilst wearing their best twin sets and pearls (link).
Obviously romance novels are the current 'whipping boy'! But, although these are frustrating to read, my response is "ah, so what" *does French style shrug*. Opinions, no matter how many, are not going to change my mind. I love reading romance novels, always will!
Please feel free to leave a comment with your own opinions, I want to hear them!
Authors Heidi Rice (link), Nina Harrington (link) and Donna Alward (link) have also blogged about this. More eloquent than me no doubt!
Now, if you excuse me... I'm off to find my pearls, read a romance novel that is apparently based on real life, and later tonight I'm going to go at it like a bunny with my husband, sans protection, while he plans to leave me!! Oh, I joke!
Love to you all!