Ask yourself a question: would you say ‘I like a bit of racism in my romances’ or ‘I like a bit of bigotry in my romances’?
Probably not, I’m thinking. And yet it so many women freely admit to loving misogyny in theirs. Discussions like this one: Liking Sexism in Romances baffle me. I have no idea why women get off on fantasising about men who have no respect for women. I don’t know why they find it an attractive trait that they’re the only woman the hero bothers to learn by name or think of as an actual person.
I DNF’d a review book (above) a little while ago, because I could not for the life of me understand why the hero’s total lack of respect for women was supposed to be sexy.
When we met him he was hanging out with his gang of sequel bait (male) SEAL friends – all mentioned and described by name – and two women. For the entire chapter and once a page he referred to the women as “the blonde” and “the brunette”. Even while thinking about having sex with them, he couldn’t be bothered to learn their names, and multiple references were made to their physical attributes and their party attitude.
He admitted the only woman he could be bothered caring about (and, evidently, thinking of as a human being) was the book’s heroine.
I stopped, asked myself WHY I should be bothered following the rest of a story starring a man like that, and realised I didn’t have to. These days it seems contemporary romance and romantic suspense is misogynistic more often than not.
Was this the most sexist book I’ve read? No, absolutely not. That honour would probably go to Walking Disaster. However, there’s so much casual misogyny being tossed around in books and treated as normal and I don’t think people are even seeing it.
I really don’t understand why authors think the “I only respect one woman” attitude is an attractive trait in a man, and I certainly don’t understand why so many women freely admit to enjoying it. This idea that it makes the heroine (and by extension, the reader) So Much More Speshul because she’s the only woman the hero has ever respected… what is that?
The argument that it’s all just a bit of fun and all just a bit of a fantasy? Turn the word Sexism into Racism or Bigotry and then ask yourself if it’s still okay? The idea we have more respect for other issues than we have for our own gender is a disgusting and very popular attitude in the romance community.
We need to stop making excuses for it.