The Romantic Stigma

Over the years I’ve noticed a negative attitude towards the genre. Like I’m being looked down upon for my reading preference. For a reason completely beyond my comprehension many people don’t consider romance to be a category of writing on par with the various other genres.

Romance novels can be long, they can be detailed, they can be moving. Romance as a whole is a genre that appeals to a large audience and specializes in making people happy. For the most part it’s all happy endings, even if the road to get there can be bumpy. Do people have an aversion to feel good reading?

Such novels are a mix of genres in reality. They have thrillers, science fiction, fantasy, contemporary, and crime. You want it, romance has it. It’s one of the broadest genres out there when it comes down to it. Just as much work and research goes into that romance novel as goes into your James Patterson novel.

The best I’ve been able to figure, the romance genre is looked down upon because it caters to women, many of them older. Why is this a bad thing? I’ve got no clue. Are women not allowed to have a genre that they enjoy? Are they not allowed to have a niche that is almost exclusively for them? And that’s not even touching on lgbtq+ romance, which caters not only to women but to a host of other genders. The romantic genre has more representation than almost every other genre out there.

It baffles, and angers me, that a genre so broad and so full of quality material is put down because people think it’s lesser somehow. It appeals to older women. Some of the covers feature half-naked people and not some image of a landscape. It has happy endings and explicit sex. It’s a genre that has expanded to cover minorities. None of these seem like faults to me.

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