Originally posted by Barbara:
But the contemporary genre called "romance novel" has almost nothing in common with those books. The genre is strictly formulaic and its sole purpose is to show a woman winning the man of her dreams, and the woman's worth is implicitly measured by the kind of man she attracts (handsome and rich are good). The further implication is that if a woman does not attract a desirable mate, she's somehow a failure as a woman. That's why I have no use for modern romance novels.
And the heroes all look like Fabio.
I have significant problems with the implications (for women) implicit in the storylines of these things, for the reasons Barbara stated, but for some reason it doesn't bother me that people write them, if they can manage to follow the guidelines. If a writer uses the genre to supplement his/her income, cool.
What I do object to, aside from the feminist implications, is the idea that such formulaic, recipe-following books, are comparable to the writing you find in other genres. But then there are bad mystery novels too, if less predictable and formulaic and I guess what it comes down to is needing to judge each book on its merits.
But for me, romance novels just don't cut it on their merits.
(Edited to eliminate a stray apostrophe, since that's a sin I don't want to commit on THIS board.
[This message has been edited by Mary (edited 05-16-2001).]