Tuesday, July 03, 2007

OMG, I'm making women 'dangerously unbalanced'

I'm laughing before my first cup of coffee this morning. That's a good way to start the day, even if it's due to a June 27 column in the Atlanta Journal Constitution online that slams my work. It seems that by writing romance (and *gasp* erotica), I am causing women to become dangerously unbalanced. By writing fiction meant to entertain, I am contributing to the failure of women to find the hero in their husbands... and, implicitly, I am a threat to institution of marriage due to my unrealistic portrayal of relationships.

Um, hello? Isn't escape from reality the cornerstone of the entertainment industry? It's a BUSINESS. Supply. Demand. Before going off on some rant about the product, how about taking a long, hard look at the niche that product is filling? If there wasn't a demand, there wouldn't be a supply to fill it.

Romance novels are accused of promoting dissatisfaction in relationships by setting an unrealistic standard for men. Gee, color me clueless, but wanting partners who are "sensitive, patient listeners and utterly unselfish" sounds like a laudable objective to me. "[S]trong, rugged and breathtakingly handsome" is no different than the unrealistic visual standards imposed on women by advertisers.

If the buying public already HAS what's being sold, demand evaporates. It's the nature of business to make us want what we haven't got. To that end, the product will be ever-shifting. If we all looked like cover models, the industry would change the ideal.

Lest I betray my disdain for all things "right-leaning," I gotta say that the "left-leaning" rebuttal is quite lame as well. The plethora of comments are the icing, including one from Nora Roberts that makes me proud to be on the same team.

Anyway, I've rambled long enough. It's time to get back to my craft. I've got an audience to unbalance. *grin*

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