Shame On You!
Every so often I see comments from women about hiding the cover of the book they're reading or liking their Kindles because no one can see what they're reading. This never fails to infuriate me!
I'm hyper sensitive to this kind of thinking because at the heart of it all, I'm a romance reader, writer, and lover! Therefore, I have been and continue to be subjected to titters, grins, eye rolls, and sneers when I tell someone what I'm reading or writing. This happened to the extreme (and still does) when I was reading (and re-read) the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy and watch the film. Not only do men grin like perverts when I tell them I love those books, but women often smirk or shake their heads and say something like, "Oh, my God! Really? You're reading that?!" Yes, judgmental, narrow-minded biddy, I'm reading that -- and for about the 10th time, too!
Even in my salad days when my tongue wasn't as sharp, having not been honed yet on many an unsuspecting tsker, I resented and squirmed inside when people pooh-poohed my writing and reading preferences. I also noted with chagrin that when men were published in romance they usually went mainstream and were given more credibility. That still happens today. I'm sorry, but I don't believe for one second that Nicolas Sparks is a better romance writer than most Harlequin novelists. But he has a penis, so he is placed on a different level, not only by book reviewers, but also by a lot of readers! That really gets me fired up!
It's high time, ladies, to stop being ashamed of what you read! Do you ever hear men trying to hide the fact that they're reading books about war and violence or that they're reading Louis L'amour or Tom Clancy books for the second or third time? No, of course not! Even when men read pornography or buy Playboy magazines, they are hardly ever questioned about it. You know why? Because boys will be boys . . . they get a pass by society.
Stop making excuses for what you read and, for heaven's sake, stop hiding it. I don't give a hoot who sees what I'm reading. I carry around my copy of Fifty Shades proudly. When men snicker, I say, "Are you intimidated? You should be." (That's a little something I ripped off of Mr. Grey himself!) When women look at my reading material as if it's covered in feces, I tell them, "Hey, hon, don't knock it until you've tried it. Whoever you're sleeping with will thank you for reading this!"
I love romances. I love to read about two people meeting and falling in love and becoming better people because of it. I refuse to apologize for enjoying this kind of story or writing this kind of story. I'll apologize for awkward sentences, typos, and other writer goofs, but not for the story. Uh-uh. Nope. No way.
And you shouldn't either!
But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong (but in this case, I'm not!).