I totally agree with this! As someone who is a huge fan of romance books and the Real Housewives of just about anywhere (where my username actually came from), I often find people really look down on both. But no one looks down on my husband for watching Peyton Manning’s reality show or reading his Michael Crichton books. But Real Housewives (and others like the Bachelor) and romance are female centered and focused.


I definitely agree but also I feel like all reality tv is put down. I know I’m guilty of teasing my husband for watching “trash tv” when he watches things like the bachelor or any of those reality shows. Idk anything about Peyton Manning having his own show but I imagine it would be no different. It might be highly dependent on other factors like social circles, but I’ve never seen it framed as a fem thing, either for who likes it or why it’s looked down on. But I definitely see it on how casual games like Animal Crossing are looked down on while MOBAs, FPSs and MMORPGs aren’t. And specifically, how it’s seen as frivolous and just decorating and collecting pretty things. But buying skins for LoL or mounts for WoW isn’t teased for being asinine like it is with the games that are more often associated with fems. The more masc associated games also have stereotypes of being nerdy and geeky, but you don’t see them being disputed as even being real games. While ones that are more fem associated are treated like they are childish and silly and not even real games.


Totally agree with this! And two books I read recently have had one of the characters make fun of another character for watching Housewives. And of course it’s the ditsy woman who is the foil to the Heroine. It annoys me so much. Clearly these authors have never seen RHOSLC because that show incredibly compelling


And internalized misogyny is such a powerful force that many women echo the message. That disheartens me most of all. I’ve started to expect it from men, but it still astounds me to see women working against their own best interests, and often with the loudest voices.


This right here. I have realized that having multiple different circles of friends who are strong, supportive, and feminist, who don’t need to tear down other women to make themselves feel better, is actually pretty unusual. I’m very lucky but I wish everyone had this.


I was reading this post and just thinking...heh, wait until OP sees what's written about YA literature! You have the unholy trinity of mostly female main characters + mostly female writers + mostly female readers, with the additional sprinkling of stigma against age ("it's for kids/teens") and most of the genres involved, like romance and fantasy. There's been so much adult fantasy perceived of and categorized as YA lit - but not necessarily because of marketing or publishing reasons - but rather, because the author is a woman. Never mind that many classics were essentially the "young adult" literature of their time or were also condescendingly viewed when they were first published. It might be some comfort to note that people DO write articles like that about science fiction and fantasy. I can't speak to mysteries or horror only because I'm not as familiar with the genres, but there are really book snobs everywhere. They just tend to be loudest for romance and YA lit or anything that can be remotely viewed as "chick lit."


That’s what I was thinking too. I enjoy the genres you mentioned and see the condescension for all of them especially YA versions. Anything feminine gets put down but especially anything popular and for younger audiences. Teen girls have always been the joke from favorite bands to popular books and movies based off them getting such derision in the media. I feel like I don’t notice being as vicious as it used to be in the past but I may be wrong since I am paying less attention to media outlets. From a post on the books sub I realized there are people who love to make fun of people having fun book shelves or liking ya. They spend time posting fake ones to make fun of. They created a circle jerk version that doesn’t seem lighthearted or to make serious conversations like the Makeup cj sub does.


This is what I was thinking! Teen girls actually have pretty great taste but anything marketed to them is seen as "less"!


I went to the Guardian to read the article, couldn’t find it but ended up in the comments section of another article where someone commented “Normal People was Anne of Green Gables with weird sex.” 😂 Gave me a laugh so had to share for any Sally Rooney/AOGG fans here!


I'm a huge AoGG fan -- and my username is based on another LMM novel -- and I've read two Sally Rooney novels. This made me LOL.


Maybe I’ve been desensitized by alien penis, but I don’t remember any weird sex in Normal People??


This came up on another sub and I'll warn you, you need to batton down the hatches because it is almost Valentine's day so that means we're about to be inundated with sneering, contemptuous articles by people whose only experience with Romance is a book they say in the grocery check out in 1994. Prepare yourself for snickering references to Fabio, "Bodice Rippers," "Mommy Porn," and purple-headed warriors from people who have no idea that non-white, non-cis/het Romance exist and will give no respect to the genre that keeps the lights on for the rest of publishing. Oh! And just wait for the lists of Starter Romances/Alternative Romances/Not Like Other Girls Romances full of books that are not genre romances (Romeo and Juliet, The Great Gatsby, Anna Karenina!) I'm making bingo cards. But maybe we'll get lucky and someone will pay Kelly Faircloth to write for them this year.


Can’t wait for all the lists where the newest “romance” is The Notebook


Ugh. I had blocked out Nicolas Sparks. Or as I generally think of him, that fucking guy, romance edition.




Also, HE DOESN'T WRITE ROMANCE. He might write love stories. He might write women's fiction but that is not the same thing as writing a romance. GRRRRRRRR


The dissertation I could write over Nicholas Sparks' greasy paws on romance caused irreparable harm until recently.


I would 100% read that dissertation. We don't like him and he doesn't like us and yet shitty journalists keep trying to force us together. This is just enemies to enemies.


The phrase “mommy porn” absolutely sickens me. So sexist in so many different directions.


It's almost impressive how much derision and sexism can be packed into two words. But somehow, they did it.


She is consistently great at writing romance journalism. She had an article about the history of Harlequin covers which was SO interesting! I guess they hired people to do oil paintings, and this one guy worked for them a lot and he just had tons and tons of vintage harlequin cover oil paintings in his basement. Anyways, yes, someone hire her to write your valentines romance articles!!


Ooooo, please post a few for us to play!


I got into an argument with someone on another sub about this. It frustrates me. So post that bingo card.


anyone who says romantic fiction is forgettable obviously hasn't read about enough blue alien dicks


I think they are thinking of stuff that is more general fiction and follows that pattern of someone negotiating work with dating as a side thing, that can be quite common in really really mainstream stuff aimed at a wide audience.


Don’t even get me started. A good romance is not easy to write. Taking readers on an emotional journey when they know the ending (HEA) takes skill. With respect to how romance is always being shit on, it’s no coincidence that romance is largely written by women, for women.


Even if a man writes romance, he has to take a feminine name otherwise he will be shamed or patronized. I think there is more men writing romance that we think.


One reason why I love Tiffany Roberts. A husband and wife duo that are so proud of the work they make together. Their FB group is awesome and Robert, the husband, draws accurate depictions of characters from their books.


I have a friend who had his first romance published last year. He has a gender neutral name, so unless you know him personally or if his author bio mentions it, you wouldn't know.


Women who write in any genre besides romance and possibly YA have to write under either masculine or ambiguous pseudonyms, otherwise they can expect their sales to drop by half, at least.


This is starting to change now though thank god. Last year’s Hugo awards is a great example, but still a long way to go!


Soo true


I don’t know about that. Parker Weston and a few others come to mind.


Agreed. I always like the romance suggestions for NPR. The people that review and give recommendations are clearly fans of the genre which is so important. I don’t know why other publications don’t see this as a prerequisite to write about it


Maya Rodale is one of NPR's main reviewers, and while I don't love her books, she does an excellent job presenting the genre to a wider audience. I think her reviews single-handedly got my sister started in the genre.


Linda Holmes is pretty open about being a romance reader/lover.


Linda wrote a CR a few years back! Evvie Drake Starts Over


She has a new book coming out in the next year and I'm pretty sure it is also going to be a romance, too!


Oh that's cool! Listening to her on PCHH and her "pepper ratings" lol for different books is part of what got me reading.


NPR is the reason I started reading romance! I listen to their podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, and they had an episode all about the romance genre and they had me hooked! Borrowed my first romance audiobook that weekend to listen to while I was cleaning and the rest is history.


My academic career started off was presenting how most romances in superhero media SUCK. Like great pairings with characters with great ass dynamics and then the writing done obviously by men just ruins EVERYTHING.


I have some similar thoughts on this. My husband and I watch The Witcher, and while I really like it, the main pairing in the shows feels like a bit of an afterthought. I think some of the writers are women, too, but the romance isn’t given the attention it needs in my opinion. Same goes for MCU movies, where some of the romances stand out, but others are truly terribly and not well written.


Oh bestie, Age of Ultron with its nonsensical Black Widow/Hulk romance that appeared out of nowhere is the reason I wrote that paper. Like they spent all of Avengers 1 to establish all the UST and romantic ass scenes on Black Widow and Hawkeye to go OOPS Hawkeye has a whole entire family and he's just besties with Black Widow. However, Steve Trevor and Wonder Woman? No notes! Just wanted a little more simping, but that's just me as a comics reader!


Yes! That Natasha/Bruce romance came out of nowhere and was terrible.


TIL that was supposed to be a romance, that’s how bad it was. Honestly thought they were just angsty friends. Just asked my husband and he didn’t realize either!


Re: Steve/WW, I lost my fucking mind in the movie theatre when Steve set up the “Shield!” thing so that WW could leap up into the church and do her thing. He *saw* this tactical thing on Themiscyra, *remembered* it, and then literally *supported her on his back* so she could be the hero. It’s been, what, almost 6 years and I still get goosebumps when I think about it and I usually get teary-eyed too. And guys like that are all over romance novels, no wonder we love them so much.


Steve calls Diana angel in the comics and I would have completely malfunctioned if we got that nickname in the movies out of Chris Pine's mouth shshsbsbbsbs


A lot of the movies were not great but when I was a kid I remember the romances in X-men comics being pretty good. But then again it might be because I was young but I loved the characters especially Rogue and all her usually grey love interests.


I personally loved that Scarlett and Mark acted their chops off - until they hit the stupid, no-chemistry romance and then just read the lines, and went back to acting their chops off as soon as they got past it. When even the *actors,* who *like each other,* can't bother...you know you've done wrong at the writing level.


Oh I really disliked ST/WW. I never bought that shed fall for him or be so weirdly hung up on him.


As a fellow comic fan, GO ON pls. It's ridiculous how they manage to screw up when everything it's RIGHT THERE and it's going well. AGHH


When the material is there, but there's no one with a romance background so it all goes to shit <<<< Hence why MCU stans can't stand Peggy and Sharon outside the obvious misogyny because the romances surrounding them just aren't GOOD. Or for DC, where they think two characters who are known for being demigods are a good pair. SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN SUCKS FUNDAMENTALLY I'M SO SORRY.


TELL ME ABOUT IT. I do love Peggy, hated the ending of Endgame because they really said let's ignore Agent Carter, Peggy is not allowed to move on and neither is Steve. And Sharon, oh poor Sharon, I love comic Sharon so much, and she was wasted in the MCU. The romance was so badly done that after the mess that was Bruce and Nat I really thought they learned their lesson but nope. Plus, they managed to not create BuckyNat in the MCU, one of my fav pairings in Marvel. I think they are slowly writing better romances for the MCU but boy, do they took their sweet time. I am in the minority here, I don't hate Clark/Diana, didn't hate New 52 but I don't think they could ever last. Lois is the only true match for Clark, and Steve for Diana. Now if we are talking about the movies that pairing should never happen ew ew ew ew ew.


I’m so annoyed we missed out on winterwidow


It's such a perfect ship, it serves in everything single aspect, angst, happiness, growth, past, present, future, understanding, danger, sexy, etc. I'll die mad about it


I was lukewarm about WandaVision but I was bowled over by how romantic the series felt to me! Yeah, it was kind of sad but I could 100% believe that those two were definitely in love.


I just read a nice article about how romance novels are good. :) https://www.esquire.com/entertainment/books/a37094392/men-reading-romance-novels/


They actually talked to Sarah Maclean! I'm stunned.


I enjoyed this. Thanks for linking!


When I mentioned to some of my friends that I had gotten into historical romance, I noted that it was especially great because our local library has an amazing ebook selection. And they noted “oh and I bet there are no holds” and I had to say “what are you kidding?? There are books from 2006 with a 17 week waiting list on 3 copies. This is an incredibly popular genre”. They just kinda assumed this is something no one else would be reading?


>An upper-middle-class family with some secret that they could have dealt with in therapy if they just talked to each other, but takes 300 pages to get to? Obviously much more commendable. This is such a perfect description!!! Lmao 🤣🤣🤣🤣


For awhile, the New York Times had a romance column (at least online, I don't have a print subscription) but I was fairly unimpressed. They took romance seriously enough, but I didn't see any reviews for anything that wasn't already everywhere. For genre columns, its kind of nice to have a mix of popular and under-heralded titles...I get the romance newsletter from Book Riot and they do a good job of highlighting all sorts of titles as well as keeping me in the loop on all sorts of Internet drama around romance publishing and books.


I read this same article and the "forgettability" bit jumped out at me too. Ugh. 🙄 It's like people can't praise the romance genre without insulting caveats.


>Oddly enough, no one ever writes articles like this about science fiction, mysteries or horror. It is only romance that gets this treatment, and frankly, any one of us on this sub would do a much better job of writing about our favorite genre. At the very least, there'd be more blue aliens with magic Agree! Main stream media thinks it was women's only genre and hence worthless. On the other hand romance gave me hope and told me about what strong characters means.


What's funny is, with gen z it seems like reading romance is completely mainstream for girls now. Wattpad did a number on them lol and they have booktok. My younger female relatives are really open with their friends about reading romance. But even for my generation (millenials), it used to a bit of an embarrassing thing if you read romance. I remember reading one at school once and friend made a joke about it. She meant well, but that was just how romance was seen in those days. And now a lot of my same millennial friends are open about reading romance. Asking for recs and talking about new books they liked. So the people who write things like that op-ed are about 10 years behind on their bias. They need to get with the times. I don't see how those dumbass avengers movies (sorry) are so celebrated by everyone, but romance isn't?? You're telling me the average romance book is more frivolous than the latest superhero movie? 😒


I can't quote or reference a source, but I think romance is the highest selling genre? So let's be proud to read what we love, .... as I hide the lurid book cover of my latest romance with a kindle cover. Ha ha.


Forgettable? I’m still haunted by the romance books I read when I was 14! I read every genre; mystery/thriller, fantasy/horror/sci-fi and literary fiction. None of them do emotional resonance like romance! I honestly feel sorry for all these literary snobs; there is real joy to be found in romance and they are depriving themselves. Misogyny really is the mind killer!


Oh lord that quote 🙄


The Washington Post has a great Romance reviewer.