In the 21st Century, the genre of Romance is being reclassified as feminist fiction. Refs: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 I say it's about time.
- Our Heroine is the center of the story. It is her story. It's about what her dreams are, her goals, her desires. What she wants is important. Very important.
- It's about respect. In the end, Our Heroine's choice are respected by Our Hero and others. She's not shamed or mocked for her pro-activity. In fact, she's often encouraged and when she's successful, she's lauded.
- It's okay for Our Heroine to have desires. She is not chastised or shunned for having yearnings in her heart (or other places). Let her heart flutter, let her loins burn, let her indulge in deep, passionate kisses. It's okay.
- Success happens. One of the main qualifiers of Romance is the HEA (Happily Ever After). But it's not just limited to her romantic love life. Our Heroine also experiences success in business, in social circles, in her art, her hobbies and her goals. She is shown that no matter what she sets out to achieve, women's success is possible and commonplace.
- Win-Win situation. See, Our Hero gets success as well. Like Our Heroine, he also gets love, respect, success and happiness. He earns the trust of a woman, and that is a very big thing. Also, he's placed in an environment where it's safe for him to express himself, be emotional, admit weakness and not be ridiculed. Not enough men in real life get that luxury.
The world is a big, scary place full of problems that haven't been solved yet. Romance gives us a chance to escape that world and daydream about a better one of happiness and love and success. Feminism is about achieving those goals in real life and while we have a long way to go, at least the journey has started.
Go read a romance book or ten. You'll be glad you did.
Her Grace embraces idealism for its positive message.