The Feminism of the Romance Genre

The Romance genre is so often judged on 30 year old bodice-ripper books, but I continue to maintain that it’s got Feminist cred. Case in point, SBTB just posted the obituary of Ms. Barbara Lantz, Romance writer and founder of the Tuscon Saguaro Romance Writers RWA chapter. I’m posting the obit here from the July 3 Arizona Daily Star, but you can also see it (and numerous comments) over at SBTB. [Emphasis below, mine]

Barbara Lantz was a romance writer.

Not the bodice-ripping, Fabio-loving, heroine-in-need-of-rescue type of romance writer. Turns out the slender pulp paperbacks with swooning women and muscular men on their covers were more the fantasy of the men who published them than the women who wrote them.

Lantz wrote sweet, believable American tales about capable women who, in the course of their lives’ adventures, met honorable men worthy of their love….

Members of the Saguaro Romance Writers agree the genre has gotten a bad rap over the years, mostly due to silly marketing ploys and cheesy book covers. In reality, they say, romance is a respected, well-read and lucrative genre.

“It’s the most feminist of all literature because it’s the only form of literature where women are guaranteed to win and come out with an emotionally satisfying finish,” [Maureen] Caudill said.

Hat tip: SBTB