Sexism and Paranormal Romance

Here’s the thing.

Paranormal Romance, right? 90% of writers and 90% of readers of Paranormal Romance are female.

By the book covers, the vast majority of it appears to objectify men as sex objects. (No, I’ve never actually had the stomach to read one, watching True Blood was about as close as I got).

Surely – isn’t this sexist? I swear, if I see one more cover featuring a cleanly waxed chest, usually from the neck down, I’ll be reaching for the Mack Bolan novels.

And if we get our thong really in a knot about this? An article in the Guardian mentions Christian psychologist Dr Juli Slattery, who said that “she is seeing more and more women who are clinically addicted to romantic books” and “for many women, these novels really do promote dissatisfaction with their real relationships”.

Is this woman completely hatstand? Or – horrors! – has she discovered a shocking truth?

So – gentlemen. Lovers of ladies who love Paranormal Romance. Is it ruining your relationship? If you don’t bite your girlfriend during sex (turn into a werewolf, grow wings, feel free to substitute your own here) is she going to dump you? Where’s your masculine outcry? Where are the threatened bloke support groups? Where are the men-only writing/reading groups? Hell, where’s the men-only short story anthology – ‘Taking Back The Night’? (Gods know, if there was such a beast, I’d ditch the Mack Bolan straight away).

Or is it simply that romance novels, paranormal or not, attract a female audience? Let’s face it, we had to introduce Zombies to Pride and Prejudice in order to widen its readership.

Sexism, sadly, exists everywhere and should always be an issue. But sometimes, people just like different things.


5 thoughts on “Sexism and Paranormal Romance

  1. I used to love Buffy, watched them end-to-end when they came out.

    One of those things that was a teenage soap opera with added Vamps – though that probably counts.

    Always got the impression that it was mostly girls that watched it though?

  2. I completely agree with you. The Twilight stories are sickening in that respect. BUT I still stand by Anne Rice. Her Vampire chronicles pre-date this recent craze and her vamps are pretty much mean and dangerous. And the relationships take place between all sorts of creatures. If you really haven’t read any, then I recommend you do.

  3. Interview With The Vampire and the other Anne Rice novels were very much Vampire books – wheras Twilight was a sparkly Teen Romance with added nausea. (I did attempt to sit through it once and managed less than half an hour).

    Buffy has aspects of both – but was superbly well written with strong characters of both genders.

    As with all things, I guess it very much depends on the specific content. But hell, if I can judge a genre by its cover…

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