Romance and Women in Fiction

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We all know the cliché: The heroine has no idea about her hidden desires until the hero kisses her and all of a sudden, she loves him with all her heart and will sacrifice basically everything to be with him forever and ever and ever.

Even though she says no to the kissing.  Even though she tells the hero to leave her alone. And, most importantly, she tells him to stop.

But of course he doesn’t. After all, shouldn’t all females sit back and be impregnated?

These books are counted as fiction, and inside them, are countless of examples of how this so called “romance” genre isn’t even close to the real thing.

For the sake of clarification, let’s call the heroine “Jane” and the hero “Jack”, since I’m already getting sick of insinuating that Jack’s slightly decent. Jack’s been following Jane around for a long time. Maybe it’s for her own protection. Maybe it’s just because he finds her completely infactuating? Who knows?

And let’s say Jane finds something out about Jack’s deep, dark, horrible, and utterly cliche past. Well, this Jack already knows everything about Jane? What’s one or two things that Jane knows that Jack doesn’t want her to, right?

Wrong.

Jack begins his temper tantrum- and that’s all it really is- saying things such as, “I’m a better person.” or  “I didn’t want you to know about that time of my life” or any other horrible excuse that might work as long as Jane stays with him.

Of course, Jane forgives him, because she’s a female and that’s what she does. It doesn’t matter what she thinks or how she acts- she inevitably forgives him. Because that’s what society tells her to do. All of society- no matter if she lives in the seventeenth century, present day, or in a dystopian society- all of society has enforcing upon her the fact that Jack knows what he’s doing and Jane doesn’t.

Later on, right as we, the readers, start to think that Jack might have a chance of being a decent human being or whatever paranormal creature is the rage, he decides to do what every single “love” interest does: He starts kissing her.

Now, I love my kissing scenes. If written right, those things are hot.

But if Jane keeps on telling Jack to stop and he doesn’t, well, that’s a problem. You see, I simply don’t care how amazing her lips taste or how wonderful her breasts feel under her shirt. Jane said stop. Jack didn’t. And that’s what made the entire book only get one star.

I’m not even going to begin speaking about the inevitable moment in time when Jane realizes she actually “loves” Jack, because all that is either Stockholm’s Syndrome or some forced love between Jack and Jane. There is a point of the word “No”, and it isn’t just to try and say, “Yes”.

After this passionate kiss, of course, there must be some argument, or else the so called “sexual tension” would not be there. Take, for example, Kresley Cole’s “Lothaire”:

[quote_box_center]“He gave her an indulgent look. “I’ll forgive these rash words for now.” She sputtered, “Forgive<em>? Let’s talk about who should be forgiving who.”
“Whom,” he corrected.
“Shut up! I’m in the right here. Remember all those things you did to me?”[/quote_box_center]

Elizabeth, the heroine, is trying to talk to Lothaire, the “Jack” in this situation, but what does he do? He just condescends her as if she’s so beneath him that should couldn’t possibly know what was right for her. Later on, Elizabeth just forgives Lothaire and seems to completely ignore everything that occurred beforehand. This is just one of the myriad of examples in the literary world of the belief that women are inferior.

On a different topic, let’s ignore Jack and Jane and focus on the other females in this book. There’s the female, oftentimes Jane’s sister, that just can’t seem to stop enjoying male company. And she’s always portrayed in a negative light. Because, again, according to society’s standards, women just have to cross their legs and stay away from any and all male company, unless it’s Jane. But the menfolk can partake in any and all sexual adventures they’d like to.

And then, of course, there’s the dreaded “Past Love” of Jack. Maybe he actually did care for her, maybe he thought she was just really, really hot. Who knows? Who cares? Nobody seems to. All that matters is just the fact that the PL loves Jack and won’t go without a fight. At the end, she discovers that she didn’t really love him after all, and she accepts basically everything that comes her way. Or, maybe she’ll just end up jaded and hateful towards everyone. In the book, it doesn’t matter, because she had her fifteen pages of importance, and then she disappears.

Not all women are horrible, such as Jane’s sister and Jack’s Past Love. The only decent one is the woman that decides to help Jane and Jack get together. And that’s all she’s ever good for in the book. Because this is what our romance ideals are- doing anything possible for Jack and Jane to realize they love each other.

Other than those three, though, there are no other pertinent women in the book. And this raises the question: How did society get this misogynistic in the first place? What happened thousands of years ago that completely changed our ideals of gender equality and changed our subconscious thoughts- and isn’t that what literature is?- into believing and accepting and even embracing the theory that there is and perhaps even continue to be a discrimination between the sexes?

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