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I’m not much of a documentary watcher. There I said it. Often times, it’s because the subject matter isn’t something that I can relate to. I’m not a history buff, I’m not a scholar. So when I was tasked with giving this documentary a review, I was skeptical. Sure, the subject matter was something I could relate to: romance novels–but would it hold my interest? Was there enough material there to make it worth the rental fee?
Our Work Is Necessary
I found myself nodding along with Nora Roberts as she told us to keep that butt in the chair, as readers gushed over stories they coveted, and mostly when these women authors relayed the struggles they faced that male authors just don’t deal with. It was affirming to hear that the work that we do was necessary in the world of fiction; that romance novels were not about stupid women with ridiculous feelings, but rather, stories about strong women who are treated equally and positively and, gosh darn it, can have the same sexual desires as a man.
Romance is A Feminist Industry
Romance books are written by women, about women, and for women, which makes them a target of shame in the general public. And yet, the romance industry is the largest paid genre out there. Talk about a double standard.
The documentary showed several close-knit groups of women, bound together in their love of romance books in spite of the fact that they live in a world that tells them they shouldn’t. In their solidarity, they are able to connect with these books that offer not only an escape from reality, as all good fiction should, but also that there are happy couples, that dreams can come true, and that love can triumph over evil.
A Sense of Hope
What started out as a documentary affirming that what I do is worthwhile and a valid genre in the world of fiction left me with a renewed sense of hope; which is, ultimately, what romantic fiction is all about.