No, not you all. I like you all. I mean the condescending jerk who wrote the article in today’s New York Times and Tim Priest from “The Greater Washington Business Initiative”
Let’s get a few things straight -I am not stupid or simple. My readers are not stupid or simple and my books are not stupid or simple.
Because we are women who write for an audience that is overwhelmingly female does not mean we are all stupid and fluffy and uneducated. Nor does our offense at being described that way again and again make us “touchy.”
I love the generalization that people with higher educations and who are more worthy hires are reading Plato while the “average” reader is sucking down romance because they’re just so stupid. I’ve commuted on mass transit a lot and let me tell you, whether they were on their way to the law firm I worked for or the Target to start their job as a checker, they all read popular fiction of one kind or another. The only people I saw reading Plato were students and it was because they had to (that’s the only reason I read it too). The Republic was worthy reading, I worked hard to get the most out of it, like I did Kant and Camus too. But um, it’s okay to read things that are entertaining too. Without shame.
There’s also this doofus down in Texas who’s running for State Comptroller who’s attacking his opponent by saying she’s a pornographer (insert eye roll) because she wrote a romance novel in 1990. Sigh.
This on top of being attacked by other romance novelists and I’m just a cranky girl today. Look, my thing is this – women are not wrong for having desires and fantasies. Our fantasies and desires are not less important than those of men. Our fantasies and desires may differ through our gender and that’s okay too.
The bottom line is – they’re books. If you don’t like them, please feel free not to read them! If you do, wonderful! But you are not more worthy if you read Plato instead of Stephanie Laurens. And who’s to say the person on the subway isn’t reading Plato at home anyway?