Another “dude sharing his intro to the world” article we didn’t ask for

I fell asleep at my computer again. Just full on unconscious :/

I was in the midst of editing “Faizel 02” for my betas and couldn’t stay awake anymore. I think it’s because I’d spent the previous four hours mainlining Hannigram fics while eating Cheetos and Riesens. It was too much for me to handle.

Anyways, at 1:30 p.m. every day I check my newsfeed to see what Dear Author has to say about the world, and there was this = = waiting for me.

If you’re going to check out the Men Reading Romance thing, I would use the dontfollow article link Dear Author provided, because seriously, Salon doesn’t need any hits for that not-an-article article. It’s like they’re just paying people to write about how they don’t know anything about the subject they’re writing about. It’s embarrassing.

Anyways, Dear Author also gave a link to Wendy the Super Librarian’s response to the Salon post “Little Miss Crabby Pants Fires the Canon,” which starts off with:

Another day in Romancelandia, another day with a guy trying to tell us what is wrong with the romance genre. The latest entry to Is This Guy Serious? is brought to us by Noah Berlatsky who wrote this article for Salon entitled: I’m A Guy Who Loves Romance Novels – and Jennifer Weiner Is Right About Reviews. I know women online who have concocted drinking games to the phenomena of men reading romance novels. I also know women online who get annoyed with Dudes Talkin’ Romance Novels because it implies that the genre isn’t “validated” until it’s read and discussed by a Roving Band Of Penises.

Which was basically the response I had to the Salon article. Plus, it gains 500+ awesome points for the Roving Band of Penises, which I’m totally putting on a tee shirt. With like a pirate motif and maybe a cheap rip-off of Jack Sparrow doing Roving Penis stuff, whatever that may be.

And now to my thoughts: I think it’s lame when someone walks into a situation in full strut mode, looks around for five minutes, and decides that the people that have been enjoying whatever is happening aren’t doing it right. I mean, people have only been reading romance novels for thousands of years. It’s obvious that they need “expert” help to enjoy it right.

Every person has their own kinks and interests. You read books and find a niche that you enjoy, and there you go, that’s what you’re into, cool beans for you. But that doesn’t give you the right to invalidate the interests of other people.

You can have your opinion — like me, and not touching the 50 Shades books with someone else’s penis — and you can loudly proclaim the fact that you have an opinion, and that’s fine. Fill your blog or livejournal with your hatred of hats, who cares, that’s your business. But to write an “article” that basically says no one understood the romance genre until you started reading the books … that’s pure ego, dude. That’s a proclamation that your opinion has more weight than all of the people that came before you, and that’s not me even touching on the feeling of “these wumminz don’t know what they’re talking bout. They just been readin such crap, I needs to set them right.”

It frustrates me. I don’t know.

I like reading science fiction. I like reading military science fiction that’s gritty and hardcore. I can devour a David Drake book in one sitting and still be looking for some more Hammer’s Slammers to pound back. I also liked “An Accidental Goddess” by Linnea Sinclair, which is definitely not a military sci-fi novel. It’s still sci-fi, but it’s more romance and more character driven. Whatever, I liked it.

That being said, I did not like Gini Koch’s brand of sci-fi romance. It’s my opinion, I’m sticking to it, but I understand why other people might enjoy it. There’s hot alien dudes, the main character has a good voice, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I like my science fiction to be harder than what she was offering, less romance, more action and adventure. It’s the way I am.

I don’t shop at Barnes and Nobles a whole lot anymore since they rearranged their shelves. Romance used to be in the romance section, science fiction and fantasy used to be in the sci-fi and fantasy section, and now you can’t even look at the covers to differentiate the genres. It’s frustrating to buy a book that describes itself as being hard hitting sci-fi, only to open it up and find out it’s a sci-fi romance that’s on the schmoopy end of the romance spectrum with the sci-fi being more of the “there’s aliens and we’re faking it through the techno-angle of things” variety.

So I guess I can understand where a reader introduced to romance through the back end might have a problem with seeing where the canon lies. I mean, if I hadn’t read Linnea Sinclair, and instead had gone straight from David Drake to Gini Koch … I too might be wondering what just happened to me. There might even be prayers to heaven and weeping that all that is good in the world has died.

TL;DR, there is a canon to romance. There is a timeline to all things and a backstory for where every trope has come from. To say otherwise is to display a shocking amount of ignorance.

So to all the Noah Berlatsky’s out there, I say, “Ignorance can be corrected with research and due diligence. Stop embarrassing yourself. Read some books.”


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