The #metoo movement is hitting the romance genre. “Put another way, how does a genre commonly dubbed “bodice-rippers” stay relevant in an era when the ripping of bodices sounds more like cause for a lawsuit than a display of passion?” Read more below. Perhaps us ladies should start ripping shirts instead!
Writing a ‘trigger-free love story’ is dicey in the age of #metoo.
“Bodice-rippers,” the most famous term associated with the romance genre are, according to the book Beyond Heaving Bosoms: “typically set in the past, and the hero is a great deal older, more brutal, and more rapetastic than the heroine.” The heroines were young, virginal women whose purity was of paramount importance to their worth. The rapist-turned-true-love hero was a standard character.
The genre is known for promoting traditional gender roles, but a new generation of writers is challenging these conventions.
A rather interesting article on historical romance and the 1970’s term of Bodice Rippers, where books were all about sexually aggressive men taking weak women. The author has a point about the former ideals in the ’70’s and ’80’s with repressed sexuality and the excitement these books produced. Nowadays, putting any type of forced sexual assault in an historical romance book is pretty much taboo among readers. What are your thoughts?
“While historical romance remains a major part of the romantic fiction genre today, experts agree that bodice rippers describe a short and specific moment in American publishing history that lasted only between the early 1970s and mid-1980s. “