Thursday, February 16, 2006

Two Rants for the Price of One

Actually, the first one isn't the rant I planned. It was going to be, but then I really couldn't find enough support for it. Or rather I found an overwhelming amount of support for my position to the point it brought me to a new rant.

I read something this weekend disparaging romance writers. Actually, it was a romance writer talking about a writing conference where the speaker disparaged romance writing. Of course it raised hackles. So I thought I would rant about the lack of respect, etc. of the romance genre. I searched the web for examples of rotten things said about romance novels and the people who write them. I didn't really find that much but when I did, there was a huge response defending the genre. I'm talking overwhelming. And it got me thinking.

Why do readers and writers of romance care? What is the big deal about people slamming on romance. Why do we care what these people think? We are particularly prickly about our genre. Post something on your blog about how romance is formulaic and perpetuates the stereotypes of dominant men and weak-willed women and I can guarantee you an avalanche of response.

I read and write romance novels. I like those overly dramatic bookcovers with half-naked men on them. If people think less of me, so be it. I do not need to be validated by others because they don't like my taste in reading. Why do romance enthusiasts get so worked up? Is it the literary equivalent of saying "you look fat in that dress?"

I suppose it is human nature to want the admiration and respect of others. But sometimes I feel romance writers and readers take it too seriously. So some academic writes an essay putting down the genre. Who cares?

Everyone has an opinion. Romance writers can scream to the hills about how the stereotypes about romance novels are wrong. They can present the facts about romance and how it shows women controlling their own destinies. It doesn't matter. The genre is still going to get slammed and for a variety of reasons.

Let the criticism roll. It isn't going to make a difference in the romance world. The genre still commands the bulk of paperback fiction published. Romance is a powerhouse. If we cannot swallow the criticism heaped upon us, we are validating the comments made by others.

Why is My Son an Idiot?

My ten year old son spent the bulk of the weekend whining about how bored he was. I pointed out he could always do his homework. He shunned that suggestion and followed me around whining. Anyway, his homework was due yesterday. And guess what he was doing at 6 a.m.?

My son is very bright. Although he is in 4th grade, he does 6th grade work. This assignment was multiplying and dividing fractions, problems that were well within his grasp. But they were time consuming and required a significant amount of time to do. He had all week to do this. But no, he waits until the morning it is due to work on it.

Why does he do this? I want to scream. I will not babysit him to get his homework done. He knows when its due. I will help if he needs help with the problems, but he needs to learn to do his work and get it in on time. Problem is he is a teacher's pet and I know his teacher is letting him get away with stuff. Someday he is going to learn. I just hope it isn't something too dramatic.