What I don’t want to read in Romance anymore in 2019 (or ever)

While I was doing my research for a new post (which means: listening to a lot of audiobooks), I also ran into some books that are very new and very popular. And that I disliked with a burning passion.

Now, I don’t judge anyone for what they want to read, especially not in Romance. You do you! Romance is about finding a happy place and about reading your fantasies.

It’s individual and it’s great that there is so much choice.

What I don't want to read anymore in Romance!

But that’s the thing. I believe you can do any trope in a way that is relevant and fun to read. And also not insulting to entire groups of women. So please, dear authors, don’t!

The Misogynistic Manwhore and the Slut-Shaming

The manwhore is a popular Romance hero because he has the practice and the proof that he can really deliver in bed.

Most manwhores are true lovers of womanhood and make a point out of treating women with respect. But if an author decides to go with a misogynistic pig, things get trickier.

In that case, I strongly feel he needs to be teamed up with a heroine who kicks him so hard in the butt that he flies from the 1950’s straight into 2019 where we don’t slut-shame. And he needs to do some serious soul-searching and groveling at some point. It’s just not enough if he only learns to treat his love interest with respect while still joking about all the stupid bitches he nailed before.

It’s not okay!

The Virgin heroine who is “not like all the other girls”

Don’t get me wrong, of course, the heroine is always special to the Romance hero. But that doesn’t mean every single other girl he knows has to be an airhead! It doesn’t mean every girl he has slept with has to be too stupid to see she’s only being used and tossed away and hence deserving of having been used by him.

A Romance heroine can be special without demeaning all other women. It’s insulting!

And it enforces so many unfortunate assumptions many (younger) women might have. How women feel they always have to compete with other women. That you don’t want to be “like other women” because they are perceived as stupid and shallow. And that you can’t sleep around because only virgins are truly special and smart.

Any trope works with empowered women!

I said this before, but Penny Reid’s Elements of Chemistry is a great example of how a billionaire manwhore and a socially awkward virgin can make for a great story without being demeaning to other women. A heroine doesn’t have to be a doormat because she’s socially awkward and/or a virgin.

Doormat-heroines are fine, too. But then please don’t team her up with a manwhore pig! Give a girl a fair chance!

Is it the job of a Romance author who writes for entertainment to care about all of this? Frankly, yes, I think it is. Because the limit of something being “just entertainment” is always drawn where people get hurt. Not to mention that it seems extremely easy not to put down women as a whole in a Romance novel if you just think about it for a moment from that angle.

Enough of me ranting! Back to reading awesome books that I can wholeheartedly recommend 🙂

And just for the fun of it, check out my recommendations for Romance audiobooks with heroines who sleep around and male protagonists who are celibate!

I love Romance novels! Steamy or sweet, funny or angsty. It's my favorite genre and it's the best to lift my mood. But since it's a genre that's mainly from women for women, I expect that these books aren't insulting or demeaning towards women. So, here are the things that I don't want to read in Romance anymore because there's no place for this in 2019 (or ever again). #books #romancenovels #feminism

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18 thoughts on “What I don’t want to read in Romance anymore in 2019 (or ever)

  1. Yes! Books and entertainment all round could do with less of the disrespectful man whore, slut shaming and reverence of the virgin. I love your point about any trope having the possibility to be empowering.

  2. Lol I LOVE this post. I have to agree there are some popular tropes out right now that are driving me up a wall. I am also so over reading about the virgin heroine who is so naïve it’s rediculas. Having a man put a piece of his body that can temporarily makes him a bit of an idiot into a woman does not somehow magically make her smarter or wiser to anything. Sex doesn’t make you anything but happy at that particular moment in time.

    There is one trope in particular that is actually making me angry now and it is so freaking popular and that’s the one dimensional physically strong heroine who can fight. Don’t get me wrong, I love to see strong women in books, movies, plays and just on the street, but for the love of heck strong does not mean she has to kick butty! Lately, I have read so many books where the woman has physical strength and fighting skill that matches or surpasses her man, which would be fine if there was more to her than that. To me painting a woman as only one thing is just down right insulting no matter what that one thing is. I am 100% behind a woman who can kick butty and also likes to paint, or watch TV every Friday, or loves to listen to music, maybe likes to garden, enjoys building things, or likes to do anything other than just fight. I feel like this kind of heroine is a hard push from the author trying to show that women can be just as strong as men and they forget to make that heroine human by adding in the three dimensional aspect of liking multiple things.

    Fantastic post.

    Bookish Creation recently posted…Forever Mine By Anna Zaires Book ReviewMy Profile

  3. I am a big lover of romance but I think it has definitely started to go over the top. I’ve been cutting back my broad TBR and focusing on some of my favorite authors. I read books by people like Melissa Foster and Madeline Martin, books that I know aren’t going to portray women in ways that I’m not cool with reading.

    Great post!
    Megan | Ginger Mom and Company recently posted…Books on My Spring 2019 TBR | #T10TMy Profile

    1. Thank you! 🙂 Yeah, normally I’m very good at avoiding books that use these kinds of cliches. But I was looking for stories with a very specific topic, so I decided to give them a chance. Ugh. I’m still in a reading slump.

  4. First thing, I wanna say I love your way of thinking !
    “with a heroine who kicks him so hard in the butt that he flies from the 1950’s straight into 2019 where we don’t slut-shame.” .. Omg I love this sentence aahah 😂😂

    Oh I can’t agree more with the “virgin not like other girl” one. On one side, society tells girls to “stay pure” and basically not to have sex until […]etc. and YET double standard with the guys not remaining virgins AT. ALL. .. I’d love to see a gender switch for a second xD Or how about a girl we know may had a few partners, maybe slept around and one-nighted for a while .. while still being seen as worthy.
    Kristina recently posted…Sims 4 – Strangetown ☆ ReviewMy Profile

    1. Haha, thank you so much! ^^
      Yeah, I’m a bit burned out at the moment on the manwhore and virgin thing.
      When I recently asked in a big book recommendation group for Romance novels with women who sleep around (but do it for fun and not because they have huge issues), I got 2 recommendations. 2!! Normally, you can expect 20, if not 50 replies in that group. And I also enjoy reading a male virgin Romance every now and then (when I find one). It’s very refreshing to read something that is so different from the masses and shakes things up a bit more “fundamentally”.

    1. Aw, see, that’s not fair. No book genre should be judged by the bad apples. You might simply not be interested in reading Romance, but it’s a genre full of amazing writing, great stories, and interesting protagonists.

  5. I agree with manwhores! Especially with the ones that keep reminding heroines and readers how ‘experienced’ they are. Those kinds of books aren’t my cup of tea but I do also understand why they are so popular.

    I like books where either character is a virgin but I get what you mean. Being a virgin doesn’t make hero or heroine better than anyone else.

    1. I went through a phase when I really loved the YA/NA virgin romance stories. I’m a bit over them now, but they’re so romantic <3 It's definitely a great trope. I just don't like when virginity is used as plot device to make the heroine look inferior to the hero.

  6. Oh, I think you put your finger on why I don’t read any books with swooning women in full-length ball gowns (especially ones that are falling off of her) or bare-chested men on the covers! (Okay, I dislike romance novels in general, although I don’t mind a little romance in books, but too much can turn me off! It has to fit the plot.)

    1. Haha, well, for the ladies in ball gowns the misogyny at least makes sense because of the time period. But in contemporary, there just shouldn’t be a place for this!

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