DOES SEX MATTER IN ROMANCE?

Okay, get your mind out of the gutter. The sex I’m talking about is GENDER. As you know, I’ve been downloading a lot of books into my Kindle and I discovered I have a predjudice. I tend to avoid romances written by a man.

Totally crazy since I’ve met several men who are romance authors. Heck, Harold Lowery who writes western historical romances as Leigh Greenwood is one of my favorite authors. So what makes me think a man can’t write good romance? I think it’s tied up in social sterotypes. Men can’t write emotions; women can’t write action.

Do you know why Andre Norton, the famous SF author, didn’t use her name Alice on her books? Because when she started, publishers felt that their readers wouldn’t buy SF from a women. Of course, this was back in the 1930s and times have changed. When I was a young SF writer, I have to admit the only female author I knowingly read was Anne MacCaffery. And as a staunch women’s libber, I find myself embarrased to realize that I was gender-identifying authors.

So, my new vow to myself is that I will only read the blurb just as I do with all books and never mind the author’s gender. I accept that today’s male is more able to touch on his emotions just as a female author can write space opera. I think we all can agree anyone can write fantasy; after all, none of us gave up fairy tales.

How about you? Are you more likely to considere the gender of the author on the different genres of books?

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8 thoughts on “DOES SEX MATTER IN ROMANCE?

  1. I don’t pay attention. I often realize I can tell the difference, even if the man is using a female psdeudonym. And I’m always able to tell romantic films where the primary scriptwriter was a man. There’s just something about the way they hande certain things that gives away to me.

    But I’ve read books both by men I knew were men, and ones where I didn’t know, and it doesn’t bother me either way. Many many years ago, there was a historical romance author who was a man wroting under a woman’s name. I’d read dozen of his books and didn’t have a clue until I met him at one of the early RT conventions I attended. I was SHOCKED . . . but continued buying his books until his death.

  2. When I read Bridges of Madison County, I thought that was one of the worst books, until I read Horse Whisperer. I swore off men as romance writers, which is unfair.
    I do have a slight bias. Mainstream I don’t care either way.

    • Actually, Meg, I wouldn’t consider BRIDGES or WHISPERER romances, so it shouldn’t matter who wrote them. I’ve never read BRIDGES, but I did enjoy THE HORSE WHISPERER as a mainstream.

  3. I think it’s an interesting bias, and easy to fall into. If I really think about it, I will state that my favorite male character (Miles Vorkosigan) is written by a woman, and my favorite female character (Honor Harrington) is written by a man. I think a good writer can write action AND emotion. The really good books are written by authors, not men or women. spw

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