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Friday, August 21, 2015

Genre Stereotypes - ??

It’s time for our monthly group blog and Rhobin has chosen another interesting topic. This one has me thinking. Do you feel certain genres stereotype men and women? Why do you think that happens? How do you prevent it in your writing?

First I can’t speak for all genres because I don’t write or read sci-fi, paranormal or YA. I have read a few historicals. My opinion is that it does happen in most historicals. The books written about the Regency period or the 18th and 19th century are in a time period when men ruled. They controlled the politics, the money, the house and the women. Women had a subservient position in the house and society, most of the times. Are there books, where the women take charge? I’m sure there are and I’ll be interested to read what out historical authors say on this topic.
In romance and romantic suspense I don’t think the roles are stereotyped any longer. Were they ten years ago? Yes. But in today’s writing the heroines are strong women; detectives, mayors and doctors.  They are strong, confident and they may have their Achilles heel, but they are equal to their male counterparts. The men may be detectives, reporters, nurses and cowboys, but they respect the women and treat them as equals. At least the heroes do. It makes for great conflict and great reads.
In my own writing I love my heroines and I always make them strong. The men may also be strong, but if they want to win over their heroine they’re going to have to learn to compromise and accept her as an equal - a woman who is intelligent and knows what she wants. It makes for challenging relationships and I love it when the men ‘finally get it.’
I look forward to seeing what the other authors have to say on this topic, especially those who might write YA, paranormal or sci-fi. My opinion is that they also can write the h/h anyway they want and it’s not tied to stereotypes.

Please join me in checking out these other authors.

8 comments:

  1. Interesting observations, Beverley. Always enjoy your posts.

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  2. One exception on the regencies was the late Georgette Heyer - not that some of her books didn't have the typical stereotypes, but she had a few memorable ones that I loved that weren't so. The Foundling and A Civil Contract come to mind.

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    1. Thanks for that. I didn't read Georgette Heyer but I know she was a popular historical writer. I didn't realize she also challenged the stereotypes of that time.

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  3. What must be interesting for us as we write into the future is whether the 'strong woman' also becomes a stereotype, I think. there are marvellous examples in biographies of women who played up to the expectations of their time - and manipulated everyone around them successfully. What really got the establishment (ie male) backs up was defiance. anne stenhouse

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    1. I agree, Anne. I was thinking that when I thought about the strong women I know write. It will be interesting to see our h/h's in the next five years. And I'm smiling - you're so right - it's the catch more flies with honey than vinegar theory.

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  4. I enjoyed your post, Beverley, and loved all the comments. I agree - it will be interesting to see how our heroes and heroines develop over the next few years. Great discussion!

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  5. I think the roles of females are still constrictive, when you consider the millions that have been made by the author who shall remain unnamed, who turned fan-fiction into a gold mine by featuring a simpering, naive child of a heroine, paired with a demanding, obnoxious stalker of a "hero."

    It irks me when I tell people I write romance, and while most reply, "Who reads that stuff?" or, "Can't you write a REAL book?", other will wink and nudge me, asking if I write like the best-selling "author." Sigh. No, no one is beaten or subjugated or humiliated in my books. No one misrepresents an entire group of people who are living the BDSM lifestyle, and no females are clueless waifs. I eschew those stereotypes.

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