The feminist touch: A romance writer’s apology
WHENEVER someone asks what I write, I want to apologise.
You see, I write romance.
Yes, yes, have your snort of derision now. I understand. We may like to read romance, but won’t necessarily admit it. Well, try admitting you write it without your face flushing slightly.
When I wrote Feral Bells – my debut romantic-comedy – I was not trying to make a statement on feminism. It does reflect a contemporary woman’s decision to forgo marriage and children in favour of her career, and how real affections for another can co-opt those priorities. But I was not illustrating how little has changed in the grand scheme of feminist things.
It’s like life… your beliefs, your social activism and your feminist agenda might not always line up so beautifully with your real life.
Every day women make judgment calls on feminism, whether they consider themselves a feminist or not. From working instead of child-rearing; from household chores to avoiding the Barbie lane at Target; from writing an article as your husband folds washing and loudly envies your life to deciding not to have that fight in front of the children.
It seems there is little we do that isn’t subjected to a feminist touch lately. When a working woman publicly admits she doesn’t consider herself a feminist, she is the subject of prominent feminists’ scoffing. But if one woman criticizes an anti-feminist woman, isn’t she too being anti-feminist?!
Riddle me that, Batman!
So it is with romance writing… I’m not making a political statement here. I’m taking the personal journey that so many of us have when our situations challenge our ideals. Whether it’s spiritual, moral or political… it’s the tension of living up to our own expectations – or failing them – that I wanted to explore.
And, of course, it centres around the most universal of themes… love.
Peta-Jo is a debut author of romantic comedy Feral Bells (available at all good bookstores and online at berminghambooks.com). Her second book is due out in early 2013. She is also a mummy blogger at petajo.com and can be found purchasing mock cream buns at Woolies most days.
ENTER TO WIN
Peta-Jo is offering
1 print edition of Feral Bells
Entries close November 25th 2012
Winner drawn via Random.org