I attended Emerald City Writers’ Conference last weekend, and it was AMAZING! I attended last year and had a great time–this year was even better. Not the least of why being Sarah MacLean’s keynote address on Saturday.
I mean, I had a feeling it was going to be good when she got up on the stage wearing a shirt that read “Ask me about my feminist agenda.” And, if you’ve ever visited her Twitter profile, you know she is smart, funny, educated–and all about equality and parity between the sexes.
In other words, totally my kind of chick.
Anyway, I wish I’d recorded her keynote, or at least taken notes so I could give you all a more thorough rundown, but here’s the gist:
The Romance genre, its authors–and it’s readers–are called everything from harmless to dangerous by the wider literary community and media. We’re accused of setting unrealistic expectations. We’re called silly.
And that word–silly–is what Sarah MacLean has the most trouble swallowing.
It’s not silly to be the highest selling genre of fiction.
It’s not silly to be an industry of predominantly women, for predominantly women.
It’s not silly for women or men to have healthy romantic relationships where they are satisfied both emotionally and physically. (And no matter what anybody tells you, healthy, satisfying relationships are not an unrealistic expectation!)
In this last week of #metoo, and in this last year of increasing attacks on women’s ability to control our own healthcare, the Romance genre is even less silly. Romance is here to remind us that we are deserving of better. We are deserving of equal. We are deserving of respect. Of common decency. Of freedom to choose: to have sex, to abstain, to consent, to say no, to walk away, to make mistakes, to act–to live with the same expectation of justice and respect that our male counterparts enjoy.
I hope you agree. If so, I encourage you to share your stories of why Romance is #notsilly to you. Spread the word!
In more fun news, Sarah gave everyone at the keynote her book, The Rogue Not Taken. I’ve never read a historical romance (besides Pride & Prejudice, of course!) so I’ll be giving it a go as soon as I finish Interview With A Vampire (#ElleReadsInterview)