Allow me to curse folks out on your behalf.
There’s nothing better than watching a romance film after your favorite boy did the cupid shuffle with your feelings. Absorbing romance films in marathon fashion to soothe your sorrows is a top tier activity, a woman’s right-of-passage.
I have a long history of rubbing myself to sleep after watching debonair, country, wise-cracking, love-sick jocks whisk away frail white women into carriages, boats, onto horses and in the backs of New York City cabs to a land of love that the average woman will only know a fraction of. Some call this escapism, some call it hope, but many look at it as featherbrained content made for women who think stay-at-home moms and housewives deserve respect, admiration.
While I would love to do an entire breakdown on the romance films that made me a better person and what we can all learn from the classics, I’ll save that for another article, for now I’d much rather dissect why when you tell someone you love any romance art form there is almost an immediate invisible eye-roll.
The romance genre, whether book or film, is viewed as tantamount to Barney, which shouldn’t be insulting because Barney taught you how to love, yet I’m sure nobody feels Barney is worth introspective thought or should be considered a worthy subject of serious thinkers. Some folk sum up our misjudgments of people who enjoy romance as a simple case of misogyny — anything a woman enjoys must be of little value, how much could it possibly matter if women love it?
Some consider the genre of Romance too cautious, evoking no thought comparable to that of a weighty drama film or a disturbing action piece. But in the words of the literary genius, Roxane Gaye, “If you have to go to trauma to create narrative interest than you’re a lazy writer.” And I’d add if traumatizing content is the only thing you consider profound, riveting, or worthy of assessment than you’re a lazy thinker, the idea that only grim and suffering gleans importance to you should be the main topic of concern.
Why do we value art based on how much anguish it makes us feel?
What does it mean when only trauma can be considered true art?
I believe the art we value says a lot about who we are.
If you didn’t have a reason to roll your eyes before, now you do, I have another blog, for the lovers, mylovelifeiscomplicated.com where you will see more posts like (The Time I Fell in Love with a Pimp), and while they can be dark, they aren’t dark for the sake of, nor does dark always equate to trauma and depravity — in fact, I strive to help people reconsider what they view as dark, taboo, wrong, but in short story form. I’m interested in romance; familial romance, friendship romance, Romantic romance — the politics of it, how we swoon each other and create bonds, and what it says about who we are. Some stories will make you laugh, bring comfort, tears, denial, and ease. But I’d like people to be open to not only the art that takes away from you, but art the that gives back, you’ll find there is a place for both.