Some of you may have seen the #romancekills hash-tag pop up as a trending topic. Of course some companies took this opportunity to promote their product (I'm looking at you @Axe), but the majority of this was in retaliation to an article published on ksl.com, stating that romance novels are as addictive and harmful as pornography.
The article contains such gems as:
"Many women do not see their love for reading romantic books as a problem"The poor deluded fools.
"women can become as dangerously unbalanced by these books’ entrancing but distorted messages"OH MY GOD, a guy actually chooses and woos one woman?! Ridiculous!
AND: "Women ... may not be able to get as satisfied with their partners as they can reading a book."THEN THEY'RE PROBABLY DOING SOMETHING WRONG.
But don't worry guys! Hope is not lost! The article also offers a five step plan to get through this:
Twitter BLEW UP. Authors, publishing giants,bloggers, newspapers, aspiring writers, readers, and agents, were tweeting, retweeting, and hashtagging like no one's business. The satirical #romancekills hash-tag seems to have been started by author Jason Pinter. There was a little miscommunication at first as some people thought the actual death of romance was being advocated instead of just a heavy dose of sarcasm. Some of my favorite tweets included:Break the Addiction
Commit to stop reading romance books
Commit to working on your relationship, if you're in one
Find a different hobby, or find a new genre of books to enjoy
Invest in your real life, not fictional characters
"Mom, do you ever get that not-so-fresh feeling?" "Yes. From romance novels." #romancekills -@SmartBitchesOn Wednesday, the saga continued:
Is it too much to ask to meet a nice, cute girl with a good job, great sense of humor, who occasionally turns into a were-cat? #romancekills -@JasonPinter
And now you'll never be satisfied by your husband again & you'll die cracked out on romance, alone in an alley #romancekills -@maiseyyates
So they say #romancekills, but it’s the little death. C’est bon, la petite mort! -@BrennaAubrey
Both the New Yorker and the Guardian picked up the story on Wednesday. The Guardian took a less than abrasive approach, while The New Yorker (in typical New Yorker fashion) seized the opportunity to remind us what is and is not acceptable reading. I'll give you a hint. Romance? Ain't it. They also turned their pretentious little noses up at chick-lit (again). But I'll hand it to them that they seemed to struggle with taking the article entirely seriously.
And it also came out the the story is more or less plagiarized from this guest column on tucsoncitizen.com in 2007. To quote the Romance Novel TV, "Oh the irony." And to quote Author Susan Wiggs "So not only is she an idiot, she's a plagiarist as well."
Here's my take:
1) I was way more annoyed at the pomposity of the big-named New Yorker than this little nobody's rant
2) I like romance novels. I also like myseries, young adult, fantasy, science fiction, chick-lit, and more. And I don't suffer from the delusion that any of those things are going to happen in my life.
3) I think the woman's freaking insane.
4) I love the #romancekills tweets... keep 'em coming!
5) I feel I should care more about this as an aspiring author... but romance novels are always going to sell and really as long as the readers are happy, I don't care what this woman thinks.
6) And plagiarizing on such a topic? Lazy. Just. Plain. Lazy.