As an author of romance herself, Alisha Rai spoke in an interview about her experiences incorporating feminism into her writing. In her novels, her lead female is the one in power, such as being a billionaire with a huge company in the palm of her hands. Matter of fact, most of her female leads take on some form of dominant position (and no, I’m not talking about in the bedroom!) where she is “overpowering” her male counterpart. That’s the not the usual trope you see. From reading many of the romance novels on the market today, one would think that women like to be controlled and compliant. But, authors like Rai are telling us that’s not always the case and why it shouldn’t always be that way.
In a way, romance novels can be feminist works even without Rai’s juicy switch. Romance is a special genre already. But, we can revolutionize the genre even more by adding in more feminist elements to the stories and characters. This is important if we want to keep the genre evolving and relatable. It will also keep the genre ‘special,’ for more than one reason. One writer points out why romance is special, in 7 ways:
- Just like Rai’s protagonists, other authors choose to include strong female protagonists.
- Romance is a genre filled with female/women’s voices.
- Women’s needs are placed first. Inside the bedroom and out.
- The genre allows women to explore their fantasies.
- Regardless of how she is in real life, a romance novel allows a woman to take control of her sexuality.
- Romance allows topics that have been outcast as “taboo” to be explored in depth.
- And finally, it is a genre which allows many voices to get their foot in the door.
Seeing women that have it all may be refreshing and encouraging to read, but if none of that appeals to you, there will always be authors writing about the classic romance between two individuals- which we definitely don’t want to lose either.