Sunday, September 25, 2011

Beyond Fabio

Romance novel heroines have drastically changed over the past ten years. The traditional princesses, governesses, and milk-maidens have been replaced by vampire-hunters, space assassins, and shape-shifters.

The transition of female characters from demure and passive to strong and capable could be viewed as a progressive step for portrayal of women in literature...if the bodice-ripping and bosom-heaving story lines weren't so largely the same.

Rather now, instead of seeking everlasting love with a Viking Prince while overcoming the evil intentions of a cruel stepfather, our heroines are seeking everlasting love with a Werewolf Lord while overcoming the evil intentions of the mutant zombies. They've upped all the stakes but haven't changed the dynamics.

Certainly I'm not advocating that we turn to the historical fiction/fantasy genre for our positive female role models, but I know if I was responsible for saving the residents of Zarton 6 from an intergalactic space drought, I'd like a few more resources other than just my time-traveling warlock lover.