I don’t know if you know this about me, but one of my side gigs is that I write romance novels. Basically, once a month I crank out a page-turner. Well, maybe every other month at this point.
I wink, I nudge. I nod. Yes, I write them. Yes, you may have read them, if you read that sort of thing. I am a ghostwriter, so my name is not attached to the product anywhere and someone would be crushed if I gave you any identifying information, because they have built a career out of selling my words.
I’m mostly okay with that, my priority this year and last has been stable home-life available for kids. Well, lets make that the past five years. Their dad has really gotten his shit together and is more available for them now, so I can really and truly look around at what I’m doing and what I want to be doing.
One of the things in these books, that I have the most difficulty with, is the demand for men who are one-dimensional. Everytime I write something else, it gets kicked back to me.
Today’s example: My man gave and received too many hugs, and didn’t do a distanced enough, ‘thanks bro.’ because he actually just laughed, shook his head and appreciated it.
What is driving that, ladies? Why is this ‘Alpha Male’ thing still kicking around? We need a man who can protect us in a knife fight? Or throw their body down in front of a charging bull? Pay for all the dinners? Drive the nice car? Fuck us like rockstars? Make us feel like dainty princesses no matter how large marge we are? Make us feel safe despite all the evidence to the contrary?
Let’s look at the reality of our lives, shall we? The ACTUAL men who do that kind of shit? Can you talk with them? Laugh? (we must leave jason momoa out of this conversation, okay? that guy busts up my whole understanding of the universe.) I know lots of men who consider themselves Alpha, and honestly, a ‘REAL’ Alpha is absolutely not threatened by anyone, or any emotion, and is pretty confident in their own skin. (so says I.)
All this is to say, I’m crushed by the continuing need for characters that are not nuanced. WE are all SO COMPLICATED. There is nothing else. Even in a romance, isn’t a man who is complicated and charming and recognizes his feminine side and is unthreatened by challenge, isn’t THAT the guy?
- i don’t know, man.
- i don’t know Man.
See what i did there?
Cracking up fondly,
1 thought on “Masculine and manly.”
Romance novels are women’s pornography, and your boss has her idea of what will sellJudy. Sounds like you would like to write an actual novel that is more true to life and can explore the human condition.