Bringing it on

I love my writers group. The members give good comments, and I get a lot out of reading and analyzing their work.

Every now and then, though…

A woman said the other night that “feminists” would be angry about the name “Hard Core Grrls” for the website that supports Lara’s undercover operation. “It sounds like a porn site,” she said.

And so it does.

On purpose.

The site’s owner, Gina Wray, chose the name to “reclaim” something she believes to have been stolen from women. The term “hard core” isn’t specific to the porn industry. It also means “devoted” and “steadfast.” Why would feminists object?

When I was kicking around the idea of this blog, a friend said I should discuss what I feel my “male perspective” has to offer the genre—and how it might cause me to struggle with it.

I have some ideas about the second suggestion. I’m not sure about the first.

Every woman who writes romance does not bring the same things to the genre just because she’s a woman. For example, one publisher’s guidelines for authors say pedophilia, bestiality, “rape as titillation” and “bodily functions as sexual activity” are verboten. Another lists levels of “heat” to give a head’s up to buyers who might not appreciate reading, for example, LGBT fetish scenes with anal sex.

Since almost all of the writers who submit are women, it’s telling that the publishers feel the need to articulate these as taboo. It means that what some women “bring to the genre” isn’t the same as what other some other women bring.

So where does that leave me?

The same friend pointed out that Fast Lane might appeal to men as well as women. Let’s see…it has hot women, hot cars and (at least some) hot sex. Things guys love.

Sure, I’ve struggled with some of the “woman” things. For example, my egregious ignorance of the dress-sizing system has been called to my attention. I’ll tell that story in full later.

For now, I can say one thing I intend not to bring to the genre is the idea that all women think alike. Feminists included.

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