Writer Sarah Madison posted yesterday about whether or not she should jump ship and switch genres. Currently, she writes m/m. She’s considering m/f.
While the m/m genre is strong, it’s definitely a niche market, and I’m guessing most gay men have never heard of these books, much less read any. They’re mostly bought by straight women, if the rumors are true.
Not only that, they’re mostly written by straight women. Isn’t that interesting!
Let’s look at what we have here: Straight women writing male on male books for other straight women to read. Aside from the irony, what might this mean?
I think Sarah hit on it to some degree when she said, in a m/m book, you get to write/read about two equal partners in a relationship. Although some writers still mirror the old romantic notion of having one big strong man take up with a more reticent smaller one–thereby reinforcing the bodice ripper’s “strong man, weak woman in jeopardy” trope–generally, you get two guys on equal footing.
Imagine what that must feel like to strong independent women, to read about two people in an equal relationship. Because despite all the inroads made by women in the last fifty years, don’t fool yourselves. They are still second-class citizens.
Sweeping generalization time, and while there are always welcome exceptions, I’m talking about the majority. In a het relationship, women may work full-time, but they are still the partner who does most of the cleaning and cooking and shopping. They get paid less. They often get left with the responsibility of raising the kids when their partner decides to trade up or go find himself, at which point, he may or may not cough up child support.
In short, women still get the short end of the stick. I’m amazed more of them aren’t screaming for gender revolution. Recently, the GOP voted against equal pay for women doing the same jobs as men. Yes, you read that right. They voted against equal pay for women. Apparently, it’s not enough to give birth, raise children, work full time and take care of goddamn everyone, they are also not supposed get equal pay. (When the Violence Against Women Act lapsed, the GOP refused to reauthorize it, but that’s another damn story. If you are female and still voting Republican, you’re screwing yourself, sweetie. Reconsider at the next election.)
Many, many female readers are still enjoying traditional m/f romances. The sales numbers don’t lie. But more and more of them are finding their way to m/m, where relationships are far more equal than any they’re liable to enjoy.
… And m/m is hot. It’s different. It’s exciting and illicit and naughty and all those other cool things that make you tingle between the legs. Ain’t nothing wrong with that.
Should Sarah jump ship? Read her blog. Then take her polls at the end. I know how much you love ticky boxes and she has several.
Happy Monday, everyone!