I used to feel guilty about calling myself a feminist, what with my five hist-ro book a week habit. But after reading scores of books and pondering the matter (plus writing about it, too!) I have decided that feminism and historical romance are not mutually exclusive.
Here are my top ten reasons why:
1. In hist-ro, women are the subjects not the objects.
2. In hist-ro, its all about visual pleasure…of the female. We get to gawk at the hard bodied hero like never before.
3. In hist-ro, we love women with substance. The best heroines are brassy, brash and bullheaded.
4. In hist-ro, the men can cry, say “I love you” and do all sorts of “feminine” things without shame.
5. In hist-ro, characters often rewrite history by being open minded. Whether its accepting a gay friend, speaking out against slavery, or expressing a desire to work, the hist-ro world is full of forward thinking gals that aren’t afraid to be themselves.
6. In hist-ro, the heroines often deal with wanting more than the status quo. They are women who “want it all” and often achieve it!
7. In hist-ro, the heroines use their brains not their sexuality to get ahead.
8. In hist-ro, women are not afraid to seek out pleasure and fulfillment. Guilt and shame need not apply!
9. In hist-ro, more often than not there is a strong reliance on the “sisterhood”. While cat fights do occur they are usually balanced by other relationships with sisters, mothers, and friends who help out and support our heroines.
10. Written by women, for women, about women. What could be more feminist than that?