Today I was reading a romance from 1964 in which nothing goes further than kisses between the hero and heroine, but when she's abducted by the hero's brother overnight she discounts the threat of rape on the grounds that "I may be young and inexperienced, but I'm not ignorant. I've always understood that rape is virtually impossible unless the victim is partially willing" (Seale 174). Since nothing is said or done to prove her wrong, this totally incorrect statement about rape goes unchallenged in the novel.
Another rape myth I came across recently was expressed in a comment left in response to a recent review at the Smart Bitches': "what puzzles me, regardless of societal context, is the notion that a woman being forced to have sex would have an orgasm. Orgasms are not just physical" (Laurel). This incorrect statement didn't go unchallenged. However, as Orangehands concluded,
society has so enforced rape culture that rape in its more subtle shades can show up and slip by without any acknowledgment for what it is. Sometimes because the characters themselves don't see it that way, sometimes because we read the scene from the [point of view of the] pursued instead of the pursuer (and so we can read his/her desire while she's saying no), and sometimes because it's just that subtle and we don't know to call it rape, and sometimes because we have been taught not to think about it as rape.--------
The way that Cooks Source acquired some of its content came in for considerable scrutiny and criticism recently in the romance community. Well, it's a new week, and there are more allegations of plagiarism, this time directed at George Bush:
it appears that Decision Points is not so much the former president's memoirs as other people's cut and pasted memories.-----
Bush's account is littered with anecdotes seemingly ripped off from other books and articles, even borrowing without attribution – some might say plagiarising – from critical accounts the White House had previously denounced as inaccurate.
The Huffington Post noted a remarkable similarity between previously published writings and Bush's colourful anecdotes from events at which he had not been present. (McGreal)
American politicians expressed their interest in the pursuit of happiness a long time ago, but in the UK the
government is poised to start measuring people's psychological and environmental wellbeing, bidding to be among the first countries to officially monitor happiness.I suppose I can tangentially relate this one to romance too, since according to the Beatles "money can't buy me love" and "all you need is love."
Despite "nervousness" in Downing Street at the prospect of testing the national mood amid deep cuts and last week's riot in Westminster, the Office of National Statistics will shortly be asked to produce measures to implement David Cameron's long-stated ambition of gauging "general wellbeing".
Countries such as France and Canada are looking at similar initiatives as governments around the world come under pressure to put less store on conventional economic measures of prosperity such as gross domestic product. (Stratton)
I've come to expect that Harlequin Mills & Boon Greek tycoons, however, will invariably get both money and love. I was rather amused, though, to discover that one of them also ensures there's a lavish supply of suitably symbolic bath toys for his secret baby:
Maribel watched Leonidas roll out a convoy of boats for his son's bath-time entertainment. For a Greek tycoon, whose fortune was based on a vast shipping empire, she supposed an entire fleet was a natural choice. (Graham 117)---
- Graham, Lynne. The Greek Tycoon's Defiant Bride. Richmond, Surrey: Harlequin Mills & Boon, 2007.
- McGreal, Chris. "George Bush accused of borrowing from other books in his memoirs." The Guardian Sunday 14 November 2010.
- Seale, Sara. To Catch a Unicorn. 1964. London: Mills & Boon, 1975.
- Stratton, Allegra. "Happiness index to gauge Britain's national mood." The Guardian Sunday 14 November 2010.