You know, I dreaded writing posts for these last few letters of the alphabet, but they’re turning out to be some of the most important.
Whenever we think of value, majority of the time we think of a thing or person’s monetary worth. In romance, the same can sometimes be true. Others constantly try to tell us what our value is. How much we’re paid an hour, how much they think our books, opinions, time is worth. We can be used by those who seek to use us to obtain their own goals. This happens in any genre.
Where romance takes this premise – our value is based on our view of ourselves. Our value is based on our view of ourselves. No matter what anyone says about our worth, we will always, always, weigh that against the strength of the value we have placed on ourselves.
Romances have taken a turn in the last decade or so. The woman doesn’t necessarily need the man in order to make it in the world. The woman has just as important of a career, just as important of a life, just as important of a value as the man does in the book. These new heroines aren’t afraid to tell you either.
Take these next statements in context (as in I’m a woman who has read romances for 30 years now) – For many years, most main-stream romances focused on the fact that the woman needed a man in her life to be complete. Take that a step further…the woman needed children in order to be complete or to be a part of a family. Even in contemporary romances, the woman’s value was more in what she provided in terms of children or property rather than her personal value.
More and more, books are letting women know that they are valuable as. they. are. Children are an addition to the family. The love interest is a partner. If one is weak, they don’t stay that way. Their partners help them find their value and it becomes part of the unit. This is why I have a problem lately with the television shows, movies, and books that have a strong female lead and weak, seemingly worthless men in the supporting role. I don’t understand why it’s so difficult to portray men and women as having equal value.
Our perception of our self value is the most important key. Romances are pushing that more and more. And it needs to continue in all media. We can’t be true partners or achieve unity without first knowing, and being okay with, our self value.
Do you agree?