Some romances have “communicated the message that women have power, that women deserve to be loved, to be respected, and to have their needs and wishes fulfilled in a healthy relationship,” as Eileen Dreyer puts it. That cannot be denied.
But it is not the responsibility of any genre to communicate any message at all. Not romance, not mystery, not fantasy, not science fiction.
Fiction is about story. In romance, it’s a story about two people getting together. Therefore writers of romance have a responsibility to provide a story that is about two people getting together. Full stop.
Frankly, I think it’s a moot point, because nowadays, 99.99999% romances don’t have a scene like the one in Claiming The Courtesan. Therefore any romance reader who does read Claiming The Courtesan probably has read or will read dozens more romances that do, to some extent, communicate that message.
Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I must say this RTB post is pretty timely: Kimber Chin’s A Romance Novel Fable.
I think it’s a wonderful post.