I've seen it time and time again throughout my time as both a romance reader and writer. It's the giggles when you tell teenagers you're reading a romance novel, the resounding "ohhhh..." from adults when you tell them the same thing. It's the less enthusiastic congratulations when you tell people your first published novel is a love story.
And it's absolutely ridiculous.
For some reason unknown to me, romance is seen as less intellectually significant and culturally important as other types of genres. Romance books are noted as mindless fluff or trashy mom porn when the vast majority of them are anything but. There are those books, of course, as I have read my generous share so I'm not entirely uninformed. But they're still just as enjoyable as any other genre. If it makes the reader happy and gives them an escape, why is it so easily written off?
Romance novels, to me, are an exploration into the most vulnerable and truthful part of a person.
They are as psychological and important as any other type of genre, as romance tells stories about one of life's greatest emotional roller coasters. It shows how a basic and primal feeling can affect a person's world in unimaginable ways.
The emotions characters go through in love stories are as exciting to its readers as fight scenes are for fans of action stories. The thrill of romance may not be as obvious or straightforward as in other genres, but it has just as much impact.
Not only that, but romance can have just as much effect on today's culture as anything else. Love stories usually show the truest form of a character, shedding light on why some people are who they are. It opens people's minds to what someone else might be going through behind closed doors. Other genres do the same thing, of course, but it's as if it's written off for romance.
Romance novels are so much more than the stereotype they're given. Of course I may be incredibly biased because of my love for both reading and writing in this genre. But I still think what I've said here needs to be put out in the world. There needs to be a realization that there is nothing inferior about love stories, that they are just as mind provoking and exciting as any other type of story that people enjoy.
They can be sinful, they can be sappy. But romance novels can also be some of the greatest insights into a character's mind.
So, anyway, I hope this post doesn't seem like I'm rambling so that people will take me more seriously as a romance writer. I could care less about that, honestly. I just want people to realize that enjoying one genre doesn't make someone any smarter than the people who enjoy others.