Sunday, February 28, 2010

Aversion: Mills & Boon

I have always had a latent aversion to this book series. The covers just put me off to begin with. Then their titles. Another thing I may not have noticed, which jump-started my aversion in the first place was the propagation of traditional gender norms upon which every single story line is based.

The books are highly branded and are often in a separate section of bookshops and libraries from the other paperback fiction and romance novels. Common themes are rich, ennobled and initially unattainable males (often of Mediterranean--especially Greek--origin), the desire of a character to have a baby (with this being thwarted by infertility or an unsympathetic husband), and the breakup and mending of a relationship.
Exactly. Why all the brothers have to be of European descent (and moneyed by the way) not only attempts to reinforce a notion that women are mostly in it for the money but also the idea that the heterosexual Caucasian male is the ultimate symbol for status, money and power.

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