“Well, my taste in movies is pretty awesome,” she tells me.
“Yeah. I don’t do much of that girly crap.”
As usual, I bristle as she regales me with the list of things she doesn’t like. Silly romantic comedies. Sweeping, Victorian love stories.
And the things she does. Explosions. Crass jokes.
What I don’t ask her is just what it is about those things that is, “awesome.”
I don’t ask her why the things that (stereotypically speaking) men like are cool, while the things that women like are crap.
It’s a constant theme for me. At writing conferences, when people ask about my genre, I dissemble. I look down at my feet and blush and tell them, finally, reluctantly, “Romance.” And each time, I am already steeling myself. I am myself prepared to explain that what I like to write is crap.
And I don’t know why I do it.
The very concept of “Women’s Fiction” as a genre makes me crazy; “Men’s Fiction” is much less common of a label. More often, it’s simply fiction.
And what makes a story one for only women? Female main characters? Stories of love and family?
What about that that’s not for men?
“So what kind of stuff do you like?”
“Well, it depends,” I answer slowly.
And if it’s a good day … a day when I feel bold, perhaps I will answer honestly. Proudly.
“For the most part, I like crap.”