I asked my husband to read the first 5 chapters of my work-in-progress. It's an Interracial Romance set in Tokyo.
This is what he said, "Wow. You're writing improves with each book. It's like I'm in Tokyo. However, you should make the hero less Rapey."
I was blown away. "What the fuck? Rapey? Please explain this."
So he did. "You have this guy, invading the heroine's space upon meeting her, running his fingers through her hair, saying things that no rational male would say to any female he doesn't know, and. . .the guy is just creepy."
"No." I laughed. "That's romance."
"Hell no! That's rapey."
"Look. I've read tons of books where the Alpha Hero is a bit more than the typical guy."
"Then you've read a lot of romance novels with Rapey guys."
I'm a hard headed person so I made my darling husband act out the whole scene right there in our living room.
I was the heroine. He was the hero.
We're in a Tokyo soapland (a brothel that bathes and provides sexual services to rich men). My hubby is a suspected yakuza gang leader. I'm a fast-talking fiction writer.
We say the lines and do the actions.
I'm totally creeped out.
What did I learn?
1- I need to re-write the freaking novel.
2- I should act out all scenes with my husband!
What do I need to learn?
Dear god why did I find the hero so attractive. He was perfect when he lived in black and white on my laptop screen? Out in the real world, not acceptable.
but why was this jerk off acceptable in the story?
I have no idea. . .maybe I'm a sicko. . .maybe Rapey is in now. . .maybe I should change that. . .maybe I should not. . .
However, I'm not alone.
If you do a google search of the words "Rape. Hero. Novel" what you will get are TONS of goodreads lists and blog posts on many romance novels with rape in it.
Here's some of the lists with a link for all you naughty readers out there:
Romances with Forced Seduction or Rape by the Hero
Popular Rape by Hero Novels
...and we can't just let the guys have all the fun, can we? No way. Check out this great blog post by HeroesandHeartbreakers.com.
Waistcoat Rippers: Heroines that Rape the Heroes
So where am I going with discussion?
I have no idea.
I was just forced to realize that somewhere deep within my creative soul, I enjoy writing Rapey Heroes. I'm vowing to change this.
I'm supposed to be a freaking feminist! Can feminists love Rapey Heroes? I doubt it.
but before I beat myself up, I need to understand why these novels are so popular and why have they captivated even me
I mean there are a whole bunch of women and men out there who enjoy a Rapey hero from time to time.
So now I'm asking you all to help me understand this fascination with Rapey Heroes. .
Why or why not?
How far is too far for a Rapey Hero?
Would it be better if the Heroine raped the Hero?
Is Rape culture in romance, good or bad?