Tag Archives: dark romance

Romance is political. Period.

I wrote a political book. Not a “well, I’ll try to toe the line between subversive and mainstream, and try to seed new ideas in quietly” balancing act, but a make-your-eyes-bleed polemic diatribe of a story.
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Political things are not always well-received in our pop culture, including in romance. “I read to escape.” “I’m tired of the negativity.” And so on and so on.
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But can I let you in on a secret?
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Romance is political.
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Love is political.
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It was when women were expected to marry strangers for stability or economic need, and come to discover good traits in their partners after the wedding. In such an environment, a romance that showed a woman that she shouldn’t have to be unhappy was a deeply political act of rebellion against those who would rather she bore her distress in silence.
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It was when the Lovings were forbidden from marrying by laws against miscegenation. When the “white slavery” panic created laws such as the Mann Act to punish interracial couples by portraying men of color and foreigners as evil, lustful deceivers who would lure good (white) men’s wives into prostitution and sin.
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It was when same-sex couples were forbidden from marriage. (Or are, if a new Supreme Court and Congress overturns that precedent). In many areas, small public displays of affection such as handholding or kissing are still deeply political acts.
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For a woman to read a book that tells her that she deserves someone amazing who enriches her personal growth is a deeply political act in a world in which half the population still thinks she should be legally required to be submissive to her male partner.
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For a woman to read a book that explores her sexuality, and treats her sexual wants as relevant and necessary to the success of a relationship is a deeply political act in a world in which women’s sexuality is still held up for public contempt and harassment.
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For a woman- especially a woman of color- to read a book in which people of color are portrayed as desirable, it is a political statement. And the reverse. When we only consume entertainment showing white couples, or straight couples, it is a political statement.
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For millions of women to spend billions on books that affirm these values despite being treated like a cultural punchline is a deeply political statement.
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So yes. I wrote something political. If I’m lucky I’ll never write something so political again.
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And by choosing to read it, or similar political works, or not, you’re doing something just as political, too.
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Anarchist’s Lullaby is now available for preorder, with a March release.

Interview with Michelle Browne: Consent, Abuse, Trauma, and Dark Romance

I’m a little late in sharing this, but several months back, around the time that my editor and I were hammering out revisions on Edgeplay, we had a very long conversation-turned-interview on the direction of romance, and the ways it intersects with the world around us. The links were shared on my facebook and such at the time, but I forgot to share them here. And there’s some really meaty stuff. Because I’m apparently a sucker for punishment and tough conversations. Samples and links below.

Continue reading Interview with Michelle Browne: Consent, Abuse, Trauma, and Dark Romance