My simple answer is yes.
When I began to write this series it was to turn my post-election angst into something that would take rough political feelings and turn them into story and to mold characters that could fight off the bad and fall in love. I think that now that the world is a little more terrifying we’re all looking for a happy ending. To me writing can help us remember that despite the fear that a lot of people are experiencing right now, there is still hope and love in the world. Romance novels in particular come with a happily-ever-after and are perfect for lifting spirits.
The reality is, the awful things happening haven’t stopped people falling in love. In fact, I think that tough situations like this can help push people together. Politics do play a part in our every day lives and political affiliations are one of the core values we might value in a partner. Politics, whether we like it or not, play a huge part in life and therefore can’t be excluded from romance.
Another reason that I think that there is a place for politics in romance is that there are real world issues in politics that the romance reading community shouldn’t ignore. We can’t in good faith have our sex positive heroines and our steamy sex scenes while turning a blind eye to things like birth control access. I also certainly don’t think we can feature romances with same sex couples if we don’t talk about the real issues of marriage equality.
Romance, from who we can marry, to how we plan our families, is inherently political.
Even if a good romance novel is our escape from the current reality, we owe it to ourselves and each other to not ignore political issues that affect us in this space. Romance novels are a largely woman powered industry: often with women writers and largely a female audience. I think that because this is a female dominated space, it is particularly ripe for showing our support for women’s rights and having a strong pro-woman political stance.
Whether you are a person that uses birth control, or a person that benefits from its existence, we need to be mindful to not ignore important issues. I am choosing to use my writing to indirectly stand up for these things while still delivering a story that will leave you with good feelings afterwards.
I would also like to add, that I don’t think politics NEED to be a huge part of romance novels, I am simply defending my choice to include political issues as a large part of my current series.
Of course, this is just my opinion. I would love to hear others thoughts on this issue. Leave a comment below!
If you’d like to sample the series I’m talking about, you can always get the prequel for free here.