I guess it’s a topic that will never die; should women be writing m/m romance stories when it’s perceived there’s no way in the world they can ever relate to their characters? It’s hit the social media pages … again, and the usual answers and detractors coming out of the woodwork with their individual two cents each.
Man, if I had all those two cents, I wouldn’t have to work again. It’s a topic that will never have a satisfactory answer and that’s okay. I write m/m romance stories, I write m/f romance stories and I write, well, science fiction romance stories where sometimes there isn’t a clear gender of the characters.
I will read a novel, novella, short story, or poem regardless of who wrote it. What does or doesn’t dangle between the legs of a writer makes no difference as long as it is a good story, has a good story to tell. And that’s the way it should be; how a writer expresses him/herself does not depend on how they identify as a biological gender.
Would we even be having this conversation if we were talking about fantasy, thriller, or comedy genres? Of course not! But for some reason, for some people, to think that women are ‘taking over’ the m/m romance genre is a debatable topic.
It’s sad that some writers have to hide behind gender-less initials or create on-line personas other than their own to just have respect in the writing world. (I’m not saying all pen-names are due to this issue, but from what I’ve observed, a good percentage are.)
One of the most famous examples not in the m/m romance world is JK Rowling. Thinking that young boys wouldn’t read a book written by a woman, her publishers wanted her to publish under two initials. That traditional large publishers still think that both saddens and angers me.
Will the day come any author in any genre can be themselves without blowback from some faction, however small? Probably not. But hopefully we will reduce those small-minded factions over time.