Bad Math: “One of the White House’s most consequential environmental rollbacks may be in self-inflicted legal danger,” writes Robinson Meyer. The administration’s clean-cars rollback plan is riddled with literal miscalculations. Many of the blaring headlines about a major new World Wildlife Fund report are mischaracterizing how many species humans have been responsible for wiping out. The reality is not exactly that “humanity has wiped out 60 percent of animals since 1970,” though the real news is still grim, writes Ed Yong.
Romance novels have a spotty record when it comes to depicting relationships of consent: their plots often deal in aggressive pursuits or situations where a “No” implies “Yes.”
While many romance novels woo readers with the guarantee of a happy ending, the genre has a fraught relationship with how exactly its characters end up there. The most infamous subcategory of romance, so-called bodice-rippers, first gained massive popularity during the 1970s with stories of helpless women saved from the tedium of their lives by the love—and overpowering libido—of lustful, virile men….
Concerns about the genre’s depiction of love and sex have received renewed attention as coverage of the #MeToo movement shifts to acknowledge the role that cultural products play in shaping consumers’ understanding of consent. In a November 2017 interview with The Washington Post, Hillary Clinton dismissed romance as a genre full of “women being grabbed and thrown on a horse and ridden off into the distance,” which she cited as an example of “how men often are very aggressive toward women who love it” in art.
In the years since bodice-rippers first rose to prominence within the genre and the marketplace, romance writers have been grappling with the questions raised by these sorts of assumptions about their work.