The Wheeler Centre
View all episodes in this series
The F Word: Romance
What role might romance play in rewriting the latent sexism embedded in our collective subconscious, over hundreds or even thousands of years? Can it teach women to discover (and ask for) what they want in bed? Join host Maxine Beneba Clarke as we get comfortable and explore it all, with speakers including Kate Belle, Kat Mayo and Beth Driscoll.
Romance is so retro: its pages are full of delicate women and dominant men, rape fantasies and senseless smut. Right? Wrong. Since the 1980s, romance has undergone a quiet revolution, unseen by the oblivious mainstream publishing industry. Women have become the subjects rather than the objects of desire in many romance narratives, more often choosing and using their men than the other way round. As opposed to mainstream pornography, romance is an arena where female desire is centred on enjoying pleasure rather than performing it. And while traditional publishing serves a patriarchal literary meritocracy, romance is run by and for women … and as digital self-publishing continues to blossom, it’s become increasingly democratic.