Monday, November 12, 2012

I hate romances written by men

I admit hate is a word you should use carefully, which I clearly have not done. I don't exactly hate the books or the male authors. What I really mean is that men do not write romance the same as women do, and I prefer the women's way.

For instance, I read this book last week by James Patterson (a romantic crime mystery) in which the female protagonist just LOVED that the male protagonist (who DIED in the end--hello!) had soft hands.

Is there a woman in the world, I ask you, nay, in the history of the world, who has ever wanted a man with soft hands? I could understand it if maybe Patterson had meant gentle hands, but I'm pretty sure he just meant soft. SOFT! I could understand it, too, if maybe this character had some psychological need for the hands to be soft, such as her last boyfriend had sandpaper surgically grafted onto his hands in the place of skin and try though she might, she just couldn't get past her aversion to road rash (because of her father's velcro shirt that he wouldn't even take off to wash). Then sure, THAT would be plausible, but I didn't really get that vibe from this supposedly tough police detective female protagonist.

It is possible, I'll be honest (hey, I'm fair), that I noticed it (mentioned more than once--hello!) because the narrator over-iterated it. But is this what men really think women want? Because it's not.

I am a halfway intelligent person, and so I do realize this is an over-generalized example. It's just another case of men not understanding women, but the same could be argued against books written by women about men. We just don't get you--what motivates you and how it is different from what motivates us. And fine, yes, there are some woman, probably many, who have the ill-fated disease of being attracted to men whose only definable qualities are that they lotion their hands and have never used a hammer.

Thousands of years ago, over 98.4% of women perferred men with calloused hands to men with soft hands. It's what the scientists term natural selection. Studies show that men of today with creamy, lotiony hands would not have lasted past the age of fifteen in the wilds of the Upper Paleolithic, and would certainly have been among the last chosen as mating partners.

Alright then, kidding aside, I'm not saying romantic additions to plots written by men are poorly done, just differently. I generally don't feel my emotional investment in characters is worth it in romances written by men. I'm not saying I have read every book in the world. I, like anyone else, can only speak from my own experience.

So what is your experience? Think Nicolas Sparks pulls it off? ConsiderThe Da Vinci Code. Did the romantic spark between what's his name and Sophie work for you? Do you think a romantic element contributes to novels in genres that are not romances? Or does it detract?

2 comments:

Heather said...

Oh Misty...you make me laugh! What a great read. And I totally agree. It reminds me of that wonderful classic song by Brad Paisley "I'm Still a Guy" when you talked about creamy, lotiony hands. I love that song! :) "These days there’s dudes getting facials
Manicured waxed and botoxed
But with deep spray on tans and creamy lotioney hands
You can’t grip a tackle box
With all of these men lining up to get neutered
It’s hip now to be feminized I don’t highlight my hair
I’ve still got a pair
Yeah, honey I’m still a guy

My eyebrows ain’t plucked
Theres a gun in my truck
Thank God I’m still a guy"

Thanks for the laugh this morning!

Misti Rainwater-Lites said...

Yeah, guys with soft hands suck.
I'm a writer. I'm a better writer than any man I know. My hands could be a lot softer. Perhaps I should make the trek to Bath & Body Works tomorrow. Warm Vanilla Sugar is my favorite.