At the time of this writing, on a sunny late June morning, I am on my way to my job at a financial firm where I work as an IT manager. As the only female in the IT team, it's not always easy but I manage to stand out from the crowd and hopefully make my superiors see the value women provide in the workplace.
At nights, I write romance novels, the kind that I've always thought would make a small difference in the lives of women, show strong female characters and their place in the world.
I read a lot and love nothing than discovering new authors. I try different genres: crime fiction, science fiction, thrillers, and many others. I also read different flavors of romance. Until I stumbled upon Dark Romance, and I was, well, stunned. Mind you, I am not talking about Fifty Shades type of soft porn books that seem child play in comparison with Dark Romance. Dark romance is... dark. Way too dark. Reading it is like going back to the dark ages, well before women had the rights to vote or even speak up when they wanted to order steak instead of fish. Dark romance tests all kinds of boundaries, and not of the best kind. But the worst kind of test it throws at us is to dig deep into female demographic and discover how many women "dig" this type of books. And it's quite shocking to discover just how many do.
At the time as I am speaking with our recruiters to send us more female candidates for our new jobs, thousands if not more women buy and read about being physically and emotionally abused by a "dark" prince that somehow miraculously at the end turns out to be a good guy, a guy these women fall in love with. A new type of a book boyfriend? Not even close. It's an addiction that goes deeper than these women's love for BDSM and let us take a temperature of where we are with the feminism movement in the US. Are we really ready to be talking about women's equality if these same women spend their free time reading dark romance books, written by women? If this is a type of a secret cult that thrives deep in our society, is it any wonder we can't break through the glass ceiling?
But I remain hopeful. I take it one day at a time and focus on the positives. Literature doesn't have to be boring if it promotes important ideas. There are lots of fun authors who take feminism to the next level in their books while making us laugh and cry, making us feel the type of dark emotions that encourage us to make a difference.