Elizabeth: Bodice Rippers

In last Wednesday’s post I mentioned a virtual panel discussion called “Bodice Rippers in the #MeToo Era” that I was planning to attend.  The event, which was sponsored by the Cary Library in Lexington, Mass., included authors Loretta Chase, Sarah McLean, and Falguni Kolthari. It was well worth listening to and, if you missed it, a recording can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quNLqVx3HCM&feature=youtu.be

The panelists were a combination of ages and cultures, and Lucia Macro (Vice-President and Executive Editor at Wm Morrow/Avon Books) was thrown into the mix for good measure.  One of the topics the panel delved into was why the bodice-ripping/ rape-y fantasy stories were so popular in the 80s and 90s and how they reflected society’s attitudes toward relationships and sex.  The consensus was that the stories weren’t just written for entertainment value and escapism, they provided a mechanism for women to explore sex on paper, in a way that would have been unacceptable in real-life.  For some women, they continue to play that role today. Continue reading