You’ve Got Male: How Rom-Coms Have Secretly Been Holding Women Back
Bethany Crystal
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I agree with you in general. However I think it all started with the “first” rom-com: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. That was a story about a woman from a lower social class suddenly going gaga over another man when she discovers the man is a gallant gentry, essentially! If rom-com gets its story beat from Pride and Prejudice, then of course it is not going to treat women as equal as men. Heck, even the romance in Romeo and Juliet I thought is very patriarchal and selfish.

And like pay equality, it is obvious that the free market is unlikely to change the imbalance any time soon. So writers need to seriously think about what feminist rom-com can/should be, without being shackled by the past. In essence, I think we need to seriously think about what a feminist idea of romance is like.