Women and Heterosexual Love: Complicity, Resistance and Change

Publication year

Romantic love has been somewhat neglected by feminists, despite the considerable attention that has recently been paid to its fictional representation. Research on women as readers and viewers of romance, however, does reveal that it has considerable emotional resonance for them. In order fully to appreciate both the appeal of such fiction and the place of romantic love in women's daily lives we need an analysis of love itself, the ways in which it is made sense of as an emotion and how it figures in women's understanding of their own and others' relationships. In particular, rather than treating romantic desires as given, we should consider the ways in which they are culturally constructed. (49)