Shopping Around: Feminine Culture and the Pursuit of Pleasure

New York and London
Publication year

See in particular Chapter 3, 'A Dream of Thee,' pages 67-104, which has two sections: 'The Erotic Gag: Reading the Category Romance' and 'Alibis and Cover Stories: Pornography, History, Race, and the Category Romance'.

Radnor argues that

the romance as a genre is built upon a silencing of the feminine voice - a transformation of the feminine into a voice that speaks not for itself but for its "master" as a subjected voice. [...] The principal object of the romance might be best summarized as the transformation of this loss of "voice" into a dream of love and happiness. The primacy accorded the romance as the articulation of this "dream" within feminine culture is perhaps one of the most striking symptoms of the "subjection" of the feminine. (67)

and that "The woman as reader is silenced in much the same way as is [...] the heroine of romance" (72). After discussing the masochism of the romance heroine, Radnor suggests that in addition the romance "formula [...] values geographical accuracy while propagating the myths of the white woman's universal desirability and the superiority of Western European civilization" (102).

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