Making Rape Romantic: A Study of Rosemary Rogers' "Steve and Ginny" Novels

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We see Rogers' novels (and other bodice rippers) as arguing for a redefinition of rape that supports patriarchal and oppressive attitudes. Rape in these novels is shown not as an act of violence, not as a physical assault with real physical and mental consequences, but as an act of welcomed passion. The act leaves no marks that do not heal overnight, only a feeling of wonder and shame at the power of the hero's lust and the intensity of the heroine's response to it. These novels do recognize the anger and frustration that accompanies many of the relationships between men and women in this culture, but the resolutions they offer do not free women from oppressive positions. The novels offer women a way of explaining the threats of and acts of verbal and physical violence that are a part of so many male-female interactions, a way that does not identify male violence as unacceptable. (319)