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Official Website for Contemporary Romance Author Alicia Renee Kline

Double Standard

I write fiction, but it’s fairly realistic.  I tackle some pretty serious subject matters in between the snarkiness.  My characters have gone through some deep stuff:  death, disownment, financial crises, drug and alcohol abuse, legal issues, you get the idea.  I can’t even openly discuss one of the major plot points in my new release without giving away a huge secret – or potentially crying – so we’ll just focus on something innocent and non-controversial.

Let’s talk about sex.

Specifically, the double standard that exists in regards to men and women even in a fictional setting.  It’s perfectly okay for a guy to be a player, but when a lady does the same, she’s labeled something not so nice.

I’m a contemporary romance author.  Sex plays a part in my books – I won’t lie.  And while it’s not uncommon to have a heartbreaker type alpha male as the lead, a woman filling that role is a bit harder to find.  So I wrote one.

Two of my main characters are brother and sister.  Same upbringing, same swoon-worthy attractiveness.  Same predilection for one-night stands or at least back-to-back revolving door relationships.

Not surprisingly, the readers have spoken and have deemed him “adorable” and “almost too perfect”.  I agree with them on the adorable part, but I’m biased.  And he’s nowhere close to perfect (on purpose).  Mind you, this same guy went to jail for six months, had massive issues with drugs and alcohol and slept with 36 women before finding his true love.

Conversely, his sister single-handedly dealt with his incarceration, taking care of his house and personal affairs in his absence, driving him everywhere for years when his license was suspended (twice), all while earning a college degree and starting her own business.  She has a one-night stand vice, however.  Though her number isn’t revealed, she does state that 37 is “child’s play”, so it’s more.  By quite a few.  What have I heard about her?  She’s “selfish”.  Never mind that she’s still in love with the person to whom she gave her virginity (and he with her).

And this is from an audience who is largely female.  My male readers haven’t chimed into the discussion yet.  Maybe they’ll think she’s cool as hell.

By the end of the story, most everyone warms up to her.  But by then, she’s turned her back on picking up people at bars and giving out fake names.  It is a love story, after all.

I’m not surprised by the general consensus.  Society has raised us to believe that men are attractive when they have notches on their bedpost.  We like the bad boy, all while pretending we’re the good girls.  Guys openly brag about their conquests, while some women feel ashamed if they’ve had previous relations before finding “the one”.  But let’s think about it.  If guys are running around conquesting all over the place, there has to be a female population participating.

I guess they’re just quiet about it.

So what are your thoughts?  Are alpha females attractive, too?  Or is there a stigma attached that can’t be overcome?

 

 

 

  1. 8/18/2014 | 2:56 pm Permalink

    I think there is still a stigma, but I’m also seeing it slowly fade away here in Toronto.

    As a reader I’m very interested in books that push against these kind of social conventions. I like to be challenged by what I read.

    • 8/18/2014 | 3:19 pm Permalink

      Hi Lydia,

      Thank you for stopping by!

      It’s interesting to see the response I’ve gotten so far on this. For as much as people want see strong female leads in books, it doesn’t quite carry over to this particular aspect.

      The people who have read the first two books in the series don’t have an issue with her. But those that start in on her book are a bit more harsh.