It all started when I was on Lying to Meet You's Amazon page the other day and I saw I had a new review. A bad one (sob). Bad reviews are unavoidable, of course. You can't please everyone in the world, but this one has really been bugging me because the reviewer is clearly a romance fan and I reckon she read the book wanting a more traditional romance rather than a work of chick lit. The main problem she had with the story was a plot twist that would never fly in category romance.
I'm not just trying to rationalize here, I promise. The reason I know she's a romance fan is because she mentioned "the H and h" and "the H's parents" etc. which is the standard way for romance aficionados to identify "the hero and the heroine". I must admit, the H/h thing got stuck in my craw for a bit. There isn't really an "H" in my story, per se. You don't really know for sure who Chloe's "hero" is until close to the end.
Eventually, I got over being bummed out over the bad review, but this H/h thing has really been bugging me. Not my reader's use of it in the review, but the use of it in general. When you think about it, it's so blatantly sexist. "H" means "hero" and "h" means "heroine". Why is that?
Just look at these two letters side by side:
The big "H" is so strong and solid, whereas the little "h" looks a bit meek and fragile standing next to it. To me, the little "h" looks unfinished somehow, not fully developed. Definitely inferior. And this really bothers me. Perhaps I'm reading waaay too much into this (it's been known to happen) but I find it frustrating that the women who write, edit and read these books use the H/h identifiers so easily.
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