On September 26th 2017, Robert Gottlieb, an eighty six year old writer and editor at not just the New York Times, but also former editor in chief of Simon & Schuster, Alfred A. Knopf, and The New Yorker, has written a very scathing, racist and sexist article about his opinions regarding Romance Literature.
Now, some of you may not feel that the romance genre is literature at all, but merely sex on the page in the guise of a unbelievable story.
If this is your train of thought, then this blog is not for you and I suggest that you troll elsewhere on the internet for entertainment.
But if you're like me and romance is your game, you can get good and mad when you read Mr. Gottlieb's article, here:
But wait! There's more!
Not only has he enraged damn near all the romance writers who take their work and the genre as a whole seriously, he has spawned a few scathing and tongue in cheek rebuttals. Two of which
I'm very proud and happy to pass on to you:
1. Ron Hogan's: All The Dumb Things You Can Say About Romance Novels, In One Convenient Place https://medium.com/@ronhogan/all-the-dumb-things-you-can-say-about-romance-novels-in-one-convenient-place-e7afd70a5351
2. Best of all is Olivia Waite of the Seattle Review Of Book's rebuttal that can be found here:
Mr. Gottlieb's satirical take on the novels he read was not just condescending but sexist to boot. Is he serious with the "Why shouldn’t women dream? After all, guys have their James Bonds as role models. Are fantasies of violence and danger really more respectable than fantasies of courtship and female self-empowerment?" comment?
Oh God, that article was damn near a wast of my precious time.
But then, the issue of why the NYT let an eighty six year old man (I don't give a damn what he did in his youth, he's eighty six! and his age clearly has some bearing on his opinions) write an article on the romance genre leaves me scratching my head.
But what gets my goat most of all is Gottlieb's comments about Cherise Hodge's Deadly Rumors "Oh, yes — Zoe and Carver are African-Americans, though except for some scattered references to racial matters, you’d never know it. (Well, you would from the cover.)"
What the hell is that about?
How are black people supposed to act? Like we're unemployed, broke and don't know how the rent is going to get paid? Or wait, the female protagonist is supposed to have a head scarf on and standing on the stoop looking for the baby daddy who walked out of the tenement three days ago to get milk for all five of their screaming kids?
Is this man still watching Good Times?
Mr. Gottlieb, I have a suggestion for you. Go home and stay there. Retire. Stop writing comments about a people you obviously know nothing about. Keep your shitty, old-world, slavery ridden thoughts to yourself, but most of stop passing your poisonous ideas onto the public.
They tell the whole world how small minded you truly are.
Another sad note is the fact that this man has edited the works of many authors, Toni Morrison included.
Satiric comments from an eighty six year old man about romance novels is a scary thing to read, especially in the New York Times of all places, but reading this same, elderly, white man's take on black romance is worse still.
Shame on the NYT for publishing that garbage and shame on Robert Gottleib for being the racist asshole that he is.
But then, I'm not surprised.
This is just one example of how some people are Making America Great Again.