Additional criticism points to the way that romance novels place emphasis on courtship rituals and the power that men yield in heterosexual relationships. Feminist academics have crusaded against romantic novels because of the meek manner that they portray women. Female characters are always portrayed as damsels in distress and in need of rescuing from the male characters.
According to Radway, feminists argue that such portrayals damage strides made in socially empowering women as strong and independent. Even when female characters are portrayed as heroines, they are usually not at par with their male counterparts. Heroes are usually more experienced, older and above heroines in the social pecking order. Therefore, even if there are heroines, they are still vulnerable and reliant on heroes. Female characters are also objectified through sexual innuendos and are physically inferior. Additionally, unlike male characters, sex is an integral part in identity formation for female characters (Radway, 1984).
Radway provides a platform to show how romance novels and their characterization of female characters is dynamic. Many romance novels keenly analyze the thought process of the female characters. The structure of the novel relies on explaining the dynamic nature of relationships between men and women. A majority of romance novel plots emphasize on the presence of miscommunication between the hero and heroine. For example, the behavior of the hero, which may be construed as disdain and hostility for the heroine, is usually revealed to be masked feelings of attraction and love. The reinterpretation theme found in romance novels has forced women readers to re-evaluate their heterosexual relationships and reinterpret the actions of their male companions.
A core focus of criticism of feministic film has been on the nature of the members of the female audience, and with regards to the pleasure that they derive from viewing alternative films and ...