Double Standards

After reading a book where the heroine slaps the hero across the face on two separate occasions — the second time so hard his lip cracks and bleeds — I found myself getting very very angry. The hero hadn’t cheated on her (that’s not an excuse for violence). He hadn’t physically assaulted her. He did something that she didn’t like (he fired her — he was her boss as well as best friend), so she hits him. And it’s done in a way where both the hero and heroine don’t seem to think that what she did was wrong. The heroine doesn’t apologise, and nothing is said about both instances. The story just carries on.

Why is there a double standard in romance where it seems to be OK for heroines to smack the hero about the face? I say it seems to be OK because it has happened in other numerous books. And I’m not talking about self-defence or where the heroine misunderstands the hero for an intruder.

If the hero had done that (well, he wouldn’t because a hero like that would never exist in a romance book these days) we would be crucifying him and be in an uproar.

Yet a heroine smacks the hero, and there is no outcry. It’s a huge double standard, and it makes the heroine look like she’s a hysterical woman who can’t control herself, and can’t resort any issues out without hitting the hero in the face to make her feelings show.

Sorry, it’s simply wrong.  And I for one hope that authors will stop writing these terrible scenes in their books.

8 thoughts on “Double Standards”

  1. I totally agree. If a man struck a woman I’d want some retribution; at the very least I’d want an apology. I hold women to the same standards.

    And the fact that she did draw blood puts paid to the excuse that she’s “only a woman” so it didn’t hurt. There is tangible proof that her weak, girly arms have enough strength.

  2. It also makes the woman looks like she can’t control herself without resorting to violence. And I know some people still think that because the man is stronger, and because he’s a simply a man, it’s OK for that to happen.

  3. I agree totally. I hate violence in any book and don’t condone it for either sex. I also hate that it’s used as a way to titalate the scene for a book. Frankly, it just cheeses me off.

  4. It cheesed me off big time in the book I was reading as the slap was so hard, it split his lip. And yet, afterwards, nothing was said of it.

  5. That would cheese me off because there is no sign of respect between the characters. If the heroine and the hero were warrior like and there was a good reason why something like that would happen – it would make more sense. But I agree it makes the heroine look weak and the fact that the hero just ignores it makes it worse.

  6. I am so, so, so on board with this. There are so many double-standards that make me cringe – and a great many of them are against men.

    Why on earth would you date/marry someone who slapped you, regardless of gender? This turns a romance novel into something much, much darker.

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