Friday, March 8, 2013

It's Not Your Mother's Book, But Are You Your Mother?

mom issues

Random pet peeve time! One marketing line I hate is "It's not your mother's romance novel." Here's why:

1. Way to be outdated, publishers. I don't know if you've noticed this (I say that to be polite; you clearly haven't), but my generation isn't as anti-parental, never-trust-anyone-over-thirty as the Baby Boomers were. You see how we tend to bring back their fashions and listen to their music and all that? So unless you're trying to sell to Baby Boomers with that phrase--and, if you are, fair enough--that might not be the best marketing tactic.

2. Romance novels aren't cell phones. They haven't really evolved all THAT much in the last forty years, so I'm not sure what the quantifiable difference between one generation's romance novel and another's would look like. And don't say Fifty Shades, because my mom was way more into that book than I was.

3. I like old books.

4. My mom and I basically read the same books.

5. This whole generalized mother issues thing is coming from a sexist and stereotyped place, you do know that? I had a professor in college who was always saying offensive things (he had tenure), and one of the things he told us once was that women are terrified of becoming their mothers, even though they ALWAYS do, and that was the secret to understanding female psychology. Obviously he was a Freudian. But the point is, that's a gross oversimplification of a complex familial relationship; and helloooooo Freud lived a hundred years ago and knew shit-all about women to begin with. So maybe we could stop using these ideas as the baseline for thinking about and relating to women. I'm not going to magically turn into my mother anymore than my body will magically repel rape sperm.

What marketing phrases get on your nerves?

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