“The Dalai Lama says that the world will be saved by women. Not any women, perhaps not all women, but Burning Women. Women who have stepped out of silence and into the fullness of their power. Angry women who love the world and her creatures too much to let it be destroyed so thoughtlessly for a moment longer. Burning Woman is the heart and soul of revolution inner and outer. She burns for change, she dances in the fire of the old, all the while visioning and weaving the new.” -Burning Woman
This quote appeared in my Facebook some time ago and I was immediately struck by it. Not just because we’ve seen an uprising of strong women recently with the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. It connected with me on another level because as a romance writer I feel its imperative that I create strong and unique voices, especially female voices.
Since November I’ve been working diligently on a new series. I’m not ready to reveal much about it yet, other than to say it’s going to be focused on feminist heroines and feminist heroes. This series will be full of swoon-worthy Beta males, and yes, some might call my leading ladies Alpha females.
I’m okay with that.
Time and again we see art giving the world what it needs, in what seems to be just the moment the hunger for it begins. I think that’s what the rise in feminism and women leadership is all about right now.
The romance community is fertile ground for pushing this movement forward. We’ve always been at the forefront of subverting the culture that tells us that women’s books are frivolous, or that romance creates unrealistic expectations (um, how is it unrealistic for me to know I deserve a partner that treats me well and cares about my pleasure????). Romance has been written off and dismissed for, well, as long as the genre has existed, basically.
What has changed in recent years is women feeling as though they no longer need to hide who they are, what they feel and believe, and yes, even what they read. I know I’ve found my voice in the last eighteen months or so and I’ve struggled with whether or not I should let those beliefs spill over into my writing.
I’ve come to realize they’ll spill over whether or not I talk about them, so why not vocalize about them on my blog and social media? I feel like I can use my voice and platform (no matter how small it may be at the moment) to give truth to power. And, really, isn’t that what a Burning Woman should do?