In a recent Huffington Post essay, author Maya Rodale makes an intriguing case for why romance novels are often ridiculed - most often by people who've never read one.
Rodale, who has university degrees in women and fiction, presents a compelling argument that romance novels have been historically derided by society because they empower women.
Writing romance novels, she says, brought women into the marketplace in a powerful way, both as sellers and buyers. Romance novels encourage women to get out of the house, to seek adventure, to demand true love.
Romance is derided, Rodale says, because it inspires and empowers "women to live and love to a higher standard. And because that's a threat to the status quo, we're taught to ridicule those who embrace that literature, that message, that vision of a life well lived and loved."
Check out the quick, thought-provoking video above.