Good article, she makes a lot of valid points. I agree, 'by women for women' has a lot to do with it, and of course sex has a lot to do with it too, but it's not just that. Snobbery is everywhere, sadly (golf, houses, cars, clothes, jobs, wine, younameit...) and the literary world is steeped in it too. So, unfortunately, are many readers. And critics.
I read a (poorly written, I might add) piece by a Guardian book critic not that long ago who said he thought Terry Pratchett was a bad writer and his books not worth reading. Now, if he had read some of the books and didn't like them, then that would have been okay. We all like different things. But no – he wouldn't consider reading Terry Pratchett, ever. He just knew TP was a bad writer because his books were science fiction and fantasy and – gasp – popular! It was the most sanctimonious example of a narrow minded man pretending to be "better" than other people because of what he read. Sheer snobbery, in all its idiocy and unpleasantness, even if it was click-bait. I think that same snobbery is at play in many people's perception of romance books, whether the sweet kind or the erotic. Personally, I think books are like music. If it makes you feel good, go for it. But disengage the ego, and don't judge others on their taste.
Remember, Carol, success is the best revenge!