Give Me a Break

“What brought romance fiction to its present level of success is a collection of decades’ worth of one-man, one-woman relationships stories, in all their richness, variety, and power. RWA should be the first to endorse that, rather than attempting to placate fringe groups trying to impose their standards upon the rest of us. If anyone’s in danger of being “censored” here, it’s believers in “what comes naturally”: one-man, one-woman romance. We in RWA owe it to ourselves not to let that happen.”– Jan W. Butler

I came to this discussion a little late, but thanks to Lauren Dane (blog address at right) and others, I was made aware of this little gem, published (as a letter I understand) by RWA. Yes, your professional organization. I will defend Ms. Butler’s right to say what she likes, but only after I tie her up and let my gay friends scream at her for a few hours. Oh, wait, my fringe gay friends. Okay, I only have one of them. She’s a state trooper, and I haven’t seen her for a while. I’m out of touch with the others. Okay, so I’m a loner and don’t have many friends at all. As usual, I digress.

I wonder if Ms. Butler would like to crawl back into a time machine to the days in which TSTL heroines let asshole heroes treat them like dirt? That was romance publishing not so very long ago.

Look, I’m not a huge (non-romantic) erotica fan. But I don’t care if folks write it, read it, roll around in it. I don’t write M/M romances, but I have friends who do (Ally Blue, Jules Jones and others), and they’re damned good at it. I’ve enjoyed those books. They are romances, with deeper characterization than most of the crap on the shelves these days. Oy, I have nothing very original to say about this nonsense I suppose. But I wanted to post my picture (my hair is much, much better these days, believe me) simply to “stand behind” my fringe human sisters and brothers. They count. They vote. They buy books. And they probably don’t give a damn about RWA’s notion of what kind of relationships they should have. I’ve never had a “fringe” group try to impose anything on me. Give it up, lady.


14 thoughts on “Give Me a Break

  1. SM says:

    Being “on the fringe”, I feel so honored to have been included in your blog! I’m not sure what the RWA is, and I have not read very many Romance novels, but I certainly appreciate your support. What I have to say to this “anti-fringe-imposer lady” is: ttthhhhbbbbbtttttttt!
    So THERE!

  2. SM says:

    almost forgot….I LOVE your picture!!

  3. Ciar Cullen says:

    Oh, I love yours too ;o) Oh wait, now…your hair doesn’t look like that either. See, I got to use the state trooper line in public LOL

  4. Ciar Cullen says:

    And I meant to say that RWA is romance writers of america, a power-wielding force soon to be crushed by the free market system. Okay, maybe a slight exaggeration, but dented is possible.

  5. Laine Morgan says:

    I never did fit with the RWA. I was a member a couple years ago, and I’m now very glad I never renewed my membership. It didn’t do anything for me.

  6. Tempest Knight says:

    A funny thing happened today. I went home for lunch and the mailman handed me the copy of RWR. I looked at it and thought, “Wow, my last issue.” You see, today is the last day to renew my RWA membership. But I won’t rejoin. Why? There are no local chapters. I can’t go to Nationals (too damn expensive). The only good thing I get out of it is the RWR mag. But I refuse to pay $75 for it.

  7. Dannyfiredragon says:

    RWA has some really strange opinions. I heard also that every romance with an even slightly hotter sex scenes have no chances to win in one of their writing contest. They don’t even have to enter. And hot starts for them with Harlequin Blaze.

  8. Natalie Damschroder says:

    RWA is an organization of nearly 10,000 people. Why on earth would anyone tar that many people based on ONE person’s opinion? And an obvious extremist, no less.

    RWA has no opinions. MEMBERS of RWA have opinions, and yes, some of them are extreme, and some of them are controversial, but they are the opinions of INDIVIDUALS. Please don’t assume any of the rest of us feel the way that one person does–from either end of the spectrum.

  9. Ciar Cullen says:

    Hmnn, good point of course, but they carried the letter, and knew it would ruffle feathers. And it seems consistent with their stance on what is and is not romance, etc. I certainly don’t think all RWA’s members are bigots and narrow-minded, but I hope they will become a vocal part of that organization as well.

  10. Jules Jones says:

    There’s been quite an outbreak of WTF? online from RWA members — including some who neither read nor write erotic romance but don’t have a problem with other people doing so, and who object to this attempt at censorship. Some of them have been writing letters in reply…

  11. Anonymous says:

    I don’t belong to the RWA and probably never will, but that doesn’t mean I do not support everyone’s right to free speech.

    And that includes both the loud lunatic fringe and the self-righteous right. Both of which are a smaller minority than either thinks.

    One salient fact–those of us in the middle are the majority and we are getting squeezed on both sides.

    I for one, am tired of being told what to think and how to feel–by either side in this debate and ones like it. I believe in the capitalist system and choose to show my disgust by never buying a book by that author of the “letter”.

    I’ve also decided to pay more attention to the philosophies, attitudes and ideologies of every author I read that weighs in on this and other controversial subjects.

    Because that is my right and it is my choice to spend my hard earned dollars how I wish.

    My wallet is my brand of free speech.

  12. Ciar Cullen says:

    How do you know the real philosophies, attitudes and ideologies of every author? I know LOTS of authors who will never, ever say what they actually think for fear of getting on the wrong side (as you say, most folks are in the middle) of some readers, agents, pub companies, etc. Or they will post anonymously, etc. (I don’t mean the people on this thread). So, is it best for authors not to say anything? I don’t know the answers to these questions; I’m asking in genuine interest.

  13. Anonymous says:

    No one can ‘know’ for a certainty the primary philosophy of any individual. However, every person can reveal their personal ideological leaning by certain key words they use or concepts they espouse; even in fictional terms.

    Although there is no clear method by which one can know exactly ‘who’ is ‘who’ in this regard, authors tend to write what they know on a fundamental level, and one’s basic ideology is a hard thing to hide.

    Yet, even if an author’s primary philosophy is ‘hidden’ for rational reasons, such as not wanting to polarize one’s career to any particular leaning–neither the leftist, the middle-of-the-roader nor the conservative should rationally approve of the abdication of everyone’s natural right of freedom of conscience, and it’s obvious corollary, the freedom of speech.

    To declare otherwise would mean, in the minds of those who would attempt to deny such a declaration, that you have no right to say so.

  14. Ciar Cullen says:

    Hmmn, age old questions, not to be solved on this blog LOL. But you, Anonymous, have given me a little food for thought. I think perhaps I should appreciate more my little stories as a forum for values expression. Hadn’t quite thought of it that way, but of course it’s true–we all draw from our internal world and intellectual constructs, and I guess they may be quite transparent even in fiction, as you say. However, if I write a traditional romance, it may not mean that I find “nontraditional” romances anathema. May just mean that’s not who I am and not what I know how to do. Hmnn. Hmnn.

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