I’ve resisted joining the RWA for a few years now but finally sucked it up and joined a few months back. I can’t say my life has changed drastically but I joined Passionate Ink and do now receive my copy of the RWR monthly. I’ve heard this is like the bible of the industry but I can’t really say I’ve found it to be true. It hasn’t been noxious though until this most recent issue.
An issue in which Jan Butler writes a letter extolling the dangers of the homosexual agenda (cue to scary DUH DUH DUHH! music) in the romance genre. Kate Rothwell, who is marvelous on a hundred different levels first addressed this Saturday in her blog. (Smart Bitches, Sybil and Karen S have also now posted about this letter oh and Selah too – if you see it elsewhere let me know and I’ll add to the list). This makes me seriously mad.
I’m going to put the bulk of her letter here because Kate posted it at her blog and I don’t want to have to type the whole darned thing myself:
. . romance isn’t about just any “two people” celebrating “love in its many forms.” Organizations such as the Man-Boy Love Association would certainly refer to themselves as celebrating love “two people” (or more) finding love in one of its many forms” . . . while they actively promote pedophilia.
Think RWA can’t go down that slipper slope? Think again. Under our present definition, we cannot exclude such “love stories” under the category of “romance”. We, as a culture, seem to have forgotten how to say “enough is enough,” but RWA can–indeed, must–do better than that. . . .
And, please, spare us the arguments about “censorship” and “inclusiveness.” Preference for “one man, one woman” stories represents what RWA has always claimed is romance’s target demographic: college-educated, married, middle-class, monogamous, and moral. . . .Only in recent years has a vocal (translate: shrill) minority tried to drive RWA’s focus off that path, under the guise of “broadening its horizons.” But refusing to define romance according to the parameters it has held for centuries doesn’t “broaden” anything . . . it only starts us down the aforementioned slope, and once we’re in that slide, heaven help us.
There’s an old saying, “Go home with the one who brought you here.” 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’m a college educated, married, middle class moral person and I love to read and write romances with MM contact and with menages or more just as much as I love to read romances with just a man and a woman. The key isn’t about which parts go where, but about the connection between the characters. I don’t care if Jan doesn’t like my books. The simple solution is for her not to read them (although she totally thinks about them, a lot apparently).
But that’s not what she wants. She wants to be sure that the books I write can’t be bought and can’t be called romance because while talking about us imposing standards on her, she’s busily advocating that very same thing. Only I’m not trying to stop her from writing and reading what she likes and I can’t say the same about her. Just leave me alone to write my books Jan, I promise we don’t have to be BFF and braid each others hair now that we’re both in the RWA.
Oh and Ms. Butler has the right to say she thinks what I write is immoral and evil and bad for western civilization. She’s even entitled to spout hateful, inaccurate rhethoric about gays being pedophiles, the kind of rhetoric that gets gays and lesbians attacked daily. She does not have the right, however, to shut me down. Now that I pay dues, I plan to be even more vocal on this issue.
Just to be clear, using facts and all – NAMBLA is no more representative of gays as a whole as the creepy guy who dresses like Santa to molest the neighborhood children is representative of the heterosexual community. That’s just the kind of hateful and lazy lack of decent argument that I’d expect from someone with Ms. Butler’s position. Pedophiles are overwhelmingly heterosexual (like in the high 90%). The consistent attempts to try and demonize gays and lesbians with damaging misinformation that they’re somehow out to rape our children is irresponsible and hateful and the worst kind of rumormongering. It gets people killed. It has people lose jobs and apartments. And it’s not true.
It’s my RWA too now. And I’m not going anywhere Ms. Butler. My readers aren’t either. Those women and men you’ve just referred to as uneducated, immoral, gay lovin sluts probably wouldn’t be flattered by that. Although I’m totally a gay lovin feminist left winger, so clearly I’m already in your “groups who need to stop making me think of boysmut that makes my naughty parts tingly” list anyway.
Ms. Butler, honey, you need a hug. I’m serious. You need to stop worrying so much about everyone else’s heart and mind and worry for your own. It’s a big genre, I can always braid Megan Hart’s hair.