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Crazy Train…

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.

13 comments to “Crazy Train…”

  1. Anonymous
    July 25th, 2006 at 9:29 am · Link

    Who the hell is Jan Butler? I am an avid reader and I have not read anything by her.

    I read what I like. To each their own I say.

  2. Charlene Teglia
    July 25th, 2006 at 11:04 am · Link

    You could braid my hair if I grew it out long again. *g*

    So many people have addressed this issue so clearly that I have nothing to add. Except that I’m rejoining RWA, too.

  3. Kathy
    July 25th, 2006 at 2:49 pm · Link

    I made all my remarks on Karen S’s blog, yesterday…but I will add something here.
    I wonder if Ms. Butler really thinks writing that letter will really help her get her point across, if anyone will understand it,…and what is her point?
    I feel sad for her. She must be really lonely, to have cut out so much of the possible friends in the world!

  4. Anonymous
    July 25th, 2006 at 4:15 pm · Link

    You go, Lauren! Yup, I’m Married, Moral, and Master Degree college educated. (MMM!!). I love your writing, and spend a chunk each month on books. Thank you for being so articulate in your defense, but I will be very suprised if Ms. Butler ever considers any other view of the world but her own…

  5. Eva Gale
    July 25th, 2006 at 6:42 pm · Link

    When you’re done with Charlene’s you can braid mine.

    Grats on the JERR Gold Star!

  6. Shelley Munro
    July 25th, 2006 at 10:55 pm · Link

    Ugh – I haven’t received my RWR mag yet. I look forward to reading the letter, although I think I have the gist of it. *shaking head*

    I’d offer to let you braid my hair as well but braids don’t look so good on me LOL

  7. Mechele Armstrong
    July 26th, 2006 at 6:14 am · Link

    I’d let you braid mine *G*. Though I don’t look that great in them.

    I’m awfully glad you are in RWA because we need people like you in it! Vocal people who stand up for their opinions. That you happen to agree with me…heh heh even better.

    Entitled to her opinion? Yeah, she is. But I’m entitled to mine and I intend to vocalize it.

  8. Sara Dennis
    July 26th, 2006 at 1:38 pm · Link

    Simply put, brava.

  9. Rene Lyons
    July 27th, 2006 at 6:40 pm · Link

    Amen to your post, sister! lol

    I’m a member of RWA and I say you’d better not go anywhere! I love your books.

  10. Ciar Cullen
    July 28th, 2006 at 4:37 pm · Link

    I am not an RWA member. I was for a year, and found that what it got me was the illusion that I was a legitimate writer of some variety and a magazine full of self-congratulatory bleck. Phooey. I’ve been the member of a lot of professional organizations in my lifetime, and I’ve yet to see one so useless (and evidently non-representative) to its membership, at least to anyone who doesn’t have the cash for advertising. What a load of crap. I guess wearing a little Pro ribbon now (or whatever the hell that business is about) takes on a special meeting. “I belong to an organization that would allow a very divisive and insulting article to be printed in our official publication.” Thanks for your post, Lauren, and for pointing this out to us.

  11. Lauren Dane
    July 29th, 2006 at 10:17 pm · Link

    I’m so thrilled to have all this hair to braid! Jan’s got to be so jealous of the big slumber party we’re having at RT.

    There will be readings of smutty books. I do great sound affects! Ask Megan and Anya, LOL.

    Right on people, I’m so glad to see so many voices responding on this issue. (not the braiding issue, you know where I stand on that, LOL)

  12. MFC
    July 30th, 2006 at 2:37 pm · Link

    This post has been removed by the author.

  13. Vivi Anna
    August 2nd, 2006 at 10:01 am · Link

    yeah Lauren! Well spoken. And you can braid my hair because I look damn HAWT in them…with my little short school girl skirt, knee socks and mary janes.

    I think more women with your attitude should join RWA. I know when I was at the conference last week, I found more authors loving erotic/romance in all it’s forms more than any other genre. What does that tell you???

    And that fact that the Passionate Ink Chapter has a ton of members, and our lunch housed close to 200 authors. Pretty cool!!

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