I know better. I know I shouldn’t read the letters in the RWR and yet every month I do. And I’m honestly never ready for the depth of audacity on the part of some of the people who write in to gasp and moan and put their hand on their foreheads and cry about the direction of romance.
This month’s little ditty is written by Linda Swift Reeder – who quickly assures us she’s not a prude and then follows up by calling erotic romance porn and women who have sex or who use curse words in these books sluts. This follows three months of letters crying about the “gang member” language on the part of heroines (including one written by a fairly well known pararomance author only signed in her real name and makes no reference to her writerly persona). Yawn. Won’t someone think of the children. *weeps* Yadda yadda.
I’m bored by the attacks on my morals by people who don’t know me. I’m agitated far more by what equals attacks on my readers. I mean, to consistently assail books my readers buy which contain curse words and sex scenes is at attack on romance readers and I’m not a genius or anything, but I love my readers and I can’t imagine why these folks attack them.
At this point I’m not even angry. I’m just sort of saddened by the lazy intellectualism this sort of letter shows.
I don’t think it’s jealousy that drives this sort of letter. I think there’s an expectation by people of Reeder’s ilk, that one’s opinion should be more than just an opinion – it should simply be the way *everyone* thinks and feels. This plays out in politics and every day life as well.
Some people don’t handle change well so they latch on to whatever they can to hang their anxieties. Erotic romance, sex, confident women – it’s all just a place to go when you can’t deal with your own insecurities.
There are indeed many romance novels that don’t contain graphic sex and bad language. There is indeed a middle ground in romance as well as the extremes on both sides (and I mean extreme as in polarity from the middle not in character). But people like this never rely on facts, they go straight for histrionics because that’s all they know. It’s lazy, but it’s prevalent.
There are many books I don’t read. Many genres that dont’ work for me. And many that do. I tend to turn my brain off whenever anyone starts wailing about “the children” or “our daughters” or “we as X women” because cripes, there are as many kinds of women as there are kinds of books.
I don’t think it’s sex she needs, or royalties, or whatever. I think it’s a damned open mind she’s in desperate need of and an ability to accept and understand she’s not the arbiter of what anyone but herself reads, does and says.
Books are amazing. Preferences are amazing. So put the two together why don’t you? Like what you like, don’t like what you don’t. It’s so very simple and completely unnecessary to attack what other people read and write.