Kate Rothwell recently posted a letter to the editor by one Jan R. Butler. It’s truly a masterpiece, invoking the usual homophobic canards. Despite knowing it’s the same old moronic bullshit parroted by bigots that basically boils down to “it’s wrong because it makes us really, really uncomfortable,” I still got good and pissed off reading it—because the logic so very specious, if nothing else.
(…) 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.
So, NAMBLA provides some sort of ringing and conclusive condemnation of all homogaiety, eh? If that’s true, then it has to apply to the flip side, too: all those pedophiles who identify as heterosexual (and the vast majority of kiddie-fuckers are straight) are a ringing condemnation of heterosexuality. Think about this, folks: next time you pick up a mainstream romance novel, have sex with your significant other or fall in love with somebody of the opposite sex who’s about your own age, you’re ALL condoning pedophilia. QED.
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.
That bit about the demographic? Made me howl with laughter. HOWL. WITH. LAUGHTER. Since when was “moral” an explicit demographic for any American business other than the shills of fundamentalist money-making scams run by fucknuts like Jim Bakker, Pat Robertson and the crew at Focus on the Family? But more than that, I love how “moral” is suddenly tied in not only with marriage and monogamy, but college-educated and middle class. Brilliant!
Seriously, reading this shit just makes me want to make out with girls and donate more money to the ACLU and the Human Rights Campaign.
And as for the centuries-old standards of romance: Do tell, what are they? Butler seems to be an expert on so many things, no doubt supported by impeccable research and logic, I’m just agog to hear her opinions on this. Do let me know how the unwritten “no pre-marital sex” rule in romances has remained so steadfast for centuries.
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.
And here we see the magnificent set-up of a false dichotomy: romances featuring homosexuality, bisexuality and polyamory/group sex must somehow endanger the state of monogamous hetero romances. I’ve never understood how homosexuality in ANY way threatens or limits what a heterosexual person wants to do, by the way—and this applies for marriage, way of life and reading material. Don’t like gay marriage or gay sex? Then I highly, highly recommend that you not marry or fuck somebody your own gender. Don’t like gay romance? Don’t read ‘em.
The old “but we’re the ones being persecuted by being forced to accept this immorality!” argument also holds no water. By arguing that gay and/or polyamorous romances shouldn’t be published in the first place, a group of people are, in effect, being restricted, censored and disenfranchised. People who try argue otherwise are not only being stupid, but dishonest about their motives. Look, “because I think it’s gross” or “because my religion tells me it’s so” is not a good enough reason to impose your standards on everyone else. And I honestly don’t see how publishing gay/poly romance novels oppresses those who like only straight romances. I can assure you, gay and poly romances don’t somehow emit radioactive Immorality Waves in cartoony stink-lines and somehow corrupt all the surrounding books so that alla sudden, the cowboy is slipping his range-raised meat up the sheikh’s dark cavern instead of shagging the amnesiac virgin heiress.