Holly says it all with regards to the rumors of RWA’s intention to become a writer’s organization who censors writers. I nipped a couple of my favorite lines to share, but go read the entire thing. It rocks.
RWA has become a censor and is requiring its members to become censors? The RWA has become a writing organization promoting censorship, and writers don’t know what to do?
Really? Seriously? This isn’t obvious?
STOP FUNDING THEM.
And another bit:
Don’t waste your time boycotting the organization. Just quit. And be sure to demand a pro rata share of your membership dues back when you leave, on the grounds that you don’t want your money to be spent by any organization that is REQUIRING its members to censor other writers.
The whole idea of that makes me want to hyperventilate. 1—because I dreamed of being a member of RWA for a long time. It was a goal, and I’m loathe to give it up, and 2—I have piles of crap that doesn’t work or fit because I can’t even stand to return things to stores. Demand my money back? *breathe*
But if the proposed chapter for erotic romance is squashed, I’ll do it. If they remove the link to my publisher from their site, I’ll do it, because I’m damn proud to write for them, and if you’re too righteous for them, then you’re too damn righteous for me. And if they start quantifying their support/services based on “their” approval or disapproval of what one writes, I’m gone.
I want this to work. I have learned a lot through my RWA membership, and my PRO pin actually means something to me. I’d prefer to remain a member forever. All I want is the same treatment that the other members get. I bet nobody’s ever accosted a Silhouette Special Edition author in an elevator during a conference and told her she didn’t belong there (didn’t happen to me, of course, but it happened). But I don’t want to quit.
And I do have hope, if only because the roadblocks they’re putting up now will bite them in the ass. What are they going to do when the erotic romance/erotica lines being developed by Kensington, Harlequin and more are launched? Turn their backs on them? I don’t think so.
So I’ve been quietly (mostly) soaking up all the information being passed around, and laying out my lines in the sand. And I know where one of them is:
There we go. Any RWA affiliate cannot link to me now and stay in the good graces of the censorious RWA. So. Any questions?
Those links over there —>? They’re not going anywhere. The day somebody tells me I have to remove Holly’s link to meet their approval is the day they can kiss my ass.
I’m going to add, however, that based on what I’ve read today, I don’t think this is the issue. I think it’s meant to apply to a site bearing the official RWA logo or whatever, not individual author sites. Not that that’s right, either, because I believe it means that a local chapter couldn’t link to its erotic romance authors. It’s still a hazy issue clouded by confusion and perhaps some misinformation. But whether it trickles down to individual authors or not, it’s censorship, and it reeks. The fact that the membership form RWA members fill out has a line in which you attest that you’ve reached the age of majority in the state in which you reside implies it’s not an organization for minors.
Lots of interesting questions have been raised. How many authors will be excluded from the literacy signing? Will the member website links be stripped of any authors whose sites contain questionable covers or excerpts? Should I pay you $75 if you won’t acknowledge me?
And quite frankly, the info flying around for the last several days has been so fast, furious and plentiful that I’m pretty thoroughly confused. I think I’ve even seen people debating issues that weren’t even the same issue. But the dust will settle, and then I’ll have to check my lines in the sand and hope that an organization I strived to and have admired for so long hasn’t let us down.
Unfortunately, I’m beginning to believe that it has let us down. That its effort to improve the “image” of romance is much more a front burner item than being inclusive.
Wonderful entry, and yes I’ve been watching this issue unfold in the last couple of days myself. In fact, I wrote about this issue in my blog today too. I can see the RWA possibly not posting these covers or excerpts on their own sites, but saying that they won’t link author sites with this content is just wrong in my humble opinion. It is is called erotic romance. It isn’t porn, and one of the publishers that publish it currently is recognized by the RWA. I think it will be interesting what happens when the larger houses introduce their own erotic romance lines. I’m not a member of the TRW now, but I was planning on joining. Now I’m planning to wait and see what happens.
But aren’t the RWA interpreting federal rules on this? The sames types of rules that caused EC to pull their planned pure erotica imprint?
Of course it’s stupid, but it seems to me that the blame is being thrown in the wrong direction. And with all this abuse being thrown about, do you think RWA will ever turn around say, “sorry, we were wrong to exclude you” and welcome erotic romance writers with open arms?
Do romantica writers want to be acknowledged by RWA because they are professional writers on equal terms with other romance writers, or because the swore at the committee so often, they had to let them in as damage control?
I was once really lucky to hear Jenny Shipley, the past Prime Minister of New Zealand speak at a conference. She said, and I agree with her, that the world is not changed by screaming at opposition. The key is engaging in ‘respectful conversations’ to bring about change.
And yes, yes, I know that such conversations require both parties to be respectful, but someone’s got to start behaving like a grown up sometime.
I’m sorry, I’m not sure I have any answers, just lots of anxious questions. It seems to me that every time an erotic romance writer publicises some explicit diatribe against the RWA, it gives the organisation more ammunition to say, “see? these people are not furthering the professionalism of the romance genre”.
And no, Shan, I not talking about you. :cheesy: You’ve been highly professional throughout the debate. But I’m disturbed by what I’m reading elsewhere.
(Just a quick note before I get into this because I know tempers are running high over this. Anna is one of my very dearest friends and, while we sometimes come into an issue on different sides, there is ZERO animosity in our debates. She’s quite often my voice of reason. :kiss:)
I don’t really think so. I mean, why don’t these Federal laws apply to other organizations? (And I *think* the Ghede imprints problems with ultraconservatives were not so much about Federal laws as they were about conservative online commerce institutions and their guidelines regarding adult content, etc. But I could be very wrong there. ) And if those Federal laws are forcing censorship on them, why don’t they FIGHT?
I’ve seen as much about making sure members are “comfortable” with RWA ads, events, fuctions, etc, as I have about Federal guidelines. So somebody gets upset by an ad in the RWR and complains. Somebody complains about a poster/bookcover at a booksigning, and so on, and somebody’s gotta find a good excuse for yanking/banning “questionable” material. As far as I’m concerned, if they can display it, cover out, in my Borders than my writers advocacy group can sure as hell link to it. If they can show me the Federal guidelines and the ramifications of disregarding them, then I’ll consider their position. Though I’ll want to know why the hell they’re not fighting for us.
If I thought slipping a Pollyanna dress over my black leather bustier and sitting with my ankles crossed and hands folded in my lap would help, I’d do it. But while we’re sitting, looking pretty and nonthreatening, more and more crap is being handed down. Many of the people who are upset right now are long time members and supporters of RWA. They serve on their local chapter boards, attend RWA functions and help fund them every year. And where are they now? Being told they don’t meet this standard and that requirement and Bu-Bye now. And, being a fellow history lover, you know us Colonial Upstarts like to do things the hard way. :neener:
I know what you’re saying. But there’s professionalism and there’s respect. Would you respect us more if we swallowed the shit handed to us and said, “Please, ma’am, can I have some more, because I’m the epitome of professionalism?”
Professionalism is about one’s career. And belonging to a writers advocacy group that not only will not fight for me, but is willing to hurt my career in order to please some of it’s more vocal, conservative members is not professionalism.
I’m starting to believe the only way to come out of this is to walk away from RWA. And, despite the current issues, the thought of doing that breaks my heart.
I’m with you, Shan. I’m on the fence. I’m heavily involved in the new group trying to set up an RWA chapter, and I’m hanging on until we see what happens. But if we aren’t accepted and the reasons aren’t legitimate (and frankly, there is NO reason we shouldn’t be accepted), then I will be hard pressed to continue to support an organizatoin that turns it’s back on me, my genre, my current publisher and my fellow writers.
“I was once really lucky to hear Jenny Shipley, the past Prime Minister of New Zealand speak at a conference. She said, and I agree with her, that the world is not changed by screaming at opposition. The key is engaging in â€˜respectful conversationsâ€™ to bring about change.”
Historically, this works only when the conflict occurs between two parties that are roughly equal in power. When the conflic is between a relatively powerless minority vs. a large, established force, this generally hasn’t worked out too well. Black people played nice for a long time; didn’t get them very far until they started to make themselves seen and heard. Women shut up for centuries, and it wasn’t until a bunch of women got obnoxious and made noise that people sat up and noticed. Ditto gay people. Not that I think the acceptance of erotic romance authors in the RWA is even remotely as serious as civil rights, but these were handy analogies that came to mind.
Shan, you are a true class act. :thumb:
You’ve actually made me feel a whole lot better about a lot of this.
Have to add, though…
**Would you respect us more if we swallowed the shit handed to us and said, â€œPlease, maâ€™am, can I have some more, because Iâ€™m the epitomie of professionalism?â€ **
Nope. But I’d respect you (used in the sense you used it, not pointing the finger) more if you said, “This is not acceptable, how can we move forward?” instead of “The RWA are such a bunch of [delete] [delete] [delete] [delete]” which is what I’m seeing a lot of at the moment.
And I’m not being prudish, :noevil: just lacking imagination this late – it’s WAY past my bedtime over here… ggg
That’s a helpful perspective, too, Candy. Although, just to be awkward, there’s a strong historical argument that women’s rights had far more to do with two world wars than suffragists marching up London streets smashing windows. And did you know one of the Pankhurst brothers died of neglect?
If I don’t turn up here for a while, I’m not :hide: I’m on holiday! Wheeeeeeeeeee! :cheesy:
I’ve been ambulance chasing blogs all day trying to get the ‘skinny’ on what’s going on. Typical I’d be a day late and a dollar short.
I read the minutes of the board meeting, and the contentious graphic standards policy(?). Both leave me with so many questions.
1. Are the Graphic Standards new, or were they amended? How?
2. Why aren’t the respective federal regulations cited in the Graphic Standard policy.
okay, maybe not so many LOL.
Next thing that comes to mind is, RWA is MY club. I’m a member in good standing. And in less than 2 months I have a chance to speak to this issue. According to the RWA by-laws any member can add agenda items, any member can gather proxy votes. It would seem to me the prudent thing to do is ensure that this item is on the agenda, and that those interested members not attending the conference be lobbied for their proxy votes.
Censorship, in any form is abhorrent. For an institution like RWA to promote censorship after 3 minutes of in-camera meeting, and then to have the motion (graphic standard) pass, with only one nay-sayer demands an explanation.
I for one will be demanding that explanation in Reno.
All the best
Has the RWA been as silent in respone it seems they’ve been? I decided not to renew and lost acess to the members only area as of this month. My own problem with RWR deliveries seems so trival in retrospect. However, I’m really curious about these graphical standards that seem directed toward (recently recognized) EC and other e-pubs favoring the cg covers.
I was a bit conflicted over not renewing membership before I realized the conferences and premier contests don’t it. The non-member fees will probably surpass the cost of membership dues, but at least I don’t feel my dues are going to waste. The RWR was the most tangible membership benefit to this aspiring non-pub, but sporadic delivery made it meaningless. I might consider membership again if only to become a PRO and increase my chances of getting an editor appointment at a national conference.
Claudia, the appointment process was so screwed up this year, many PROs didn’t even get appointments. It was seriously flawed. And other than the SOLD and First Sale columns, and Jennifer Crusie’s PRO columns, I don’t think I’ve even read anything in RWR in quite a while. But it’s nice to have an organization of almost 10,000 in one’s corner. Well, not my corner, because there are :censor:s in my book, but you know what I mean. :cheesy:
X, there’s definitely a gathering of proxies going on. This is something that affects writers outside of the scope of erotic romance, and many of them aren’t happy, either. I’m not sure if it’s on an “official agenda”, but I know it’s going to be brought up somehow.
I’m not sure how new or amended the graphical standards are, but I know they needed them in order to refuse advertising in RWR. As for why the Federal guidelines aren’t quoted, I’m not sure. I’m hoping all will be explained very soon.
My level-headed hubby has talked me into a holding pattern, circling until I find out how much of this is fact and how much is panic. :shrug: It doesn’t sound good, though.