Thursday, January 29, 2009

A question of...morality?

I belong to a writer's group and every year they have a big contest to judge the work of their peers (koff) and drama is never far behind. Every year there is teeth gnashing, hair pulling - you name it - and I can only roll my eyes so much before it becomes too much effort to do even that much and I'm reaching that point now.

So on the email loop for said group the conversation has turned to...the contest. One of the authors mentioned some judges were sending back books (meaning they won't read them for judging) that were Erotic Romance not because it wasn't to their liking - it was a question of MORALITY.

Rut-row (ScoobieDoo imitation)

I cannot tell you how sick and tired, tired and sick, weak and weary I am of the mentality that writing sex is immoral. I've got news for the woman who wrote this - if it weren't for sex she wouldn't be here. (I know, its like telling a child that the Easter Bunny doesn't exist but sometimes life is just tough and you've got to take like a big girl)

I don't think those who write sweet or inspirational romances aren't having good sex. I also don't believe all 'moral' people wait until marriage to have sex. Why would someone pass judgement like that on erotic romance? Saying you don't like it or don't read it is one thing, saying it is a question of morality is completely different. It carries the implication that the author of the comment is morally superior to those of us who enjoy writing and reading ER.

It just makes you shake your head doesn't it? I feel sorry for her - she must lead a very small life and only feels better when she's looking down on someone else.

One of the most important lessons my father taught me was that no man is superior to another, period.


Monica Burns said...

We must be on the same loop. *sigh* I have pretty much decided that this specific contest is a waste of time.

This year I returned mine because on principle, I can't be a judge for a contest that excludes a specific group of people. It just isn't in me to do it.

I think this contest needs to blow off all the categories (actually think most contests for published works need to do this) and just name the top 10 books of the year. If more contests in the romance industry followed the example of the Hugo awards, it would make it a lot more fair. Cream does rise to the top. It also means MORE PEOPLE judge the book as to what's quality and what's not. I prefer reader contests because they generally know a good book just as well as authors do.

And lastly, when in the hell is this country going to understand that you CANNOT legislate morality. You don't like it, don't read it, watch it or talk it. I honor someone's right to their beliefs, but I really resent someone implying that I'm immoral based on what I write.

It's not a very "Christian" thing to condemn others for things one disagrees with is it. *heading hitting table*

Oh and the word verification

HAMICIT - Have A Morality Issue C IT

J.C. Wilder said...

I agree with you. I've always thought this group took themselves way too seriously. Romance is fun, sweet, sexy, scary, funny, nasty (in a good sexy way), haunted...etc. Why do some people feel this need to define everything and put it in a box?

So far the consensus is if the judge receives a book that is too erotic, they will mark it as either Not a Romance or Wrong Category. Either way if 2 judges do that to the same book it will be disqualified.

That's messed up.

Monica Burns said...

Well, they can have their little contest, because in truth it's not worth a whole lot in terms of representation, money on a new contract, etc., etc., etc.

And the comment on press giving it their attention, well that's the crux right there. Using the word sex in the contest would make them look like writing romance is smut.

I'm so tired of it, I'm just going to let it go. Not worth the BP increases.

Beth said...

Well said, JC. My opinion (as one who used to judge such contests in a previous life) is that if you don't want to read it, tell someone before they send it to you. Pretty stinkin' simple.

There are genres that bore or don't interest me, too, but why would I make a judgment call on something someone else loves? Just pass on it in the first place and be done with it.

But that requires common sense...a commodity many of these moral high-horses lack.