Anyone else sick and tired of the constant Us Against Them debate raging on blogs and within RWA ranks? The Us and Them, of course, being Every Other Type Of Romance and Erotica/Romantica.
I've largely remained silent on this issue - because unlike many, many, many romance readers, I tend to read across the board. I've been known to read a traditional sweet Silhouette Romance then turn around and read a red hot Black Lace erotica novel. I'm not kidding - I do that sort of thing a lot.
I think it also helps that I'm a librarian. While there is certainly a narrow-minded contingent within the profession - any librarian with his/her salt is going to welcome all types of fiction. I don't judge anything. Oh sure, there's a ton of stuff I personally won't read. Pretty much all literary fiction, science fiction, the vast majority of fantasy, inspirationals - but not for one minute do I think these types of books "need to go." I also never try to convert readers away from their genre of choice because I think they're misguided.
But that's essentially what Every Other Type Of Romance is saying to Erotica. Get out. You're giving us a bad rap. Shoo!
Erotica/Romantica is a fast-growing segment of the market. Every Other Type Of Romance may not like that - but numbers don't lie. Just as inspirationals are a fast-growing segment of the market (actually I find the fact that both segments are taking off to be a rather interesting commentary on American society as a whole - but that's just me). While I don't read inspirationals - I'm not about to dispute the fact that yes, they have a right to coexist peacefully in the RWA/Romance universe. Some readers love them - and hey, good for them!
Just as some readers love erotica/romantica - and good for them too!
Why can't we all just get along?
I think the fear is that Every Other Type Of Romance doesn't want to be confused by that dirty, filthy Erotica.
Well horse hooey.
Naysayers of romance already think the books are nothing but female porn! The rise of Erotica/Romantica didn't start that. The female porn argument has been around since Fabio unveiled his nipples.
What needs to be done is education. You don't like people confusing Every Other Type Of Romance with Erotica/Romantica? Well educate people about the differences - and don't be so frickin' snide about it. You don't like how some people think inspriationals are all preachy God-stuff? Well educate them dagnabit!
We shouldn't be bickering amongst ourselves - it just makes us look ignorant, and it's wasted energy that could be spent promoting the genre as a whole. If we want people to see romance as a viable, interesting and rich genre - then we need to stand together, not divided.