I don’t make a habit of going off here on my blog, but I feel the need to vent. I hope you’ll tolerate it for a few minutes.
As I’m sure everyone in the romance writing community has heard already, there was a news story (if you can even call it that) by a Pennsylvania television station outing a 10th grade English teacher as an erotic romance author.
To my everlasting horror, I got upset about this story. Why? Because what happened to Judy Mays is the reason why many authors protect themselves with pseudonyms. There are so many stereotypes about romance writers and romance readers already, but to top it off by making it seem like every romance writer is a slut waiting to happen? I thought in this modern-day and age we had moved past this? You know, the whole women are either a saint or a sinner. They’re either a virgin or a slut. But apparently we haven’t.
I suppose the small-minded people who aren’t readers of the genre (in any form) must picture romance writers as women who can’t keep their legs closed because obviously that’s all they think about: sex. Forget for a moment that none of us would be here without sex, it shouldn’t be enjoyable, it shouldn’t be beautiful, and hot, and any other word you want to use to describe it. Because we’re obviously PURITANS who don’t believe in freedom of speech and we all care what everyone’s doing in their private time. Oh and naturally romance writers look at every single man (no matter how old or young they are) as potential partners we want to do the nasty with. Oh yes, that’s how I see every man.
The small-minded people of the world seem to think that writers live and breathe everything they put in their books. If that’s the case, I’m afraid Stephen King needs to be arrested. Throw Dean Koontz in jail, too. Obviously these two men are deeply disturbed and shouldn’t be allowed among the general populous…you know, in case they go crazy and start killing people.
It’s only fair, after all. We wouldn’t want those two men teaching our kids anything. Who knows what they’d do!
I can’t help but wonder if WNEP, the television station that ran the story, had any idea what they were doing when they decided to pursue it. Did they research the romance genre to find out how big a business it was? Did they look at how many authors, published and unpublished, were in the RWA? Did they stop and think, “You know, this is going to really anger those romance writers and readers”? Probably not. But let me just point out that the saying “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” has nothing on “Hell hath no fury like romance readers and writers united”.
End rant. I’m better now. Honest.
Smart Bitches has posted some really great links to follow if you’re just as outraged as I am. Join the Support Judy Mays group, leave a comment for WNEP on their facebook page. Let’s do something to show our love and support of a genre that’s treated like the dark horse in the literary world.