Monday, August 07, 2006

Intolerance v. Intolerance

Brouhahas and RWA go together like root beer and ice cream.  They swirl around in a glass with foamy delight.  The ice cream counteracts with the carbonated soda, providing a contrast which pleases the imbiber.

I don’t like root beer floats myself and I’m not big on brouhaha’s involving the RWA.  I rarely comment on them and I’m not going to on this latest one either, only the repercussions which have resulted.

The latest to-do is with regards to a letter written by Jan Butler to the RWR, the magazine for the Romance Writers of America.  She wants the RWA to define romance as being “one woman, one man” stories, excluding gay romance and anything else which doesn’t follow the strict definition.  I’m not putting in any links because there are so many.  If you are interested in the argument, punch in “Jan Butler RWR letter” into any search engine and you will get plenty of links.  

Let me say I disagree with her point of view.  I find the need to define romance in such a narrow confine as repugnant.  I’m also disgusted I even have to express my opinion because I know if I go against the status quo, I will be hammered by all sides.

This post isn’t about the controversy itself, enough cyberspace has been devoted to the topic, but rather the responses of people and their complete vilification of this woman.  Jan Butler has been accused of being a right-wing, bigot, and racist whack job.  You would think this woman was Andrea Yates for all of the vile which has been spewed in her direction.

And this is a big problem.  People whine incessantly about what is wrong with the RWA, but to create any meaningful dialogue means you have to be prepared to be either worshipped or reviled by the masses.  It seems impossible to actually express an opinion without one or the other responses occurring.  It inhibits people from coming forward.  

No, I’m not saying people should not express their opinions and they can get as mouthy as they like, but really.  Is there no such thing as decorum?  Are people truly expressing their opinions about Ms. Butler’s letter or are they showing off?  Is it showing how “enlightened” you are by throwing hate buzz words at another person?  Are we all going to think you are a greater person because you have an acid tongue and can throw an insult with the best of them?

Okay, okay, so I was less than well mannered when I went off on Joe Francis of “Girls Gone Wild” fame.  But the man has physically caused harm, made money off the exploitation of inebriated young girls and has committed date rape at the very least.  He didn’t write a letter to the editor of a special interest magazine.  Save your poison for those who really deserve it.  Hammer on Bush, hammer on FEMA, the government, the Middle East, the criminals who go out and ruin our lives.  Picking on a woman who wrote a letter is a pointless potshot and shows a lack of class.  It is always easy to pick on the easy target and the gang-like atmosphere this has generated is truly nasty.