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Discrimination goes both ways

Okay, so everyone (including me) is up on arms over the fucked up contest rules at Romance Writers Ink.

Over at the SmartBitches, dick is trying to convince someone that it’s not discrimination because people are entitled to their own discomfort. Which is another way of saying “let’s be tolerant of their intolerance,” from where I’m sitting.

Look, for me it’s like this: I don’t read f/f and read very, very little m/m for the same reason I don’t read horror or inspirationals: I don’t feel like it.

And given that I barely have money to buy what I do want to read, I don’t feel very charitable toward anyone who tells me that I should/must buy f/f to demonstrate that I’m not homophobic.

Sorry, but fuck that.

However, there’s rather a wide gap between that and “hey, this is a romance writing contest but GLBT people need not apply.” Why? Because in the past they have found judges more than happy to read and judge such stories with an open mind–open enough to have had GLBT winning stories.

So yeah, that’s bad–fucked up bad.

But there is a further problem, for me.

Several commenters are now blasting Oklahoma and all of its residents as homophobic assholes just because the apparent¹ majority of that RWA chapter made a GLBTphobic decision.

Sorry, guys–one attitude is just as fucked up as the other one.

(Furthermore, it’s a bit reminiscent of those lovely voices that keep chanting, constantly, that all “romance is trash, all romance is porn for women, all romance readers are all fat, delusional women, the romance genre is by its own nature inferior to all other literature” and the like. )


If you read Courtney Milan’s post, don’t skip the comments–at the very least, read this amazing one by Tessa Dare. Also, this Facebook post by Suzanne Brockmann.

* * * * *

¹ I would certainly love to see the numbers of membership, numbers of voting members, etc. for that particular decision.


  • Wow, so everybody is entitled to their discomfort? As in, the German shop owners and the German city councils that decided to post signs saying “Juden unerwünscht” in their shop windows or at their city limits were totally entitled to their discomfort? Or as in, the US politicians who decided to pass the Jim Crow laws and everybody else who upheld racial segregation in the US well into the 1960s were totally entitled to their discomfort about people of colour??? Please excuse me while I go and bang my head against the nearest wall … Argh! Argh! Argh!

    But of course you’re right to point out that blasting Oklahoma isn’t the right thing to do either.


  • I live in Michigan and I know for a fact my state is very lax in it’s anti-discrimination laws, so I know it’s just not Oklahoma. *hugs* I kind of feel the same way whenever people acts like Detroit is some scary, dumpy city. While they may have a lo to improve on Detroit still has a lot to offer.


  • Stephani, I don’t live in Oklahoma. I have never set foot there.

    I don’t need to, in order to see how gross generalizations (and mass vituperation) are wrong–just as discrimination based on anything (up to and including where you live) is wrong.

    Jes’ sayin’


  • Who said you had to buy f/f to demonstrate that you aren’t homophobic?


  • Ms Sorenson, I recall at least one comment somewhere that pretty much demanded that women buy f/f, but I can’t place it (and link to it) right now. However, you may remember Victoria Janssen’s comment to this post by RRRJessica.

    While I like what little I know of Ms Janssen, here I disagree with her. I don’t read–or indulge in any hobby–to fight the patriarchy, and sometimes a cigar is really just a cigar.


  • Ah. I’ve made some comments in support of f/f lately, so I thought you might have been talking about me.

    As far as Victoria Janssen’s comment, I didn’t read it as “buy f/f or else!” She suggested that fear could be one of the reasons straight women don’t gravitate towards it. I would agree with that. I sometimes fear that people will think I’m a lesbian or not buy my books if I’m vocal about liking f/f. There is a fear of being different and doing the unpopular thing. Fear doesn’t have to mean homophobia. Neither does discomfort, for that matter.

    I also just realized by ‘discrimination goes both ways,’ you were talking about criticism of Oklahoma, not criticism of non-f/f readers. Is that right? Because I don’t see Janssen’s comment (or any of mine) as discriminating against anyone.


  • (This is why I shouldn’t be allowed to write.)

    The ‘both ways’ in the title does refer to the tone several commenters at SBTB took referring to Oklahoma at large.

    As I said in my previous comment, I haven’t been able (so far) to find the comment thread in which readers were hectored into supporting feminism/feminists by buying f/f, not buying m/m, etc. I will certainly post the link if/when I find it, though.


  • Azteclady,

    I actually think you might be thinking of a blog called Requires Only That You Hate:


    I had linked to a post they wrote on “whither lesbian fiction” and generated some discussion at RRR. ROTYH did not like the discussion and said so in the above linked post.

    I hope that clears it up.


  • No, I don’t think so, Jessica–I hadn’t read that until now.


  • oops! 🙂


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