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Old 05-22-2008, 02:23 PM
pepperlandgirl is offline
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Utah
Posts: 9,440
What as my panties in a "deep twist" is the fact that, whether you meant to or not, your post reflected the sort of language routinely used to dismiss authors, publishers, and readers in several circles and for the past several decades. People don't read romance novels, even if they might enjoy them, because they're all viewed as "just" bodice-rippers for lonely or frustrated housewives. The implication being that romance novels have nothing to offer a thoughtful person because A)there's no thoughtful content because it's just "wank" material and B)it doesn't matter because it's not targeted to a thoughtful audience. I'm sure all readers of romance are aware of those stereotypes--it is right at the bottom of low culture. Now, take that exact same language and apply it to a specific subgenre--it doesn't automatically lose its baggage or implications, just because you may not have intended it.

I won't (and can't) substitute "erotica" for "porn' because they are not the same genre (or subgenre) of literature. For one thing, porn is almost always used to indicate that the work has nothing except sex--gratuitous, random body parts, fill in your own blanks about the implications of using the word "porn." Erotica is not considered porn by its authors and audience, though people still insist on lumping the two together, which is just problematic because there's no way to say where that line should be drawn. What if a book is 80% explicit sex, but it's all character driven and is used for characterization?

It might seem really ridiculous to you--hell it probably is really ridiculous--but this is a hotly debated, hotly defended, ongoing issue in the romance community, and in the larger literature community. It's an issue that affects what is written and published, how it is promoted, how authors are treated, and the reputation of publishers, and how the entire community is dealt with in broader literary circles.

You didn't add anything about "women targeted" fantasy, or "women targeted" suspense--even though women are the presumed and intended audience for the other subgenres (and that does affect how books are written as well as promoted). Why not make that distinction there? Why make it only in relation to sexually explicit material?