Alison Kent reports that the Romance Writers of America are suspending their "graphical standards" rules. The new rules would have, among other things, forbid the organization or any of its chapters from linking to any author or publisher websites that displayed the words cock,
cocksucker, cunt, fuck, motherfucker, shit and tit or featured bookcovers that showed images like a hand on a breast, an exposed female nipple, or g-string clad buttocks (which would have ruled out my author photo).
In a special phone call board meeting, RWA’s Board of Directors met to
discuss the Graphical Standards policies. The Board of Directors enacted the
1. The Graphical Standards have been temporarily suspended.
2. A Graphical Standards Ad Hoc Committee will be formed to seek
out membership input and investigate when, where and how such standards
be applied, with a report due to the RWA Board no later than September
How about IF such graphical standards should be applied at all? It’s hard to believe that the RWA board is actually comprised of writers. They shouldn’t just scrap the rules…they should scrap the committee. Come to think of it, they should scrap the board members who thought these rules were a good idea in the first place.
UPDATE: The folks at Smartbitches take issue with an "inspirational romance writer" who doesn’t get what all the ruckus is about.
7 thoughts on “RWA Members Can Look At Nipples Again”
I believe elections are coming up in October.
What’s wrong with those “You are leaving the Romance Writers of America website. We are not responsible for the content here.” popups?
Perhaps paranormal erotica writers and christian “sweet” writers are just too big a tent for one organization.
Could be, though I work well with others. But it’s also a simple fact– if we’re going to go graphic standards on romance books, why not all books? Why stop in just one measly genre when we can have them try to dictate to all genres. Sorry, my sarcasticness has come out, but it’s a valid point.
I don’t get the whole concept of this, especially considering that there are no real book standards in the US. Beyond the nudie magazines kept behind a shelf, you have none. Go into the How To section of your bookstore and you can find The Joy of Sex or the Kama Sutra which is definitely more explicit than a romance cover.
Though I agree in being a responsible writer, I’m also one for fairness in all things. Many of the romance writers who are best known are crossing or have crossed into the mainstream market as well. I was waiting for the RWA to sit down all the major romance publishers and give them the ultimatum in regards to the covers and blurbs. I think that alone would’ve hit home just how unthought through this whole thing was from start to the current ending.
For someone like me, who writes hot, what caught my eye was what the board writes or doesn’t write. Of the ones who are published, the hottest is Linda Howard. You notice that you don’t see someone from the hotter romances represented on the board. Wonder why? Hmm.
Back in the 1987, when condoms were still kept behind pharmacy counters, Trojan Brand Condoms offered these cards for free http://photos12.flickr.com/18791169_2fd53f7b3b_m.jpg
because people were too embarrassed to ask for condoms. The cards became collector’s items almost over night, as soon as pharmacies moved them into the general merchandise aisles.
I don’t recall anyone having a problem saying anything on that list of dirty words, however.
I think it’s probably due to extremely risque covers. I saw three links to some very questionable covers on shesawriter’s blog.
If I remember correctly, ellorascave.com is RWA recognized publisher, and it publishes Romantica (very hot erotic romance). And RWA doesn’t seem to want to have such book covers (the covers like the ones above) gracing their advertising space and/or their events.
I do question the necessity for banning certain words though.
I agree: why explicitly ban words? That’s just silly. No writer worth her salt tosses those words around needlessly. The only place such words are likely to appear are in the mouth of a character, and romances don’t normally contain such characters.
I think this is Romance (note capital letters) trying to maintain the illusion that it isn’t pornography, an attempt to maintain distance between the body romantic and icky graphic men’s porn.
To address Mary’s comment above– if you check out responses from myself (http://writtenbetweensundays.blogspot.com) and fellow Christian novelist’s response (http://brendacoulter.blogspot.com/2005/06/some-like-it-hot.html) I think you will see that it’s *not* the inspirational writers who were clamoring for this change.