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Article Concerning an Internal Fight Inside the Romance Writers of America

Devor

Fiery Keeper of the Hat
Moderator
There are very few organizations that are "fantasy" and not "sci fi and fantasy."

Didn't the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) have a similar problem a few years back over scantily clad women and sexism? If I remember it right they kind of bungled it for a while, but not to this extreme.
 

skip.knox

toujours gai, archie
Moderator
I think it's rather in the nature of groups like this to have flare-ups. Once you set a policy, something is going to come along to violate it. Once you have an authority, someone will come along to threaten it. It takes laws to make outlaws. The details are specific to time and culture, but the dynamic is eternal.
 

Yora

Maester
I think perhaps the origin of these problems might result from these associations having been created with the intent to be for everyone and open to all opinions. That might not have been a problem 40 or 50 years ago when there was a more common common consensus of what is appropriate in fiction and anyone who was crossing those boundaries didn't even have to bother showing their faces. Then over time you have new people coming in with ever more diverse opinions and views, and eventually you have silent minorities feel they have become silent majorities and start to openly speak their minds. This comes as a great surprise to people had not noticed the winds having turned and bam: drama.
 

pmmg

Vala
I think perhaps the origin of these problems might result from these associations having been created with the intent to be for everyone and open to all opinions. That might not have been a problem 40 or 50 years ago when there was a more common common consensus of what is appropriate in fiction and anyone who was crossing those boundaries didn't even have to bother showing their faces. Then over time you have new people coming in with ever more diverse opinions and views, and eventually you have silent minorities feel they have become silent majorities and start to openly speak their minds. This comes as a great surprise to people had not noticed the winds having turned and bam: drama.

I think there are many reasons stuff happens, and Skip covered it fairly well with details are specific to time and culture but the dynamic is eternal. I would suggest that the notion that there was greater consensus of what was appropriate fiction in a different time period is not accurate. The world has always been full of diverse opinions and views, and it was visible wherever circumstances arose that required it. I am not sure I track with the silent minorities becoming silent majorities and then openly speaking out. My observation is silent types tend to stay silent and vocal types tend to remain vocal. A silent majority will likely just remain silent and take action whenever they are stirred in generally silent ways (such as changing the channel, buying somewhere else, or at a voting booth). It may be a quelled minority is feeling more empowered and has become more vocal, but I suspect the vocal ones in the group were always kind of vocal. On websites, it seems to me longevity breeds inclusive groups, and personalities which tend to clash will likely grow into camps which only has one outcome. It blows up, ppl, leave, it calms down, and the site recovers. An ocean wave comes in and destroys the sand castle, but come back in five years, and the beach is still fine. The fate of RWA will make little difference in the universe.

Incidentally, I think this thread is a bag of bad stuff waiting to spread. I wont be looking at it anymore.
 
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