Disabled People Are Sexy – Truth in advertising.
- Communities: You Got Your Industry in my Fanwork – While this post is talking about SFF and television fandoms, I found much of it relevant to Romancelandia’s struggle with reader-author interaction.
Over the last few years many previously fannish book blogs I follow have slowly shifted into industry track blogs. I suspect it’s why the industry can step into these spaces, which are ostensibly fan spaces because their owners are not being compensated. Some parts of the industry feel comfortable doing so because these blogs parlayed their fannish excitement into looking appealing to publishers/creators. Creators can comment on fan conversation that they were not explicitly invited into, sometimes with interesting discussions, but sometimes with really terrible results.
- It’s Like a Black Fly in Your Chardonnay – Maybe this is weird to link to on a romance blog, where HEA is golden, but this concept of ended relationships being failures and not just past experience limits the genre sometimes.
Til death do us part may sound romantic as hell if you’re in a great and fulfilling relationship you want to be in, but if you’re in a relationship that makes you chronically and unresolvably unhappy, or in which you’re unsafe, it’s sadistic codswallop.
We have this pernicious idea that staying together, at all costs, is the only way to make a romantic relationship a “success.” Anything less than the long haul is failure.
- Emily Ladau: Thanks for the Help, I Guess, But I’m Not Helpless! – Disability in Kidlit has relaunched as a once-a-week blog, and I’m gonna cosign this post times eleventy.
When written responsibly, literature can spark positive change by helping society to move past stereotyping disability. However, in order for this to occur, it is imperative for nondisabled authors to assess their own assumptions and behaviors and move towards a greater understanding of the lived experiences of disabled people. To provide some insight into the ways that assumptions of helplessness diminish the rights and independence of disabled people, I’d like to share a few anecdotes in the hopes that writers will think twice before depicting disabled characters as helpless, and that nondisabled people will think twice before rushing to an unneeded rescue.
- Guest Post: Romance Sociology on the Feminine Culture of Romance Authors – A pair of sociologists talk about the hyperfeminine world of RWA. I can’t help but think that this “be nice” commandment is a major stumbling block in the way of greater diversity in the genre. Nobody seems to think acknowledging privilege and institutional marginalization is very nice.
With over 10,000 members, RWA is one of the most successful professional writers’ organizations. As we analyze the be-nice culture among romance writers, we see sociological significance in the fact that it is an outgrowth of a female-dominated community. Just as significant, we think, is how the culture seems to help writers compensate for the difficult experiences in this industry: the constant rejection built into a writing career and the stress of constantly defending the romance genre against the negative perceptions of uninformed outsiders. The be-nice culture has its downside, to be sure, but it also functions in a tremendously positive capacity by providing the community cohesion that romance writers need to meet the challenges of the career.