Tuesday, June 07, 2005

RWA Brouhaha

I am not a member of RWA, nor am I an author (published or unpublished). I would someday like to be a writer, but I am too busy right now. I know, everyone says this, but I decided I want to get my degree. And I work full-time. I can only do two full-time things at a time, so writing and/or having children/family will have to wait until the degree is done.

But that is beside the point. The combination of my interest in writing in the future, and my interest in free speech and freedom of information (only enhanced since working in a library) makes me interested in this whole business from RWA right now.

Rumors are flying, and real information is few and far between. I haven't personally seen any official statements from RWA, but then, they don't answer to me. Of course, from what I've seen, they don't seem to think they answer to their own membership, which is sad.

Blogs with comments/information about RWA's new "graphical standards" and the related drama:

Here's the one comment I made on RTB:
"I don’t know what federal regulations people are referring to when they say that this policy has to do with RWA worrying about complying with federal laws. COPA applies to information on the internet for COMMERCIAL purposes, which wouldn’t apply to RWA, and CIPA applies to access to the internet in libraries and schools, neither of which RWA is. So my question would be, what ACTUAL laws is RWA supposedly trying to comply with? And if it is, why isn’t it fighting them, as they would be de facto censorship, and therefore RWA’s responsiblity to protect its members from?"

And this is the part that does confuse me. What federal regulations are people talking about? I've read in some places that federal laws are the reason these decisions have been made. But I've read in others that that protest is just a straw man, and the actual reasons are different. If the real reason is that some people in RWA just don't want erotic romance authors included or sitting next to them, or accepted the same way as them, and those people are the ones running RWA and being elected to run RWA, then I don't think the people being lobbied against have a chance. This past election, and the number of states that passed resolutions against gay marriage proves that ideology trumps logic and compassion. If that is the case on the national scale, then it most definitely will in a conservative group like RWA.

What do you guys think? Anyone heard anything about the reasons behind this whole thing? Anyone think there are correlations between this and the national political landscape?

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