I had an epiphany about a week ago. It occurred after watching a video of a few smart chicks with regard to romance. The realization was, that no matter how good or bad we think a publisher of romance is, no matter how nasty a blog, no matter how shitty a review, no matter how snarky a website, when it comes to the industry, we all have one commonality: Our love of romance. And it’s all good! It really is! And while I may not agree with some of the methods used, we are all advocates for the genre. I applaud those who strive to diffuse the clichÃ©s, push authors and editors to raise the bar, and in general move the genre forward. There are a lot of really smart ladies out there who know their stuff. It makes us all shine. But, boy oh boy is there a price to pay for being honest.
I certainly don’t care for the sniping, the sub-genre bashing or the ad nauseaum debates (you know which ones I’m talking about!), but here’s the thing, we all have an opinion and we are entitled to it. It’s neither right nor wrong, it’s what we feel. It’s a great thing freedom of speech. That said, if a blogger asks a direct question, they had better damn sure be prepared for the answer. They may not like it. Case in point: This whole Perez Hilton vs Miss California thing. On national television, during the Miss America pageant, he asked her a question. He didn’t like her answer, and then, after the show, he went after her. It got personal and ugly. At the very least, he should have been professional about it, accepted her answer as how she felt (he did ask her that didn’t he?) and agreed to disagree. Stuff like this gets crazy ugly. It’s one of the reasons we all agreed here at MSW not to talk politics or religion. Debating feelings is useless and leads to anger and saying things we sometimes wish we could take back.
If you ask for an opinion, and don’t like it, and then proceed to vilify the person for being honest, what does that make you? Since when aren’t we allowed to be honest? Why should we have to duck or feel the need to whip out the WMD’s to defend our feelings? Why do so many people insist on arguing with someone on what they believe? It’s stuff like this that keeps many of us silent. Had Miss California said what Perez wanted to hear, all would be good. But she spoke her truth and got burned for it. As far as taking sides on this, it’s not about her answer to the question, it’s about respecting an individual’s beliefs. Don’t ask the question if you can’t handle the answer.
I have dear friends who are polar opposites of me when it comes to touchy subjects. I accept what they believe and we understand that certain topics are not debatable and we stay away from them. I can’t force someone to think and feel like I do, just as they cannot expect the same from me.
Okay, so I have gone off my original blog subject, which was to say, we’re all in this together. This love of fiction, whether it be romance, thrillers, mysteries, sci-fi or whatever floats our boat. We’re all writers battling the same battles just on different battlefields on different days. Why do we insist on battling each other? It behooves us not to judge, not to be disrespectful and not to get all up-in-arms-defensive when we ask a question and get an answer we don’t like. If that’s the case, don’t ask the question! Some folks might think that’s a cop out. But tell me, what is the point of asking a loaded question and then attacking the person for their answer when it’s not what you want to hear? It’s different if someone answers a question based on inaccurate information. By all means, inform! But when it comes down to personal beliefs, to gut feelings, those, they are our own. Period. IMHO, not debatable.
If I don’t like cats but you can tell me one thousand reasons why I should and I still don’t like them, and then you get all highfy and pissy and make it personal, um, you have issues. It’s a personal preference, one not debatable. What is so damn hard to understand about that? And why must everything get personal and ugly?
I’m not asking, why can’t we all get along? That’s Pollyanna talk, and as nice as it would be if we all joined hands and sang Kumbaya, it ain’t gonna happen, and frankly I think things would be pretty boring if that were the case. I like a healthy debate, I like snark, I like dark humor and light humor, I like to poke fun now and then. Hell, I even like to hang out with a mean girl or two once in awhile. But I don’t like being vilified because I voice my beliefs and my feelings, feelings and beliefs that don’t happen to jive with the person asking about them.
State an opinion? Sure. But don’t berate me for mine. Now, I am off today to have a birthday/celebratory luncheon with four dear friends, then I’m taking my oldest daughter shopping. Long day but good times.
So, while I’m gone, behave! Coz, I’ll be back!