According to Merriam-Webster, a patron is a person who gives money and support to an artist, organization, etc. While not the most detailed definition I’ve ever read, you get the point. What baffles me is how many equate ‘support’ with derisive comments, pick-up lines and dick pics.
If ‘Who does that?’ is the first thing that pops into your mind, then cheers to you. You there, the dude looking over your shoulder and squirming in your chair. Yes, you. Let me put this is in a language you’ll understand. You suck.
What has my knickers in a knot, you may well ask. Several things, not the least of which is R. B. O’Brien’s blog linked below this post. If you haven’t read it yet, you really should. Beautifully-stated, it makes the case that those of us who pen erotica are no less ‘real writers’ than…than who? Since she has too much class to name the dolt who dissed her, we’ll never know what brilliance flows from his keyboard that justifies his sophomoric snub.
I’d no sooner processed the wisdom of R.B.’s words when it hit me that perhaps there’s a connection between the daily harassment and the absurd belief that those who explore the sensual are somehow second-rate. Like horror and suspense, it’s a genre, not a license for every intellectually-challenged adolescent to drop tacky comments on our social media posts.
Two recent examples come to mind. A friend and fellow writer posted a tasteful promo for a book to which was appended #eatmeout by a fellow old enough to know better. In the first place, I haven’t heard that expression since high school; and in the second place, ewww. There’s nothing even remotely enticing in the visual that produces.
A day or so later, another writer friend posted the following meme, which I liked well enough to retweet. No sooner had I done that when another basement dweller, in an obvious bid for attention, accused the writer of sexism and sexual harassment. Scout’s honor.
And lest you think this nonsense exists only outside the wacky world of writers, you’re wrong. There’s currently a debate raging amongst writers of Erotic Romance as to whether one needs an HEA (Happy Ever After) as opposed to an HFN (Happy For Now) or a FHIWMRTBAMAIA (Fuck happy. I want my readers to be as miserable as I am). Frankly, I don’t care if your climax finds your lovers flying off to separate planets to live as migrant goat herders. If it’s well-written, the characters well-developed and the ending fits the story, I’m good.
Evidently I’m in the minority. In a world filled with discord and hate, it’s ironic how many Erotic Romance writers go bat-shit crazy when other authors end their books with an HEA. Which begs the question: are we so jaded that there is no place for commitment even in our choice of escapist fiction? So it seems. Quite by accident, I came across a comment on Google+ by a writer blasting the HEA as ‘icky sweet’ or something equally banal, a rather sweeping generalization from one who fancies herself an authority on Chick Lit. Never one to back down from a spirited debate, I was forming my reply when it occurred to me the poor dear was simply in ‘a bad place’. Was she struggling with self-loathing? Did her significant other dump her for a cheerleader? In the end, I made a note to never read her books and that was that.
Like life, it’s about the journey, not the destination, something every savvy writer should have figured out. Stating a preference is one thing, but when someone drops an uninformed bomb in a public forum, they’re not just belittling the writers. They’re disparaging the readers who want the ultimate fantasy — and that’s a slippery slope.
If you want to know how intelligent adults handle the issue of the HEA, please read the fabulous Felicity Brandon’s recent guest blog on this site.
Now about those dick pics. Probably the worst kept secret on social media is the fact that some female writers are sharing nude selfies with their virtual guy-pals. Far be it from me to criticize or slut-shame, but please stop the disingenuous whining that you’re being inundated with male genitalia. If I know you’re immortalizing your girlie-bits through PMs or DMs (and I do), then there’s a good chance everyone knows, which means you’re more apt to be part of the problem than the solution. Guys talk. Get it now? Good, I thought you might.
“Guess What? I’m a Writer. Imagine That?” by R. B. O’Brien http://rbobrien.weebly.com/blog/guess-what-im-a-writer-imagine-that