I feel very torn down the middle on a subject that you would think has been, for lack of a better term, stamped “done” and put on a shelf where we don’t have to worry about it ever again.
What am I talking about?
Yes, the big ugly C word and not any other derogatory C words that might pop into your head. Tsk, tsk.
When I read an article this morning and actually saw this statement:
“I believe putting books in Erotica is a result of the FOSTA-SESTA (Anti Sex Trafficking) bill, which recently passed. This bill has hidden items in it like censoring “adult products” which seems to include erotic romance novels.”
Why is this alarming?
Well, first of all, an author who doesn’t categorize her book as erotica, but clearly has it labeled has a contemporary romance in all of their pre-marketing campaigns, but then by a powerhouse, like say Amazon, on release day categorizes it as erotica, that now means reviews can be removed and the authors rank is stripped.
Why does this matter?
Best selling titles sell books. When you, as a buyer, see the #1 status by a name, it makes you look. It makes you want to buy a #1 bestseller vs. a book that only has three reviews. Also, the censor part of the bill now means no promotion on the book site because it is now classified as erotica. Once again, a choice the author didn’t make ahead of time. There is a difference between an author choosing to write erotica and an author who doesn’t. Is the cover too racy? Is the blurb too steamy? What is it that will now move an author’s novel into the erotic classification when, if you read the book, doesn’t even come close to that column.
So, this is alarming part #1.
Alarming part #2 of this thought process, is where I’m torn; the adults only/censorship part of this bill. I thought we were long past the days of burning books, denying people what they could and couldn’t read in this country, um…hello this country just produced a movie trilogy about Mr. Gray and his weird kinks which all started with books that years ago would have only been found perhaps in the back of a bookstore, bottom shelf, wrapped in brown paper.
I’m thrilled to be at point where I can buy what I want to read and read it in whatever format I want to read it in. Print, ebook, audible; all choices are amazing and I commend the publication world for making all of the choices available for every reader.
Where I understand that pornography is easily accessible from any device, I firmly believe that a child is more likely to click on a site and watch it vs. picking up their mommies kindle, start flipping through a book and begin reading it. However, isn’t that the choice of the parent to decide on how to monitor their child’s activity? Isn’t that why there are child protection locks, parental monitoring devices, etc…I don’t condone a child getting ahold of such information, but I also am not here to parent the world, just my own children and that is exhausting enough. When they were little, we had rules, set times, firewalls up the ying yang and most importantly they didn’t have their own smartphones until they older.
Those were our rules, they worked for us and hey, I love my kids. So far they aren’t serial killers and they are still alive so win-win.
I’m know making a lot of assumptions, but I’m also trying to make a point. I believe congress made a lot of assumptions when they included censorship in this bill. I can’t believe we’ve stepped back in time to a place that condones this sort of behavior.
I’m all for ending human trafficking, don’t get me wrong on that, but I seriously don’t make the connection on reading and people being sold into slavery? Perhaps if the world spent less time on evil deeds and more time reading this would be a happier place. It’s a thought.
In conclusion, I suppose sometimes I live under a rock, or more like in the pages of a really good book instead of living in the dredges of the real world. This bill may have been in place for quite some time or it may have come out last week, I admit to not knowing, but if you are like me and didn’t know as well and were wondering why you couldn’t find some fabulous erotic books….then you are now in the know and can feel all the feels right along with me. You’re welcome.
Keep reading, keep writing, keep dreaming!