That’s what I’m thinking of titling my blog. I told one of my friends and she almost had a hernia. “Who, you?” she demanded. “Have opinions?” Yeah, okay. You know I do. It’s a fine old tradition in our house. My mother was notorious. My dad couldn’t get through a meal without staring a debate on something; anything. My brother and I get into shouting matches. And if we begin to agree, we switch positions and play devil’s advocate, just to keep the debate going(once one of my son’s friends came in while my brother and I were leaning across my kitchen counter finger-waving and shouting at each other over…oh, I don’t know. Gun control. Nuclear disarmament. Exactly what part John Wayne played in the psyches of the males in the US. “Good grief,” he said to my son. “Do they always do that?” Kevin shook his head sadly and said, “You should see what happens when her sister shows up.”)
I was raised in a family that’s lousy with Jesuits. We were steeped in the tradition of debate and discussion. And, yeah, I hit my formative years in the 60s, when anything was fair game for a good round of argument. There’s nothing I love better. It is not only a learning experience, but the best exercise I can think of for the brain–certainly better than soduko, which makes my eyes bleed. I think debates clear the air. They open the door to new ideas and demand a person defend a position with tenacity, all the while allowing her (or him) to remain open to the discovery of new ideas. They sharpen a person’s verbal skills and teach her to crystallize concepts.
My last post evidently started a very active debate. Passionate in some quarters. It ended up fitting into a dandy discussion going on over at Laura Vivanco’s blog, Teach Me Tonight(the post on Elizabeth Thornton’s Fallen Angel). I didn’t agree with everything said, and I certainly wasn’t agreed with by everyone. But I couldn’t be more delighted. I think the idea of violence against women in the romance genre is one that should continually be examined. And I think that the discussions I read have been passionate, thoughtful, insightful, and intelligent. Should we label romance to indicate issues that might disturb? Would limiting content be censorship, if the same book can be published elsewhere? Is the observation being made in CTC valid? I still feel strongly about my position, but I can see valid points in many of the dissenting views.
I don’t like censorship any better than anybody else. But I do believe that genres, by definition, have boundaries. I’m intrigued by the labeling idea. Some think it would be demeaning. I’m not sure. Nobody considers Harlequin to be patronizing by clearly marking their lines and what the parameters are for each. It’s not censorship so much as marketing. It’s something to think about I wouldn’t have considered if there hadn’t been a debate at all.
Which is why they’re so much fun. Just ask any Jesuit. Or my mother.
eileenkathleen, the evil twins.