Friday, September 9, 2011

Censorship and Common Sense

    A romance writer friend of mine is now writing erotica.
    Ah huh.  I see you there wrinkling your nose, giving the little southern sniff of disapproval.  Any minute now you're going to be saying, 'Well, bless her heart." 
    Here's the site  Dollars to doughnuts you're logged in within the next half hour.  And, once you've seen the site, you're going to be a secret follower.  Because we both know you're too worried about what your friends will think to be an open follower and because this is not your daddy's old playboy.  Lunazega is a cyberworld that celebrates female sensuality. 
     So, take a minute, click on the link and go to the site.  But come on back here because what I really want to talk about today is censorship and common sense.
     See, the friend who created this erotica webpage tried to take advantage of a small, free advertising space on facebook with a discrete and tasteful promotion of her new website.  As a result of this attempt, she was banned from that social networking giant.  Not told that, so sorry, but the advertisment is unacceptable. She can never again show her cyberface on facebook under the exact name she origianally used.  Gee.  I wonder how she'll ever get around that taboo? 
      So, in a world where a Disney movie is interrupte by erectile dysfunction remedies and the sleazy beer guy offers his stones to scantily clad young women, a website demonstrating that women are sensual, bless their hearts, even sexual being, that's not allowed on facebook.
     The thing is, censorship is a slippery slope.  We need to use a little common sense here.  Do I want my seven year old nephew purusing lunazega?  Well, no. Though I'd rather he spend his time looking at boudour photos than blasting zombies and ripping out the hearts of god-knows-who on some video game. But then, unlike the makers of violent video games, my friend doesn't market her site to children. 
    Another example of censorship jumped out at me this week.  The writer's critique group to which I belong meets in a church.  We writers bring food for their food bank, we get a place to meet.  Win/win.  Except that some of us in the writer's group do, occasionally use profanity in our work and we've been reminded to not read those offensive words out loud as this, if overheard, might create a problem.  Now writers, as a general rule, hate to be censored.
    However, this strikes me as less about censorship and more about common courtesty.  Do I think it's silly that we can read in a booming voice about a child molestor or a rapist or Bigfoot and that's all just hunky dory, but that some folks find it offensive to hear certain perfectly fine anglo-saxon words.  Well, of course I do.  And it doesn't matter.  Our group is a guest in this church and just as none of us, well most of us, wouldn't go to dinner at our grandmother's home and say, "Pass the fucking potatoes."  Just so, as guests in this particular house of worship, we're respectful. 
     So, is there a point to this tirade?  I think so, yeah.  If we could all just be a teensy bit more tolerant and understanding of each other, maybe the world would be a little better place.  If we could do our best to be a little more loving of ourselves and thus a little less quick to project our faults and repressed urges out there onto others, maybe God, in whatever name we call him or her by, would have a tiny bit bigger opening to pour her love into us.
     And to answer your question.  Yes.  I am fully aware that I started a blog about an erotica site and ended with God.  This ought to tell you something about me.


  1. You know what a blog that starts out talking about erotica and ends up discussing God tells me about you?
    1) You're a good friend
    2) You "know it when you see it"
    3) You're respectful of others, because I agree. Censoring my words in church is simply out of respect and has nothing to do with someone denying you your voice.
    4) You're warped and deluded, which is why we love you.

    Thanks for the thought provoking and humorous (as always) post.

  2. Excellent and provocative post, Pam. (And brave, too.) :) I think you summed it up in a nutshell - we all need to be more tolerant and more respectful. That would make censorship a rarely needed blindfold. Like I always say, "Political correctness will be the end of us."

    And by the way, bravo, Luna Zega, for paving the road for open-minded (and open-eyed)sensuality.

    Maybe if I hang out with you two long enough, a little bit of that bravery will rub off on me.

  3. That Luna Zega woman must have done something terrible to get kicked off a social network giant. I can't wait to go to her website and see what she did. Be back in a minute.

    Okay, I'm back now. Oh, my. I see what you mean, Pam. Thanks for the heads up on that Luna Zega website.

  4. I’m glad this topic was brought up, and both sides addressed. Personally, when I read, I’m not in a church, only in a character’s head who’d say things within the context of a story. Years ago this same group--yet with a different cast of characters--met in another church, where the subject was never broached, so I think it’s really just a matter of group dynamics. But yes, one must be respectful of their hosts and of others’s sensibilities. Especially as writers, we should be adaptable to any circumstance.

  5. LOL, loved how you began with God and ended with erotica. It *does* say a lot about you, but I like what it says ;)

  6. Oops, I must read from back to front...