Sunday, April 1, 2012

The One Thing we Shouldn’t Break is Our Community… by Taylor V. Donovan



It hasn’t even been a full year since I joined an amazing crit group and submitted my first novel, so I’d say I’m a relative newcomer to M/M Romancelandia.

In this short period of time I’ve attended conferences, made contacts, acquaintances and friends.  I’ve worked on my craft and grown as a writer, and what do you know, I even have a few stories floating around. Everything happened so suddenly for me… I got lucky in so many, many different ways that I should still be enamored. It should still be the honeymoon.

It isn’t, though, because in this period of time I’ve also witnessed a large number of brouhahas within our community, and weathered at least three shit storms arising from comments made on this blog by guests and/or followers in the past two months alone.

As an author I consider a mentor recently said to a few of us: the genre is experiencing growing pains. It is my opinion that, as a result, the last few months have been characterized by controversy, nastiness and disrespect in a wide variety of shapes and forms. We even have people purposely stirring crapola when it is totally uncalled for.  

Here on Chicks & Dicks we believe the genre is changing, and we want to be able to talk about it openly. The blog was conceived for the purpose of providing a platform where a variety of opinions can be aired, including the ones we disagree with.

Considering what the blogosphere around the M/M genre has been like lately we knew —theoretically— that this could mean controversy, because it is impossible to predict what will set people off. As usual, reality and theory are different. Owning and maintaining this blog is a little more stressful than we thought it would be, but we still believe in the original concept and are committed to providing an outlet for interesting discussion without taking sides.

That’s right, folks. Chicks & Dicks has a neutrality policy. You are all welcome to argue your points. Heck, we encourage you to argue your points. But you all have to be respectful and understand the fact that everybody else has the same right to present their argument without insult. And you all need to be aware of the fact that Chicks & Dicks “management” aims to remain neutral no matter what, so do not expect us to take a personal stance or a side in any particular debate. We will monitor and moderate threads, though. This is a hate-free, all-inclusive site, and jerks will be banned.

That being said, I’d like to encourage all our visitors, and the M/M romance community as a whole, to take a step back and think hard about what is going on round these parts. 

Throughout the last month Chicks & Dicks hosted a significant number of guests who are trying to make a difference in our genre. We are trying to break out; trying to get noticed and more importantly, we are trying to get taken seriously outside the M/M world. We have the talent to accomplish that. We have the desire and the motivation. Just think about how much further we’ll be able to go if only we stop hurting one another and join forces.

That should be our focus.

8 comments:

  1. Great post, Taylor. I agree, well said!

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  2. Preach.

    I'm with you. Nothing is gained by shutting down discussion. Having an argument doesn't mean nastiness must spew. it means that people disagree and discuss. It means to argue one's point of view. It doesn't mean shut down the dissenter. That happens all too often today, in all walks of life.

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  3. Yeah, it's like we've forgotten how to have a conversation. An exchange of opinions entails a great deal of listening. There has been too much jumping on soap boxes, admonishing, stone throwing, and outright nastiness.

    Everyone should remember the Golden Rule: "One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself." Or in a simpler form: Don't be a dick.

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  4. "Growing pains". Haha, I like that.

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