Monday, 9 July 2012

'Adult' content in fan fiction and other genres

I understand that one of the sites I have, in the past, published on, recently made the decision to start removing some of the 'MA' rated fiction  from their site.  I vehemently disagree with this action.
"Fiction M can contain adult language, themes and suggestions. Detailed descriptions of physical interaction of sexual or violent nature is considered Fiction MA."
I also don't understand why the site in question has allowed authors, recently, to class their writing as 'MA' and publish it as such when they claim they haven't accepted MA stories since 2002.

Other sites recently started removing NC-17 material as well, including some mainstream publishers of e-books. One such move was prompted by the demands of certain banks, inflicted upon PayPal and thence onto their service users.

NC-17 is a rating used for some films in America:
"No one under the age of 17 is permitted in a theater to watch a film with this rating. The MPAA gives a film an NC-17 rating based on "violence, sex, aberrational behavior, drug abuse or any other element that most parents would consider too strong and therefore off-limits for viewing by their children.

(In the UK the rating equivalent to NC-17 would be an '18' (over 18s only). There is no drect equivalent of 'MA', since it is 15+ OR under 15 if accompanied by an adult, so it falls somewhere between our '12' rating and out '15' rating).

I cannot state vehemently enough how opposed I am to the suppression or censorship of creative works by corporate, financial, religious, political and governmental bodies. If humans do it, we should be able to write, paint, draw or perform works about it. 

As a sexual abuse survivor I have a vested interest in this situation, because what happened to me, in real life, involved "violence, sex [and] aberrational behavior". If I cannot express my experiences and my views on such issues, whether that be in fiction or factual writing or artwork, then the door is left open for those who would seek to inflict the same behavior on new victims. Abuse happens behind closed doors. The victims of abuse are told not to tell. We MUST tell in order to stop the abuse! 

As a pansexual / bisexual / humanosexual / Queer I need to be able to speak of myself and my tribe(s). I need to be able to express my views, describe my practices and expose the lies people tell about who I am and what I get up to. I need to be able to tell the stories of my tribe(s), so that our history may be preserved and those who need to find and join us may do so.

As a pagan I need to be able to discuss my faith, my belief, my hopes, fears, concepts and understanding of this life. Some members of my faith feel that the practices of the faith should not be disclosed to the uninitiated; having lived past lives that ended in torture and fire I understand their concerns, but wonder what impression the stance gives to outsiders in the present time. 

As an artist, and as a sufferer of mental ill-health, I need to speak of my personal vision, my insights, experiments, nightmares and explorations. I cannot allow all that accumulates in my head to go unexpressed, because it would, quite literally, kill me to remain silent. 

Silence allows those who would eradicate our tribe(s)--or disenfranchise or gag the members thereof--the opportunity to promote wildly inaccurate fantasies about what we may or may not get up to behind our own 'closed doors'. Silence can cause those moderates who might otherwise support us to wonder and to doubt, and thus our causes are weakened,

I am fortunate enough to be able to say, without serious fear of death, or imprisonment (though not violence, even here in the 'enlightened' West), that I will not allow my voice and the voices of others to be censored or silenced whilst any means of self-expression remains open to me. I support wholeheartedly those who live in regimes where such freedom is unobtainable and will work to gain them the same freedoms, where it is in my abilities to do so.


There is a practice among those who write fan fiction to include in their profiles various statements about their fandoms, their beliefs and their politics, and to ask others who agree with them to re-post these short statements onto their own profiles. Thus I offer these two:

If you believe that it is your RIGHT to be able to publish overtly sexual content (NC-17(+)) so long as it has a warning on it, PLEASE copy and post this on your own blog.
If it is your intent to fight corporate, financial, religious, political and governmental attempts to censor and suppress the creative works of yourself and others please copy and paste

Despite their stance on NC-17 literature, the site I refer to above has a very good, user friendly system in operation. I can quickly find my own works and those of others which I have especially enjoyed. It will notify me when favourite stories are added to and it will tell me when my favourite authors have published something new (provided of course the works sought are not NC-17 and have not been removed). I have yet to find a site which offers as much easily accessed interactivity. I will not, therefore, remove my existing works from the site, but in future I will be publishing on sites which do not censor their content to exclude NC-17 works, even though I rarely write such works myself. 

You will find my newer work, presently, on my own (writer's) blog, on the Redemption Reef blog and 'coming soon' at Archive Of Our Own (AO3) and A Teaspoon and an Open Mind

I hope that in time those publishers and other institutions who currently feel they need to bow to the demands of those who support censorship of the Arts will 'grow a pair' and say 'NO'. I praise those who already actively resist censorship of the Arts and I remember those Artists, Writers and Performers who in the past had their work removed from galleries, theatres or presses, whose perseverance has proven that resistance is never futile! Blessed Be!


1 comment:

  1. Sorry about the changes in colour to the background on this post. I am not sure what happened there.