One of my projects for 2012 is to contribute a monthly post to The Erotica Readers and Writers Association blog, along with many other erotica writers whose work I greatly admire. This morning when I went to Facebook to link to my current post, they refused the URL as inappropriate or "spammy." This has never happened before, and I don't see it as a good sign. We live in a society where our House of Representatives believes it's okay to ask a panel of old men to decide on women's health issues and their right to access birth control without allowing a single woman to be part of the dialogue. Is Facebook's sudden blocking of ERWA a similar effort to allow the most reactionary, fearful opinion prevail over freedom of speech and thought?
I hope I'm being paranoid.
Unfortunately, history shows that the forces of reaction can roll back progress, as impossible as that might seem. Remember that Jim Crow kept southern blacks in virtual slavery for over a century after the Emancipation Proclamation. There are obviously many people out there who would like to outlaw contraception and anything that celebrates the enjoyment of sexuality. As my blog post argues, writing erotica is an important way to assert the truth about the human experience rather than buckle under to what makes a small minority of fear-mongers comfortable. Apparently Facebook is part of that minority.
The problem is, once you start censoring for the "common good," where do you stop? I find violence very objectionable, and in fact some PG-13 movies offend me with their portrayal of terrible violence without realistic consequences. Does that mean Facebook should censor all violent material?
Ironically, my ERWA blog post about changing the world is even more salient than I thought when I wrote it last week.