The Crime of Free Thinking

by William Rand
10 April 2013

Luxemburg quote 2

I recently received a comment on one of my blogs saying, “I’m a man and I too am sick of all the PC BS out there. Rock on!,” and “Rock On” is what I intend to do, not only for my own sense of freedom but also for those few readers who are still free thinkers, unafraid of being negatively categorized, damn near criminalized.

Because of my writing, I have been labeled many things from homo-phobic to sexist for the simple crime of thinking differently, without prejudice or discrimination, and with malice toward no one except those who hold malice toward me. Those malicious people show hostility not only toward me, but toward anyone who takes the first literal or interpretive step away from politically correct mandates. Such independent steps do not sell many books, perhaps, but they do, I hope, preserve some semblance of the concepts of free speech and thinking we used to practice and in which we once believed in the United States.

Free speech is now endangered if not dead, especially on university campuses, traditional havens of liberty. Ironically, most restrictions against free speech are now exerted against heterosexual men, especially self-willed men, supposedly the ones who hold social power in society. Despite the supposedly male-dominated power structure, feminist controlled United States universities tell us what can or cannot be criticized or even discussed in public. They try to dictate to us how to think and what to think. The Thought Police, in the form of feminists, Christian fundamentalists and the government, tell what we can or cannot write, publish, purchase or show on film or canvas. They decide which speakers are allowed on campus: only those who agree with and actively support politically correct ideology. Censorship has become a social institution in the United States, if not yet a legal one.

Nowhere is this censorship clearer in literature than in the erotic genre. On the surface, the erotic genre seems to allow more liberty than most, particularly in a Puritanical society such as ours. The current popularity of erotica seems revolutionary; nevertheless, editorial and market forces dictate what can or cannot be allowed at the forefront. Sure, there is a preponderance of BDSM and gay sex in today’s erotic novels. However, publishers’ content restrictions and female dominate writers’ groups now serve as the literary gatekeepers of the genre. In addition, I have seen supposedly unbiased reviews of both fiction and nonfiction works which were openly hostile to MRM themes and independent thought and which seemed intent only on silencing and denigrating the authors involved. Apparently, some perspectives or topics are not allowed, not even for the sake of a fair exchange of ideas.

Female readers of erotica seem to like their private, literary sex, mostly in the form of gay sex (only between men) or sex with emotionally damaged men, or they like to see strong men broken. There is nothing wrong with any of that, in the sense of freedom of expression, but they are not the only themes and perspectives out there. What we have now is political correctness in erotica, and anyone who does not care to read that particular viewpoint, or who criticizes it, is unfairly labeled as sexist, misogynistic or homo-phobic—scare tactics of the thought police. On the other side, I have read openly sexist statements claiming, among other things, that men can’t write sex scenes. Perhaps many men do not write the type of sex scenes that many women care to read in erotic literature. Nevertheless, any vague suggestion that women were less than superior to men in any literary endeavor would be condemned as the worst form of misogyny.

Many people fail to see political correctness and feminism for what they are: power shifts disguised as a struggle for equality. It is interesting to consider what Alexander Pope or Benjamin Franklin would have thought of such anti-male literary bias—in erotica or any other genre—but, of course, they were only white men, and their views no longer count.

I don’t usually write erotica. My favored genre is horror. Horror is a traditionally reactionary genre, but most politically incorrect themes presented in horror stories—as well as science fiction—are either shown symbolically or are secondary to the main plot. In addition, the horror genre in literature, unlike that in contemporary erotica, appeals mostly to male readers. Therefore, I might be stepping directly into the fire by writing male-positive, politically incorrect, socially rebellious erotic novels, but in today’s literary market, that seems to be the most direct approach to exercise free speech and show the truth of society, or at least that part of the truth that the politically correct do not want us to see or believe.

As writers, I believe that we should all be allowed to “rock on” in our own way and in our own voices—to publish and to be heard without attack or censure—regardless of the opinions we espouse. An open, fair debate about an issue is one thing; a vicious attack meant to silence or control an author, artist or screenwriter is another.

The difference between my way of thinking and that of the politically correct is one of freedom. Whereas I may not always agree with the politically correct or like what they do, I do not denigrate their work with derogatory labels, attack them viciously and personally or try to silence them. I want the same courtesy: to be able to write what I believe and read what I like, whether the genre be horror, science fiction, erotica, porn or anything else, and for my readers to be able to do the same. I want to be able to tell that part of the truth that the politically correct aggressively censor. When did that become a crime? I want to be able to think independently, and I do not want to be forced to conform. Perhaps in this age, it is too much to ask.

To Harry O.—Thanks for the blog comment (29 March 2013). Let your voice be heard.

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