Received an e-mail from Smashwords today. Pen Pal has given them a week to delete all stories in the erotica genre that have elements of children in sexual situations, bestiality, rape and incest.
Smashwords has no choice but to comply since Pay Pal handles all their payments even processing credit cards. Smashwords alread has a prohibition on minors involved in or being present in sexual situations. I removed one of my flash stories upon publication dealing with a 16 year old boy and an older woman. Can't write The Summer of 42 anymore.
Did anyone vote for Pay Pal to be the arbiter of public morals?
I know some of you are saying what's wrong with censoring these abominable items. And they are, but what's to now stop them from censoring political comments they don't like, anti-war stories, or a children's book that puts a bad light on lumberjacks (The Lorax- now a movie).
They've qualified the ban on rape as that which is tittilating, whatever the hell that means. This is the one item that affects me.
In my novel Human Sacrifices my heroine is raped by her husband the first time she says no to sex after they're married. Her husband quotes scripture saying that the woman's body belongs to her husband and she doesn't have the right to deny him. It is essential to my story to show the fundamentalist belief in women being subject to their husbands as explicitly stated in the Southern Baptist Conventions revision of the Faith and Message Statement in 2000. I don't believe the way I wrote the scene it would be of purient interest to most readers, but I can't vouch for every reader particularly one looking to be offended.
For my snarky take on this I'll post on my Captain's Log further steam.