After successfully raging for most of the day, breaking many pencils in half, and ranting/screaming to a considerable amount of people about the wealth of lemons being reported and deleted, I have come to this conclusion:
We can't let this get to us.
It's either the work of someone incredibly jealous of the success of lemons, a complete prude, an absolutely horrendous troll, or dA just going through and purging what they see fit. I'm sure that if it's the first three of those options, they are seeing our reactions and having an absolute blast about how badly they have affected us.
My earlier journal was immature and I should have handled the discovery of so many of my pieces being deleted much better. However, I am upset as hell, because I put heartfelt emotions in my work--lemons or not. To me...fanfiction and reader inserts are where I can be in a fantasy world to escape the pains of reality. I can pretend I know what it's like to be in love. I can pretend that the ones I'm "in love" with aren't just fictional characters. I know that sounds cheesy as fuck and probably completely and utterly stupid, but that's my take on it all.
Now to the more serious bit of my journal.
What I suggest is this: everyone go to the dA help desk and write out a complaint. Ask why lemons are wrong, when artistic nude is not. dA addresses their policy of nudity as this: Submissions depicting nudity are allowed providing that the model is eighteen (18) years of age or older and providing that the image is not determined to be obscene or pornographic as detailed elsewhere in the FAQ. All images containing nudity must be tagged as Mature Content upon submission. The deviantART staff reserves the right to mark any work with a general mature content tag if it is deemed by that staff member to require one. We strongly recommend that photographers submitting photographs of nude models have signed model release form documentation on record. While providing model release forms is not mandatory the deviantART administration reserves the right to demand such documentation at any time and to remove any work for which it is demanded but not provided. Photographs and other works depicting models under the legal age of eighteen (18) may be subject to restrictions.
Now, I'm sure we've all read the policies of "pornographic literature" with this scenario rearing its ugly head, so I won't put that in here. However, this is what I have to say.
I'm sure dA will combat our protests of allowing "artistic nude" with: "Just put your mature content on so you don't have to see it." I myself have that off, so I can go through lemons at my leisure. It's a win-lose situation, when the front page is always littered with genitalia. It disgusts me. Another jibe I'm sure a dA mod could make would be, "If you want your sexual literary content to be allowed, then those who want their artistic nude submissions will as well."
You get my point. I am certain they will find a way to twist our words into something of that sort. However, I believe it's important to let the site know that we believe their censorship policies and what they consider inappropriate is complete and absolute shit. Maybe our protests get us nowhere, but it's always better to have our concerns heard rather than stew over them in a rage.
Now, to all those who still have lemons remaining...I suggest backing them up somewhere for safe keeping, just in case. I don't think anyone is safe in this shit storm of a fiasco. I also suggest finding another site to post your smut where it will be allowed. I am going to be trying Fanfiction.net once more with my writing, and the link to my profile on that site is already somewhere in my bio on here. You see, FFN was where I started my dream of writing, and...I just miss it. I really do. It's like an old friend that I had a falling out with, and I want to try and make amends. Another site I'm going to try is Lunaescence. Once I move all of my reader inserts and smut onto that site, I will give out the link to my profile.
I'm still going to attempt to stay on dA, but I definitely make no promises with the premise of lemons or anything else that will be considered "pornographic literature." At most, I will only work on my wolf!PrussiaXReader series, Wolfsbane. I am still holding my Shifter contest, and will still write the prizes once that's all here, but none will be lemons. I really don't want the humiliation of being banned.
I'm still pissed beyond words. I won't deny that. And I'm absolutely upset that dA makes such a big deal about making people comfortable and feel welcome to the site, when really...that's all a bunch of hypocritical and controversial bullshit.
I really hope this all gets sorted out. I hope the moderators and admins of the site respond to everyone who has made a complaint (me included) and answer all our questions. I hope that we can make some sort of a difference. The cynical part of me is convinced that all of this is going to be swept under the rug, since a majority of this site revels in the "artistic nude" and other pornographic pieces yet hate on reader inserts and smut. You just can't win in today's world.