So as many of you probably already know, Bitch Magazine posted a List of 100 YA Books for the Feminist Reader late last week. A ton of wonderful books made the list and most people were ecstatic about their favorite authors making the cut. It was a time of rainbows and unicorns and sunshine. That all lasted about a day until the trolls came to do their usually duties (i.e. ruining everything, bitching about issues that don't exist, being generally annoying in all aspects of their existence).
These trolls stomped in and left comments (and apparently sent emails as well) stating 'reasons' why Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan, Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott, and Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce should be taken off the list. Let me begin my rant by saying that out of the three I've only read Sisters Red. (After the way I've seen people defend Tender Morsels and Living Dead Girl, I will definitely be reading both of them.)
Bitch Media caved in a not very feminist manner and took the books off the list. They stated that they read the books (how they read 960 pages in approximately three days while still doing their jobs I will never know) and agreed that some topics in them were triggering for rape survivors and they didn't want to expose their readers to that. (Fun fact: There is not one instance of rape in Sisters Red.) My reaction was something like this:
Like I said, I have only read one of the three books removed from the list, so I won't preach at you about the values of the books being removed. I'm going to instead try to understand where Bitch Media is coming from. They say, 'TRIGGERING BE BAD. NO RAPE ALLOWED HURR.' This makes me cringe. Rape is a very real part of some people's lives and hiding from it won't stop it from happening. They are censoring what rape victims are exposed to. Who are these people to decide what rape survivors are strong enough to read?
Another issue I have with this is that books about rape are taken off the list but books about cutting (Uglies), killers (Hunger Games), eating disorders (Wintergirls), and many other topics that can fall under the category of 'triggering' remained on the list. I am in no way saying these books should be taken off as well, but rather that Bitch seems to be picking and choosing which audiences to conform their list too. Sure, the only topic complained about was rape, but if they really are that intent on avoiding triggering, why not rethink every book on the list? That, my friends, is the question.
Bitch Media left a final statement saying once again that they were not changing the list because of the comments, but because after rereading (and in some cases reading for the first time) the books mentioned they realized these books were not meant for the list. I find that laughable and am now quite upset over this whole business! Have an opinion on this? Leave a comment, let's talk about it.
You can view the altered list and comments here. Also, check out these fantastic posts about the list: one two three.
*In non-Bitch related news:
Anyone else waiting anxiously to find out if Alex Pettyfer will be cast as Jace? I've been checking Cassie Clare's twitter obsessively waiting for news.