The WSJ, ever interested in service to readers, helpfully provided readers with an acceptable list of young adult books. It’s divided into boy books and girl books, naturally, and that gendered split follows in terms of narrators, as well. Girls should read books with girl protagonists, while boys should read books with boy protagonists. As for the rest of us, well, I suspect the WSJ doesn’t think we exist, and would put books with genderqueer and androgyne or other nonbinary protagonists in the ‘depraved’ category. Naturally, none of the recommended books feature binary trans protagonists. After all, those sorts of books, with protagonists who experience oppression because of their gender, ability status, race, class…might be a bad influence on impressionable teens. We certainly wouldn’t want trans teens learning that they’re not freaks and there’s a word to describe what they’re experiencing. We wouldn’t want teens of colour and nonwhite teens learning that they can and should take pride in their identities. &tc.
YA is a powerful genre and a lot of young adult authors do impressive anti-oppression work. It is heartening to see so many standing in solidarity with their readers today as the WSJ attacks them. Rather than condemning the ‘depravity’ of young adult fiction, we should be talking about the real-world depravity that so many teens experience in a world with murderous bullying, sexual assault, and so many other things. We should be asking why the government is so bent on cutting the social services so critical to teens; why it is that so many children and teens are living with hunger and homelessness; why it is that the treatment of teen rape victims is dependent on the social status of their rapists; why it is that queer and trans teens experience suicidality and poverty at rates much higher than that of the general population; why it is, if our youth are so important, that we treat them like garbage. That is depraved. Books that help teens survive in a harsh world speak not to the need to censor books, but to the need to fix the world we live in.
“he posed a question to all of the men in the room: “Men, what things do you do to protect yourself from being raped or sexually assaulted?”
Not one man, including myself, could quickly answer the question. Finally, one man raised his hand and said, “Nothing.” Then Katz asked the women, “What things do you do to protect yourself from being raped or sexually assaulted?” Nearly all of the women in the room raised their hand. One by one, each woman testified”
This is such a powerful exercise.
This article starts on the second page when you click the link, so you can click here to be taken to the first page. It was a really good article that I enjoyed.
Really good, indeed. Also because it’s so important to remember that *feminism is for males too*.
(No, they don’t. They just share these loooong stares. And they fall into each other’s arms when wounded. And they… well, if I had a penny for each time it looked like they were going to kiss - and not as best buddies, I would have a nice dinner at a certain nice Japanese restaurant in Mayfair.)
“If you report an assault soon after it occurred, it proves that you couldn’t be traumatized enough to have been assaulted. If you report an assault a few years after the fact, this proves that “you see an opportunity.” (Particular to this case: obviously, it’s completely irrational to think that if you report on being assaulted by a famous person his asshole buddies will immediately smear you with no evidence.)
If there is no history of the alleged attacker having committed previous assaults, the accuser could not possibly be telling the truth. If there are multiple accusers, this proves all of the women making accusations are lying, gold-digging sluts.”—
“Are you a prude or a slut? You know what, I’m neither. I understand the concept of re-appropriating slurs, and that many people find it freeing and empowering. Also, political discourse doesn’t exactly lend itself to nuance and subtlety, so shocking slogans can be tremendously effective. On a personal level, though, this kind of reactive language can feel awfully limiting.”—
We don’t have to mope. We don’t have to pretend that we feel oppressed 24/7. And we don’t have to attend pointless queer events that are run by LGBT whiners who mistake wallowing in self-pity for activism. You’ll find, once you get out of college, that most of us aren’t moping, pretending, or attending. Most of us are getting on with our lives and doing fine.
But, again, not all LGBT people are doing fine, MG, just as not all LGBT people are white or upper-class or in college or lucky enough to live in Bellingham. If you’re in a position to do something, MG, you should. You don’t have to do everything. Make your contribution. It doesn’t have to take over your life, and you don’t have to pretend to be any more oppressed than you actually are. But you should do something.