branewurms: (Tokyo Dogs - FFFFFFFFFF)
This time in our regularly scheduled idiocy re: YA fiction, we get bonus erasure of... well, PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE LIVING OVER HERE IN REALITY LAND.

"Contemporary fiction for teens is rife with explicit abuse, violence and depravity. Why is this considered a good idea?"

Oh my GOD, shut your FUCKING MOUTH. Sorry if that's too "coarse" for you, but that's really all the response this article deserves, and I am way too enraged to clearly enumerate all the ways in which you are dangerously and harmfully wrong. (A choice quote that pretty much sums up this whole article: "If books show us the world, teen fiction can be like a hall of fun-house mirrors, constantly reflecting back hideously distorted portrayals of what life is." Because as we all know, nobody in real life ever experiences anything truly awful. To suggest otherwise is distorting the truth, y'all.)

I was actually thinking of this exact attitude recently wrt the skirt clutching and fluttering over the ~inappropriate~ material in Holly Black's Modern Faerie Tale series, and in the reviews for a load of different YA books I was browsing. Basically what the argument comes down to is this: if you're a teen in a bad situation, if you're being abused, molested, or neglected; if you're poor and living in slums or trailer parks or on the streets with bums and addicts; if you're depressed, self-harming, if you have an eating disorder or any other serious mental illness; if you've made bad choices, if you're dealing with addictions and consequences and pain and misery; even if you're just an average kid who curses a lot and smokes pot and drinks and parties and has sex and sometimes acts like an obnoxious asshole - if you are any of these things, you aren't real. You don't get to have your own narrative. You don't get to be a hero, you don't get to have adventures. Heroes are good clean Christian folk, whitebread, middle class, and would never have the audacity to come face to face with the "ugly" parts of life, either by choice or otherwise. We don't want to hear about you of all people, we don't want to have to see you, read about you, think about you. You're just trash.

In our fiction, our proper fiction, you do not exist.

...Welp, I guess I did have something to say about that article, after all.

eta: Maureen Johnson apparently started a twitter hashtag in response: #YASaves

eta #2: THE SIDEBAR. I had not even fucking NOTICED the sidebar. A recommended reading list... divided into books that are "for young men" and "for young women." I CAN'T. I SERIOUSLY JUST CANNOT DEAL. MY FACE IS ON FIREEEEEE.

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SERIOUS FEMININE DERANGEMENT

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