We do need prison for humans in general.
It’s an overall concept. Women OVERALL are not considered as violent but that has to do with how we’re conditioned.
Men are conditioned to be violent and destructive.
Men are not evil and everything is not their fault.
I’m answering this publicly because I love this really thoughtful response about the “John Greenification” of YA which came up as part of Laurie Halse Anderson’s excellent AMA over at Reddit.
My thoughts on this mirror Laurie’s: I think that John Green is being called out not because he’s John Green (as I noted in the response she linked, I have no disrespect for Green nor his work in the least and I do think he’s a feminist and that he is trying to be the best member of the YA community that he can be). He’s being called out because he’s what privilege looks like in our society — it’s white, heterosexual, and male. Those are not the whole of him, but they are the parts that give him a tremendous advantage in the world. I do not for one second believe he takes advantage of them. I do, however, believe he has significant advantages because of them.
This, as Laurie points out, becomes evident when you look at how he’s portrayed in the media. He’s “saving” YA. He’s leading a “revolution” in realistic fiction and in realistic fiction being put onto the big screen. He’s held on this pedestal of what YA should strive to be. This isn’t just the mainstream media though. He is being used as a marketing tool in a ton of recently released or forthcoming YA titles, even when it makes no sense why there’s a comparison. Instead of being a useful thing — “readers who like John Green might like x-book, too” — it’s become a means of reducing YA fiction to one thing. It’s reduced YA fiction into “good” and “bad,” rather than a spectrum where books can fall anywhere along the line. Or where a book’s merit and value are with the reader his or her self.
John Green writes good books. He has a loyal fan base. This is GREAT stuff.
But it’s not the only stuff out there.
What Laurie proposes is exactly what I hope comes of this on-going conversation. We need to keep talking about other books. We need to keep speaking up on behalf of long-time authors who deserve the recognition they don’t see as much as they should. We need to keep talking about the books written by new authors.
We especially need to keep talking up books written by people of color, people who aren’t straight, people who don’t identify with those things which are so readily seen and promoted. It’s our job to do that.
And while I think John Green tries — he has done videos highlighting tons of under appreciated titles — the thing about being in a place of privilege is that you can’t always step back far enough to see where and how your voice is being used. I think this is especially true for someone like Green who is likable, good hearted, and DOESN’T intend to do any harm or cause any problems. A lot of what he sees as success he earned by hard work.
The problem is that so many other people have worked as hard — if not harder — and their work never gets that same attention or praise.
Laurie’s Speak was the 75th highest selling children’s backlist title last year, according to Publishers Weekly. Sarah Dessen’s The Moon and More sold over 100,000 copies as a front list hardcover book. If you look at those numbers and the numbers of other titles that appeared on the NYT YA list, there are discrepancies I can’t figure out because the NYT’s system is a broken one. But it’s one I refer to again and again because it’s the quickest indicator of quality to the general reading public (and even the general non-reading public). And I think it’s such a great thing to look at because it shows you precisely what the problem with such a system is — it’s a reflection of our own social systems. It’s primarily white men who dominate in the arena of “main stream” fiction. It’s primarily white men who are seen as “the best” and who continue to make sales and be recognized quickly and easily. It’s primarily white men who, because of this system, continue to benefit from more money, more marketing, and more opportunities that simply are not afforded to others.
It’s not their fault; it’s our fault.
We can help change these things though. And we do that by pointing these things out, by not finding it necessarily to apologize for pointing these things out, and by using our voices to keep talking about the things we love that deserve more attention. We keep conversations going and flowing. We don’t — and we can’t — shut them down.
Omg everyone read all of this right meow.
I love you Laurie Halse Anderson!
Judging me based on what I look like is all kinds of racist. I’m 100% Middle Eastern.
Shame on all those who judge to that extreme based on looks…as to your second post:
"Also, going out of your way to say how you weren’t going to say the name of the person and then going and reblogging them is pretty contradictory."
I was waiting for her response before I shared her name. I can’t support/reblog or follow someone who promotes hate the way she does. You can’t fight racism while being a racist. It doesn’t make sense.
I hope she finds peace and happiness in life.