Monday, February 7, 2011

Last blabbing about Bitch's booklist honestly I swear

The controversy over Bitch's "100 Books for the Feminist Reader" list rages on and on.  I've blabbed about it here and on Facebook and elsewhere, but since (let's face it) mine is the definitive opinion that everyone has been waiting for to decide this issue once and for all, I'll blab about it a little bit more here as well.

Basically, I agree with Brandy's assessment.  Librarians and YA authors love to get their knickers twisted up about censorship--me as much as anyone--but I just don't see the censorship issue here.  Bitch isn't banning or even challenging any books.  These books are still available everywhere!  Just like before!  So I think we should all take a deep breath on the censorship thing and let. it. go.

Bitch has the free speech right to make whatever kind of list they want, and to add and remove books from it willy-nilly if that is what they are into.  Unfortunately, they are total crap at making lists.  Good book lists, as nerdy librarians everywhere are aware, are made according to clear criteria and stick to them.  Obviously, Bitch isn't doing that. Thank you, Bitch, for demonstrating that librarianism is not as easy as it looks!  I have a soft spot for you and your righteous feminist raging, but maybe you should stick to what you're good at.  (The raging.  In case that wasn't clear.)

All of the garbage about "triggering" makes me want to barf.  It's patronizing and idiotic.  Don't let girls who've had [x problem] read about it, or oh my heavens, they will immediately be plunged into the depths of that very problem, never to return!  That is just the dumbest.  I think a lot of readers gain mightily from reading about experiences similar to their own.  Of course, a lot of the "triggering" talk came from commenters on Bitch's website.  If I stopped reading all of the websites with obnoxious, malicious, and feeble-minded comments, I would just have to turn off the intertubes and go home.  So I can't fault Bitch for that.

BUT still they handled it terribly.  And it's not a good list.*  And they didn't read any of the books on it.  You have my permission to ignore it.

Case closed!  You're welcome.

*I didn't notice at first that Rampant by Diana Peterfreund is on that list, and I'm here to tell you, that book is about as unfeminist as they come.  In it, there is a rape which everyone--the victim, her friends, her teachers, her friend's mom--blames on the victim.  That's what you get for being out alone with a guy in Europe, ladies!  What did you expect?!  It's EUROPE.

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