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I’m on a course of children’s literature lately, and have just finished Kate Douglas Wiggin’s celebrated Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. Also New Chronicles of Rebecca, which tells additional stories within the timeframe of the original.

There I am, reading along, enjoying the new insights that emerge when you reread a childhood favourite… when it hits me: this all sounds familiar. Very familiar. To wit:

“I think we all have a girl in us,” Eve Ensler told the crowd at the University of Chicago’s International House recently, while speaking about her new book I Am An Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World. The evening fluctuated from book reading to performance to rally to consciousness raising session, until it was unclear where one experience began and the other ended. And herein lies the basic issue I have with Ensler’s work; she invariably tries to create a voice for an audience that have their own voices.

I’ve been reading Michael Palin’s Diaries 1969-1979: The Python Years by way of preparation for Volume 2, due this month. In sincere tribute to this most gentle of men, I must say that I enjoyed it quite a lot.

My experience with the Monty Python troupe has been largely in connection with their later solo projects. You’d think this unfamiliarity would make an intimate look at The Python Years heavy going, but oddly – or perhaps, given the source, reasonably – enough, it turns out to be just the opposite. Because over years of careful, almost Beatle-level media scrutiny, the storylines have remained remarkably consistent, and as recorded by The Nice One, they aren’t liable to change much even if there was new info. to add.

Note: This is the second installment of this topic.  See also Scott Westerfeld Talks with PopMatters About Bitch Media’s Top 100 Feminist YA List Debacle

Young adult author Diana Peterfreund was the first author to call out Bitch Media on their removal of Jackson Pearce’s Sisters Red, and the first to ask for her book to be removed.

Last week, Peterfreund elaborated on her issues with Bitch’s actions. Her novel, Rampant is 71 on the list (it’s in alphabetical order).

Note: This is the first installment of this topic.  See also Diana Peterfreund Talks with PopMatters About Bitch Media’s Top 100 Feminist YA List Debacle

Bitch Media has a lot of wins under its belt—its flagship project, Bitch Magazine, is a must-read for feminists everywhere. The non-profit has been lauded by critics, authors, and readers for its mission “to provide and encourage an empowered, feminist response to mainstream media and popular culture,” and for calling out anti-feminist attitudes in a thought-provoking, often entertaining, way.

Until now. Last week, Bitch Media published a list of 100 feminist young adult books on their blog. Packed with excellent reads, the list was quickly gobbled up buy YA authors and enthusiasts, and there was joy all around. Except there wasn’t—the day after the post, a commenter questioned the inclusion of Jackson Pearce’s Sisters Red and Bitch Media removed the book. Soon after, it removed two other books Margo Lanagan’s Tender Morsels and Elizabeth Scott’s Living Dead Girl, for the same reason—comments and an email about the books’ rape, rape culture, and trigger content (e.g., content that might trigger flashbacks or have other detrimental effects in survivors). Shortly after, the internet exploded—the YA section of it, anyway. (As of this writing, there are 379 comments on the original post.)

 

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