Is a book removed from a list comparable to a book removed from a library shelf? This and other concerns are raised in this discussion about Bitch Media's removal of three YA novels from its published 'Best of' list.
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.)