Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Bitchin' List

Okay, now that the bad word in the title has inspired you to click on this post... what do you think of this list of feminist YA novels?

My favorite thing about it is its variety. The inspiring teens are not all from the same race or place; they don't all speak the same language; they don't deal with the same issues. They don't all live in the same decade, century, or even universe. Some are wealthy and some are poor, some have mostly lighthearted stories and some have very serious ones, and the former quality doesn't necessarily determine the latter. Though some books on the list are largely about what it means to be female (and what it doesn't mean), many focus on other parts of its characters' experiences, and those characters just happen to deal with the experiences in ways that make us proud of them.

Hmmm, sounds a heck of a lot like real girls and women. (Other than that whole other-universes thing. As far as I know.)

Addendum: I'm aware of the controversy surrounding this list, centering on the inclusion and then removal of several novels that many felt might be triggering for victims of rape. I don't feel qualified to comment on that controversy, since a) I've not yet read those novels and b) I have neither academic nor the personal background to give me any authority on what is likely to trigger difficult memories. (I suspect it's different for every individual, much like anything, but that's all I've got.) However, easy as it is to get caught up with a few items on a list, I still stand by the other 97.

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