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Elizabeth Scott

"triggering nature"

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Apparently, Bitch Magazine decided to remove Living Dead Girl from their 100 Young Adult Books for the Feminist Reader list because of its--and this is the only reason given--"triggering nature."

You can read why the book (and two others) were removed here, and there is a post and comments on the removal here

For feeds that strip links--the removal: http://bitchmagazine.org/post/from-the-library-100-young-adult-books-for-the-feminist-reader#comment-46018"

Post and comments in reaction: http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com/index.php/weblog/comments/bitch-please.-no-really.-please/

Margo Lanagan, who was also removed from the list, has a post about the issue and her own book here.

Do I have more I'd like to say? Yes. But I can't change what Bitch Magazine did, and, most importantly of all, I can't change what they said about Living Dead Girl and how it marginalized what the book is about.

But then, as Alice points out in Living Dead Girl:

"...the host pats their shoulders or gives them a fast one-armed hug, and says things like, "But you survived. You're strong." Then they will ask why they didn't say anything.

Why didn't you tell someone?

Why didn't you ask for help?

Why didn't you leave him?

Why didn't you respect yourself enough to get away?

The women usually crumple, shed their flesh shells, and become quivering living dead girls, trapped. A few will say that no one listens, that people don't want to see, and that if you try something, anything, you won't suffer but others will.

The audience always boos and says You Should Have Done Something.

You should have fought back.

You should have known no one has that kind of power.

You should have been strong.

You shouldn't have been so stupid.

The women nod and sniffle. They are still broken. They still agree with everything anyone wants. Even the ones who try to explain end up with their heads down, their hands in their laps. Little girl ready to say she's sorry.

All our fault, always."


"Just one word, they say. But no one would listen. I could have screamed a million times in a million voices and no one would have ever heard me.

I did, every time I left the apartment, with every step I took out in the world.

All those cries, and no one ever heard them."


Blogger minnie said...

Let them take you off...who wants to be listed on a magazine with that name (because bitch is not empowering to me at all even if they have stripped its meaning by using it so blatantly). Anyways, isn't feminism about empowerment and the journey to empowerment and the awakening to the lack of empowerment women have in our society? And isn't that what your book is about?

February 03, 2011 1:44 PM  
Blogger Jess Day said...

Exactly. I had all my friends read Living Dead Girl and while we all agredd it was haunting, it was something that made us stronger. Some Things Can't Be Avoided or Ignored.

February 03, 2011 3:18 PM  
OpenID kellyallanwriter said...

They wouldn't allow some books at our school like Bridge to Terabithia and Are you there God, it's me Margaret.

Only the best books are ones that waves. So I say...


February 03, 2011 4:35 PM  
Blogger BookChic said...

This is all such a stupid debacle. One or two people complained about your book (one actually called it "torture porn" which is a whole other story), yet many more have wanted it back on the list and several child abuse survivors said they read it and felt a relief that someone had written their story in such a raw, realistic way that didn't trivialize their experiences. That alone should get your book back on the list.

But anyway, I don't see the point in putting a list online and then letting one person influence your decision to remove a book from your list. You thought that book worked for the list- stand by it and tell that person to STFU or just ignore them.

And if you are gonna remove books for a triggering nature, what about Sold? What about Speak or Wintergirls? What about almost any other book on that list? If you're gonna get rid of one, get rid of them all.

Honestly, the list was a wonderful idea and the people at Bitch Media just completely messed it up and now it has no real value or integrity to it. It's just sad.

If I ever made a list that Living Dead Girl would fit on, I'd keep it there no matter what.

February 03, 2011 5:42 PM  
Blogger erica and christy said...

I've read your book. And I've read the list and the comments surrounding it.

Alice said it best. I'm very, very sorry no one heard her.

February 05, 2011 7:30 PM  
Blogger Alexa @ Not Enough Bookshelves said...

I'm sorry this happened to your book. It's such a shame the list went so badly wrong because it was a great idea.

You're response, letting the book speak for itself, is perfect though.

Hope you're feeling better too.

February 05, 2011 9:27 PM  

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