whats up w/ grown men who look at all the evils of the modern world and go “the real enemy is teenage girls, with their duckface and their smartphones and their selfies and their boy bands. they are destroying culture”
I’ve never met any grown men who have said this. Way to invent a boogieman out of your own prejudiced thoughts.
credited to Jon Friedman and Joel Stein, two grown men
chris o’shea is also a grown man
this thread on The Escapist’s forums is full of grown men complaining about teenage girls doing duck face
i’m willing to admit some of the people in this thread on Social Anxiety Support Forums may just be nasty little boys, but several are grown men
this took me two minutes. go away
At Book Riot, I’m continuing my “Beyond the Bestsellers” list by talking about what to read when you’ve read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.
Since April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, all of the recommended reading has to do with sexual violence — each realistic YA title tackles this topic in some capacity. I’ve included male and female voices and the many ways sexual violence can happen in a young person’s life.
do you just stare at someone’s lips & get a massive urge to just make out with them.
This is a great question and I would love if other people weighed in with their advice because I am not always certain on how to approach this either, mostly because it can be REALLY difficult when someone throws their lack of intelligence right in your face, in person. It’s just like you said—the speechlessness! You spend so long thinking, “Really? Did you just say that?” that sometimes the moment has passed by the time you’re ready for a response.
I think people who say this kind of bullshit (because that is exactly what it is) aren’t looking to be swayed from their opinion. At least, they rarely are. They just want to hear their own. Because people who are interested in thoughtful discourse and opening their minds don’t BEGIN their thoughts with statements like, JUST FOR A RANDOM EXAMPLE, “where are the real stories, you know the ones about boys and by them” or utter the words “vapid girls” when talking about YA.
Which then puts you in the position of—is there a point in saying anything at all?
I think it’s always okay to point out when someone is being a jerk or hateful or rude or when they’re wrong, especially if how they are wrong is damaging and hurtful. If they are being aggressive about it though, and you think the discussion would devolve into something really unpleasant or unsafe, you do not have to engage.
Your approach (or non-approach) is going to depend a lot on theirs.
1) asking them to repeat themselves. “What did you say?” Make them say the stupid thing twice! Maybe they will actually hear how dumb it sounds the second time? (This is more often than not wishful thinking but sometimes it works!)
2) You can ask them why they feel that way, but prepare for the possibility of getting an even more ridiculous response in return. As in, “Because YA is about vapid girls, OF COURSE!” with no further elaboration.
2 a) In which case you can just say, “Oh,” and physically remove yourself from the conversation, which is basically a declaration that their opinion is not even worth the time to pursue. I think if you are dealing with someone who doesn’t want to hear other viewpoints/is interested in discussion—and you’ll know that when you see it—then there is no point in continuing the discussion. Put your energy where you CAN reach people and make a difference.
3) If you feel there is still hope—and this is a possibility too—ask them if they have read YA. This is where they will usually give themselves away. They either haven’t or they think YA is The Cat in the Hat. This is where you get to tell them they haven’t read YA and they don’t know what they’re talking about! State it like it’s a simple fact because it is. Not meanly… it’s just a fact.
How they respond to that will, again, determine your response.
if they are genuinely interested in understanding why their logic is flawed, you might want to share some YA books they could read, classics that would be categorized as YA today, and why YA deserves more credit. This would be the best outcome!
If they come back insistent on their dumbness—that YA can’t be deep, that girls stories are vapid etc etc—just repeat yourself: “You don’t know what YA is. When you know what you’re talking about, I’m happy to have this conversation!” Maybe this person will think about it and try to educate themselves. Because THERE ARE TONS OF RESOURCES OUT THERE for them to not be so misinformed about this. They have less excuse to be stupid than you have an obligation to educate them. Maybe they won’t educate themselves. The thing is, you’ve given them enough that they COULD expand their own line of thinking—if they want to.
Which does not make the whole experience any less frustrating, I know.
I think what Courtney says is perfect, and I’m going to add this: most of the time when you turn the question back around to the asker, the fire shifts. The questions and accusations they say to you like that are signs of their own ignorance and, often, insecurity and envy for your ability to take a stand and hold on to it. When you shift the why back to them — why they asked that, why they believe that — you force them to examine their ideas which are clearly not as well-thought out or articulated as your own.
If you believe in something passionately, it comes through. You don’t owe people more if they aren’t willing to listen to you, and questions or comments like those posed here are not a sign of someone wanting to listen to you. They’re sign of someone wanting to hear themselves and that’s it.
In the library, I’ve had people say dumb or mean things to my face. I’ve had people say YA is dumb or full of dumb girls and love triangles and vampires and (fill in the blank with a gross statement perpetuated by terrible media). If those people indicate they want to listen, I tell them they’d be surprised and I share with them what they can find if they want to discover it.
In the instances where it’s clear they’re there to tell you their opinion and that’s it, I just tell them thanks for sharing. When you kill the conversation like that, they have no reason to come back.
As long as you can return the power to yourself, either by putting the questions back on them or shutting down the talk all together, you become more solid, more secure, and more empowered with and by your own beliefs.
One time I went on a first date with a dude from OkCupid and I got there early, so obviously I pulled a book out of my purse and was reading when he arrived. We had this conversation:
Him: What are you reading?
Me: Oh, it’s called Ask the Passengers by A. S. King.Him: I’ve never heard of that author.
Me: She writes young adult books. She’s great!
Him: Aren’t you embarrassed to be reading young adult books in public?
And then our date ended abruptly because I murdered him with my eye lasers.
Just kidding, for some reason I ate dinner with that fuck. (I did decline the opportunity to have a second magical evening with him, however.)
It would have been cool of me to say any of the stuff listed above.
Personally, I’ve been struggling with how to say things that don’t end up damning some YA while complimenting others.
A few weeks ago someone saw me reading Midwinterblood and when they asked what it was I said YA, and when they said “oh, what, it’s about vampires?” and I said “I don’t know, I just started, it won the Printz this year. It’s the award for the best YA of the year.” They left me alone after that.
And I’ve been kicking myself for how I responded since then. It actually does have vampires in it, although I hadn’t gotten to them yet. So what? Why didn’t I talk about the quality of the writing? And more importantly, why should the quality of the writing matter? I don’t go up to people in the subway and ask them to justify their reading John Grisham to me; why on earth would I need to justify reading Twilight or whatever? Was I worried I’d be indicting myself for engaging with popular culture instead of art? We were on a line for a preview screening of Captain America 2; honestly, that ship had sailed.
I was reading award-winning literary YA, written by a man. That’s about as high as you can get on the scale of Acceptable Young Adult without reading a John Green novel. And three weeks later I’m still mad at myself, because without thinking I used that as justification, and in doing so reinforced the artificial divisions that shouldn’t be there to begin with.
It’s harder than it sounds to stand up for YA- all YA- but it’s something I’m consciously striving to do better at.
I remember having a classmate in college who worked in a library like me and was not über fond of YA. My response to his criticisms were, “I get what you are saying but what are you basing this on? Two books you’ve heard about but have not read yourself? I suggest you read at least ten YA books and then get back to me. After that, we can debate YA and its merits.” I don’t think he ever took me up on that, so we never discussed it again. I wonder if this was the right response, but I always feel that when you want to discuss something with someone you should be informed about it, and if you are not be open to learning.
At least, this is what my BA in English taught me.