Pretty important stuff, there.
This is just so funny. And beautifully written.
I was really tempted to ignore this because I don’t believe in giving anon wangs a platform, but the term “unnecessary lesbianism” made me laugh so hard that I caved.
Authors can write good books and make statements. I’m going to make some statements now. (Get ready.)
Queer people and queer relationships aren’t less necessary to narrative than cishet people or relationships. In fact, given the lovely emails and messages I’ve received about Tamar and Nadia (and given the existence of anon wangs like you), I’d say making queer relationships visible in young adult fiction is an excellent—and yes, necessary—idea.
I do agree that story trumps statement or we’d all just write angry pamphlets, but queer people exist both in my world and the world of the Grisha trilogy. I don’t see how including them in my work is making a statement unless that statement is “I won’t willfully ignore or exclude people in order to make a few anon wangs happy.” If that’s the statement I’m making, I’m totally down with it.
Also, I’m going to take this moment to shout out Malinda Lo, Laura Lam, Alex London, David Levithan, Emily Danforth, Emma Trevayne, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Cassandra Clare, and to link to Malinda’s 2013 guide to LGBT in YA. Because why just give attention to bigots when you can talk about awesome books and authors instead?
Quick question to the general populace: who wants to join my band Unnecessary Lesbianism? I only play the triangle, but I know we’re going to make it big.
Isn’t this lovely. I’m really honoured to be on Leigh’s list which has all authors I love and respect (as I do Leigh herself). I was just reading an interview with David Levithan, who has helped change the face of children’s publishing, and he talked about this very thing and listed several authors he loves and admires too:
I think, while there is still a long way to go, that it is really beautiful we can talk about this, and celebrate it, and have a lot of authors and books to talk about, and come together in love and respect and hope for a changing world despite, you know, the absolute raving bags of seagull poop who talk of writing about love as ‘scandalous’ ‘for sales’ ‘to make a statement’ ‘to be politically correct’ or whatever other absolute obvious nonsense they talk about to disguise the fact that the hatred in their own hearts makes them uncomfortable and they just want the discomfort to go awwwwwwway.
Quick question to the anon: how on earth does two people loving each other make a book ‘not good’? How and why does it *ruin* a book for you? And if it does… the whole world is full of so many different loves. If it does, the whole world is going to be ruined for you. Unless you change. I hope you do, because until you do, it’s not the world that’s rotten and twisted: it’s you. Not the world, not stories, not authors, not characters, certainly not love, but you, you, you.
I hope you’ll remember that in the future.
ahahahahahaha unnecessary lesbianism!
bigotry gives you a stupid.
Okay, totally in love with the phrase “unnecessary lesbianism” now.
I think I want “unnecessary lesbianism trumps anon wangs” on a T-shirt.
Lauren Bacall in How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)
a majestic stealthy cold blooded killer
Christine de Pizan (1364- c. 1430)
Art by April Babcock (tumblr)
Christine de Pizan is one of the best known writers of the medieval period, yet if not for circumstances beyond her control she might never have picked up a pen. The daughter of an Italian scientist at the court of Charles V of France, Christine was given a classical education before her marriage at the age of fifteen to a royal secretary named Etienne du Castel. When she was 25, her beloved husband died in an epidemic. As her father had already passed away, Christine found herself responsible for the care of not only herself and her two children, but also her mother and an orphaned niece.
Christine began writing love ballads that caught the attention of wealthy patrons who enjoyed both her poetry and the novelty of a female writer. Christine wrote hundreds of poems, many on commission for specific nobles, and this work allowed her to support her family and clear the debts left after her husband’s death.
Christine’s most famous work, The Book of the City of Ladies (1405), is an impassioned defense of women. It challenged misogyny by creating a symbolic city of righteous women. The women profiled include historical figures such as Zenobia and Sappho, pagan goddesses such as Isis and Minerva, women from the Hebrew Bible such as Deborah and the unnamed Woman of Valor (Proverbs 31), and Christian saints such as the Virgin Mary and St. Lucy. Christine’s book was a testimony to the accomplishments of women and argued for wider access to education for women.
While The Book of the City of Ladies is primarily about female achievement, Christine also included an anti-rape message. As a character in the book, Christine says “I am therefore troubled and grieved when men argue that many women want to be raped and that it does not bother them at all to be raped by men even when they verbally protest…” Lady Rectitude, one of Christine’s guides in The Book of the City of Ladies, responds “Rest assured, dear friend, chaste ladies who live honestly take absolutely no pleasure in being raped. Indeed, rape is the greatest possible sorrow for them. Many upright women have demonstrated that this is true with their own credible examples…”
In 1418, Christine retired to a convent in Poissy. At the convent she wrote one final poem which she dedicated to Joan of Arc. It is the only known French language work about Joan of Arc written during Joan’s lifetime.