Any and all thoughts on this blog are my personal opinions and do not reflect the opinions of any group or company of which I may be affiliated, including but not limited to schools and companies.
books, blabberings, and a life semi-common
It’s not often that I continue writing about a single topic consecutively but more comments and responses have been popping up in regards to BITCH‘s list. As I mentioned yesterday, a number of authors whose books were included, requested to be removed. There were no demands. All requests, made through the public comments, were well-written and polite but stern with valid reasons.
Executive Director Julie Falk posted a response after days of silence from her small staff:
And for those authors who have asked to be removed from the list, we respect your support for fellow authors, but it’s our list, with of our recommendations for young adults, and we think your books merit inclusion at this time. We don’t remove the books because we are asked; we remove or include them based on our judgment.
The thing that rubs me the wrong way with this is the fact that the list stopped being theirs the moment they caved in to comments regarding certain titles. The removal of the three books was not a product of a new discussion between staff members; rather, it was done to appease readers who brought up concerns made from their own opinions, not that of the staff.
The pressure that has occurred seems to negate Falk’s reasoning for keeping the other titles on there despite the requests. It’s a bit disrespectful in this case, especially when the authors have banded together in a show of their solidarity. Are Falk and her staff required to remove the books for authors? No. But it would be the respectful thing to do especially since three titles were taken off the list due to “requests” made by readers.
She then ends her letter by saying:
For these decisions, you can castigate or praise us, but I’ll hope you’ll do so in solidarity with an organization that promotes discussion and debate and condemns censorship.
Funny. There were no real discussions from anyone on staff to the comments provided by readers and visitors to the site. Instead, it seems the silence acts as a brush-off for the concerns, both from readers and writers. And considering that BITCH will not work with the authors who are standing in solidarity with their fellow comrades, it’s more than a bit hypocritical to request that their readers work in solidarity with the organization.
BITCH‘s first list has truly garnered much attention in the online world especially in the blogosphere and Twitter. Is it good? Is it bad? Perhaps it is a little bit of both. At this point, I’ll sign off on the topic. After all, too much chatter about it may cause even more controversy.