Author of young-adult book gets vilified and censored by the mob

Tablet almost single-handedly exposed the perfidies, financial irregularities and anti-Semitism of the Women’s March Inc., and now that that group—but, thankfully, not the idea of women’s marches—lies in tatters, discredited, vilified, and with its hypocritical leaders still proclaiming loudly how much they love Jews.  Now Tablet has taken on young-adult fiction, or at least the Twitter mob that polices that genre for ideological purityz; “YA Twitter” (YAT). Is Tablet becoming a new source of trenchant investigative journalism?

You can read YAT’s horrifying story of mob justice by clicking on the screenshot below.

If your attention span is limited today, there’s a somewhat shorter version at Vulture (click on screenshot):

I won’t go into detail about the story, as it’s thoroughly recounted in both of these sources. In short, author Amélie Wen Zhao, who moved to the U.S. from China at age 18, inked a deal with Penguin/Random House (my own publishers) to publish a trio of young adult novels beginning with one called Blood Heir (a précis is here)Her advance was at least half a million bucks, a goodly sum for a first-time author.

That’s when the mob took over. YAT is particularly toxic, and though its intent is usually good, its performance, and hard-nosed policing of novels to assure they conform to the strictest notions of social justice, is lame. (See my earlier post on YAT here.) In this case, even though Zhao is a person of color, the fact that she even mentioned pigmentation (though not of any defined ethnic group) made YAT go nuts.

Most of the critics hadn’t read the novel, but got inflamed by brief summaries or pull quotes from the book. In Tablet, Singal describes how this works:

mentioned the whisper campaign [against Blood Heir] on Twitter without naming names, thinking it might fizzle out, and then forgot about it. But by the time I again dipped a toe into YA Twitter a few days later, on Tuesday night, things had exploded: YA Twitter was attacking Zhao’s still unpublished Blood Heir on multiple fronts. As usual, the standards of argument appeared rather strange and lacking, at least to an outsider. L.L. McKinney, a YA author who recently published her own debut novel, highlighted for her 10,000-plus Twitter followers the fact that one of Blood Heir’s blurbs read, in part, “In a world where the princess is the monster, oppression is blind to skin color, and good and evil exists in shades of gray….” “….someone explain this to me. EXPLAIN IT RIGHT THE FUQ NOW,” she tweeted. “I don’t give a good god damn that this is an author of color,” she said later in the tweetstorm. “Internalized racism and anti-blackness is a thing and I…no.” The argument, such as it is, appears to be that because in our world, oppression isn’t blind to skin color, to write about a fantasy world in which it is is an act of “anti-blackness.” (McKinney didn’t respond to a request for comment submitted via her agent.)

I think that could charitably be described as “hysterical overreaction.” But wait—there’s more! The loudest voice in this pile-on was another Asian author Ellen Oh:

But perhaps the most damaging, drawn-out broadside came from Ellen Oh, an established YA writer who is herself of Asian descent, and who co-founded We Need Diverse Books. Oh published an extended tweetstorm to her 11,000-plus Twitter followers in which she noted that “colorblindness is extremely tone deaf.” Then she proceeded to address Zhao without mentioning her by name. “Now I’m going to talk directly to Asian writers,” she wrote, particularly “Asian writers who did not grow up in western countries” like Zhao. “Your lack of awareness may not be your fault given your lack of cultural context, but it IS your fault if you do not educate yourself when it is expressly brought up to you.” The admonishment continued, “And if you have the luxury of getting this important criticism before your book is actually published, it is YOUR responsibility to make it right. Do right by the audience that your book will be reading. Do right by the kids who will be reading your book.”

Jebus

Ms. Oh, who did have an advance copy of the book, went after Zhao because of her character named May, who is described as having skin “the bronze of their sands at sunset.” (There’s no evidence that Zhao intended May to be black.) That set Oh off and launched her tirade, as well as Oh’s interpretation (wrong!) that the book was about slavery of blacks in America. But there was no evidence that the book is about “chattel slavery of blacks”, and Oh adduced none. In fact, in her post of apology to the “book community” (yes, a mob-forced apology, which is de rigueur in these cases), Zhao said that Blood Heir was about “indentured labor and human trafficking prevalent in many industries across Asia”, an area that she presumably knows something about:

Yes, and there were charges of plagiarism, too, resting on one sentence that one of Zhao’s characters said: “Don’t go where I can’t follow.” Horrors! That was in Lord of the Rings! Blatant theft! Well, no it isn’t; it could well be an homage to Tolkien, and one sentence of six words isn’t plagiarism.

After the onslaught, Zhao withdrew her proposal, presumably returning the money she got, and the mob won. Singal characterizes the whole episode in this tweet:

You may have noticed that the odious Ms. Oh, who has no case against Zhao, said above that “color blindness is extremely tone deaf.” To show that nobody is immune from the callout culture of YAT, she herself was inundated with opprobrium for that sentence. Guess why? Because she said “tone deaf”. And so Oh herself had to undergo the ritual public humiliation and issuance of an apology. Have a gander at this:

Now that the phrse “tone deaf” has become verboten, will someone please tell Huffpost? They love that phrase:

There are many others; I’ll give just one more:

In the end, I feel truly sorry for the ordeal that Ms. Zhao had to endure, and am appalled that the mob was powerful enough to make her withdraw her books (her publisher didn’t even object!). I hope she and Penguin Random House rethink this whole thing and publish the books. After all, my publisher deemed the first one good enough to publish, and gave Zhao a lot of money for the other two unwritten novels.

And I’m glad I don’t write young adult fiction.

My last thought: is this onslaught of morality police here to stay? Social media surely is, and, as Pinker notes, morality is getting better. Does it necessarily follow that this kind of authoritarianism is here for keeps?

_________

UPDATE: An article in the January 31 New York Times notes this:

Ms. Zhao’s publisher, Delacorte Press, supported her choice to cancel the book’s June release, but did not urge her to. Delacorte still plans to publish the three books she is under contract for, including “Blood Heir” if Ms. Zhao decides she wants to release it at a later time, according to a company spokeswoman.

I hope they do release it, and I hope that Ms. Zhao doesn’t truckle too much to the mob if she rewrites it.

 

h/t: Grania

88 Comments

  1. yazikus
    Posted February 2, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    What I wonder, when reading about things like this, is who the folks are who have abundant time and energy to devote to derailing a not-yet-written YA novel. A new hobby is needed, perhaps?

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted February 2, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      It was written but not yet published.

      • yazikus
        Posted February 2, 2019 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        Ah- thank you for the clarification. My question remains, however.

        • Jenny Haniver
          Posted February 2, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

          Indeed it should.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted February 2, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

          Yes, with fiction, it’s my understanding at least, that the work is written then you shop it around, which is different for non fiction where you can shop around a partially written work or an idea first.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted February 2, 2019 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      People who really have not yet grasped that life is short and it is better spent engaging in much more interesting, fulfilling, and impactful activities.

      • Florent
        Posted February 3, 2019 at 2:38 am | Permalink

        Fact being, to those people, what they do *is* meaningful, and feels like time well spent. It’s you that’s not battling the right fight and not enjoying your time properly, you selfish creep.

        *sigh*

    • Posted February 2, 2019 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      I suppose they are mean folks who are most happy when they destroy someone.

  2. Ken Phelps
    Posted February 2, 2019 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    “Does it necessarily follow that this kind of authoritarianism is here for keeps?”

    Well, as long as authors respond to authoritarianism with this:

    “I don’t wish to clarify, defend, or have anyone defend me. This is not that; this is an apology”,

    Then the answer is yes. As far as I’m concerned, such spinelessness suggests the author’s voice probably hasn’t earned a place of influence.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted February 2, 2019 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      I was most saddened by the author’s apologetic response. I think if I were mobbed like that, I’d just give them a well thought out “fuck you” because you might as well go down in a blaze of glory. Then it’s nom de plume from there on out.

    • max blancke
      Posted February 2, 2019 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      I have to assume that she fails to understand the dynamics of the situation.
      To begin with, it is easy to think, mistakenly, that the people responsible for the outcry are sincere in their concern about whatever group they have appointed themselves to defend.
      Secondly, these are not the sort of people who will let you be if you appease them.

      If you treat them like the bullies they are, they will move on to the next target.

  3. CAS
    Posted February 2, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    For once, the author should not have given in to these idiots. I’m beginning to think that it will take another Great Depression to realign our priorities.

  4. GBJames
    Posted February 2, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Jeebus.

  5. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted February 2, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    It would be better if Twitter was restricted to people over 30.

    • Posted February 2, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      No, it should be left to those over 90.

    • Posted February 2, 2019 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      Or better, to the under 12s — which would give children enough time to discover why it’s restricted to under 12s.

    • Mark R.
      Posted February 2, 2019 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      I think it would be better if Twitter never happened…and Facebook for that matter.

  6. Jenny Haniver
    Posted February 2, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Oh, hell, Oh would do well to apologize for using such a bizarre and infelicitous mixed metaphor: “Color-blindness is extremely tone-deaf.” Oh, Oh no! To think that she has the temerity to call herself a writer — Oh, what a crock! Perhaps this is ‘diversity syntax’ or something: metaphors must be mixed, not segregated. Oh, hell, Oh well. Naturally, Titania McGrath has some wise words to illuminate the situation https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1091350002604142592

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted February 2, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      I think you’re putting the cart before the bird in the bush. 😀

      • BJ
        Posted February 2, 2019 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

        A cart in the bush is better than fooling me twice if the cat ate the canary in the seat of one’s pants.

        • Taz
          Posted February 2, 2019 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

          That’s all spilled milk under the bridge.

          • BJ
            Posted February 2, 2019 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

            Yes, but the troubled water has other fish in the train.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted February 2, 2019 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      I *love* Titania McGrath. 😎

      It almost makes me want to join Tw*tter just so I could ‘follow’ her.

      Almost.

      cr

  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted February 2, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    … inked a deal with Penguin/Random House …

    You writin’ for Variety in your spare time now, boss? 🙂

    That what the remunerative writing you alluded to the other day is all about?

  8. Posted February 2, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    This is what happens when certain words or phrases become taboo: we end up not being able to say anything other than platitudes and all human discourse is either thoroughly meaningless or suppressed.

  9. Posted February 2, 2019 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I thought the Gillette ad ended bullying.

    • yazikus
      Posted February 2, 2019 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Are you suggesting that corporate ad campaigns will not save us all?!

    • Posted February 2, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      It concentrated on male bullying. Maybe they need to make another add specifically about females?

      • rustybrown
        Posted February 2, 2019 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

        Lady Gillette: “And as for you ladies….”

        It’s coming.

      • Posted February 3, 2019 at 5:52 am | Permalink

        I can’t believe you would say something so sexist! 😉

        -Ryan

      • Posted February 3, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        That would spoil the narrative.

        • rustybrown
          Posted February 3, 2019 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

          True, but the impulse to scold may be too irresistible!

  10. David Evans
    Posted February 2, 2019 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    The Bible is full of ableist language.
    In Matthew
    “And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch”
    In Leviticus
    ” And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded, Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken”…and on and on

    Then there are the several occasions when Jesus heals the blind ,the deaf or the paralysed, implying that there is something wrong with those conditions.

    Can we ban the Bible now? Please?

    • Posted February 2, 2019 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      It would be an interesting experiment to publish a Young Adult fiction that is based on ableist and racist and misogynist passages from the bible, and watch the YAT universe go absolutely insane against it.
      Two birds with one stone.

      • Posted February 4, 2019 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        I seem to remember someone tried to publish the Song of Solomon by itself and it was nailed for being porn. No idea of the details or whether or not that’s true, mind you.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted February 2, 2019 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      “And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch”

      That quote conjured up a Monty Python-esque mental image which, for some reason, I found incredibly funny.

      I am undoubtedly a un-woke, cynical, ableist scumbag.

      cr

      • Doug
        Posted February 2, 2019 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

        I’m shocked that no one has pointed out the ableist language in the headline about Matt Damon: “lame apology.”

  11. Diana MacPherson
    Posted February 2, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad some people got the irony here. A mob silenced the voice of a female of colour in order to project people of colour. If I ever write a work of fiction, I’m doing it under a nom de plume that is completely race and gender neutral.

    • DrBrydon
      Posted February 2, 2019 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      The mob seems particularly offended when it is someone who should—based on sex, gender, skin color, or class—line up with their political beliefs, but doesn’t.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted February 2, 2019 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      Good idea.

    • Martin Levin
      Posted February 2, 2019 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      I think you might have to go species-neutral.

    • Mark R.
      Posted February 2, 2019 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      I wouldn’t know how to create a race neutral nom de plume. I was trying to think of one and couldn’t. Gender neutral could be Chris, but race neutral? Smith? That could be black or white I guess.

      • Doug
        Posted February 2, 2019 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

        Lee could be Black, White or Asian.

  12. chascpeterson
    Posted February 2, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Tone-deafness is a disability? Maybe, if one is dedicated to becoming a professional musician. Otherwise no. Or is the word ‘deaf’ taboo, in any context? Just weird.
    (wait, is ‘weird’ ableist??)

    • DrBrydon
      Posted February 2, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      It’s only a disability for those who have to listen to someone who is tone-deaf—like my dad was—sing.

      • Mark R.
        Posted February 2, 2019 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

        HA! I had a friend who was extremely tone-deaf, and he liked to sing. I always wondered how he “heard” music. Does music sound differently to a tone-deaf person?

        • DrBrydon
          Posted February 2, 2019 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

          I don;t think it does. My dad loved music; he just couldn’t make it.

        • Posted February 4, 2019 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

          As someone who for his whole life has wondered what musicians pick up that I don’t,it sure appears that way.

          Even amateurs decades beyond their training (like my father until recently) seemed to pick up things that I never did – and struggled with mandatory instruction in school over.

          I’m on a quest to figure it out; so far nothing. I have long suffered from motion sickness, so I wonder if they are connected somehow.

  13. Posted February 2, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    This is why I ignore Twitter. I do not understand why Amélie Wen Zhao has given any credence to these people just because they know how to use Twitter.

    And another thing: if “tone deaf” is ableist and therefore wrong, so is “colour blind”.

  14. yazikus
    Posted February 2, 2019 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    I read ‘bad’ books when I was younger. Books I loved then and later realized were ‘problematic’ to say the least. This is a normal part of human growth, no? Should we deny adolescents the opportunity to encounter things that may not be objectively perfect for fear they will be forever tainted? I don’t think this is the right way.

  15. Taz
    Posted February 2, 2019 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    The cynic in me notes that McKinney and Oh are undermining a possible competitor.

    Perhaps their motives aren’t all that pure.

    • BJ
      Posted February 2, 2019 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      There was someone who became very influential in the online fiction world by writing a blog and using Twitter under a false identity to successfully accuse and destroy dozens of her competitors by accusing them of racism, sexism, etc. She was eventually outed, but only after years of destroying others. I can’t remember the woman’s name now and can’t figure out how to find it through Google, but if anyone knows what I’m talking about, let me know. It was a crazy story.

  16. Caldwell
    Posted February 2, 2019 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    “And if you have the luxury of getting this important criticism”

    Getting our Minimum Daily Requirement of sanctimonious criticism should be a right, not a luxury.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted February 2, 2019 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      Oh yes. That phrase struck me as sanctimonious, hypocritical (and pompous) bullshit of the week.

      If there was an award for egregious assholery that would win it hands down.

      cr

  17. Posted February 2, 2019 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Is the onslaught of the morality police here to stay? Good question. I hope and think not. It appears to contain the seeds of its own destruction.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted February 2, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      It’s been around for a long, long time; they’ve just been waiting for something like the Internet and twitter to come along — a nuclear weapon in their arsenal.

      • Harrison
        Posted February 2, 2019 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

        People like this were probably social bullies in high school as well. The internet just makes it easier to assemble a crowd to surround the victim and isolate them from support while dispersing the responsibility for the behavior. The people leading the charge can let the crowd commit the worst and least defensible acts so they can pretend to keep their hands clean.

        • XCellKen
          Posted February 2, 2019 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

          I always assumed that these are the people who were BULLIED in high school. And now they are getting their revenge.

  18. Posted February 2, 2019 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    I’m tempted to write a “woke” version of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, as a satire to show how all this is ruining literature.

  19. Posted February 2, 2019 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    I’m so tired of the social media morality police. I wish forced apologies would sound more like, “I’m sorry you people are so insane and oversensitive.”

  20. Steve Gerrard
    Posted February 2, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Young Adult fiction is ageist. So there.

  21. DrBrydon
    Posted February 2, 2019 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    People need to stop letting themselves be censored.

  22. Posted February 2, 2019 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    While I have sympathy for the author, and agree that the Twitter pile-on is unjustified nasty, there was, for her, a relatively simple solution:

    1) Don’t read Twitter
    2) Ignore Twitter,
    3) Continue as you were.

    Things would be generally a lot better if people adopted that pretty simple procedure.

    Am I lacking sympathy for her plight?

    • Posted February 2, 2019 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      I agree with you. I wish she would read this thread.

    • Posted February 2, 2019 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      And rule number four:

      4) Never, ever apologise. It’ll only encourage them.

  23. Harrison
    Posted February 2, 2019 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    I’ve said it before but the American chauvinism on display by the woke crowd is so transparent. “It’s not entirely your fault, dear, that you were born elsewhere and have different experiences, but you should realize by now that America is the center of the universe and our values are THE values.”

    • Deodand
      Posted February 2, 2019 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      Exactly, Social Justice is Americocentric, like so many conspiracy theories.

      I mean most of these activists don’t realize that there was an East African Slave trade or that in modified form there is still slavery in the Persian Gulf.

  24. Posted February 2, 2019 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    21st century equivalent of a racist mob hanging with little evidence. That is probably lost on this lot.
    Although no one lost their life, authoritarianism is working hard to stifle it.

  25. Robb McAllister
    Posted February 2, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    No more teenage fantasy, ‘soft’ horror, science fiction. No more ‘Twilight’ or comic book movies. What writer knows what it would be like to be a werewolf or Superman.

    (Wait–no more ‘Twilight’ would be fine with me. My daughter read all the books and watched all the movies. More than once.)

  26. Posted February 2, 2019 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Ricky Gervaise and the presenters of The Gramd Tour have worked out that the best response to demands for an apology are sarcasm or a clear instruction to Fuck off. Apologies are a sign of weakness. Nobody is going to go easy on you if you apologise once.

    • KiwiInOz
      Posted February 2, 2019 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

      Of course Billy Connolly was a master at telling pompous blowhards to fuck off.

  27. Posted February 2, 2019 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    I hope somebody is picking their way through McKinney‘s own work with the same forensic skill that she used in dissecting somebody else’s.

  28. dd
    Posted February 2, 2019 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    So, seems that Tablet is doing the kind of investigative journalism that the New York Times and Washington Post should be doing….

    (Remember that it was Tablet who did the big article on the anti-semitism of the Women’s March big cheeses.)

    Or am I being unfair?

    • BJ
      Posted February 2, 2019 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      You’re being entirely fair. NYT and WaPo have sunk to immediately reporting as truth things that people say on Twitter (and then trying to cover their asses instead of simply apologizing and printing full retractions when it turns out they’re wrong).

      I think there might be a market out there for real investigative journalism, responsible journalism. It needs to make a comeback, and I think there are many people who yearn for it. I know I do!

  29. mfdempsey1946
    Posted February 2, 2019 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    It used to be “Publish and be damned.”

    Now it’s “Damned if you’ll be published unless you toe our line.”

    • BJ
      Posted February 2, 2019 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      One big problem is that there is no clearly defined line, which is by design, and so you can never know if you’re next on the hit list, no matter how well you live your life or how good a person you are. If these kind of people want to destroy you, tarnish you, or hurt you, they will find a way to interpret something you said, wrote, or did in a way that transgresses against their rules.

      There is no line but what they decide in the moment.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted February 2, 2019 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        Precisely!

        cr

      • Harrison
        Posted February 4, 2019 at 12:28 am | Permalink

        Point out that it’s possible for almost anyone to be tarred as a transgressor and almost any statement to be interpreted uncharitably, and to no one’s surprise the uncharitable response from the social bullies is to say that you must be a deeply evil person who just finds it impossible to not say horrible, evil things.

  30. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted February 2, 2019 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    The lunatics are in charge of the asylum. What a bunch of fucking wankers.

    Okay, that’s my initial reaction.

    “My last thought: is this onslaught of morality police here to stay? Social media surely is, and, as Pinker notes, morality is getting better. Does it necessarily follow that this kind of authoritarianism is here for keeps?

    That’s a frightening prospect. And I utterly disagree that ‘morality is getting better’ if it’s being enforced by the self-appointed Thought Police and people are being hounded for the most trivial non-offences. It’s almost exactly the climate of fear that Orwell depicted in ‘1984’.

    cr

  31. Roo
    Posted February 2, 2019 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Mean Girls meets the Revolution devouring its children.

  32. Bob
    Posted February 3, 2019 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Blood Heir can be pre-ordered at Amazon. I just did.

  33. Posted February 3, 2019 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Why can’t these people understand that if they don’t like a book, don’t buy it — and bugger off!

  34. Lee
    Posted February 3, 2019 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    And to imagine I once enjoyed reading PZ Myers’ blog. Becoming “woke” to the narcissism and general falseness of the SJW movement has been a step forward for me. It’s painful, however, because I do believe in social justice, and resent that they have appropriated such an important concept to feed their self righteousness. Even if they fade into well-deserved oblivion, I fear they have tainted the movement for real social justice in the minds of many for years go come.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted February 3, 2019 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      I agree outrage at everything has affected how we see social justice. My first reaction is to roll my eyes when I hear those words, which is too bad because inequalities exist. Privilege is real, racism, sexism, ageism, ableism are all real but because of the ridiculous outrage of a minority, people start thinking the issues don’t exist.

      • Posted February 4, 2019 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

        This is I think one of the biggest tragedies – social justice (or rather injustice) is a big deal. But these nutcases have ruined the words for everyone.

  35. Max
    Posted February 4, 2019 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    >Her advance was at least half a million bucks, a goodly sum for a first-time author.

    Do you have a source for this? I can’t seem to find anything about the young woman’s advance.


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