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05/07/2005 Entry: "Young People today and what they read"

Young Adult Lit: Young Adult Library Services Association Popular Paperbacks Nominations

So, Digital Manga Publishing's Desire is on that list. Now, I love DMP very much (see these reviews [1, 2, 3], but if Desire and its ilk are going to start winning Young Adult Lit awards, then I really think they should come with an introduction that explicitly tells teens in no uncertain language that if your boyfriend rapes you, it's not sexy. It might be kind of sexy in the manga, but in real life, it's not at all sexy and please don't be confused about it. Ginger Mayerson is here to tell you that if you have sex and it hurts, scares, scars, or creeps you out in any way shape or form, IT IS NOT SEXY. Also, you can say no, and stop, and if that doesn't work, well, there are laws about that kind of thing. If it's helpful to say "Ginger Mayerson says you're wrong," you have my blessing to say that. And safe sex, well, that's a battle for another day. (What's wrong with young people? Don't they know they have to grow up and save the world?)

As I recall, growing up was a hell, so add in confusion about what is or isn't sexy, or is or isn't a rape, and you have hell squared.

The good folks at One Good Thing occasionally write very well about this very confusion that I'm writing very badly about. This is a tough subject for me and that's all I have to say about it. (For now*)

But back to Young Adult Paperbacks, I see that Only the Ring Finger Knows (or "Only That Ring Finger Knows," as K Togi, the famous Japanese pianist in Berlin very kindly pointed out to me) is on that list and I approve of that. That book is all about love, unrequited, requited, other, with lots of confusion in the process. What's that about the course of true love never running smoothly? Well, here you have it! Oh, and while you're clicking around, please sign this petition to get OTRFK novels translated and published in English. Would that not rock? That would so rock! Digital Manga is trying to determine if there's enough interest (outside of me and a few other Shonen-Ai OTRFK freaks). You can use an alias.

(*Oh, but while I just happen to be thinking about it, the most annoying part of Desire for me is that Ryoji could have had anything he wanted from Toru with just a little seduction. Force is way overrated in manga, really. Please see Margaret O'Connell's great essay on the subject. I also wish Toru had given the other guy more of a chance, but oh well; what can you do?)

End of Sermon

 

 

 

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