OY, VOYA

Would you like to read a case study in shitty apologies and social media implosion? You are in luck!

VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates) is a journal of young adult literature. It recently reviewed a novel called Run by Kody Keplinger. The review contained a problematic sentence. Many people pointed this out. Instead of listening, VOYA exploded like a malfunctioning ball machine, spraying invective at critics and blocking anyone who expressed even the mildest dismay, combining attacks with terrible apologies, then deleting willy-nilly.

Let’s dive in!

The original review is now lost to the ages, but here is the key sentence, courtesy of several recappers: “The story contains many references to Bo being bisexual and an abundance of bad language, so it is recommended for mature junior and senior high readers.”

As writer Tristina Wright pointed out yesterday on Twitter, the mere presence of a bisexual character in a book should not be grounds for recommending that the book’s audience be restricted. Would you say the mere presence of a straight character was cause for only letting mature readers get hold of the book? How can someone’s very human identity be lumped together with “bad language”? And it was extra-bonus hurtful to publish such a review during Bisexuality Awareness Week.

On her Tumblr, Wright noted that “When you tell children that mentions of bisexuality in a YA book require[s] a content warning, you tell them they are something Other. That their orientation is something to be ashamed of, to warn others about, that they’re not good. That they’re wrong and unacceptable.” She noted that reviews like VOYA’s are important because they help dictate whether books get into libraries. “These types of reviews, in addition to being insulting and harmful to actual queer teens, hurt queer books because they could be passed over. Queer books, by and large, don’t get the big advances or the huge marketing budgets so they depend on word-of-mouth, hand-selling, and libraries. Being in a library could quite literally make an author’s career.”

Wright wrote to VOYA about the problematic sentence. She mentioned that she herself was bi and that she had a gender-nonconforming child. Here’s VOYA’s nasty response, which Wright shared (along with her letter) on Twitter.

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WHAAAAAAT? “I am sorry you took offense” is, as we have discussed more times than we can shake a cartoon-librarian-censorious-finger at, NOT AN APOLOGY. The letter-writer (Wright concealed that person’s identity) went on to condescend to Wright about the purpose of the magazine and reiterated that the warning about bisexuality belonged in the review. Please note the gratuitous slap at Wright’s parenting. And saying “our writers and reviewers have various lifestyles” is like saying “some of my best friends are Black.” DO NOT. (Also, “lifestyles”? Ironic PBR-drinking-and-mustache-cultivation is a lifestyle. Being bisexual is a life, integral to someone’s sense of self.) Finally, the parting shot about “your need to find and destroy your enemies” is just WHACKADOODLE.

Another library worker sent a note to VOYA objecting to the last line of the review, noting “LGBTQ characters do not need a content warning.” He put the journal’s response on Facebook.

colton

Once more, snottiness (“Why does that upset you?”) and willful or clueless insistence that the sentence in question “does not have anything to do with whether the sexuality was homo, hetero, bi, or other — sexuality is sexuality.”

But author Phoebe North (I’m a fan!) began going through old VOYA reviews to see which ones garnered a content warning for sexuality. SHOCKINGLY:

phoebe2

Even Keplinger’s first book, which was CHOCK-A-BLOCK with heterosexual sex, did not get a scarlet S for sexuality. And in Run, the seXXXy stuff only happens between straight characters.

kody

But VOYA just kept on doubling down on Facebook. Another screenshot for the historical record:

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“Ignorant, accusatory, vile!” And the unsubstantiated “Okay, well, I’m marginalized too”? (Note: this is when my inner heart of hearts goes “O PLEASE LET THIS PERSON NOT BE JEWISH.”) And pointing out with feeling that someone has done something offensive is not being “obnoxious.”

At some point in this mishegas, VOYA institutionally apologized. With about as much eagerness and sincerity as Paul Rudd obeying Janeane Garofalo’s instructions to clean up the mess he made.

OK, saying that the LGBTQ community “has taken offense” and “has demanded” an apology puts all the onus on the LGBTQ community. They’re the ones attacking! They’re the ones holding VOYA hostage! Now hold VOYA’s “apology” to your ear. Do you hear, much like the sound of the ocean waves, the aggrieved sighing of the VOYA editor-in-chief? (Who, btw, seemingly cannot spell “editor-in-chief,” DESPITE THE FACT that “editor in chief,” “Editor in Chief,” or “Editor In Chief” all would have been acceptable to me, what with my LOOSE NEAR-BISEXUAL STANDARDS OF COPYEDITING.) Do you feel her annoyance as she lists ALL THE PEOPLE she apologizes on behalf of and that snitty “insulted or harmed” and “and/or”? As if she’s so dang beleaguered to be covering all the damn bases of LGBTQ lameass hoop-jumping requirements?

Despite this “apology,” VOYA began blocking anyone who criticized them, including famous writers. It was a veritable case study in what not to do in a social media crisis of your own making. (Contrast this with the web site Autostraddle’s superb, thoughtful apology for praising that lesbian taco weenie movie.) Writer Saundra Mitchell actually changed her Twitter handle to BLOCKED BY VOYA!  (The writer KT Horning also pointed out the irony of VOYA being founded by an outspoken lesbian feminist.)

BUT YOU’RE HERE FOR THE APOLOGY INFO, RIGHT?? HERE IT IS:

YO, VOYA. For free we give you this good apology. It would have been a lot easier to apologize if you hadn’t compounded your error by ONE GAZILLION BAJILLION the longer you kept FB’ing and tweeting. BUT FOR FUTURE REFERENCE, TRY THIS:

We’re really sorry. We made a terrible mistake when we equated “bisexuality” with “bad language,” and when we recommended the book Run by Kody Kiplinger only for older readers. Bisexuality does not deserve a warning, any more than heterosexuality does. It was particularly hurtful that we published this review during Bisexual Visibility Week. We’ve now edited it, and we’ve provided a link to the older version along with a note about how we messed up; we want there to be a record — for us and for the readers who keep us accountable — of what we did wrong. That’s important. Attempting to erase the past is not productive. We apologize to everyone: Our readers, the LGBTQ community, and all humans who value open discourse and the power of literature to entertain, educate and inform. We are still learning, and we promise to listen to your criticism in the future instead of reacting with defensiveness. We’ve sent a personal apology to the author and to the people we addressed inappropriately and disrespectfully on social media. And we’re updating our writers’ guidelines for reviewers and for our own editors. In the future, everyone who does work for VOYA will know that the mere presence of LGBTQ characters is not sufficient for a book to be given a warning. There’s no excuse for the way we responded to legitimate criticism, with personal attacks and fruitless, ham-handed attempts to silence anyone who as much as expressed disappointment in us. We hope you’ll continue to read our reviews closely and hold us accountable.

Truthfully, the editor-in-chief and whoever does the social media for VOYA should be fired. But this is not our purview as your premier Journal of Apology Studies.

By the way, here’s another deleted FB post — this one from the reviews editor. It was gone before I could screenshot it, but I did cut and paste it before stupidly refreshing the browser tab and finding it GONE, BABY, GONE:

My name is Lisa and I am the reviews editor at VOYA. I am the person responsible for the publication of our review for Run. While I understand that many of you have addressed comments about the review to RoseMary, it is not her position within the magazine to check reviews. That is my responsibility, and I take full claim for having missed the fact that the last sentence of the review may have been (obviously, IS) offensive and harmful to certain people in our reading community. I offer my sincerest apology, and would appreciate the opportunity to be heard about the issue. When editing this particular review, I noticed when I got to the last sentence that it had not been mentioned above that there was a bisexual character in the novel. I am always happy to have titles with diverse characters of any nature since we are constantly striving to find and review more books with diversity of cast and setting. When I read the second paragraph – the last sentence – which is always the paragraph of a VOYA review containing recommendations and/or opinions, I simply did not recognize that including bisexual and “bad language” in one sentence was effectively “lumping them together.” I saw it as two pieces of factual information that led to the age recommendation. Reading it now, seeing it through the eyes of our concerned readers, I can totally understand what I missed. I am perfectly happy to retract the review and have the last paragraph rewritten to express what was intended, instead of what was actually stated. I am very sorry that my editing error caused such intense anger, hurt, and bitterness against VOYA Magazine. It certainly has not ever, nor will it ever be, a magazine that believes in or supports judgment of any kind about how characters (and people) live their lives. I also think it is extremely regrettable that my mistake caused many people to attack the characters and beliefs of those who work at VOYA Magazine. It simply is NOT true that anyone associated with our magazine is a bigot, a hypocrite, or any of the other things that have been said. And so, having seen that this review’s summary is terribly insensitive and hurtful, I will retract the review and fix it. I will also be ever more diligent in my editing position, making certain that all people and lifestyles are represented fairly and with respect.

Sincerely,
Lisa Kurdyla

Alas, it started well — with an attempt to take responsibility (in vain, since the buck always stops with the editor-in-chief). But it’s clear that Kurdyla still doesn’t understand what she did wrong. And “I offer my sincerest apology” should not be the first half of a compound sentence that concludes “and would appreciate the opportunity to be heard.” Not about you, Lisa! Listen! Do not defend! Then her “apology” goes WAY off the rails, with a “this is not who we are” statement (you did the thing; therefore it is who you are), and the WAAH WE ARE BEING ATTACKED STOP CALLING US NAAAAAAAAMES. And again with the “lifestyles.” NO LIFESTYLES. Genug with the lifestyles.

HOW MUCH WOULD YOU PAY FOR A KNIFE LIKE THIS?? BUT WAIT, THERE’S STILL MORE!

VOYA went on to delete every mention of the controversy from their Twitter and FB feeds and set its entire Twitter feed to private. How you gonna Voice for the Youth Advocates when none of the Youth Advocates can hear you, VOYA? What is the sound of a Voice in the void? Is it like the sound of one hand clapping?

Right now, all I can find is this, a reply to the editor of The Horn Book, another children’s literature journal.

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Yeah, you don’t get to decide what defines your past. Lance Armstrong tried to reframe his past; it didn’t work. As for the future, that is up to you. It indisputably needs to start with an apology, though, not with erasure.  Your community awaits.

PS. Here is a list of young adult books with bisexual characters.

PPS. I lied. I can’t keep up. The latest:

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NOOOOO. You guys can take it from here, right? (I’ll just say “While we admit our errors and recognize the hurt we caused, and apologize for it…” NO THAT IS THE WHOLE SENTENCE STOP NOW DO NOT KEEP TYPING NO NO NO NO NO NO NO OK I’M GOING TO BED NOW)

PPPS.  One more!

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At this point, it’s time to stop. If there are more apologies (what is this, #5?) we won’t cover them. It’s clear that RoseMary and her team do not understand what a good apology is and what it’s supposed to do.

RoseMary, here’s Sumac’s primer on the parts of a good apology. (You needn’t read the sequel, parts of a bad apology, because you are clearly a SAVANT.)

But to do a close reading, as is our wont: Again, this starts well and then goes off the rails. RoseMary. Do not apologize for “giving anyone reason to think” something. APOLOGIZE FOR WHAT YOU DID. You did entertain bigotry and prejudice. (But bigotry and prejudice are not inherently unforgivable; humans are are all flawed. The issue is whether we can learn from our mistakes…instead of, oh, doubling and tripling and quadrupling and quintupling down.) Do not apologize for your absence (?) on Twitter and FB — apologize for blocking your fellow young adult literature allies right and left, making your account private, and shutting down conversation. This is not “absence.” This was an active choice. The fact that you call this “absence” instead of the punitive, chilling act it was (one that incidentally displayed a profound lack of understanding of the medium) is an indication that you still have learned little or nothing.

The last three paragraphs are a garbage fire. It is not about you. It is not about you. It is not about you. A good apology is about the feelings of the people you hurt, not your own need to tell us you’re a good caring person. And saying “I know there are those of you that [sic] won’t forgive” is utterly uncalled for. You do not get to decide it’s time to move on; it’s not your call to say you deserve forgiveness. Forgiveness is a gift for others to grant. Even asking politely for it is, in our opinion, a faux pas…let alone jumping ahead to I KNOW SOME OF YOU ARE NON-FORGIVING DICKS.

I can’t think of a successive apology that would have any impact here. SorryWatch is done.

PPPPS. Hi, It’s Tuesday! VOYA provided an apology to Bustle Magazine (???) which is better than its previous attempts. You can read it here (it links to and gets much of its info from the post you are currently reading, full disclosure).  The latest version pretty much adheres structurally to the template we provided. Yay? Nonetheless, problems remain.

  1. Still claiming that the phrase “references to Bo being bisexual and an abundance of bad language, so it is recommended for mature junior and senior high readers” was an editing error rather than a problematic equivalency.
  2. This sentence still reveals a troubling worldview: “Not only have we caused tremendous insult to commenters online, we have potentially put our supporters in the uncomfortable position of being criticized for supporting us.” The implication is that  those who said “hey, you did a bad thing” are NOT supporters. It’s still an us-against-them perspective. And it’s wrong: Many of the folks who tried to educate VOYA started from a position of support, and only got mad when VOYA kept attacking. Many noted that making mistakes is a normal part of growth, and if VOYA had simply owned up to its initial screwup (which, we note, it still hasn’t done),  Does being a friend mean never being critical? “Supporter” doesn’t mean “person who says ‘you go, girl’ no matter what.”
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23 Responses to OY, VOYA

  1. Saurs says:

    Well, this was an exhausting shitstorm of backpedaling and hole-digging with a generous portion of “how can I hate the bis when I am too marginalized also plus I advocate well just ask all the diverse gheys I have advocated for on behalf of freedom it would remiss of me not to toot that horn at this particular moment toot toot.”

    Thank you, again, for your service, snarly.

  2. Marie says:

    Total shit show. Thanks for the screenshots. Seems the only editing going on at VOYA lately is on their social media sites.

  3. Esme says:

    Oh, it gets so much worse. There’s at least one more “apology” after this one, plus a Facebook meltdown by the editor in which she calls bisexuals “whiny little fuckheads” and says she hates young people. And if you think she’s getting fired, nnnnope, because it turns out she’s the publisher’s wife! Dumpster fire like none other.

  4. AmyK says:

    Just to clarify, it’s my understanding that the review was originally published in March of this year, but was just recently “called out” as problematic and not supportive. VOYA actually brought it up in flawed apology number 3 (or maybe four?). Quoted from Bisexual Books, VOYA said, “It is curious that the review in question was printed, published, made available online, and sent to the publisher and (presumably) the author (having read her tweets yesterday) in March, 2016, and no one—not one single person—sent an email or a tweet or put up a post on VOYA’s Facebook page until yesterday, the 22nd of September. Not one. Not a single complaint or comment about the review that was public since March.” http://www.bisexualbooks.com/post/150848870077/voya-apologizes-poorly-the-saga-continues

    • snarly says:

      I wouldn’t give too much weight to VOYA’s accusations of a calculated effort by those crafty bisexuals to call attention to Bi Awareness Week. The writer of the book has said she was upset when she saw it but didn’t want to risk her career by saying anything. Another librarian has said she hadn’t checked VOYA’s review because the author’s books (Keplinger is an established, bestselling author who often addresses disability and LGBTQ issues) were an auto-buy for her library. My ASSUMPTION is that Tristina Wright ran across the review while looking for books with bisexual characters to recommend for Bisexual Awareness Week. (But I’m not going to ask, since she’s been accused of bad faith — and bad parenting — enough this week.) Remember, if the editor hadn’t responded to her note with venom & inappropriateness, this whole megillah would not have happened. Instead VOYA kept upping the ante with every interaction, post, comment and tweet. Bellowing “BUT NO ONE NOTICED BEFORE NOW!” is both an excuse and an obfuscation.

      • L. A. Julian says:

        I’ve never understood the argument/excuse “But we got away with it before!” (It’s one step away from “But somebody else got away with it, too!” as an illogical dodge.)

        So, what, it’s OUR fault for not catching you sooner? Or, translated to LogicLandish, you’re saying you’ve been hopeless screwups all along? We should be scrutinizing your every output more closely? We can go with that, sure — but is that REALLY what you meant to say?

    • Bridget says:

      I work for a public library, and we circulate professional journals (including VOYA) among the branches. So basically we take turns reading it and sending it to all the other branches until everyone has read it. The result is that I sometimes don’t receive the journals until months after they were published. Something like that could have happened in this case as well, I imagine.

  5. Barbs says:

    Hi! I enjoyed this article, and I appreciate that you guys are calling out bigotry where there is some and strengthening bivisibility (wooh!). But the comment, “Oh please let this woman not be Jewish” didn’t sit right with me. I understand the sentiment that you’re trying to get across “just because you are marginalized in some way doesn’t mean you understand other struggles” or something similar. But I don’t think it’s appropriate to imply that Jewish people are overly defensive about being marginalized or not marginalized at all. Especially at a point in time when anti-semitism is on the rise (the son and pr managers of a presidential candidate are prominent spokespeople of the US’s neo-nazi movement) and the Jewish marginalization is being just as ignored or joked about (here) by many liberals.
    Again, as a bi person I appreciate your efforts to make us more visible, but I don’t like doing so at the expense or struggles of any other people(s). Again, this isn’t some “white lives matter” comment, but a serious, progressive one about a people who are invisibly under attack. I don’t blame you for being defensive about bi people, I know I am, but please be more aware of Jewish issues. Thank you.

    • snarly says:

      Hi! Thanks for the comment. I’m actually the product of an Orthodox Jewish Day School, a columnist for a Jewish magazine (Tablet), and the author of a new book about the history of the Jewish mother stereotype. I’m pretty aware of Jewish issues! That parenthetical was me, sharing my own “a shondeh for the goyim” (an old-school Jewish expression saying “oh please do not let us look bad in front of the non-Jews”) anxiety. You know that stab of worry that minority groups have always felt when one of their own does something objectionable, that visceral “how will this affect the way we’re perceived?” And now I am reminded of a very old Jewish joke! It’s an example of galgenhumor (gallows humor): “In a tiny shtetl in Eastern Europe, a cry went up among the Jews: the body of a Christian girl was found murdered on a road near the town. In terror of an impending pogrom, the Jews piled into the synagogue, barred the door and huddled together. Suddenly the rabbi ran inside. “Great news, everyone!” he yelled. “The murdered girl was Jewish!”

      • Sean Rapacki says:

        Your reply to Barbs is not an apology, which, considering the nature of this entire post, is pretty darn ironic. And, no, being Jewish does not give your carte blanche to make cracks as the expense of Jews, no matter how many how many humorous anecdotes you pepper your reply with. I suggest you follow your own advice.

        • snarly says:

          I’m aware I did not apologize. It’s not ironic. It was deliberate, because I strongly disagree that I said anything anti-Semitic. Jokes like these are ABSOLUTELY part of the Jewish tradition. I recommend Rabbi Joseph Telushkin’s brilliant book Jewish Humor: What the Best Jewish Jokes Say About the Jews (cited in my own new book!) which talks quite a bit about self-deprecating, dark, ironic Jewish humor. Which is what this was. As is the joke about “great news, the murdered girl was Jewish,” which is pretty much as dark as humor gets…and that is very, very Jewish.

          • Sean Rapacki says:

            Like VOYA, you’re missing the point: it’s not about YOU and whether you necessarily meant to offend. Barbs made it clear your remark caused discomfort. End of story.

          • Jon W says:

            I think that Snarly is correct here. She said something which offended Barbs and, when called on it, explained herself – in my opinion, quite satisfactorily. The idea that she should not explain herself but should only apologize strikes me as a bit totalitarian. People make innocent statements all the time which other people don’t understand, and at which offense is taken. This gives people opportunities to explain themselves and increase understanding. If the only standard is “don’t say anything which anyone could possibly misunderstand and take offense at”, then people would miss out on a huge number of opportunities to connect, inform, and learn. And even when people do make mistakes, they certainly have every right to defend themselves. The standard of “I’m offended, therefore my feelings must be soothed. I don’t want to hear any explanations; just an apology” can in many instances work against the offended party by precluding opportunities to learn and understand other viewpoints. If I were to confront a rabid anti-Semite and call him out, should I apologize if he tells me he is experiencing “discomfort”? I don’t think so. I certainly wouldn’t apologize or retract but, by the arguments presented here, some might think that’s the correct course of action.

          • Sean Rapacki says:

            I still disagree, for a couple of reasons:
            1) Barbs is far from an rabid anti-Semite, she is actually a person earnestly concerned about sensitivity issues. Her discomfort should not be dismissed or merely explained away.
            2) I, too, felt discomfort from Snarly’s remark, but, perhaps, for slightly different reasons. When I read what Rosemary Ludtke had written about she also being marginalized, and then witnessed her very public meltdown, at first I wondered as well why Rosemary felt marginalized. Was she, like me, someone who had bipolar disorder or a similar mental illness? Perhaps a survivor of some sort of abuse? Then I realized that the exact nature of her marginalization was irrelevant. Despite her clearly inexcusable actions, she, too, was a person in pain deserving of empathy. And if we are trying to teach people to be more sensitive, we must start by being more sensitive ourselves. A person in pain should never be an opportunity to make wisecracks.

          • Jon W says:

            No need to defend Barbs. I know nothing about her, but I’m quite sure she’s not a rabid anti-Semite. That was an abstract example I gave. This is a public forum, open to all, which could be reviewed by anyone in the world, theoretically, with the exception of those who reside in North Korea. And so I could not possibly anticipate or be aware of the medical, psychological or trauma histories of anyone who might come to this site and read my words. Who could possibly know that? My obligation to any potential reader is to contribute my own honest point of view, to refrain from malice, to get my facts straight and to not distort or misrepresent the words of anyone else. Basic civility, in other words. Beyond that, I have no obligation to water down my thoughts so that no one could possibly find a reason to take offense. Unlike some, I won’t disclose my own personal history, but I will say that I found the comments by Snarly – who I also don’t know – to be informative, enlightening, funny, useful, insightful and the product of an educated mind. I was delighted to read them. I found nothing malicious in her comments. When she was challenged she tried to give a better explanation, which anyone can judge for its merits. This is how social progress comes about, and always has. If we were to express only those ideas which are so anodyne that no one could possibly see any reason to question them, no matter hard they tried, very few new ideas would see the light of day. Snarly passed every test of being a civil, educated commenter. The idea that she should apologize because someone didn’t fully understand what she was saying or, if that person did understand, yet thought there was something suspect about her ideas, is a notion which, rather than serving to further progress, actually impedes it. The idea of “Never mind whether you’re right or wrong; if I am offended, you must recant and apologize” is one which, in the real world, inhibits progress. The civil rights workers who “invaded” the South offended the Mississippi establishment with everything they did and said. They offended those who believed that the social order required mistreatment of Americans. If the civil rights people had bowed before the notion that, having offended so many, they ought to have apologized and retreated, then what progress would have been made? (And no, I’m not accusing Barbs of being a Southern apologist either.) I watch Donald Trump in the various media, and I am offended by pretty much everything he says and does. But I go right on watching – every nasty, vicious, offensive, racist, misogynistic thing he says – not because it makes me comfortable and secure – it doesn’t – but because it makes me informed. I want to understand his ideas so that I can discuss them with others – it makes me better prepared to dispute those who support him. I don’t want him to shut up and if he apologized I wouldn’t believe it anyway. The more I hear, the better I understand just how awful he is. And let me be absolutely clear: I’m not against him simply because I find him to be offensive in his manner; I’m against him because his ideas are so terrible. And that’s really the point I’m trying to make: you have to look beyond your own sense of being offended and look at the actual ideas. In some cases you might learn something new and enlightening, or gain a new perspective. (Not in the case of Trump, of course, and sorry, Barbs, if you’re a Trump supporter…but I assume you’re not that either.) Even better, if you can find fault in the ideas, then you can stand up and confront whoever it was that offended you. Of course you have to be sensitive and respectful of others; that’s why you shouldn’t be malicious or distort the facts in forums like this. To do either would be not just insensitive, but disrespectful to your audience. But being truthful and straightforward and attempting to present a different way of looking at things is just the opposite: it’s being respectful of the intelligence of your audience and your presumption that they want to see and understand other perspectives, not just their own. It’s the only way real social progress takes place. Insisting on muzzling perspectives which may make you uncomfortable but which are legitimate and not malicious in the way they are presented is not only a deterrent to real progress, but it’s anti-intellectual in its effect (I used the term totalitarian in a previous post); moreover, it goes against what the First Amendment stands for. There is a constitutional right to free speech, but there is no corresponding right not to be offended. I’ll close with this quote from the late, great Christopher Hitchens, who was paraphrasing works by John Milton, Thomas Paine, and John Stuart Mill: “It’s not just the right of the person who speaks to be heard, it is the right of everyone in the audience to listen and to hear. And every time you silence somebody, you make yourself a prisoner of your own action, because you deny yourself the right to hear something.”

  6. i find this rather telling. People who do not understand how to apologize are individuals who do not get enough practice at it. This bodes ill, and I will tell you why. All people are flawed (as you have said) and therefore, all people make mistakes. Meaning that they have all, individually, had more than enough time and opportunity to acquire the skill set. They have not. This means that they never apologize for their mistakes. Which indicates a personality type.

    A personality type that should, perhaps, not be dictating what knowledge should be handed to children in the prime of their development.

    Apology is not the same as weakness.
    Humility and shame are not synonyms.

  7. Pam Carlson says:

    I wonder if the response would have been so excessive if the book’s subject had been anything else. What could have been”I/We disagree with the review and here’s why” has gotten way out of control. By demanding an apology on certain terms only and resorting to personal attacks, I see librarians turning into the bullies they so often decry.

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  10. Dresden Savastano says:

    It is now October 13th and VOYA’s twitter feed is still private. I am going to scream maybe. Actually, definitely screaming.

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