"Language forces us to perceive the world as man presents it to us." ~Julia Penelope
Happy Tuesday Fact #1: My article about book trailers is featured in this month's issue of The Samhellion! (You have to scroll down once you get there; there's no direct link)
Happy Tuesday Fact #2: I finished my 3rd? 4th? draft of Summer's Song yesterday, and today I'm officially handing it over to some readers for feedback. I'm so glad to be done with it... (for a little while, anyway, 'til the comments come back!)
And in other news, I had to put down Nineteen Minutes last night without finishing it. I hate doing that. I rarely do that. In fact, the last time I put down a novel halfway through was...hmm...last summer, Perfect Match, also by Jodi Picoult. Maybe she's lost her allure for me.
I wasn't crazy about Nineteen Minutes from the start - the characters seemed contrived, too much like caricatures than actual teens, sort of the worst-case scenario of every situation you might see in a high school. And I almost lost it a few chapters back, when this one sophomore, the golden boy/star athlete says to his girlfriend (she wants him to stop picking on the nerdy kids in their class). "I can't. Because if there isn't a them, then there is no us."
No way a 16 year, especially one as vapid as Picoult has made this one out to be, would have that much self-awareness. And even if he did think it, he wouldn't say it out loud to the new girlfriend he's trying to impress. I was like, "Oh, please."
But the thing that put me over the edge last night - and you may think I'm overreacting here - was a description of a teenage girl, who walks into her mother's bedroom and the mother is wondering when she grew up, because she has all these curves. And the girl is wearing a "wifebeater tank and boxer shorts."
I cannot tell you how offensive I find the word "wifebeater." It makes my skin crawl. I refuse to let any of my own student use it. It's a horrible, misogynistic word that basically condones spousal abuse. And if someone can tell me why it's okay to be a part of our vocabulary, then please enlighten me.
I'm terribly disappointed that Picoult chose that descriptive term. She certainly wasn't doing it for effect. Worse, it didn't even make sense from a writer's perspective. The scene is written from the mother's POV; she's a judge and she's also out of touch with her daughter and teens in general. There's no way she would use that word to describe what her daughter is wearing.
So that's that. The book is going back to the library today. And I think I may stay away from Picoult in the future. Too bad.