I met Olga in 2010 at VidCon. She was a very smart, very clever, very cool young woman. I thought it was weird (but kinda cool) that Tom had found a cool fan who could hold her own with a bunch of the top-tier VidCon folks and let her behind the curtain a little bit.
It never occurred to me that it would become more than that. And though I knew Olga remained part of that social sphere, I had no inkling that they had become a couple. I am horrified and extremely disappointed in myself that I was not able to realize that this was happening and put a stop to it…maybe even before it started.
I won’t comment on the specifics of this relationship because that isn’t my place. But the more fact that it existed infuriates me…sexual relationships need to be equitable and they can’t be when people are in dramatically different life stages or when one person enters the relationship as a fan of another.
I haven’t said anything about this today because I just don’t know what to say. Tom was my friend. I looked up to him…I trusted him. I am furious…that’s all I can feel right now.
My only consolation is that I honestly believe these issues are coming to light in this community not because they are more common, but because we are more empowered to speak out and not hide from or cover them up.
And that’s excellent, because you cannot fix a problem if you do not face a problem.
I share Hank’s disappointment. (It’s not clear in Hank’s post, but he is referring to credible accusations concerning the musician and YouTuber Tom Milsom.)
I don’t know how to feel about this stuff except sad and angry, but I want to be public about my sadness and anger, because I don’t want to let this go unacknowledged.
I’ve written and deleted thousands of words about this today, and I’m grateful to Hank for saying most of what I wanted to say. Consenting adults: Go forth and do all the things! But the abuse of power we seem to see regularly in these manipulative fan/creator relationships is reprehensible and unacceptable. We are working hard to make sure that events we plan and endorse are as safe and secure as possible.
On a professional note, we continue to have a zero tolerance policy for abusive behavior by artists whose work is distributed by DFTBA Records, so his music is no longer for sale at DFTBA.
Smart, strong women of all ages deserve books filled with smart, strong female characters. Luckily, there are many young adult books with protagonists who speak out for justice, make courageous choices, and know that womanhood is beautiful. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of recommendations for the woman who expects her fiction to be as bold as she is. From Haitian short fiction to literature of the southern immigrant experience, these books will make you believe in girl power
The problem that needs to be fixed is not kick all the girls out of YA, it’s teach boys that stories featuring female protagonists or written by female authors also apply to them. Boys fall in love. Boys want to be important. Boys have hopes and fears and dreams and ambitions. What boys also have is a sexist society in which they are belittled for “liking girl stuff.” Male is neutral, female is specific.
I heard someone mention that Sarah Rees Brennan’s THE DEMON’S LEXICON would be great for boys, but they’d never read it with that cover. Friends, then the problem is NOT with the book. It’s with the society that’s raising that boy. It’s with the community who inculcated that boy with the idea that he can’t read a book with an attractive guy on the cover.
Here’s how we solve the OMG SO MANY GIRLS IN YA problem: quit treating women like secondary appendages. Quit treating women’s art like it’s a niche, novelty creation only for girls. Quit teaching boys to fear the feminine, quit insisting that it’s a hardship for men to have to relate to anything that doesn’t specifically cater to them.
Because if I can watch Raiders of the Lost Ark and want to grow up to be an archaeologist, there’s no reason at all that a boy shouldn’t be able to read THE DEMON’S LEXICON with its cover on. My friends, sexism doesn’t just hurt women, and our young men’s abysmal rate of attraction to literacy is the proof of it.
If you want to fix the male literary crisis, here’s your solution:
Writing this was hard. I was very lucky to be edited by Chad Harbach, who spent many months (6? I forget. Possibly more) working on it with me. My writing group — Bennett, Anya and Lukas — also read several drafts and helped a lot. I would like to dedicate its appearance on the internet to the memory of Raffles, who cost me a lot of money but was worth every penny. I still miss you, buddy.
There was a time in my life when I really, more or less, wanted to be Emily Gould; I was still unsure of what I wanted to do, but I was starting to suspect that writing was going to figure into it, and I would read her work and feel this absolutely seething mix of awe and envy. The seething part has passed, fortunately, but man, this is good.
Me too. What an essay. Can’t wait for Emily’s novel.
There is a post going around tumblr with tens of thousands of notes saying that I “announced” that a certain character in my book The Fault in Our Stars dies one year after the end of the book.
1. I have never said, written, or thought any such thing. (Photoshop is magic!)
2. If I had said, written, or thought any such thing (which, again, I did not), it would not become true. As you’ve probably heard me say a gajillion times, I don’t think the voice of the author should be privileged when it comes to matters outside a book’s text. So if I ever make such an “announcement,” I don’t think it should carry more weight than any other reader’s speculation.
I ended The Fault in Our Stars where I wanted to end it. I have never said anything about what might happen before or after what’s depicted in the book. I finished writing it, for better or for worse, and it now belongs to you.