Tuesday, October 18, 2011

INSANITY!!! Day 2- Issues in YA edition

When I was in secondary school, a group called MADD released a calypso called Saturday Night. MADD is known for it's comedic tunes. but this one was a lot heavier than usual. It was about a 15 year old boy and his 13 year old girlfriend. They go to a fete (party) and someone steps on his toe (or was it him stepping on someone's toe). They almost fight but a friend holds him back. The guy waits for him outside the club, and it turns into a bloodbath.

A section of the public got up in arms over the song. They ragged on the relationship between the boy and girl. And the "glorification of violence".  And some of them said that it should never be on the radio because things like that don't happen.

I wondered where those people lived. Yes, Barbados is a tropical paradise, but we have crime too. And we definitely have teens engaging in sexual relationships. I was a teen at the time. I'd seen it with my own eyes.

Here in Japan, I do a huge detailed medical every year. It's mandatory for every government employee. They test things I don't even understand in English. But they don't test for AIDS. My neighbour last year says it's because Japan likes to pretend there isn't any here. Same deal with homosexuals. Ask the average Japanese citizen, there are no Japanese gays. I know way too many gay foreigners with Japanese boyfriends to believe that.

What do these 3 things have in common? For me, they are reminders: Just because you pretend something doesn't happen, doesn't make it any less true.

Every once in a while, someone- a parent, a school board, a committee- will try to ban a YA book on the grounds of some horrible circumstance in the book. I don't like the circumstances any more than they do, but the fact is that these things happen. And people need to know that. And the people they're happening to, need support.

Today, I'll be giving away two books.

Jay Asher's Th1rteen R3asons Why- I feel like this book affected me more than any other book. Ever. It deals with the aftermath of a suicide, and highlighted one thing above all else in my mind: you never know how bad someone else is hurting.

But i Love Him by Amanda Grace (Mandy Hubbard)- What I loved about this book was the reverse chronology, aimed at stopping the reader from judging the protagonist who is abused by her boyfriend.

To win simply comment and tell me:


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Patti said...

I love the book Thirteen Reasons Why. I don't think books should be banned.

The biggest problem facing teenagers today: having a loving stable home that can be there refuge. (That's just one of many)

Sidrah said...

Oh God, and all because somebody stepped on someone's toe -_-

Lots of people like to stay in denial. It's easier.

Teenagers problems: I guess keeping up with the society. There's constant peer pressure. Drugs, sexual stuff, cool gadgets, studies, fashion. A perfect image has to be made.
And then there's bullying. I got bullied a lot as a kid, for me it was the biggest problem. I dreaded it. It was hard being in constant state of fear =/ and it took me a long time to learn to stand up for myself.

You have blogged about 13 reasons why before too?

Insanity week is fun =D

Marsha Sigman said...

There is not one answer to that question. But I think if they have one person who loves them unconditionally without expecting anything in return, then all the other crap is a lot easier to face.

Great post, Claire.

Liza said...

Big question. I think a BIG issue these days is that such easy access to unfiltered media on the internet makes violence, indiscriminate sexual practices and greed (among many other nasty things) seem perfectly acceptable.

brookea_2006 said...

I think a big issue today is the problems that society creates: the exposure to drugs, sex, bullying, and hate in general. Thanks for the giveaway!

brookea_2006 at yahoodotcom

Sana Castellano said...

Oh, Japan should do AIDS testing.. closing your eyes to something doesn't mean it isn't there. It's a terrible disease. =(

To answer your question : Well, here in Pakistan, what teens face depends largely on their socioeconomic class. Poor ones face neglect, illnesses, abuse, illiteracy and loss of their childhood. Then those who are better off face peer pressure, lack of self awareness, and sometimes apathy from others. The really rich ones totally forget who they are and everyday are influenced by western cultures where they've started to drink/take drugs which is forbidden in Islam - I know this is not the kind of answer you expect, but these are huge problems. As for me, I faced a certain 'emo/depressed' period before I finally accepted my self and embraced my introversion instead of hating it. That's when I grew. =)

The reverse chronology thing sounds nice in a eerie way.