I saw on the news that publishers are now hiring “sensitivity readers” to review all books for “offensive” comments, or depictions, or whatever-snowflake-upset may be caused by reading a book with thoughts, reflections, statements, comments, descriptions, or what have you , that might upset sensitive (immature) people who are easily offended.
I swear to God I am not making this up. From the Chicago Tribune:
These days, though, a book may get an additional check from an unusual source: a sensitivity reader, a person who, for a nominal fee, will scan the book for racist, sexist or otherwise offensive content. These readers give feedback based on self-ascribed areas of expertise such as “dealing with terminal illness,” “racial dynamics in Muslim communities within families” or “transgender issues.”
“The industry recognizes this is a real concern,” said Cheryl Klein, a children’s and young adult book editor and author of “The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults.” Klein, who works at the publisher Lee & Low, said that she has seen the casual use of specialized readers for many years but that the process has become more standardized and more of a priority, especially in books for young readers.
Sensitivity readers have emerged in a climate – fueled in part by social media – in which writers are under increased scrutiny for their portrayals of people from marginalized groups, especially when the author is not a part of that group.
Last year, for instance, J.K. Rowling was strongly criticized by Native American readers and scholars for her portrayal of Navajo traditions in the 2016 story “History of Magic in North America.” Young-adult author Keira Drake was forced to revise her fantasy novel “The Continent” after an online uproar over its portrayal of people of color and Native backgrounds. More recently, author Veronica Roth – of “Divergent” fame – came under fire for her new novel, “Carve the Mark.” In addition to being called racist, the book was criticized for its portrayal of chronic pain in its main character. […] (Click here to read the rest..)
Good. Lord. Have we really come to this? Works of FICTION are lambasted by the Snowflake Community for not meeting their narrow, RIGID standards of acceptable PC discourse? Really???
An “antiracist” poster in a college writing center insists American grammar is “racist” and an “unjust language structure,” promising to prioritize rhetoric over “grammatical ‘correctness.’”
The poster, written by the director, staff, and tutors of the University of Washington, Tacoma’s Writing Center, states “racism is the normal condition of things,” declaring that it permeates rules, systems, expectations, in courses, school and society. […] (Click here to read the rest.)
I mean, yeah, why would a WRITING CENTER at a UNIVERSITY care about GRAMMAR??
Wow. Just freakin’ wow.
I think this cartoon says it all about where too many of our institutions of “Higher Learning” are these days:
Uh, yeah. That sums it up pretty well, if you ask me. I don’t know how these institutions have declined so far from what they were just when I went to college back in the ’80’s, but they sure have. No longer can people engage in the marketplace of ideas at universities lest they hurt some big baby’s feelings by saying something they don’t want to hear, or with which they don’t agree.
I am reminded of this good piece in The Federalist by Margot Cleveland, an adjunct professor at Notre Dame. It is about the crop of young people today: “Tired Of Millennials’ Participation Trophy Culture? Blame Identity Politics,” in response to a (ridiculous) piece written by Alyssa Rapp. Indeed. “Identity Politics” is precisely why we have “sensitivity readers” at publishing houses these days. From the Federalist article:
Looking back on my 20-plus years of teaching, I now see what I had missed then: my students in the mid-to-late 2000s were millennials. This insight also put into perspective a comment that until recently had baffled me. In 2008, the last year I taught as a full-time faculty member—resigning to marry, have a son, and care for him full-time—a student asked me after class to re-explain the correct response on a critical-thinking short-answer question from the midterm examination.‘But I wrote something. Don’t I get any points for writing something?’
After explaining the correct answer, she countered, “But I got a zero.” Puzzled, I said, “Right, but you didn’t answer the question correctly.” She continued, “But I wrote something. Don’t I get any points for writing something?” “But everything you wrote was wrong,” I gently explained. She left unconvinced, and I left unaware.
But with eyes wide open, I now see the millennial mindset had been slowly overtaking my classroom. That also explains the shift in those identifying as feminists that Rapp highlights. That shift is a function of the identity politics to which the millennial generation hyper-subscribes, rather than any advancement of the “women’s cause.” […] (Click here to read the rest.
And there you have it: “but I WROTE something!” That is the effect of “trophy participation” writ large, and how it is that we now have “sensitivity readers,” writing centers not giving a damn about “racist” proper grammar, and oh-sadly-so-much-more, like protests despite having zero idea why they are protesting.
That is not hyperbole. If you can stand it, and I admit, I had to give up after a minute or so because the idiocy was so strong, check out these young people when asked why they were protesting Trump:
No clue why they were out there. I assume some college professor told them to do it, so they did, because, well, um, uh, shut up that’s why!
Sigh. Yes, sadly, this is where we seem to be these days in this country. What a sad, sad commentary that is on our educational system, and the nation.
That’s what I think. How about you? This is an Open Thread.