Diversity Doesn’t Mean Talking About John Green… Again

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BookCon was yet again in the news this past Tuesday but not in the way you would be expecting. The Daily Dot, an online site focused on community news, has written a piece on the issue of diversity over at BookCon but rather than shinning the spotlight on the authors of colour who’ve been speaking out since the beginning, they chose to shine the spotlight on the “Prophet” of YA: John Green. While the author of the Prophecy series and creator of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks hashtag, Ellen Oh, got a mention in two sentences, John Green led and dominated the piece:

Involved in the fray is Vlogbrother and acclaimed author John Green, who seems to be trying his best to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

The Daily Dot also mentions the “John Green effect” where male authors like John Green overshadow and erase the contributions of female writers. However, that same piece is contributing and paritcipating in that effect. In fact, before I read the current version of the piece, it initially made no mention of Ellen Oh at all and didn’t add her (or got rid of the “leading the charge” comment attributed to John Green on the diversity issue) until people criticized it on Twitter:

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I have nothing against John Green as an individual or as a writer and this “John Green effect” has more to do with his identity as male than anything else. However, sites like The Daily Dot need do their research if they want to continue promoting themselves as “real journalism for the internet age”.

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Former senior editor for WWAC. Part-time contributor. BA in criminals (a minor in daydreams). Batman seeks her advice constantly. Bylines at Book Riot, Teen Vogue, Slate, Quill & Quire and Hyperallergic.

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