The way women get treated in the media, on the internet, casually, is, among many other things, a serious failure of empathy in our society. Women who speak out, who dare to exist and have opinions, get rape and death threats, get slut-shamed, get pictures of their bodies leaked on the internet. The failure of empathy gets repeated, again and again, by organizations and institutions that see rape threats (or actual rape) as a cost of doing business and nothing worth acting upon.
You don’t matter, these institutions say.
And girls hear the message, again and again.
The girls are not all right. They wage wars on their own bodies, and should they dare to speak out about something, people will wage war against them.
Books for girls matter. Books for kids, teenagers matter. And that’s why we write them.
That’s why we tend to bristle when people come in to eruditely piss in our sandbox. It never occurs to people like Scott and Beha that we might be choosing to write for young readers for reasons other than money or our own mediocre skills. (Or as some kind of female hobby, like pianoforte and needlepoint.) But, see, to those of us who write for children and young adults, men and women, this isn’t a market. These are people. We are writing for someone. And they deserve the best we can give them of ourselves.
We write for young readers because we care deeply about our readers. We work hard because we give a damn. We pick our words and sentences and forms to serve our stories in the best way we can—not to talk down to readers, but to talk up to them."