About a month ago, I was emailed and asked if I would love to participate in a tour called "Authors are Rock Stars" and I scrolled down the list to see if there was any authors that I knew and one of them happened to be Chelsea Pitcher. This was interesting, as a few weeks earlier - I had just read Chelsea's debut novel "The S Word" and it was so powerful and haunting that it has become one of my favourite books. So when I was given her , I was ecstatic and thought that since I loved "The S-word" a good post would be "What was the story behind it ?".
For Those who would like to check out the review - Click on the link : http://thephantomparagrapher.blogspot.co.nz/2013/06/review-s-word-by-chelsea-pitcher.html
It happened at a
There were maybe
eight of us, circled around a table, drinking wine and eating finger foods. The
lights were dim. Our mood was jovial, until the conversation turned to
bullying. It wasn’t that unusual of a topic—we had among us teachers, artists,
therapists and people who worked with kids with special needs. And even in a
lighthearted party atmosphere, it was difficult to evade the stories of bullying
that had dominated the media lately. A friend of mine leaned in, telling us a
particularly heartbreaking story she’d read in the news. It went a little
something like this:
girl takes a racy photo of herself and sends it to her boyfriend.
the photo with his friends.
Photo gets passed
around at school, and girl gets branded a slut.
Girl is bullied.
Girl is bullied.
Girl is bullied.
Girl goes away
for winter break, hoping things will be better when she returns to school.
Things get worse.
For a moment,
there was silence at the table. Then, slowly, we began to shake our heads. We
all agreed that the story was terrible, and bemoaned a time when kids could
attend school without being tormented. And then, a little while later, music
was turned on, laughter was heard, and the party commenced.
I couldn’t get
the story out of my head. Even after the lights had been turned off, that story
followed me. After everyone had gone home, and I was tucked into bed. After
morning came, and another day went by. Still, that story whispered in my ear,
telling me not to forget.
Telling me I couldn’t
forget, because forgetting was dangerous. I needed to do something, make my
voice heard, speak out against this injustice. I needed to change the world.
I needed, at
least, to try.
So I started to
write. I wrote a story about how girls are destroyed for showing tiny
flashes of skin. Girls who are only just learning to appreciate how amazing
they are. Girls who have every right to experiment with their own bodies.
A story about how
gay teens have to hide their true selves from family and friends, for fear of
being ostracized or killed. Teens who have to watch everyone around them
pairing off, kissing, experimenting with intimacy, when meanwhile, the simple
holding of their crush’s hand could put them in danger.
A story about a
society that will call a girl a slut for almost no reason at all, but refuses
to call a guy a rapist even when presented with evidence.
In other words,
our society. I wanted to hold up a mirror to the world and say, this is how we
treat human beings. This is how we destroy them. It’s all here in these pages.
I called my story THE S-WORD, and my greatest hope is that someone, somewhere,
will read it and realize how easily we could change our world, if only each of
us was willing.