Let’s celebrate African stories but only if those Africans conform to our specific checklist of requirements.

1 Oct

20121001-085527.jpg

A review of a review.

This is Ayo talking about Aya. I know it’s confusing.

Caitlin Hu wrote a review of the first Aya graphic novel:

http://bitchmagazine.org/post/required-reading-aya-de-yopougon-feminist-book-review

(avoid the comments as there are major spoilers for the Aya extended series)

This is a pretty terrible way to read books. Aya’s author, Marguerite Abouet wrote this series of books based on her life and observations in Ivory Coast. Caitlin Hu diminishes Abouet’s story by referring to it as “heterosex” and “problematic” with only a vague sense of justification based on a notion that Aya isn’t Hu’s ideal of a central character and that Aya’s friends are okay but tragically heterosexual. The passive-aggressive manner in which Hu attacks “Aya,” by lightly complimenting elements of the book and then taking those compliments back seem to underline the reviewer’s discomfort with stories which aren’t directly about the Caitlin Hu Experience. Hu is condescending and imperialist. She reviews Aya as though she were a better authority on how three girls lives in Ivory Coast ought to be written than the woman who lived that life.

What part of the game is that?

-Ayo2012xoxo.

About these ads

2 Responses to “Let’s celebrate African stories but only if those Africans conform to our specific checklist of requirements.”

  1. jennydevildoll October 1, 2012 at 11:55 pm #

    Somewhere in my mind recently, the word “problematic” replaced “empowering” in the ranks of words that weren’t originally funny but have become hilarious because of they way they get thrown around a lot.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Episode 17 – Book Club – Aya of Yop City | Phoenix Comics Podcast Blog - October 29, 2012

    […] relevant articles are: Required Reading: Aya de Yopougon by Caitlin Hu, on bitchmagazine.org, and Let’s celebrate African stories but only if those Africans conform to our specific checklist of r… (bit of a mouthful!) by Ayo2012xoxo on comixcube.com. Read them and then go back to our discussion. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 54 other followers

%d bloggers like this: