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#1 spacebees

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Posted 27 January 2018 - 04:18 AM

Now, I don't know if this is the correct section to post this.

I've been with this series for years now, and as a whole, I love every one of these books. However, as a queer person, I have a few problems with how some topics have been handled.

In particular, I have issues with Karen and Lake. Both characters are presented as exceptions to Sang's discomfort with women, which is, to put it mildly, awful.

Karen, who has been confirmed a lesbian, is no more a boy than Sang. Her being "not like other girls" is incredibly insulting and a very dangerous stereotype.

Lake is a whole other issue entirely. Lake being an exception is completely transphobic, and so is a large amount of the dialogue in the story around her. Saying things like "she's really a boy" and misgendering her entirely is disgusting. The same can be said for Fancy, though to a lesser degree so far. Trans or not, Lake and Fancy are girls, and should be seen as such by both the characters and the readers. 

I applaud C.L for trying to be inclusive, but frankly bad representation is worse than none at all.


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#2 StyledByGabe

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 06:16 AM

Up until Black and Green, the books have been told from Sang's point of view. In First Kiss she notices that Lake has a 5 o'clock shadow and some other masculine features, and figures out that Lake is really a guy who wants to identify as a girl. She later concludes that she's more comfortable being around Lake than other members of her group because Lake is "really a boy." That just reflects how Sang feels. I wouldn't expect her to come to a different conclusion. Also, and I'm willing to say it, Lake has guy parts and has guy DNA, so her conclusion is not unreasonable. Sang has led a sheltered life.

I may not be remembering clearly, but isn't Sang uncomfortable with Karen also? She's never been close to her, and when Sang was sexually assaulted in the bathroom, she wanted Karen to call Nathan and did not want to be helped by Karen herself.

Not being a fan of the SB series, I can't comment on Fancy.

#3 Jme 1983

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 08:04 PM

I think it is best to keep this site as a place of encouragement rather than criticism...just from personal experience as a writer, when people make comments like this it really dampens my ability to continue writing...I think you realize, based on your post, that C L Stone has the best of intentions....she is not racist or sexist or homophobic or any of the painful and malicious accusations that are being thrown out at people lately with no consideration as to how that sort of accusation affects the other person...if you can't say something nice....well, does it really need to be said? Does it add to the conversation or just tear someone else down? You are entitled to your opinion. And the topics you bring up are valid and worth discussion. I just think this is the wrong place to post that.
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#4 spacebees

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 09:11 PM

I understand not wanting to "tear people down" as you both essentially put it and the series being mostly from Sang's POV, but the fact remains that the language used is unacceptable.

And yes, I do believe this does need to be said.

Just because Sang is sheltered and may not know better, she is a fictional character. C.L, as an author, made the conscious choice to write this way. 

My intentions of this post weren't a proverbial witch hunt. I know not everyone may know that this is bad. I want to discuss this because the language makes me uncomfortable and almost made me not want to continue with the series. 

I'm being critical in the hopes that things improve, basically. Not acknowledging it is not something I can do.

As far as things with Karen are concerned, it's entirely possible that I'm misremembering


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#5 StyledByGabe

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 12:47 AM

I understand not wanting to "tear people down" as you both essentially put it and the series being mostly from Sang's POV, but the fact remains that the language used is unacceptable.

**************************************


One of the most important rights in the States is freedom of speech. The most important personal right is the right to have one's own thoughts and opinions. A great danger that has arisen recently in America is the insistence that everyone must have the "correct thoughts" and "correct opinions". That way lies fascism and communism. No one has the right or the power to decide what is an acceptable opinion and to force everyone to have the same thoughts.

****************************

And yes, I do believe this does need to be said.
I know not everyone may know that this is bad. I want to discuss this because the language makes me uncomfortable and almost made me not want to continue with the series.


*****************************


I don't know if I can word this gently, but you don't (and I don't) have a right not to be made uncomfortable by what you read, what you hear, what you see. Otherwise we would be impinging on someone else's right of free expression. There are things I hear or see on YouTube that make me uncomfortable. Sometimes it's a good thing, because it's challenging my opinion on something. Sometimes it's offensive to me (but maybe not to others); I can either push through it or stop the video. But in no case would I insist that the content producer must stop having that opinion or stop offending/challenging me.

We've all got to toughen up, buttercups!
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#6 spacebees

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 04:21 AM

I don't think it's unreasonable to ask someone not to use transphobic sentiments. I'm not saying or asking C.L to stop writing Lake, I'm saying I'd like to see the way she's handled in the future improve.

Free expression is one thing, I will give you that, but education on the people and topics you write about is important. 

I'm expressing my "right to free expression" by being critical of this situation. It's on you if you've decided to dismiss what I'm saying in favor of hiding behind a stubborn and tired outlook.

But by all means, pull the wool over your eyes and toughen up


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#7 helpful2468

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 05:12 AM

To spacebees, I understand that you have some problems with how C.L. Stone writes some stuff but that doesn’t mean you have to blast this on the forum. I feel offended on you say that we have wool over our eyes and toughen up. I as a reader do notice this also but I would not start an argument with people like this. There are limits on how you use your “ right to free expression “. Besides that I’m pretty sure the C.L. Stone is doing her best to put Sang’s thought process whenever she writes a scene or situation. I would rather suggest you email or write a letter to her than on the forum.

#8 spacebees

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 05:22 AM

To spacebees, I understand that you have some problems with how C.L. Stone writes some stuff but that doesn’t mean you have to blast this on the forum. I feel offended on you say that we have wool over our eyes and toughen up. I as a reader do notice this also but I would not start an argument with people like this. There are limits on how you use your “ right to free expression “. Besides that I’m pretty sure the C.L. Stone is doing her best to put Sang’s thought process whenever she writes a scene or situation. I would rather suggest you email or write a letter to her than on the forum.

I see what your saying, and I agree that this should be brought to C.L directly as well. The wool comment was more towards StyledByGabe and their argument, as I personally do not agree with the idea that people can be too politically correct, especially in regards to topics like this where I've heard trans people express discomfort with being referred to in the ways that Lake has been described.

My intentions were to bring this issue to the community, and I won't apologize for that, but I will apologize for letting the flippant responses of others get to me like that. 

For the moment, I believe this thread should stay open, as I hope others will consider what I'm saying and learn somethings about a topic that is not often spoken on.


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#9 emross1931

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 04:19 AM

To the people who are ganging up on spacebees, spacebees is not criticizing the plot line of the story or even the characters really. They are not saying that C.L.s books are trash or that the books are horrible and need to be burned because of those characters. They are not tearing her down. What they are stating that something has been represented wrong in the books (or at least that is my understanding of it, spacebees. I understand that what I am saying may not be completely what you are getting at, and I am sorry if I am interpreting it wrong).

Second of all, "if you can't say something nice then don't say anything at all?" Now normally, I don't like calling people out on things. I hate doing it in public. I hate doing it online. I hate when it is done to me. I hate when it is done to other people. But ladies and gentlemen, this is a discussion forum. It is about us talking about things from the series that we both love and hate, approve and disapprove of, and why. This is a site where we should be free to share things, especially including something like this.

And honestly, if I were C.L. I wouldn't be torn down by this. As a person, I would want to hear what they have to say because I would want to represent people right. I would want others to know that I respect them and who they are.  She has an e-mail where you can send her things for more reasons than just fan mail. An author is an influential person. If they represent someone wrong, it could negatively impact tons of people. The actions a character takes in a book, what is said, what is thought, what is implied: all of it matters not only to plotline, to other characters, to how things are written, but also what the reader learns and takes away from it.

And before some of you start getting angry at me too, because I am sure there are at least a few, if not more, who think I am wrong about at least this topic in the forum, I want to remind you of something.

The last two chapters of "The Other Side of Envy."

Does everyone here remember what happened on the site after the book was published? How people were upset and disgusted by the use of blackface in the book? I do. I was here for that. 

Did you ever think about how some people would look at that scene? What if someone had never heard of the term blackface and read this? (And let me just tell you, I live in a town in the bible belt that is 94% white. I guarantee you that a good portion of the people here have never heard that term before.) Would those people who picked up the book think it was okay to do that later? Would they dress up for Halloween in a similar fashion? I can hear some of you saying of course not in my head right now, but that doesn't make the implication or possible effect go away.

This might seem like a tiny issue, but how many people are being represented by it? And how many people are reading this representation of how a person is to be treated?

We shouldn't be saying that people don't have a right to freely express themselves here. We shouldn't be saying that it can't be said here because it will offend someone or hurt the authors feelings. The point of the forum is to express yourself. The point of the forum is to say how things are for you when you look at these books, and especially if you are a person who has an aspect of themselves being represented by a character, you have a right to say how that representation makes you feel and if there is a problem with it. 

If something like this pops up in a book, any person on this forum should have a right to say something about that. We shouldn't be saying that it's mean or that we shouldn't mention something that makes us uncomfortable or that we need to limit our freedom of expression. We should be able to talk about it, and we should share it because not everyone is going to understand why something makes another person uncomfortable or how a scene could be interpreted.

And for those of you who do come across something like that, you shouldn't be afraid to tell the author or say it out loud. As someone who personally wants to write books one day, I know that I would never want to misrepresent a group or culture or society or people, and if I did, I would want to know so that I never repeat it. I would hate to ever think that the stories I told would make someone feel isolated or like I didn't respect them.

 

Now, I am sure there is a crowd with pitch forks waiting at my door now. But I am not going to apologize for saying something. I will say right now that I am sorry spacebees if I misrepresented your beliefs in any way or form throughout this whole thing. It was not my intention if I did. I just could not take looking at all the comments on this page that told you to be quiet about something like this or not say something, and you have every right to say something on the forum. Just like any member of the forum does about anything that makes them uncomfortable.

And for any person who has a problem with me, I am not going to apologize for saying something like this. I am sorry if you dislike me for this. I am sorry if it seems rude to you. I am sorry if you do not agree with what I am saying because you don't think we should say things like this on the forum, for everyone to see. I am also sorry for calling people out during this whole thing. I am not sorry for saying it, though, because every person should be able to share on the forum. It is a discussion forum. That is what it is meant for.

And, well, if you really agree with what was said above and don't agree with me even a little bit, I believe one of the above comments was that if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.


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#10 helpful2468

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 05:01 AM

To the people who are ganging up on spacebees, spacebees is not criticizing the plot line of the story or even the characters really. They are not saying that C.L.s books are trash or that the books are horrible and need to be burned because of those characters. They are not tearing her down. What they are stating that something has been represented wrong in the books (or at least that is my understanding of it, spacebees. I understand that what I am saying may not be completely what you are getting at, and I am sorry if I am interpreting it wrong).
Second of all, "if you can't say something nice then don't say anything at all?" Now normally, I don't like calling people out on things. I hate doing it in public. I hate doing it online. I hate when it is done to me. I hate when it is done to other people. But ladies and gentlemen, this is a discussion forum. It is about us talking about things from the series that we both love and hate, approve and disapprove of, and why. This is a site where we should be free to share things, especially including something like this.
And honestly, if I were C.L. I wouldn't be torn down by this. As a person, I would want to hear what they have to say because I would want to represent people right. I would want others to know that I respect them and who they are.  She has an e-mail where you can send her things for more reasons than just fan mail. An author is an influential person. If they represent someone wrong, it could negatively impact tons of people. The actions a character takes in a book, what is said, what is thought, what is implied: all of it matters not only to plotline, to other characters, to how things are written, but also what the reader learns and takes away from it.
And before some of you start getting angry at me too, because I am sure there are at least a few, if not more, who think I am wrong about at least this topic in the forum, I want to remind you of something.
The last two chapters of "The Other Side of Envy."
Does everyone here remember what happened on the site after the book was published? How people were upset and disgusted by the use of blackface in the book? I do. I was here for that. 
Did you ever think about how some people would look at that scene? What if someone had never heard of the term blackface and read this? (And let me just tell you, I live in a town in the bible belt that is 94% white. I guarantee you that a good portion of the people here have never heard that term before.) Would those people who picked up the book think it was okay to do that later? Would they dress up for Halloween in a similar fashion? I can hear some of you saying of course not in my head right now, but that doesn't make the implication or possible effect go away.
This might seem like a tiny issue, but how many people are being represented by it? And how many people are reading this representation of how a person is to be treated?
We shouldn't be saying that people don't have a right to freely express themselves here. We shouldn't be saying that it can't be said here because it will offend someone or hurt the authors feelings. The point of the forum is to express yourself. The point of the forum is to say how things are for you when you look at these books, and especially if you are a person who has an aspect of themselves being represented by a character, you have a right to say how that representation makes you feel and if there is a problem with it. 
If something like this pops up in a book, any person on this forum should have a right to say something about that. We shouldn't be saying that it's mean or that we shouldn't mention something that makes us uncomfortable or that we need to limit our freedom of expression. We should be able to talk about it, and we should share it because not everyone is going to understand why something makes another person uncomfortable or how a scene could be interpreted.
And for those of you who do come across something like that, you shouldn't be afraid to tell the author or say it out loud. As someone who personally wants to write books one day, I know that I would never want to misrepresent a group or culture or society or people, and if I did, I would want to know so that I never repeat it. I would hate to ever think that the stories I told would make someone feel isolated or like I didn't respect them.
 
Now, I am sure there is a crowd with pitch forks waiting at my door now. But I am not going to apologize for saying something. I will say right now that I am sorry spacebees if I misrepresented your beliefs in any way or form throughout this whole thing. It was not my intention if I did. I just could not take looking at all the comments on this page that told you to be quiet about something like this or not say something, and you have every right to say something on the forum. Just like any member of the forum does about anything that makes them uncomfortable.
And for any person who has a problem with me, I am not going to apologize for saying something like this. I am sorry if you dislike me for this. I am sorry if it seems rude to you. I am sorry if you do not agree with what I am saying because you don't think we should say things like this on the forum, for everyone to see. I am also sorry for calling people out during this whole thing. I am not sorry for saying it, though, because every person should be able to share on the forum. It is a discussion forum. That is what it is meant for.
And, well, if you really agree with what was said above and don't agree with me even a little bit, I believe one of the above comments was that if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.

I do not have a problem with this. I was annoyed that spacebees typed “wool over our eyes” comment and with the criticism with the author. Spacebees if you are reading this I am sorry if I have hurt you with my comment and that you’ll accept my apology.

#11 spacebees

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 11:21 PM

I know I could have handled this all more eloquently, and I appreciate emross1931 for elaborating. You said it well and I appreciate your support. 

Once I have a bit more free time to write things out better, I intend to email C.L Stone directly. Change comes from speaking out, and if she values her fans' input at all, she'll hopefully listen.



#12 Ann

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 03:54 AM

Hello, everybody first time making any comments.  I feel a good writer develops their character's personality over time and each character is different, especially in a long series. Also, I personally believe a writer develpos character a certain way to get points across, for further development, something that character's actions and/or thoughts use later in a series. Sometimes, you know what a character is thinking and feeling but see their actions could totally different. 

Now with issue with Sang, I truly don't see a problem at all most of her thoughts. Yes, i know C. L. Stone wrote her thoughts but she gave birth to Sang to speak and this is how she see's this character. I don't believe the an author should change a character's personality because we don't like it; it makes no sense what so ever. However, an author may improve an character over a period of time. 

Now back to Sang, did she ever acting mean or rude to Lake or Karen, No I don't think so. Now she doesn't know Karen is gay yet but she feels that she different from other girls but doesn't know what. While now that could be anything at first I just thought Karen was "tomboy" at first till I read more into the series and reread them. Now let's back with Sang and Karen she talks to Karen, interacts with her on a friendly level. Where we read she didn't like when Karen was trying to help her get dress, and Sang didn't understand. We find out that Sang doesn't like to be touch by women because of the abuse she receive when she younger. Just remember in parts of the series, Sang doesn't like to be touch by Kota's mom. 

Do see what C. L. Stone she is giving her readers thoughts of Sang which are clues to her character. At the camp, all of this revealed Sang won't be place in a all girls group instead she will stay with the guys which is we wanted. Right? 

At the camp, we also witnessed how she reacted different with Lake and what she obverse first meeting him. Well Lake  comes off being a female but actually a male instead. We See Sang actually comfortable being around Lake and I actually believe C. L. Stone put that in there so we know (the readers) and members of The academy ( ones in charge) will realize its not a sight thing but her inner being  why Sang reacting this way. Issue with North saying "you know she's a guy right" he was just looking for Sang. Sang and  the guys refer to Lake as a girl, so don't understand the issue there. 

So, no a writer should not change a person character or a story line in the long haul. An author develops a story, the character, plot, settings and so on has the basic outline for one and needs to fill in the blanks to make the story a whole. Now idea or hints are different but don't change what the author is trying to get across for the character to build and development over time. 

Let's looks at the big picture instead of one or two details we don't like.  

Everybody has a right to their opinion but one shouldn't change one's views. 



#13 spacebees

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 11:27 PM

Hey Ann, welcome to the forum (or making comments, whichever applies, I guess)

First, your condescension is not appreciated. if I'm misreading that, my apologies.

The problem is not with Sang as a character, it's with C.L's writing.  Rudeness to the characters, as and by characters, is not the issue. If it were, you're belief that showing such things to include a point of growth for a character would be correct.

Frankly, you don't seem like you actually read the book. Lake is a trans girl. C.L uses she/her pronouns consistently. Lake is not male.

I wouldn't consider the majority (at least, from my memory) of the writing around a character as "one or two details I didn't like" . As I've said before, in including Lake (and possibly Karen) as exceptions to Sang's rule, even if it's just because of "Sang's perception" (read: C.L's perception) is harmful. 

Representation in media is the biggest picture in regards to this topic. The story does not matter at this point as far as representation goes for the GB series. 

I believe one should be ready to change their views. Ignoring new information to preserve your opinion doesn't make that information any less valid or true. If you'd like to ignore what I and others have said, then that's you're prerogative



#14 Ann

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 02:55 AM

spacebees

I was not being condescension. I was giving my view on the topic in which you brought up. Yes, I do read the books. Did you actually read my post? I gave my view on the topic in the reason behind it. Also, I said that Sang and the guys refer Lake as a girl. 

Also, a reader will get different insight from reading the same story from somebody else. I a put that in because of the statement you made asking me if  i actually read the books.

My issue, I am trying to understand how you got offended with the whole thing on how Lake and  Karen. That is what I don't understand. I gave my view and the reasons behind it  on the previous post.

I know its C. L. Stone words that are being use but she develop these character and each character is different. 

Sang meeting Lake for the first time in First Kiss " There was something else, too. A darkness above her lip. ........but the closer I got, the more I realized her face resembled a boy's" "Was she a boy dressing as a girl?"  Okay, during this description Sang is describing when she first met Lake. In other parts of the book is talking about how its time for a shower and you get Sang view on how Lake must and going through which I feel it will be difficult for anyone in Lake position. Sang still refers to a girl.  North brought Lake's sex just to make sure Sang feels safe and comfortable going in same showers together. Also, within the next line or so he states if anybody can't Lake as a girl and her feelings. 

When Sang and Lake to Carla, Lake mentions She is a boy and feels more comfortably wearing girls clothing but doesn't like to hang around guys. In Lake case she had bad experience around guys which don't what but the reader can image.

Sometimes. I put a story in a real life events everybody is not going nice and cuddle to everybody else. I like when author givers different feelings. thoughts, actions, expression from other characters in a book. However, I feel C. L. Stone didn't disrespect a person on what or who the character  being her writing. 

in your statement below: spacebees

"I believe one should be ready to change their views. Ignoring new information to preserve your opinion doesn't make that information any less valid or true. If you'd like to ignore what I and others have said, then that's you're prerogative "

 

What I meant by that is certain persons/people like to push their opinions on other people because that person feels their view is correct that is not always the case. I was not signal you out, I was stated I how felt. I listen to views on different and come up with my own doesn't mean 
I am right or wrong and doesn't mean the other person is right or wrong. If I was ignoring what you and others had said then I wouldn't made a comment.  If you didn't want all types of feedback on a topic which can be negative or positive, perhaps maybe one should't give the opinion if they don't like the results. 

I am trying to understand where you got where you felt disgusting with how C. L. Stone wrote certain stuff, because I don't see it.  In the previous  i went some of the issues you posted about Karen and Lake, and  gave my view on I felt the story and where C. L. Stone was going with it. 

What trying to get across how does in your point of view C. L. Stone is how she disrepecting Lake? In regarding to your statement below:

"Lake is a whole other issue entirely. Lake being an exception is completely transphobic, and so is a large amount of the dialogue in the story around her. Saying things like "she's really a boy" and misgendering her entirely is disgusting. The same can be said for Fancy, though to a lesser degree so far. Trans or not, Lake and Fancy are girls, and should be seen as such by both the characters and the readers. 

I applaud C.L for trying to be inclusive, but frankly bad representation is worse than none at all."

 

Okay, I gave my view an on the reasons behind the statement "she's really a boy". North made the statement talking to Sang about her comfort level.  The characters all refer Lake as a girl and I fell the readers do also. I view Lake and Fancy as females. 


Edited by Ann, 07 February 2018 - 05:47 AM.


#15 spacebees

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 06:19 PM

I did read your post, Ann. You referred to Lake as "him" and "male" which is what I was getting at with that statement.

I am unhappy with the dialogue around Lake because I've heard actual real life transgender people express discomfort about being described and referred to in similar ways. In using that language and not questioning it, some may think the language is ok when it is most definitely not.

I don't mind feedback and I don't know know where you got the impression that I do. I'm responding because I feel strongly about this and I want people to understand why I feel this way. 


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#16 Ann

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 10:35 PM

Spacebees, 

Okay,  I see the area where I put Lake as a him, is where Sang first meet Lake. I was going on how Lake first meet Lake and the first impression Sang got from Lake. The other time Lake, I mention the phrases in the book and what I got from that. The impression I got that you don't like feedback is where you states to me "Did you actually read the book" and "where you wrote its my prerogative".  It's like my opinion doesn't count because it doesn't agree with yours. 

I see Lake and Fancy as females because that what they want to representative as females that is fine with me. I still don't see the issue because when one usually meets somebody they will notice traits about a person. in Lake case, Sang saw first impressions, one can't help ones see's. Where Lake was talking and saying I thought you were like me. Sang first thought Lake thought she was a boy.  When North talking about "She's really a boy" when Sang and Lake went to the showers together. North was looking out for Sang but Sang blew him off telling he is fine with that. Side Note: Think about what was going around that time about transgenders and restroom issue. From what I can remember, the fourth time Lake was brought as a boy is when talking to Carl.

 

Like I stated before, I believe Lake was put into the story to see how Sang inner self response to males and females on different levels.

 

Alright get your issue with the trans gender but I still don't see the issue with C.L. Stone writing. Two of the boys comments were in Sang thoughts out in the real world you can not stop how people think. It is how the person acts to the issue; Sang was not rude with Lake at any point in the story.  A protector of other person is going to make sure a person they care feels safe and comfortable, with the issue North stated "she's really a boy". North is making sure Sang is okay with it. Just because Lake was comfortable and safe, North wanted Sang take on it too. Don't see the issue there, out in the real world wouldn't one want the person care or feel safe. The issue with Carla where Lake is talking to her about what's going on with herself. I think it was a good step for them together to becoming a team. Carla was being pushy but Lake had attitude around her.

I understand the reason behind the way you feel better now, but don't see the issue with C. L. Stone writing.  I think maybe you should email C.L. Stone and get her view of Lake character first and see how it implies with how you see Lake and go from there. 



#17 spacebees

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 11:42 PM

I see what your saying, but I personally don't think the context matters much in this situation. The inclusion of the language at all is my issue.

As I've stated, I intend to contact C.L at some point about this. 



#18 Ann

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 02:16 AM

Hello Spacebees, 

I totally get what you are saying and understand what you are saying. I just don't agree with you about the inclusion of language issue. 



#19 BLTS

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 10:20 PM

Hm. Interesting thoughts. I don’t agree, but I can see where you’re coming from. Intent matters. Always. It’s not a perfect reaction, but an excellent representation of a real reaction.
Kota loves me. I love him. We make a beautiful couple

Our babies will be so smart.