Sunday, June 17, 2012

An Announcement about the Tournaments

We at the YA Sisterhood are sorry to have to do this, but we've decided that this will be the last YA Crush Tournament for the foreseeable future.

We know that you all love these tourneys, and so do we. We have made so many friends in the blogging community because of it. We love hearing stories about how someone picked up a book because of one of our Tournaments. It's a fantastic feeling.

But unfortunately, those great things just don't outweigh all the negative things that are happening to us as a result of the tournament.

There was a great deal of drama surrounding The Heroine Tourney involving what constitutes a Heroine. And though we are just a platform for this event, and don't choose the characters who participate nor write the defenses-- we ended up taking the majority of the heat. People attacked us personally. And unfortunately-- a beloved author of ours-- Cassandra Clare got tons of hate mail from fans angry that her characters won. That was the LAST thing we ever wanted to happen. These tournaments were meant to celebrate not degrade. We dealt with that drama and reasoned that the Crush Tourney would be more laid-back.

So despite our reservations, we committed to another YA Crush Tourney because we knew so many people loved the last one.

And sadly-- we're finding ourselves attacked yet again.

Several people were upset that Sebastian was nominated for the tournament. We hadn't even read the latest TMI book yet, so were unaware of the controversy surrounding him. But regardless-- we didn't think it was right to remove a character that nearly a hundred people had voted for because we disagreed with him being on the list. Why let people vote if we are just going to manipulate things so that it turns out the way we want it? That wasn't what we intended this tournament to be.

So, we dealt with the issue the best way we knew how. We posted a disclaimer so people would know that the nominations were 100% based on people's votes and not our own opinions. We reminded people that we were planning on having a Villain's Tourney in the winter (which we will no longer host), so they could save their bad boy votes for that. And we encouraged people to spread the word about other crushes, so that perhaps Sebastian would get pushed farther down the list (which, in fact, worked as he went from 24 to 29th). We turned on comment moderation, because unfortunately we were getting comments attacking us personally. One particular commenter called us sick and said we were supporting rape and rape culture. We deleted that comment, but left all other comments that rationally detailed why Sebastian should not qualify. We're approving all comments that come in as long as they are appropriate and respectful.

We thought we'd handled this as best we possibly could. But apparently that still wasn't enough.

On twitter, a few users continue to tweet that we support rape culture. They also say that we're not allowing any comments talking about the issue (which if you'll only look at the comments from the nominations post, you'll see that's completely false). Then, someone even made a tumblr post, wherein they posted about the issue, along with pictures of our tweets on twitter that were taken completely out of context. They also said we weren't letting them comment about the issue (which again, the only comments we refused to allow were ones that personally and hatefully attacked us).

(Edit: The owner of the tumblr contacted us and was kind and civil, and we've managed to work things out. She is not the one continuing to send us hateful messages. Please-- don't turn around and do to her what was done to us. She's certainly allowed to have her opinion about whether or not Sebastian is in the Tourney. Our only complaint was that we were personally being dragged into it. The last thing we want is for this to continue to be dragged out. We apologize for linking to her post, and hope that all of us-- both sides of the issue, can settle this peacefully).

We understand that this is just a few people, and there are a lot more of you out there being kind and awesome and doing this for fun. And it's for you all that we will continue this tournament this year (though we thought about canceling it altogether).  But as much as we enjoy these tournaments, all three of us sisters have felt sick to our stomachs all day long. It just isn't worth the heartache that this has caused. We've come to the conclusion that when an event gets as large and as popular as the Crush Tourney, there will always be a few dissenters. So, we've decided to indefinitely suspend the Tournaments. We're not saying that we won't do small events like the Jennifer L. ArmenTourney from earlier this year. We're also not saying that we won't ever return to doing YA Crush Tourneys. But this whole mess has broken our spirits. These Tournaments take up SO MUCH of our time, that we've neglected our own lives, jobs, and families to run them. And we just can't continue to do that with the way things have been going.

We're sorry that things ended up this way. We hope you'll understand. And we hope you'll make this YA Crush Tourney, the last for the foreseeable future, as amazing and positive as it can possibly be.

We love you guys!


Brittany, Amy, & Jennifer
YA Sisterhood