Gender bias and sexism is the dumbest thing ever, period. It frustrates me so much. And it frustrates me when it comes to books, too. I talked about female authors before and my stance on that. And that’s just about authors, so I don’t even know where to start on the greater topic.
What is my opinion on men reading books ‘geared towards women’, and the other way around? Read whatever you like. Sexism is dumb, genres are just genres. It’s like the big toy question: is this a toy for boys or girls? Do you operate it with your genitals? No? (Obviously not.) Then it’s for boys and girls. Simple as that. And the same goes for books in my opinion. They’re just books.
I’m sad to see book genres separated in ‘for men’ and ‘for women’. Even though it might not always be said in so many words, reading books from the ‘wrong gender’ is often frowned upon. Although in practice, it seems women are less reluctant to let these labels stop them and they read whatever they like. But (and this is just my impression) men are less likely to read something if the stupid ‘for women’ label is stuck on it.
A little while ago, my colleague showed me a wonderful blog post about female characters in children’s books (read it here). I love what she’s doing. Did anyone ever notice it seems more acceptable for girls to read books with male protagonists than the other way around? It actually seems that women at any age (from childhood on) seem to read books with both male and female protagonists whereas men read mostly books with male protagonists. And, if there is a female protagonist, there is usually also a male protagonist?
And this is why labels are stupid. Because people are made to feel stupid for picking up a book. Whether it is the little girl who is told she shouldn’t read about superheroes because they are for boys, or the grown man who is ashamed to pick up romance novels because they are for women. Everyone will have preferences, of course, but can we please do away with the labels and read whatever we like without it being stamped ‘for men’ or ‘for women’? Great, thanks.
/breathes in, breathes out
I’m sure you understand I could say so much more on this topic.
On a happier note: Don’t forget to enter my giveaway! A little over 2 days left to enter!