Thursday Thoughts: Gender Bias & Sexism

Thursday Thoughts: Gender Bias & Sexism

Thursday Thoughts This week’s Thursday Thoughts.

What is your opinion on males reading books “geared towards women” such as YA contemporary, romance, most new adult, etc? In that same vein, what’s your opinion on females reading comics and graphic novels? Do you agree that sexism, or at least gender bias’, are apparent in today’s bookish world? Are you someone who “breaks” these bias’?

/flips table

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!

7 thoughts on “Thursday Thoughts: Gender Bias & Sexism

  1. LOL “Do you operate it with your genitals?” this sooo much! 😀 I totally agree. You can read whatever you want, play with whatever you want. If you’re a dude wanting to read cheesy erotica, go ahead. If you’re a girl and want to read comics, good for you, read any many as you want.
    It pisses me off that men still dominate everything and for instance end up ordering JKR to put her initials on the books so boys would read her more. I hope her success was a big fuck you to the bigheads. -.-
    Ula @ Blog of Erised recently posted… Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’m Not Sure I Want To ReadMy Profile

    1. Yesss D: I was so angry when I heard about JKR ugh. Because wow, think of the little boys, they might not want to read something written by a woman! Because that’s what society is teaching children D: uugghhh

  2. This is a great post 🙂 I totally get why you get incensed about this. It’s a bit like book shaming, isn’t it? Boys reading “girls’ books” are ridiculed and so on…
    But it IS a problem – like the author of this great post you included said – when girls being strong and kick-ass is a big deal, a major exception. I have no idea what I’ll do with the books I’ll soon be giving to my kid – but this idea of changing genders is quite brilliant 🙂
    Kaja recently posted… Confession: I sometimes DNF good booksMy Profile

    1. Yeah it’s a lot like book shaming 🙁 not cool. And kids should be able to read about a whole variety of characters. I think considering that and offering that to them is the best thing we can do for kids 🙂

  3. Haha, I laughed far too hard at the operating it with your genitals moment! This post is genius, your answer is just perfect. I completely agree that men seem less liely to go near genres that are seen as women genres, or books that seem to be marketed at women. I don’t think it’s true for all men, but I definitely think it’s true for the majority of them.
    Reviews from a Bookworm recently posted… Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas: Release Day Review & Giveaway!My Profile

    1. Yeah I think so too. It’s sad 🙁 There are so many books out there that are marketed as ‘for women’, so many more than romance and erotica, that people are bound to miss out on some wonderful literature if they dismiss them on the basis of gender.

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