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[personal profile] amandaink
A while ago, back before this account existed, I took stock of the female-male equity in my high school reading courses. Here were the final results:

Total number of books: 26
Number of books written by women: 2
Number of books with female protagonists: 3

However, one of the books in the last category was Romeo and Juliet, which also features a male protagonist so count it or discount it as you like.

There’s this pervasive idea in our society that most things can be separated into “boy” things and “girl” things and “boy” things are by definition superior. Books written by men about men are literature. They have Important Things to say. Books written by women about women, however, are chick-lit. The very term “chick-lit” comes with this dismissive connotation that a piece of work produced by a woman which explores the life, conflicts, friendships, relationships, and growth of a female protagonist is inherently inferior to a similar such work from the opposite sex.

Men are the default in our society. That’s why “chick-lit” isn’t taken seriously and that’s why most of my high school reading list was a fucking sausage fest. The idea is that something from a male point of view is easily accessible to every demographic but something feminine is automatically polarizing to men. Estrogen levels are just too high, I guess. They might even—gasp!—have to be confronted with the reality of menstruation.

As much as women are expected to identify with men, it’s treated like a big deal when a man can venture out enough to enjoy something targeted at a female demographic.

And this is why I hate bronies. The ~edgy male fans of predominantly female media—like My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic—feel the need to call attention to how subversive they’re being just because they like a girl’s show. This also leads to some “fans” bleating, “But what about male representation? Because, let’s face it, I’m expected to sit down and enjoy the “boy” stuff not only because men are expected to be universally relatable but because most of the shit out there is male-centric and I don’t have much other choice.

In short: I’m mad. I want women-centric media to be taken seriously. Fuck obnoxious men.

To make this entry a little less ragey, let’s talk by-women-about-women books that deserve to be taught in schools. I’ll start.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.

Additionally, how did your high school reading compare to mine?


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December 2011

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