Do you plan to marry and have a family?” the question came from one of the four male doctors simultaneously interviewing me for admission to Cornell Medical School.
"Yes. I hope to."
"So how will you balance being a doctor and having a family?" The question, of course, was meant to be rhetorical.
"Do you have a family?" I asked. My behavior was completely irrational under the circumstances, but I had decided to set him up for the kill.
"Then you tell me. How do you balance the two?"
A nice snotty answer, exactly the wrong tone for a medical school interview, but I couldn’t help myself. I’ve just blown my chances of ever being admitted here, I thought, and yet I couldn’t seem to find it in myself to feel regretful."
The problem that needs to be fixed is not kick all the girls out of YA, it’s teach boys that stories featuring female protagonists or written by female authors also apply to them. Boys fall in love. Boys want to be important. Boys have hopes and fears and dreams and ambitions. What boys also have is a sexist society in which they are belittled for “liking girl stuff.” Male is neutral, female is specific.
I heard someone mention that Sarah Rees Brennan’s THE DEMON’S LEXICON would be great for boys, but they’d never read it with that cover. Friends, then the problem is NOT with the book. It’s with the society that’s raising that boy. It’s with the community who inculcated that boy with the idea that he can’t read a book with an attractive guy on the cover.
Here’s how we solve the OMG SO MANY GIRLS IN YA problem: quit treating women like secondary appendages. Quit treating women’s art like it’s a niche, novelty creation only for girls. Quit teaching boys to fear the feminine, quit insisting that it’s a hardship for men to have to relate to anything that doesn’t specifically cater to them.
Because if I can watch Raiders of the Lost Ark and want to grow up to be an archaeologist, there’s no reason at all that a boy shouldn’t be able to read THE DEMON’S LEXICON with its cover on. My friends, sexism doesn’t just hurt women, and our young men’s abysmal rate of attraction to literacy is the proof of it.
If you want to fix the male literary crisis, here’s your solution:
Become a feminist."
|girls:||sleeves must cover shoulders, no cleavage should be shown in the slightest, shorts/skirts need to be longer than your fingertips (if its .000567 inches off you still must change)|
|boys:||hahaha i dont even fucking know just wear whatever|