Here’s another BOYS DON’T READ article. I’m sure you saw it all over the internet. Lots of people had a ton of things to say about it.
Sadly, most of it was crap.
Here’s what I’m sick of: people getting up in arms every time someone suggests that we need to do more to get boys to read as if somehow that diminishes girls.
Here’s a fun fact: boys and girls are different. They have different likes and dislikes. They’re turned on by different things. They view the world in different ways. They approach situations differently. You can’t deny that.
No boy will ever know the fear and joy of getting pregnant. No girl will ever know the supreme embarrassment of popping a boner in front of her English class during a presentation.
There are some books that will appeal mostly to girls, some that will appeal mostly to boys, and a whole freaking slew of books that will and should appeal to everyone. Who does it harm to try to sell and market books to both genders equally? Why do so many people feel that a call for more books with boy appeal is automatically a call for fewer girls?
READING IS NOT A ZERO-SUM GAME. It’s not boys versus girls out there. Acting like boys are these vicious monsters because they’re embarrassed to be seen with a mermaid girl on the cover of their book is ridiculous. I hope that the next generation isn’t as scarred by the bullying that they endured in middle school as I was and is more open to things that challenge their masculinity. But this “take it or leave it” mentality when it comes to books is, quite simply, fucking ridiculous.
I’m not even going to address why boys aren’t reading and what we should do about it problem. If you want boys to read, give them a book. If they don’t like it, give them another. If they don’t like that one, give them a gift card and a Kindle and tell them to buy their own.
I simply find it sad and ridiculous that for a community that prides itself on openness and acceptance, there is this instant backlash against the idea that we bring more boys to reading by trying to meet them where they are. It’s petty and childish and selfish.
I thought the YA community was better than that.
For the record, here’s a great post: http://novelnovice.com/2011/08/20/lets-get-guys-reading-no-matter-what-okay/