Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Case of the Angries: Dudes obvi don't like YA, didn't like the Supremes either, obvi.

OH NO SHE DIDN'T.  While sassily snapping your fingers in any formation you'd like, I'd encourage you to read the following article, A Prestige-free Zone: the reason why women writers dominate young-adult literature is the reason why many guys avoid it, annoyingly titled and filled with falsehoods.  First of all, you dummy.  Blame the publishers and the book jacket designers, not the authors.  Authors write stories; people of all genders like stories.  Publishers sell books.  They know how to design them so they will be sold; market rules often say that teenage girls will spend more than teenage boys on XY and Z - and perhaps in this case that's because the books they are being sold are designed to catch their eye (you know, because publishers read the same stats I did when I crafted the earlier statement about girls spending more).  Frankly, it's like saying boys and men didn't like the Supremes because they were all women.  Hogwash. 

I could have rolled my eyes and moved on with my morning...but then she had to go and include this line:
Many grown men recall segueing briskly from middle-grade kids’ books to adult fiction in their teens, skipping the YA section entirely. They were, they say, keen to move on to the “real” books. No surprise, then, that fewer of them are inspired to write for a genre that they never particularly wanted to read and that, like teaching and librarianship, has traditionally offered little recognition.
UM. Bish please.  Should have stopped with the segueing line, which, if I can point out, is true, only because if you are talking to adults for your "research," WHICH YOU ARE, you need to recognize that there wasn't a huge variety of YA when we were teenagers!  That's a very recent, past 5-10 years development.  Adult fiction was kind of what you had to read if you wanted to read something other than RL Stine or Sweet Valley (obvi there are others, but let me make my point, h8rs).  Boys can, will, and do enjoy reading, but sometimes they need a little more of a push because some of the covers are hard not to judge, and because articles like this propagate the myth that men don't like to read! 

But way more seriously, who are you to say that men avoid careers as teachers and librarians because it offers little recognition?  Do you know any guybraians or teachers?  I do.  And I have, as a teen, as a college and grad student, and as a professional.  I recognize their prestige, in my own life, in my own career path, and in the tremendous good they do for their communities.  And I recognize the prestige of the many, many talented male YA authors (of which if she'd done her research she'd learn there are too many to name) churning out words and stories for the male, and female, teachers and librarians of the world who turn both students, kids, and adults onto reading them. 


And now I will return from my pre-coffee rage blackout to my regularly scheduled compilation of links for your procrastination needs...

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