So I have a lot of feelings every single time I hear that people are “angry” or “annoyed” or whatever that they can’t find ONE SINGLE YA BOOK IN THE ENTIRE YA SECTION FOR BOYS TO READ and YOUNG MEN ARE FAILING BECAUSE GIRLS ARE TAKING OVER LITERATURE and HOW CAN BOYS POSSIBLY BE EXPECTED TO WANT…
Yeah definitely word. It reminds me of how when I was writing my first book, which had two sisters as heroines, a couple of people (and by people I mean guys) said to me that I needed to have a boy with a big role in it as well, or boys wouldn’t read it.
And I felt this welling of huge & surprising anger, for all the books I read my whole life where the heroes were boys. MOST of the books I read, as a child, as a teenager, as an adult, until just recently, had male heroes. In many of those books, girls and women were openly despised—I am thinking of 16-y-o me reading and loving ON THE ROAD but realizing part way through that if I had been there, those men would have used & ditched me before they went back to do doing the cool stuff — and then, even realizing that, still reading on, and still enjoying it, because at that point I was so good at mentally setting aside the problem of books-with-no-women and books-that-have-contempt-for-women—because otherwise there were very few books left to read.
Boys will read books with girl heroes, some will, and at some point all will, if teachers and parents and all the rest of us just keep acting as if that is a perfectly normal thing for a boy to do.