From Sarah, With Joy

*Poet * Author * Wanderluster*

Monday, November 13, 2017

Whatever you do, DON'T by "girl books" for your son this Christmas

We have a problem in this country. A stinking, reeking, pustulous problem that’s just beginning to burst the boil in politics, business, and Hollywood. Stories are coming to light, showing just how ubiquitous this problem is. Just how long it’s been going on, and been kept under wraps like toe fungus. The true victims of this problem are beginning to speak out and speak loud, despite being revictimized, despite not being believed.

So what is this problem?

We don’t have enough male characters in our media! Not enough strong male role models for our sons! The strong heroes we used to know have been made weak.

Just look what they’ve done with Iron Man. High-level anxiety and possible PTSD? Real men don’t have anxiety!

Now, some will have you believe that objectification of women is the problem. That female characters aren’t treated as real. This could clearly not be further from the truth. We’ve got Wonder Woman, so why do we need a Black Widow movie? We’ve got Anne Shirley and Buffy the Vampire slayer...why do we need more melodramatic, hormonal teenage girls?  See what I’m saying? Sure little girls dress up like Batman or Sherlock Holmes, but a boy version of Wonder Woman? A male Nancy Drew? Now let’s not be silly here.

One of these people who are suggesting that boys should read “girl books” is Newbery Award Winner Shannon Hale. Anybody else seeing a conflict of interest here? Her Newbery book is called “Princess Academy,” not “Prince Academy.” So maybe sometimes when she visits schools the administration doesn’t let the boys come to her speech. Why should boys know what it’s like to be a princess? Didn’t America make it quite clear in the last election how very, very, very desperate we are to avoid female leadership? I once heard Shannon tell a story about a little boy who waited until after everyone else had left, because he was too ashamed to ask for a copy of The Princess in Black in front of other boys. Darn right he should be wary! What are our sons learning these days? That girls can be just as tough as them?? Pshaw.

Sure, everybody on earth deserves respect. This is something we can all agree on. But shouldn’t women be respected as one would respect a statue? Quiet, benevolent, bestowing its grace and beauty on all who behold her? Statues have a place, as do all things of beauty.

But no, these whiners might say, women are just as varied and have just as many facets as men do. There’s just no way for men to know this for sure. I’ll even admit that it might be good if there was some way for men to understand the perspective of the other half of the human population, but there isn’t. That’s just something we have to live with. We must read from the best! What about the Hemingways and Fitzgeralds! What about the Clancys and Grishams! Look at the list of books your child is reading in school. Look at the latest bestseller the millionaire is reading in the plane seat next to you. Are most of the authors white men? Maybe that’s for a reason!

It’s like some people think reading female protagonists will increase a boys empathy and lead to a more aware, enlightened, and respectful adult. How ridiculous is that!


  1. This is high level satire indeed. Some people might not get it, though. I have an image of some guy with attitudes scrolling through blogs and finding this and thinking, "At last! A woman who understands!" Hopefully anyone who read this WILL get it. Keep on keeping on.

  2. Well, I do think there needs to be better role models for boys...


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