Living in a Box: gender and genre
KJ is an intelligent, thoughtful woman whose words often make me think and return to them long after I’ve read them. She’s also a great writer of m/m fiction, one of my favorites–it’s so easy to fall into one of her books because the characters are brilliant, as is the dialogue, the world so real, the stories so captivating, they’re just hard to leave.
A lot of people are angry about the gendering of children’s books. Well, just look.
Boys are brilliant, girls are beautiful. Boys have adventures, girls are surrounded with pretty ornaments. Check out @lettoysbetoys if you want to go into the whole sordid mass of pink and blue that is gendered children’s publishing.
Just to head off two things at the pass:
1) It is perfectly possibly to publish for kids who like pretty frilly things (or things that go, or dinosaurs, or adventure) without slapping a gender exclusion on it. Usborne and Parragon have both stopped publishing specifically ‘Girls Activity/Sticker/Doodle’ books without noticeably reducing their output. @LetToysBeToys tweeted this interesting image just today from one of the most obnoxious purveyors of gendering. See? Not that hard, is it?
2) Girls’ and boys’ brains are not ‘hard wired’ to like particular colours. Any preference is entirely cultural. A Ladies’ Home Journal…
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