Girl Stuff is for Girls

I know, it’s probably shocking to discover, but men fall in love. Men revel in the first flutters and lust and infatuation. Evidence: classic literature, poetry, and the show The OC which is basically centered on two boys in love. So why is it that love stories have become girl stories? I have never understood that.

I recently bought the movie Austenland (which is awesome and hilarious!). I found myself bargaining with the husband to watch it–quite unnecessarily because he was totally fine with watching it. I just expected that he wouldn’t be because it’s a “girl movie.” In other words, it’s a movie about romance, which is apparently a feminine pursuit. How much is wrong with that idea? That romance is for girls only. That girly pursuits are only for girls to watch. I. Can’t. Even.

I just don’t get it.

There’s obviously a gender divide thingy going on here and I’m not really eloquent enough to analyze it. Any time I try to get all feminist in conversation I find my thoughts jumbling up in a tumbleweed of righteous indignation. Debate club president, I was not. So to keep this blog post from descending into something even more terribly written, I will leave you with a few articles I’ve read that provoked some thought-type things inside of my brain.

There’s this article by Kelly Jensen at Book Riot:

Men write universal stories. Women write stories for girls. Men write Literature. Women write chick lit. Even in a world where women do publish in heavier numbers than men do, they are underscored, underseen, and undervalued. Twilight is and will remain a crucial part of YA’s history — YA’s female-driven history — despite or in spite of the fact it doesn’t garner the same praises that those held up as idols within the community do. Men like John Green become symbols of YA’s forward progress and Seriousness as a category, whereas Stephenie Meyer gets to be a punchline.

And this short piece by Elizabeth Scott on Stacked:

She isn’t kind to him. I think that’s okay, because she’s grieving.

But some readers think it isn’t, and that makes me wonder

Why do darker emotions like ­­grief or anger­­ provoke such visceral responses? To make reviewers label Emma as thoughtless, selfish, cruel. As a bitch.

If Emma had been male, would her anger make female readers so angry?

I want to think so, but I’m not sure it’s true.

And this older post by Meg Wolitzer at NY Times that I read a while back and still think of often:

“…some people, especially some men, see most fiction by women as one soft, undifferentiated mass that has little to do with them.”

Do you have any thoughts on this topic that are more eloquent than mine? 🙂

 

 

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