Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Dear Diary: Confessions From A Blogger (24) Annoying Gender Stereotypes Pt. 2

We all know what goes on behind the scenes at our own blogs but rarely do we lift the curtain and share those experiences and thought processes with others. Dear Diary: Confessions From A Blogger stems from the curiosity. This week I wanted to revisit a post I published several years back where I talked about Gender Stereotyping in Books.

If you'd like to read my original post Click Here.

Here is my confession: 

Hello again my lovelies! This week I wanted to (again) talk about Gender Stereotypes. In the years since I originally discussed some of my annoyances a lot has changed in the publishing world. Not only are women more empowered than ever but even male characters are seeing a breaking down of traditional barriers. However, the more things change the more they stay the same.

It seems that even with the advent of extremely strong characters like Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games), Lisbeth Salanders (Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) and Hermione Granger (Harry Potter) to name a few, most books are still primarily male lead. In 2011 a study was done by Florida University that found that male protagonists outweigh females regardless if the book is about humans or animals. What makes it worse is that statistically speaking women read more then men which means women are responsible for keeping male protagonists in the lead roles by purchasing said books not the other way around. Yes, an argument can be made that male authors dominate the publishing world but then naturally wouldn't that mean female authors write more about,well, females? No and that's the problem. Until the reading world at large accepts females as the leading hero, females will continued to be pushed into the background deemed unworthy to fight the good fight without a male lead by her side to come and rescue her. As I said before, 
 some weakness is OK but to have females remain pitiable is a problem.


On the other end of the spectrum it bugs me that even though male protagonists are most common they aren't taken more seriously by their female counterparts. Males can't be smart, strong and in touch with their sensitive side if they want to slay the dragon, save the village and win over the heart of the beautiful maiden. Instead they must be full of angst and carry emotional baggage where then the girl needs to "fix him" so she can conquer his heart. Why can't a guy just be smart and helpful because he's a genuinely good guy or even better just help because it is the right thing to do not because he can get in the females knickers by helping her win at the end of the day. It's annoying that men can't be written without a love story of any sort involving him getting in the way. Sometimes it would just be nice for the characters to unite with a goal in mind but part as nothing more than friends. 

However both of the above annoyances pale in comparison to that which says women are only worthy if they are deemed "innocent".  Have a character in touch with her sexuality and the world or at least that character is doomed. The girl whose had any sort of sexual relationship with the opposite or in some instance same sex will suffer greatly throughout the story while the virgin character on the other hand somehow always narrowly avoids the worst of the trauma. This notion that a woman's worth is directly related to her sexual status is outdated and needs to be changed. Puritanical thinking at best and its misogynistic at its worst. 

If you have the time I suggest reading The Purity Myth by Jessica Valenti or if Non-Fiction isn't your thing just check out any of the books below which show the repercussions a girl who has sex out of wedlock faces whether it be considered consensual or not. 





Now that you've read my confession, Tell me some of yours:

What do you think about Gender Stereotypes? 
Do you mind them?
Which, if any, annoy you?

Leave your responses in the comments below, I love reading them. Have a question? Leave that as well and I'll try and answer it.
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That about wraps up this weeks confessions from a blogger.  Thanks for stopping by and reading,sharing, or commenting on this post. As always, it is appreciated.

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