Girl Power (aka Most Original Title EVER

Hey, party people! J here with a rather interesting topic to cover today. Strap yourselves in; it’s gonna be a bumpy ride B-)

So, as you may or may not know, when you load up wordpress, you get a readerboard of other blogs. Mostly ones you’re following, but even when I first started this (many moons ago…like six days, tops) I was getting feeds on blogs I’d never heard of. Anywho, today brought me this: http://ideas.ted.com/why-boys-should-read-girl-books/ which, as you can see, is about why boys should read girls books. Now, I won’t go too much into detail on the post itself, but the gist is that when boys fail to read books that have a girl’s perspective/have a female cast, they grow to lack empathy, which then leads directly into a “rape culture.” It cripples us boys emotionally, so to speak.

I’m not here to argue that point. Granted, I feel like the post fails to consider the fact that, just because a boy doesn’t want to read a book that very clearly has a female protagonist (particularly in a modern day setting, as opposed to say a magic-wielding barbarian from the land of Amtaross, or something) does not mean that he A) doesn’t respect women, B) doesn’t find women amazing, and C) has no problem thinking of a woman as tough as nails and wild as the wind. Can’t say I’ve ever gone outta my way to read novels with a primarily female cast, but hey, I sure don’t see y’all as damsels in need of saving. Women are different from men, yes, but that difference is the difference between the willow and the rock. They both endure, but one is rugged while the other is vibrant. Feminity is a totally different creature than masculinity, no less strong, but with a wholly different feel, you know?  Besides, there are other mediums where a girl is just as awesome as books.

Anyone here remember the Powerpuff Girls? The Legend of Korra? Ooh, who’s read Broken Sky? Seen Tengan Toppa Gurren Lagann? Or Sailor Moon? Ghost in the Shell? Anyone been terrified of Lucy in Elfen Lied? Seriously, you want awesome chicks, look up the trope Action Girl. My point is, people seem to think that girls are underrepresented in the media as strong, or interesting, or worthwhile. I disagree. I think that maybe, just maybe, people are looking in the wrong places. Cuz videogames, anime, indie movies, and cartoons sure don’t beat around the bush, man.

Me, I think that we as a culture (least here in the West, particularly the US of A) really like to dissect things, psychologically speaking, and we get so wrapped up in our theories that we really lose sight of what else could be happening. Do I think men who look down on feminity are wrong? Are they hurting themselves and anyone else they teach that poison to? Absolutely! But to say that a middle school or elementary school boy is going to have a lack of empathy because he doesn’t read a book? That paints the child as more one-dimensional and far more reliant on those books for growth and teaching than just about any boy I’ve ever known personally. Kids don’t usually read for knowledge, not in the sense of consciously deciding “I need to work on gaining more empathy and respecting the people around me.” Least I never did. Kids read for pleasure, for the excitement of the adventure of the world it takes them into. If boys don’t feel that a book featuring a girl protagonist is going to be exciting, try to dissuade them from that way of thinking, tell them some bits and pieces that might catch their interest. But don’t worry that they’re going to become some monster that can’t identify with other people just because they think it might be boring. Who knows? Maybe in a few years they’ll come around to checking it out, and it’ll blow their minds 😉

Anywho, that’s my spiel, folks. Don’t worry too terribly much about the youth of tomorrow, who they may or may not become. It’ll be alright. They’ll find their way. We’re all in this together, and we’ve got a God that leads us in a better way. Just love yourself, love each other, and live.

It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?

-J

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