“Suddenly you’re ripped into being alive. And life is pain, and life is suffering, and life is horror, but my god you’re alive and it’s spectacular.”—Joseph Campbell (via im-a-hostage-to-my-own-humanity)
The problem that needs to be fixed is not kick all the girls out of YA, it’s teach boys that stories featuring female protagonists or written by female authors also apply to them. Boys fall in love. Boys want to be important. Boys have hopes and fears and dreams and ambitions. What boys also have is a sexist society in which they are belittled for “liking girl stuff.” Male is neutral, female is specific.
I heard someone mention that Sarah Rees Brennan’s THE DEMON’S LEXICON would be great for boys, but they’d never read it with that cover. Friends, then the problem is NOT with the book. It’s with the society that’s raising that boy. It’s with the community who inculcated that boy with the idea that he can’t read a book with an attractive guy on the cover.
Here’s how we solve the OMG SO MANY GIRLS IN YA problem: quit treating women like secondary appendages. Quit treating women’s art like it’s a niche, novelty creation only for girls. Quit teaching boys to fear the feminine, quit insisting that it’s a hardship for men to have to relate to anything that doesn’t specifically cater to them.
Because if I can watch Raiders of the Lost Ark and want to grow up to be an archaeologist, there’s no reason at all that a boy shouldn’t be able to read THE DEMON’S LEXICON with its cover on. My friends, sexism doesn’t just hurt women, and our young men’s abysmal rate of attraction to literacy is the proof of it.
If you want to fix the male literary crisis, here’s your solution:
I don’t know if some of you have been to these live reads at LACMA, where a classic film is read live on stage by actors who just sit and read the script. We did one recently of American Pie, but we reversed the gender roles. All the women played men; all the men played women. And it was so fascinating to be a part of this because, as the women took on these central roles — they had all the good lines, they had all the good laughs, all the great moments — the men who joined us to sit on stage started squirming rather uncomfortably and got really bored because they weren’t used to being the supporting cast.
It was fascinating to feel their discomfort [and] to discuss it with them afterward, when they said, “It’s boring to play the girl role!” And I said, “Yeah. Yeah. You think? Welcome to our world!
”——Olivia Wilde crushing it when she talks about women in Hollywood. (via leanin)
Benedict Cumberbatch reads “All the World’s a Stage” from Shakespeare’s As You Like It
All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts, At first the infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms. And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel And shining morning face. And then the lover, Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad. Then a soldier, Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard, Seeking the bubble reputation Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice, In fair round belly with good capon lined, Full of wise saws and modern instances; The sixth age shifts Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon, With spectacles on nose and pouch on side, His youthful hose, well saved, a world so wide
“It is bad form, bad magic, to say out loud what the whole movie is about. You work towards it, weave the themes into the characters and narrative, until, hopefully, these cannot be picked out of the fabric.”—John Boorman (via jamesgrantbrown)
“It would seem to me that the show of force so overtly manifested by all existing establishments is actually a show of weakness, the weakness of an organism that needs power like an addict needs junk, an organism that knows if it ever loses power even for a few seconds it is finished.”—