I decided to create this blog because it combines two of my favorite things: books and feminism. I’ve always been an avid reader, and I think deep inside, an avid feminist. The latter has only recently surfaced, but I believe that the seeds were actually planted by the books I read as a child/teenager. And my hopes are to critically analyze that which has the potential to affect young people in their formative years, with regards to understanding of social equality and justice through what they like to read. Some of the books I’ll cover are books that I read and loved when I was younger and am revisiting now. Some will be books that I’ve read recently. All of them will be books that have attributes that I want to examine through a feminist lens.
Some of the things I’ll be discussing: stereotypes, sexism, racism, ableism, sizeism…the list will most likely go on as each book will probably have its own spread of subjects. In general, I’m going to refrain on criticizing on literary quality/substance/storyline, etc. (unless necessary/relevant), because I’d like to focus on the portrayals of the characters instead.
Of course, there are some books that are really progressive in one aspect, but somewhat regressive in others. Hopefully, I’ll be able to touch upon the pros and cons and see how the balance works out in terms of whether or not I think a book is a good feminist work, or one that needs work (heh).
So, what kinds of books will I be writing about? Well, I tend to like to read YA and fantasy, and my interest in dissecting the former is especially personal because I attribute a lot of my budding feminism to reading novels with kick ass female characters who don’t take nonsense from anybody. And I will usually be writing about popular fiction/novels, as literary texts can be analyzed by those with more experience than I, though I must confess, I sometimes enjoy books I have to read for class!
Another reason is because my sister is nearly a teenager and in middle school, and I’m trying to help her down a path of understanding social equality and justice. And she’s pretty keen on a lot of issues, even if she can’t name them, and I suspect that it is also because she is an avid reader, and we both love books where there’s an awesome female role model (although I hope I also am one of them to her!) Consequently, I have a vested interest in the effects books have on promoting gender (and other forms of) equality.
Though I like fantasy in particular, I am open to any suggestions, as I will read almost anything. There are few books that I will put down without finishing, because I have nearly insatiable curiosity and I can’t start something without finishing it.