Boy Fiction Versus Girl Fiction

A quote:

The true perversion, though, is the sense you get that all of this illicitness has been tossed in as a little something for the ladies, out of a justifiable fear, perhaps, that no woman alive would watch otherwise. While I do not doubt that there are women in the world who read books like Mr. Martin’s, I can honestly say that I have never met a single woman who has stood up in indignation at her book club and refused to read the latest from Lorrie Moore unless everyone agreed to “The Hobbit” first. “Game of Thrones” is boy fiction patronizingly turned out to reach the population’s other half.

(Emphasis added by me.)

Okay, so let me first admit that I should probably get my nerd card taken away, since I don’t give much of a crap about Game of Thrones, having not read the books yet since I’ve heard so many people whining about the series being unfinished and I don’t like to be left hanging. And at this point, so many people have been going on and on and on about it that I’m just kind of tired of hearing about it and the contrary little gremlin that lives somewhere around my pituitary gland is whispering, “Well if it’s that popular you don’t want anything to do with it anyway.”

So this has really nothing to do with Game of Thrones per se, but rather the mind-boggling stupidity that it’s brought out in some people. Namely the person that penned the above quote, in a NYT review.

Seriously, can we please dispense with this absolutely stupid notion of boy fiction and girl fiction already? Can we please let go of the tired, ridiculous notion that women don’t like things unless there’s like, sex and romance or some shit, because apparently we just don’t enjoy politics or watching people getting blown up or whatever?

I’m actually not even sure if Ms. Bellafante is saying that she thinks women couldn’t possibly like Game of Thrones if it weren’t for all the sexy-sexy time, or if she’s just saying that studio execs must believe that, or what. Though after reading the paragraph over and over, through the red haze of sheer annoyance I feel pretty sure that it’s a ridiculous statement any way you read it. And by the way, if we’re being stereotypical and sexist, isn’t lots of sex a boy thing? Because chicks just want relationships and romance and shit, and then all the subsequent sex is candle-lit and arty and there’s a mushy soundtrack with piano and lots of strings.

I could go on and on about just how many women I know who utterly love the book series and are excited about the TV series. I could also go on and on about how I got hooked on fantasy in general because my mom read The Hobbit to my brother and I when we were little kids. But I’m not.

My gripe is actually a lot more general. You know, from high school on I’ve been exposed to a lot of sneering comments about how, of the available nerd genres, fantasy is girl fiction and scifi is boy fiction because our pitiful ladybrains can’t handle all the science and guns and whatever in scifi. And now apparently fantasy isn’t girl fiction any more either, not unless it includes a sufficient quantity of mushy stuff to go with the violence, because our ladybrains just can’t enjoy anything if people aren’t frantically humping each other.

FFS, could you assholes make up your minds about what women are allowed to like? At this rate, I’m going to have to give up reading all together, and then I’ll apparently only be allowed to watch Jersey Shore or something similarly vacuous. At which point I intend to put a hole through my skull with my dad’s cordless power drill.

Or maybe we could just dispense with all the stupidly sexist generalization and – I admit this is a radical notion, but hang with me here – just let people like whatever the hell it is they like without linking it to their gender?

You’ll get my copy of Old Man’s War when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

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