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 wish more harry potter fic would focus on the fact the trio were teenagers in the 90’s think of what we could have
the muggleborn students bringing lisa frank notebooks to school to the bemusement of the other students only to start a sparkle rainbow unicorn phase
kids charming pokemon cards with the same magic used to make their photos move dont pretend you wouldnt want that
a desperate attempt from the teachers to put a stop to the pokemon card game (if one more duel breaks out over that goddamn shining charizard card) which fails because the students just end up charming them to keep the cards hidden
magical wizards taking advantage of the beanie baby craze and creating toys infused with magical properties - hippogriffs and doxy’s and a whole range of mini dragons that can breathe realistic fire. arthur weasley had to work three weeks straight to calm down the mess that started when muggle collectors somehow got hold of them
hermione bringing her portable cd player (and large bag of cds) to the burrow one evening to listen to some music while she does her work and having to explain to mr weasley it’s exact properties and function
harry finding an old tamagotchi in dudley’s old room and givng it to ron for a laugh. ron manages to kill it in five minutes
skip it vs quidditch arguments in the common rooms (what do you mean you just jump over it wheres the skill in that)
everyone knows the fresh prince of bel air theme tune, pureblood or not you know it
magically enchanted pogs (remember herpo the foul? he’s back, in pog form!)
my life improved like 1000% when i stopped pretending that society had no influence on my behaviors and thought patterns and instead focused on unlearning that shit rather than coming up w/ reasons to defend it