Saturday, August 3, 2013

Sexism in YA

Just a funny sign.
So I know that sexism, along with homophobia and racism, is still a thing and turns up pretty much everywhere (as seen on the ad I have posted above). It's sad really that things like this are still around and people must be told WHY they're being racist, or WHY they're being sexist, and so on.

That's why I believe it's good to write strong female and LGBT characters along with characters who are not white, as they are predominant in most YA writing. I think it's a good thing for people to know that you don't have to be a straight, white, male to accomplish something and be a hero.

Nowadays it seems that these types of books are coming out. They empower all people instead of putting them down and making them feel like they are less because of how they were born. However, there are books that still come out today that just blatantly surprise me on how sexist characters can be. I will not name book titles, as I don't want to skew any views on a book before someone else has read it, but seriously author I will not name, what is wrong with you?

I have talked to my sister about a book in particular and while the character is very sweet to his girlfriend, at least in her opinion, he still says sexist things to her pretty much constantly. And although I'm still reading this book, she has informed me that the other male characters are all pretty much like that. To top off this cherry sundae of stereotypes, the female character is the typical teenage emotional girl that makes bad decisions.

The book I'm working on has a female lead who I believe is strong willed. She may make bad decisions, but that's not because she's a girl, it's because she's human. She's lost someone close to her, and that would make anyone kind of lose it. Now that I'm realizing this kind of thing in other stories, I wonder if my female character is just a stock character.

I want her to stand strong and not be a character that when read you roll your eyes and say "Why is she in this book and not in a high school drama book?"

Ugh, I guess I'll just have to wait and see what my beta readers have to say.

Anything like this in YA anger you?