Friday, February 19, 2010

Say What?

i noticed something a couple of years ago when i was at the worlds biggest bookstore with trevor and i noticed it again recently because it still bothers me. at some of the big box/franchise type bookstores, there are displays called "books for boys" which have some fantasy books, some vampire books, and the diary of a wimpy kid series, to name a few. although i have yet to see one, let us assume for a moment that there is also an equivalent "books for girls" display. so whats the big deal? ill tell you.
although i acknowledge that publishing is an industry (and a flagging one at that) like anything else and they try to market their products to the relevant demographics, the notion that a novel would be more appropriate for either gender offends me. the books on these "books for boys displays" are not the equivalent of those trite "dear diary/bffe/lets do each other's nails" activity books for girls either, by the way. they are simply novels, no more, no less, and by putting some books on a shelf for boys and not others and excluding those same books from a shelf for girls (if one even exists) simply reinforces gender stereotypes that have no basis in reality. furthermore, how is a little girl going feel (this is how i happened to discover the books for boys display) when she sees the book she grabbed off of a different shelf on the boys display on her way to the cash? my guess is at the very least, confused. i think this is an archaic notion and should no longer be tolerated, regardless of whatever marketing research the bookstores may or may not have to defend it.


Nic said...

When I was a kid I would have gone straight over and chosen something from the 'books for boys' just to make a point! (And because I preferred so-called 'boys toys').

full_of_puppy_love said...

well exactly. i was stunned when i saw the display and i was already carrying one of the books on it to the cash. i was like, wow this really pisses me off.