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17 June 2013


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The author of this article is an ass, and a pompous one at that. Did it every occur to him that the reason that boys lag behind girls in reading is because of the fact that in our male dominated society that men have defined intelligence and performing well in school as being "unmanly" and "nerdy?" Why isn't he lamenting the fact that men aren't the ones buying the books for their kids or grandkids? Or that there aren't more male teachers and librarians? No, those aren't problems at all. Just the fact that an award committee was made up of all women, who are clearly incapable of being critical or unbiased. Must have been a woman who refused to give Charlotte's Web the Newbery all those years ago because she personally hated E. B. White. No, wait! That was a man. Sheesh.
Not to mention, as you astutely point out, that he is assuming that women don't like exciting books. And yes, some of the stuff he is lobbying for is inappropriate in a picture book. The Incredibles is rated PG not G after all. Not really the rating you look for in a movie for your 4 year old.


I'm not feeling well enough for this rant but: "Picture book pirates are less prone to combat than their counterparts in other media, monsters and aliens less frightening, vehicles and machines less technically detailed." - Does it occur to the author that the reason for this is BECAUSE THEY ARE PICTURE BOOKS? They are less/non-violent, less/non-frightening, less technically detailed BECAUSE THE AGE RANGE FOR PICTURE BOOKS IS 2-6 and nothing to do with gender?. I scared my son with Millions of Cats, he was horrified at the ending. It did not even occur to me (because I'm me) he would be frightened. We don't know what's going to freak out our kids, but picture books tend to err on the side of caution and make things much less LESS than older books for a reason.

Jessica Silverstein

Well, speaking as a woman, it's clear to me that the six women on the Cybils YA Fiction first round panel wisely sat back and let the one man single-handedly select the five finalists that featured combat, peril, and villainy (I Hunt Killers, The Storyteller, Endangered, Boy21, and Code Name Verity) because goodness knows no women would every voluntarily read or vote for those books. Clearly, the all-female makeup of the final round of judges is why Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was selected as the winner (although the characters' use of technology was something of a stumbling block for us!)

I kid, I kid. Sigh. This is the dumbest. (Also, dang, that was a great shortlist. Thanks again for that, LADIES + one gentleman.)


@Emily & Chrissy & Jessica: Thanks much for the concrete examples! I was too rage-filled to come up with any, a happenstance I'm sure should be chalked up to my illogical female nature. *bats eyes*

Jessica Silverstein

Leslie Knope, on why she might have shot a person in the head (spoiler alert: lady problems!)


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