Monday, 3 August 2009
Er... a dialogue with a non-existent interlocutor
We are talking about children's books, and he, the author, tells me about a book written specifically for boys - because boys don't read much as we know - which is about some boys who play games of knight errant but are then rescued by girls who "display feminine qualities of courage, persistence, responsibility for others, ingenuity and protectiveness". And what qualities do the boys display?
So there is a drive to get boys to read. What can there possibly be that boys are interested in?
I know! Football!
No violence though. The authors - male and female - go to their editors who are inevitably female and are told: "That's not appropriate."
Appropriate for who? I ask.
So the girls do the clever caring daredevil stuff and the inventive stuff. Do you ever get children's books where a girl character is, like, stupid? Just a bit stupid?
So everyone is happy and everyone conforms and behaves as they should, especially the stupid boys who only rebel and break rules and can't be trusted to do anything. And still the boys refuse to read? How could that be?!!?!
It is strange, I think, that the sex that seems to have invented most of the things I see about me, things I use everyday, that wrote that Shakespeare and Donne and Dante stuff, that seem to have thought considerably about life, the universe and other things, are always shown so irredeemably brutal, infantile and er, stupid.
Well, that's how it is, you know. That's just how it is.
That's how it is.