Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Why I love #yafeministchat

There's never really been a name for the type of young adult books I love most. The books with female characters you're dying to be besties with. The ones that make you want to stand up tall because just reading them makes you feel proud to be a woman.

In my head, I've always called these books "girly YA," but I'm usually afraid to say that out loud, let alone tweet it. I'm scared of the backlash. You know, the "Calling a book girly makes it seem different - less than - other books! Labels like that alienate male readers! They should all be called contemporary! Pink covers are the devil!" backlash.

And those are excellent points (well, except maybe that bit about the pink covers - I do love a good pink cover), BUT. The books I'm talking about ARE different from a lot of contemporary YA. And they don't even have to be contemporary (A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY by Libba Bray is one of my favorites). So what is it about these books that makes them so special?

1) Female relationships take the forefront. Girls are shown navigating relationships with their friends, sisters, mothers.  

2) Issues of particular importance to girls feature prominently (beauty, rape, eating disorders, female sexuality and double standards). I'm not saying these issues can't be important to boys too, but they affect girls more forcefully.

3) There's some element of girls against the establishment, women challenging the status quo.

4) The main character, at some point during her character arc, has an “I am woman. Hear me roar.” moment. A young woman finding her voice for the first time is incredibly powerful, and it's something I love reading about.

5) Shenanigans, including but not limited to: sleepovers, séances, singing into hairbrushes, shopping, dancing, makeover montages, pranks, games of never have I ever, pacts (bonus points if said pact is made over a Cosmo a la SHUT OUT by Kody Keplinger), and just, in general, fun. Because I firmly believe that you can change the world and have fun at the same time.


This is what I think, and these are the types of books I'm looking for. But I've mostly just fretted over the fact that "girly YA" maybe wasn't the best label, and searched harder for them on Goodreads. And that's precisely the problem with NOT having a label for these books. If you don't acknowledge that they're different - beautifully, wonderfully, life-changingly different, it makes it harder for the people who want and need them to find the books that are going to expand their hearts and change their world views.

So, to whoever thought of #yafeministchat, THANK YOU. Thank you for giving a name to the books I love. Thank you for providing a forum where I can discuss them with my friends. Because the book recs alone are making my year.


7 comments:

  1. The term Girly is to describe a feminine girl, and not all girls care about being feminine, so I can see why the term "Girly YA Fiction" doesn't describe well the five sections in on your list. But the term "Feminist YA Fiction" is even more misleading because Feminism is about equality for girls and boys, not about relationships and friendship between girls and others. I share your view that the new #YAfeministchat is great, because I wrote a Feminist YA fiction, but it should focus mostly about feminism. Following your list above you might want to start a #YAgirlschat which is about what you want to read. Best wishes with your novels.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I definitely get what you're saying, but at the same time, there's a huge amount of crossover between the books being discussed at #YAfeministchat and the types of books I'm looking for. I'm pretty excited about the book recs and upcoming convos either way!

    ReplyDelete
  3. شركة تنظيف العين
    لا أحد يختلف على أنه يوجد عدد كبير من شركات التنظيف لكن لا يسعك بالطبع وضع ثقتك في جميعها لذلك ننصحك بضرورة التواصل مع شركة تنظيف بيوت العين إذا وجدت صعوبة في تنظيف منزلك وستجد لدينا كل ما ترغب فيه وتسعى للوصول إليه من أهداف حيث أننا نعمل جاهدين على تحقيق أفضل النتائج التي من شأنها الحصول على استحسان جميع عملائنا الكرام في أقل وقت وبأقل تكلفة فلا داعي للتفكير طويلا في الأمر بل اتصل بنا الآن.
    شركة تنظيف فلل العين
    شركات تنظيف المباني في العين
    شركة تنظيف شقق العين
    شركة تنظيف منازل العين
    إذا كان هناك بعض البقع الصعبة على المفروشات فنحن لدينا أقوى أنواع المواد المنظفة التي تساهم بشكل كبير في إزالة أصعب البقع مع الحفاظ على الألوان ورونقها.
    نعمل على تنظيف المطابخ بكل محتوياتها بأحدث التقنيات حيث يمكننا تنظيف البوتاجازات وإعادتها إلى هيئتها الأولى وكذلك تنظيف الثلاجات والشفاطات والمراوح وأجهزة التكييف والأفران بكل أنواعها وأحجامها.
    شركة تنظيف كنب العين
    شركة مكافحة حشرات العين
    مكافحة الحشرات بالامارات
    هل تعبت من غسيل السجاد وتنظيفه؟ إذا فلماذا ترهقين نفسك في مثل تلك الأمور وأنت لديك الحل الأمثل لكل المشكلات التي يعاني منها السجاد الموجود في بيتك ألا وهو الاعتماد على فريق عمل شركات تنظيف السجاد في العين في تنظيف جميع السجاد والموكيت الذي تقتنيه مع العلم بأنك ستدفعين مبالغ زهيدة مقابل تلك الخدمات المتميزة.
    شركة تنظيف سجاد العين
    شركات تنظيف بالساعه العين


    ReplyDelete