Discussion: “Millennial Females” and “Boy Books”

Warning: Abundance of Stephen Colbert gifs ahead. 

If you haven’t heard, BEA announced yesterday that they will be limiting/capping the number of people who can enter BEA this year (2017) in an effort to get the convention back to what it once was; an event for industry professionals and booksellers to be able to network and introduce new authors/books.

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While my post here is not focusing on that (and I’m torn on the whole thing anyway. I mean, I get it, I truly do, but also it’s obviously a little upsetting), I’m going to be talking about another piece of that article that states the following:

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Excuse me, but why the hell does being a millennial female even matter??? Okay yes, I understand that BookCon is hoping to “broaden that audience in 2017” but what really pisses me off about this is the underlying connotations it brings about the community and women in general.

It’s pretty bold for a convention that, until a few years ago, was only featuring white, MALE, authors and got into a bunch of trouble on social media for not being more diverse. As we all know, there were a few campaigns done and BEA is slowly becoming more diversified.

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But that same mentality is not going to fly for “millennial females.” Females have historically and systematically be oppressed and denied access to education. For HUNDREDS of years. Now, when we are taking it upon ourselves, with our freedom (thanks feminism!) to choose what we want to read, how much we want to read, where we want to read, when we want to read-

Well you get the point. We are living in a world where women have always been second best, and sometimes not even that. We, ladies have gone through a LOT of shit and when we finally have something for ourselves, in this case, a convention with a bunch of females coming together to have open and honest discussions about the books we read, that’s clearly a bad thing because there are few males involved.

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You know what? Boo freaking hoo. I know there’s this whole concern about boys not reading and that’s why there’s always a call for “boy” books, but I really….can’t gather up any sympathy!!!

Boys/men have everything handed to them on a silver platter in the education field compared to females. We have to work and work and at the end of the day are called “frigid” or “bitchy” while men are “driven” and “committed.” I’m sick of this hypocrisy and I would have thought that Book Expo, a company of its stature and reputation, would have been a little smarter about trying not to piss off the group of people that have made them tons of money in the past few years.

Great job Book Expo. Great job.

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Just as an aside: why the f*ck are we gendering books anyway. If a girl wants to read about something not traditionally “girly” you better god damn let her. And same goes for boys. He wants to read something not traditionally “boyish”? WHO. CARES. It’s going to be twenty fucking seventeen. Grow up Book Expo, and let the females rule.

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9 Replies to “Discussion: “Millennial Females” and “Boy Books””

  1. So many seconds on that. I really don’t understand why ‘boy books’ & ‘girl books’ have to be different. I mean, what the fuck, man. I goddamn chose what I read and you can’t label something saying it’s meant for boys or girls.

    1. EXACTLY! It’s ridiculous! And I feel like a very old-timer thing to say that books should be categorized into genders like that.

  2. So glad you wrote about this. I haven’t been on Twitter a lot in the past 12 hours because of work and I had no idea about this. It’s infuriating when women are accused of “hogging” space when we have WORKED to get there. We cannot help if men are not interested in reading. It’s not our fault. Instead of complaining about the ratio of boys/girls who read is off, it might be a good idea to ask how to convince the boys to read more.

    1. I love what you said about us having worked to be here/there, because it’s so true! There’s always that notion of women having the “second shift” (coming home to work after they get off work) and how does blogging fit in? Women juggle so much in this world! And you’re right, it’s not OUR fault if boys/men don’t like to read. They can think for themselves (right?)!

  3. This is genius. I love this post. I didn’t really read the article (I got home late and saw the article then and thought, “Dude. Just let me chill.”) So I didn’t see this part of the article. It doesn’t make sense why they seem to target “millennial females”. All types of people attend these events. And books shouldn’t just be catered to these “females.” And, anyways, the females said person seems to be denigrating are really a huge part of the demographic. Aka piss them off and money goes bye bye. People really have to think before speaking. (And I’m not obeying my own rules. Huzzah.)

    1. Exactly! Why would you say something so…insensitive to a group of people you’re largely marketing yourselves towards? I wonder if BEA had some change of hands and the newcomers just haven’t gotten their footing yet into this whole thing.

  4. Love the post. A lot of grief could have been avoided if they had simply stated that they would like to broaden the audience to be more diverse. That way they wouldnt have targeted anyone of any generation. I also hate the “girl books” “boy books” bit. We are a society trying to over come bias and bullying so can we stop labeling things to a gender? (Totally off topic but I believe this needs to start with changing all the childrens things from only blue or pink ) I mean how can we ask adults to be diverse and accepting if you grind it into them as children that “this is for girls and that is for boys”?

  5. I saw that and it’s just… so disrespectful. JUST because we became interested and worked hard to be in the industry we’re disrespected. IT’S like they’re complaining and going, “waaah it used to be a bois club”. Pissing off a large part of your demo (especially considering that you’re also complaining about boys/men not reading) is not a good business move.

  6. I don’t have hard facts and numbers, but I would not be surprised if “millennial females” are a large percentage of the book-buying market. I assume the industry does have the numbers and knows this to be true and that this was the demographic attending the convention. But…ok? I can understand wanting to broaden your audience (after all, we’re talking about businesses; they want as many people buying books as possible), but I think that would have been the more reasonable statement: “We want to broaden our audience.” Pointing out “millennials females” is just oddly specific, even if they didn’t mean anything particular by it.

    The industry DOES seem dismissive of millennial females at times (though this particular statement was so much in passing I can’t read too much into it), but it’s just strange considering young females are the ones supporting the YA book market. Why insult the people buying your goods?

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