Thanks

Date: 2011-03-24 12:04 pm (UTC)
I appreciate your responding to my post in a measured way that it probably didn't deserve. I have a couple of things to add.

I don't think we're going to be able to agree about whether women are able to have unconscious biases privileging their own experience, so I'm not going to argue that point. I think the things I've observed can be put down to marketplace pressures rather than unconscious bias.

To wit: My YA novel How Ya Like Me Now was rejected by several publishers before finding a nice home at FSG. (With a female editor, Janine O'Malley, who has done tons of largely thankless work to get the best possible work out of me). The reason they all gave was that the protagonists are male, and boys don't read. This seemed like a kind of cyclical argument to me.
I've been asked several times to tone down what seemed like authentic portrayals of my teenage male characters' sexuality because revealing those thoughts "makes them unappealing to female readers." (Though this could also be part of YA's self-censorship problem, something I wrote thoughtfully, calmly, and non-provocatively about and most of the internet roundly ignored. http://www.brendanhalpin.com/girlinacage/2011/02/glee-scars-and-yas-censorship-problem.html)


As I said, this can totally be explained by market concerns, but it does seem to reflect an environment in which publishers are convinced boys don't read and therefore tailor their product to meet their perceived audience.

Finally, after most of my books have failed to gain any traction in the YA blogosphere, the one with the pink cover with the heart on it is getting tons of review coverage (sadly, it's not gathering the universal adulation that we writers hope for, but oh well).

It's also possible that I'm generalizing from my experience, I suppose. Certainly publishing is not to blame for this whole phenomenon. But it does seem to me that it's contributing to the problem.
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