24.7.09

Am I Sexist in my reading choices?

I am a little worried that I may be being a little sexist in what I read and up until now I had not realised! I began a book by Mike Gayle the other day which I was really looking forward to but I just could not get on with it being from a male perspective. Don't get me wrong, I think that Mike Gayle is a brilliant author and I was lucky enough to meet him years back when he gave a talk at my school. However, I just could not identify with the male character in his story, so after a few chapters I gave up. As I was placing the book on my bookcase and choosing another one I sat down and scanned through all of my books and was shocked to discover that about 99% of them were written by women. It has made me wonder over the past few days whether I just prefer female authors or if I need to try more male authors and gradually get used to seeing the story from a male perspective. What do you think? Have you noticed that you read more female than male authors or vice versa?

18 comments:

Novelicious said...

There's an Award for you on my blog! :) x

violetcrush said...

I read majority of women authors too but I would like to think it's not intentional. I think it could be that being women we can relate more to the women's perpective. I don't see anything wrong with that.

My dad does not read books written by women, not that he hasn't tried but just that he doesn't like or understand them.

farmlanebooks said...

I think I read more books by male authors than female ones, but I think that may be because men write more books than women.

Looking at my top ten books I think they are fairly evenly split between the two sexes.

Women are more able to write about certain aspects of life, but I can relate to most of what me say too. I wouldn't worry about it - perhaps next time you look at your shelves they will be mostly male authors.

Dot said...

Violet- I don't think that it has been intentional, I had not really thought about it before. I was just speaking to my boyfriend about it and he said that he doesn't like reading books from a female perspective so favours male authors.

farmlanebooks- Maybe, I think that I am going to start looking into male authors a bit more, I might be missing out on some good books!

Amy said...

Dot - I consciously do read more female written books. I just prefer the female viewpoint, I can't relate to men. I will hardly ever pick up a book if it's written by a man - the only real exceptions are male authored books that focus on women - eg, Nicholas Sparks, or Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder, or Pamela by Samuel Richardson. The only other male written book I have really enjoyed is Captain Corelli's Mandolin.

Dot said...

Amy- I prefer the female viewpoint too! The last book I read by a male author was focused on women and had a central female character and I really enjoyed that. So maybe it is that I don't like books based soley around a central male character rather than not liking male authors in general.

Nadia said...

I tend to read more books by male authors for some reason. I noticed that when I was organizing my books. The thing that I don't get is that I am a women's studies major and the amount of books I have by female authors pales in comparison to the ones by men. Oh well.

writemeg said...

I absolutely read more books by women than men -- especially ones told in first person! Since I'm (obviously) female myself, I just relate so much more with female protagonists.

Occasionally, I branch out and read a book from a male perspective... and I've liked many of those! John Green's An Abundance of Katherines and Looking For Alaska come to mind, as well as Nick Hornby's Slam. But other than that, books by guys don't really seem to interest me all that much! And when they do, they're still not my favorites.

I don't think there's anything wrong with liking what you like... since we appreciate literature by women, I say we should go for it! In my own, little feminist way, maybe we're making up for all the time womens' words were suppressed, disrespected or ignored :) Yay, women's lib! haha

Ashley @ Ashley's Library said...

I tend to like novels written from a woman's perspective more than those from a man's perspective. For me I think it's about who I identify with. There have been plenty of female-centered books that I have not been able to connect so I put them aside, as well as man-centered books I actually enjoyed. I just tend to connect more with a central female character.

Amy said...

I've just thought of another I really enjoyed....The Curious Incident of the dog in the night-time! And Philip Pullman books. Hmm, perhaps not such a lost cause after all....

Dot said...

Nadia- I suppose everyone's different, just hope that I am not missing out on great authors, going to try and take the time to look for more!

Meg- I have a Nick Hornby book sitting on my bookshelf, maybe he would be a good place to start!

Ashley- I suppose it's natural that as a woman I identify more with a central female character. I did really enjoy Wally Lamb's She's Come Undone which is written by a man writing from a female perspective.

Amy- I still haven't got round to reading Philip Pullman's books, heard many good things about them though!

chicklitreviews said...

I read a lot more books by women but I think thats because 99% of the authors in the "chick-lit" genre are female! I do enjoy male written books such as Mike Gayle and Matt Dunn, but read more women written fiction because there's just more of it!

Jess said...

I realized the other day that about 99% of the books I read have a female main character. Those are the kinds of books that I am drawn to, I guess. Someone should create a Gender Switching Challenge or something like that -- where you have to read so many books with male main characters.

savidgereads said...

Oh I read tonnes more books by women than I do books by men which is probably very naughty and I should look at... in fact I shall henceforth.

Dot said...

Simon- I felt really guilty when I realised- I am going to try and be a bit more open minded about male authors!

Dot said...

Jess- What a good idea for a reading challenge, I shall have to have a think about that!!

bookalicious said...

Interesting you should mention this as I was just thinking about this a while ago ... I have the same "problem" - I tend to read mostly female authors and if a book is written by a guy, I'm already less interested. I do own and read several dudes per year, but I admit that I'm more partial to women - don't mean to be sexist, I guess it's just because it's easier to relate?

Thomas said...

If I analyzed my book list I am not sure what the split would be, but I definitely feel drawn more to both works by women and works with female protagonists. Not being a woman, I am not an expert on how often male authors make a hash out of trying to write from a female perspective. I do occasionally,come across female authors who really don't understand the male perspective well enough to write about it.

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