The importance of female readership — particularly its economic importance — is something Esther has experienced as a store manager. Fantom has a list of weekly subscribers and a quarter of them are women. And it’s the comics with female characters that are making money. According to their most recent data, Fantom’s bestselling superhero comic is Ms. Marvel, starring a teenage Pakistani-American from New Jersey, the first Muslim character to get her own series. The best-selling title overall is Saga, another series in which many of the main characters are female. And both Ms. Marvel and Saga have female creators — G. Willow Wilson writes Kamala Khan’s adventures as Ms. Marvel, and Fiona Stapes is behind Saga’s gorgeous art. Esther and Zephi Friel, a 25-year-old employee at Fantom, both insist that it’s not just women who buy titles like Ms. Marvel and Saga. “If it’s a great story, everybody reads it,” they tell me.

Male Writer: Ah, anniversary jokes are so funny. Because chicks always hate it when you don't remember anniversaries! A plus gold very original
Male Writer: Mother in laws amirite?
Male Writer: My male character who is an author insert of myself pines after a woman I used to pine after in high school. Then they have sex. This is good literature.
Male Writer: Ugh female books are so romance filled
Male Writer: And girl fanfics, so mary suey
Male Writer: Now listen about this original middle aged man who is an expert in everything, suffers from ennui, looks like me, acts like me, and gets all the girls i want.
Male Writer: She was sexy in an alluring, boring way, filled with purple prose and riddled with objectification
Male Writer: If i make a female character parrot my misogynistic views, they cease to be misogynistic! Are you saying you don't respect my fake female characters opinions, feminists?
Male Writer: a good action girl is one who looks hot at all times
Male Writer: If the female main character got in an asskicking line, my work is Feminist with a capital F and no one can criticize me
Specifically White Male Writer: Heroic tropes are so overdone. I'm going to create a boring white guy with stubble to be a completely original antihero no one has ever seen before TM.
Same Guy: It's original because he is a jerk who gets away with bad behavior, just like I wish i could.
Another Specifically White Male Writer: It's in my universe to only have white men do things in my book. I mean, don't you care about historical accuracy
Same Guy: I mean, it's a generic fantasy verse with no real life time period equivalent and i haven't done any research, but i'm SURE that it's historically accurate. To that dark mideval dragon fighting europe period
Same Guy: Where in Europe? Who cares!
Male Writer: There is no better way to introduce a female character to a male character than by him saving her.
Male Writer: Characters hating each other is good sexual tension!
Male Writer: One female character and five male characters is a good team balance
Male Writer: If my female character chooses to act in a sexist tropey way, it's not sexist. In fact, because she CHOSE to do it, it is Feminist.
Male Writer: I am original

The bones of black women are 7 to 24 percent denser, on average, than those of white women…I asked Charles whether NASA ought to consider an all-black crew for Mars. ‘Why not?’ he said. ‘For decades, we had an all-blond, blue-eyed program.’
Packing for Mars, Mary Roach

Like, ahhh what the fuck if Thor is a woman then anything can happen what if my Mom becomes my Dad and my dog becomes a plant and then I fuck the plant and then we have dog-plant babies holy snack-nuts this is worse than global warming. People rail against this. They find excuses why it shouldn’t happen — “But Thor is mythology,” they say, as if mythology is history and as if comic book fiction is meant to be an accurate, factual depiction of historimythic events. (Sidenote: I now quite like the word “historimythic.”)

If readers are going to judge a book by its cover or feel excluded from a certain kind of book because the cover is, say, pink, the failure is with the reader, not the writer. To read narrowly and shallowly is to read from a place of ignorance, and women writers can’t fix that ignorance no matter what kind of books we write or how those books are marketed.

This is where we should start focusing this conversation: how men (as readers, critics, and editors) can start to bear the responsibility for becoming better, broader readers.

Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay

The Y.A. debate, in short, is about more than young-adult books and their not-so-young readers. It’s a recapitulation of a deeper debate that we’ve been having for centuries—a debate about why books matter to us, and what reading is “for.” It’s also a debate about who we want to be. Talking about what makes us cry is also a way of talking about ourselves. With each way of talking—sentimental, sensational, aesthetic—we say something different: that we’re kindhearted and empathetic, or passionate and romantic, or sensitive to beauty and the pleasures of art. Saint, lover, artist: surely these are all good ways of being. Probably, though, we’ll keep arguing about them forever. Nabokov was wrong; we never lose interest in the adolescent project of learning to live.

(via bookoisseur)


The canon may be unfair and its proponents self-serving, but the fact that there is no set-in-stone syllabus or sacred inventory of Great Books does not mean there are no great books. This is something that seems to have gotten lost in the canon brawl — i.e., the distinction between a list of Great Books and the idea that some books are far better than others.

ladykate63:

Great scene, and based on an actual historical incident in medieval Germany:

When King Conrad III defeated the Duke of Welf (in the year 1140) and placed Weinsberg under siege, the wives of the besieged castle negotiated a surrender which granted them the right to leave with whatever they could carry on their shoulders. The king allowed them that much. Leaving everything else aside, each woman took her own husband on her shoulders and carried him out. When the king’s people saw what was happening, many of them said that that was not what had been meant and wanted to put a stop to it. But the king laughed and accepted the women’s clever trick. “A king” he said, “should always stand by his word.”

Medieval women were BAMFs.

This movie scene is where I learned the true survival value of being a smart-ass.

(via mondaymonkeylives)


Self-consciousness is the curse of the city and all that sophistication implies. It is the glimpse of oneself in a storefront window, the unbidden awareness of reactions on the faces of other people- the novelist’s world, not the poet’s. I’ve lived there. I remember what the city has to offer: human companionship, major-league baseball, and a clatter of quickening stimulus like a rush from strong drugs that leaves you drained. I remember how you bide your time in the city, and think, if you stop to think, “next year…I’ll start living; next year…I’ll start my life.” Innocence is a better world.
Annie Dillard, Pilgrim At Tinker Creek