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Girl Talk: a guide to reading for young feminists and their allies


While many men remain passive or unmindful to the feminist movement, women have found powerful and vocal allies among men. Without speaking for women, these men instead use their own platforms of power to help amplify the voices of women and facilitate awareness among the men they influence. Below are some books that feature or support the role these men take in affecting positive change.

Women read many books authored by men. That is not often the case for men. Not only do publishers more readily take on the writing projects of men, but the traditional cannon of books studied in school and universities features books by male authors to a far greater degree. As Max de Halevang notes, "By siloing men from all novels by women that aren’t deemed “great” literature by the often-sexist world of literary criticism, we bar them from crucial insights into how the patriarchy affects women.  Our YA libraries feature books from an industry (YA) that is largely authored by women. Unsurprising, the pay authors receive for their work in this area much less.  This results in a shortage of YA novels that young men find appealing and could contribute to the number of boys who give up reading as they transition into manhood. How can we encourage young men to read more female authors? Male authors to write for the YA market, adding their voices in helping young people navigate a world that increasingly demands sensitivity to issues of social justice?  

"How Men Can Become Better Allies To Women". Harvard Business Review, 12 Oct 2018.

Feature Novel:  Not So Pure and Simple by Lamar Giles (audio | ebook)

In his first contemporary teen novel, critically acclaimed author and two-time Edgar Award finalist Lamar Giles spotlights the consequences of societal pressure, confronts toxic masculinity, and explores the complexity of what it means to be a “real man.”

Del has had a crush on Kiera Westing since kindergarten. And now, during their junior year, she's finally available. So when Kiera volunteers for an opportunity at their church, Del's right behind her. Though he quickly realizes he's inadvertently signed up for a Purity Pledge. His dad thinks his wires are crossed, and his best friend, Qwan, doesn't believe any girl is worth the long game. But Del's not about to lose his dream girl, and that's where fellow pledger Jameer comes in. He can put in the good word. In exchange, Del just has to get answers to the Pledgers' questions...about sex ed. With other boys circling Kiera like sharks, Del needs to make his move fast. But as he plots and plans, he neglects to ask the most important question: What does Kiera want? He can't think about that too much, though, because once get the girl, it'll all sort itself out. Right?




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