Wednesday, August 11, 2010

the girls and the boys

I have a friend.

Yes, I know I'm expecting you to stretch your concept of the universe. And, well, she's read lots of my books. More than anyone. Even the one that is coming out in 2011.

I think the way genders and sexual tension have been portrayed in contemporary fiction has changed dramatically -- and for the better -- since the days of books like Easy Come, Easy Go. Maybe, at the heart of this, lies one of the reasons why I am a bit disappointed by the lack of male writers in YA, and the imbalanced manner in which male/female or sexual issues tend to be handled by authors.

Anyway, here's a clever thought my friend wrote to me recently:

"I feel like, according to the boys in your books, females are idolized by young men. In contrast (in my experience) when girls think a guy is perfect, they are really just overlooking all of the bad things he does, or she calls those things independent and exciting. Girls don't idolize good guys. Your male characters idolize GOOD girls. The girls actually are practically perfect. It's just a different dynamic. I asked my husband if this was true. It took me forever to get him to understand what I was talking about; the two perspectives are just so different."

That last sentence pretty much says it all.