Monday, June 30, 2014

An Open Letter to YA Boys

Monday, June 30, 2014
Trigger Warning: This post does contain references to sexual assault

Dear Fictional YA Boys,

I know you think your determination is suave, but it isn't. You know what I mean by "determination," don't you? When that beautiful female protagonist turns you down, and you just know she doesn't mean it. All her "no" means is that you must continue to pursue her, to wear her down, so that you can be happy together.

I mean, you just know what she wants better than she does, right?

Here's the thing: if you were in the real world, endlessly pursuing a girl after she has rejected you isn't romantic. It's contributing to rape culture. When you don't listen to a girl's "no," when you take away her power to choose, you take away her autonomy.

And those super "sexy" things you do, like press up against her when she's at her locker, or kiss her even when she doesn't want to, may work out for you in your fictional world. The girl's body responds, revealing her true inner desires that she can't admit to herself! But in real life, that's assault, and the girl isn't going to realize she has really wanted you all along. Instead she'll probably feel disturbed, unsafe, distraught- the list could go on and on.

It doesn't matter how much you smoulder while you "seduce" her or how romanticized it seems- in reality, it's still assault. And it's unacceptable.

So, Fictional YA Boys, stop this. I promise you, you can still be romantic and swoon-worthy without disrespecting others.

A Tired Reader


  1. Perfection. I couldn't have said it better myself!

  2. I love this so much. I think there's a fine line and it makes me cringe when authors cross that invisible line. I don't think it's sexy, it makes me uncomfortable. I hate people who rationalize it as escapism or just fantasy, especially if it's in YA because although adult readers can differentiate, I don't think all youth can, and that's YA's targeted audience.

  3. Thank you for writing such a great blog! ~sheri

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