Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Changing Things Up!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014
So, June 16th was my third blogoversary. Per tradition, I didn't have anything prepared, but I've been slacking on the blog in general lately, so that wasn't too surprising.

Why have I been slacking?

Well, besides the craziness of my last weeks of high school, I was kind of tired of writing reviews. I still wanted to discuss what I did and did not like about books, but not in the way I was reviewing them. And honestly, this makes sense- just as my blog has grown in the past three years, so have I, so why was I sticking to the same-old-same-old?

That said, it's time to change things up.

Considering I'll be entering Lafayette College this fall as a Government and Women's & Gender Studies major, not an English major like I'd always planned, I'm adjusting my reviews to fit these interests (well, at least the WGS part). From now on, my book reviews will be from a feminist viewpoint. This doesn't mean I won't discuss the basics, like plot and characters and all that, but I won't be devoting as much time to them.

Instead, I'll focusing on questions like: Is there female representation in the novel? Is there diverse representation (meaning, are there POC, LGBT characters, etc.)? Do the female characters suffer at the hands of sexist tropes?

And I have these cute little marks to guide me. If you can think of any others, let me know!

Demerits





Is a character a joke because of her weight? Does a character only reach her full potential because she loses weight? Does a character (one we're supposed to root for) look down on other girls because of their weight? Not acceptable.




Is a female character made into a plot point for the male character's benefit? (More on my feelings about Manic Pixie Dream Girls here.)









Does a male character continue to pursue a female character, even after she has said no? This is rape culture- not romantic.








Does the female protagonist pride herself on "not being like other girls"? What's wrong with other girls? Sounds like girl-on-girl hate to me.





Is a character shamed because of her choice to be abstinent? Not cool- her body, her choices.








Is a character shamed because of her choice to be sexually active? Not cool- her body, her choices.









Does a female character get offed to further the male character's plot? Calling a foul.








Is there a POC protagonist, but a white girl on the cover? Is there an obvious lack of POC characters? C'mon.


Making the Grade





Are there characters of color? LGBT characters? Are they fully fleshed-out (i.e. NOT one-dimensional stereotypes)?







Are there female friendships in the novel? And, in the spirit of the Bechdel test, do they talk about something other than boys?

Honors





For those special books that go above and beyond in the feminism department.
Of course, the demerits especially will be applied in context. What do I mean by that? Well, for example, I'm not going to criticize a book for fat shaming if in a YA Contemporary novel the school bully is making fun of someone's weight. That's part of their characterization. I will criticize a book for fat shaming if a character we're supposed to root for does it and it's "supposed to be" justified. Know what I mean? (If not, it'll be clearer in my reviews, I promise.)

Anyway. That's what's going to be happening here on The Page Sage. What's up with you guys? Let me know in the comments what you think about this new review plan and what's been going on in your bookish lives!

3 comments:

  1. This is AWESOME. I can't wait to read your reviews! Hopefully, I'll find some empowering reads :)

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  2. I love this idea! It's really awesome and it's something I look for in my books...so now I have you to help screen them :) And on a side note, I think your whaddaya call em...picture thingies? They're adorable!

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  3. Now here you described in which way changing things up from children to professional phase of life. The whole discussion is very interesting for me and may help to have positive changes in my life. Actually, I want review of smartwritingservice.com but i felt every students must come this site and read the content of this site to change the life.

    ReplyDelete

Your comments brighten my day. :)