Obviously, Peeta is my girlfriend
When this article came out in November I tweeted, facebooked and emailed it to everyone because suddenly my love of Peeta was explained. As far as fictional boys go, I've loved Peeta the most and always found my attachment to this fictional teen a little puzzling. But NPR opened my eyes to why.
But one of the most unusual things about Katniss isn't the way she defies typical gender roles for heroines, but the way Peeta, her arena partner and one of her two love interests, defies typical Hollywood versions of gender roles for boyfriends.I like Peeta so much because he also defies gender roles and fully supports Katniss as the heroine. He in no way feels threatened by Katniss's strength but admires it. Maybe as a girl who has always been fiercely independent, I see in Peeta something that's difficult to find in boys. Read more here.
The Problem of Panels about Boys Reading
A couple things happen when we focus all of our collective attention on boys and whether or not they are reading. First, we tell boys that they are not reading, and that reading is not an inherently “boyish” thing to do. We expect them, in fact, not to read, and boys who love reading are outside the norm. Next, we start gendering books and telling boys that they like certain kinds of books, that they are interested in humor and adventure and fun. And they specifically do not like the sort of books that help kids at this age figure out how to be in the world, and they specifically do not like literary books or hard books or emotional books. And they absolutely positively do not want to read a book starring a girl.The whole article is a must-read. It goes on to talk about how if there are panels specifically about boys reading, why not have panels about girls reading and how we are creating the problem by assuming that boys don't read in the first place. Read more here.
Movies About Girls Make Money, Huh?
In a turn of event that baffled the men of Hollywood, the year ended triumphantly for the ladies. Not only did Frozen have a crazy successful long run, Katniss Everdeen won the box office for the whole of 2013. That's the first time a solo female lead has won the box office since 1973 when the Exorcist came out. (And don't argue that Peeta is a co-lead. As much as I want it to be so, it's just not true). It only took 40 years, but maybe Katniss Everdeen can start a revolution in real life. Read more about Catching Fire winning the box office here. Bonus link to an infograph about the success of Bechdel Test passing movies (but as the Mary Sue points out, better writing probably leads to better women as well as more successful movies).
If you find any interesting articles about sexism or feminism you think would be good leave links in the comments and I'll check them out for the next edition!