Hot Women of Children’s Literature?
A Letter From the Management:
I think the Fall brings out the feistiness in folks. It’s the time of year when people are dead set on giving out their opinions to any and all and the cool autumnal weather gives them the gumption to do so.
As I may have mentioned earlier in the week, Roger Sutton had a downright stirring debate on his blog about the representative presence of female illustrators (or lack thereof) in the world of children’s literature. Then fairrosa, bless her heart, dragged my Hot Men of Children’s Literature postings into the mix. Several people mentioned that the posts make them uncomfortable. That it is unprofessional, inappropriate, and silly. That swooning over menfolk may, in fact, gives them an advantage over respective womenfolk and y’know . . . it’s hard to argue with that last point there. Silliness is not a problem, but why should I just look at the mensies?
When I first started making HMOCL postings, it was for fun. I just liked the idea. No one else was doing it (though, I will note, I was not the first to think of it) and it got my blog some attention in the early days. I’ve kept doing it now for almost 2 years and it has had a fine and fancy run. At this point, it’s sort of become a weird marketing tool too. Now I sense a change in the air. A shift in the wind. Only a woman could ever do a Hot WOMEN of Children’s Literature posting, due to the twisty turny nature of gender and sexism in this country. If someone is going to be sexist, they’d better be a gal. And a gal I be.
So here’s the deal. 2008, I claim thee for women. Hot Men of Children’s Literature, you’ve had a good run but it’s time to put this baby to bed. And since I am a lady of unerring good taste, the phrase "hot" shall hereby mean: awesome.
I may work in a man or two to end 2007, but from here on in I wash my hands of them. If we’re going to be shallow, we’re going to be equal opportunity shallow. So speaketh I.
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About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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