March 1, 2018
Have you ever wondered why there is a genre for women’s fiction, but not men’s fiction?
Generally, any books that appeal only to female readers will be labeled as “women’s fiction,” and the rest will be lumped into the genre of fiction. Obviously there are other types of fiction including, but not limited to: adventure, biographical, ethnic, gothic, historical, horror, mainstream, mystery, popular, psychological, romance, suspense, science, fantasy, and young adult.
However, there has not yet been a genre created for “men’s fiction” simply because everything that is not created for women is automatically considered of a male interest. But what about the cross over? Can both gender’s not appreciate the same book? What about the gray area in the non binary modern conceptions of gender?
“Women’s fiction is an umbrella term for books that are marketed to female readers, and includes many mainstream novels, romantic fiction, “chick lit,” and other sub genres. It is distinct from Women’s writing, which refers to literature written by (rather than promoted to) women. There exists no comparable label in English for works of fiction that are marketed to males.” -Goodreads
From a historical perspective, the reasoning behind this makes sense and how it came to be because typically women were always less educated than their male counterparts. However, women should not be accepting the “women’s fiction” genre that was seemingly given to them by reading the books in it only because they are simple and appealing. This is especially true because today women read more fiction than men, and comprehend what they are reading better than their male counterparts.
“Boys, of every age, no matter the nature of the literature before them, typically read less thoroughly than girls… Although it was true that boys tended to choose nonfiction more than girls, particularly at secondary level, they still didn’t read it better than girls. They were choosing nonfiction but they were not reading it as thoroughly and correctly as girls reading nonfiction.” – The Guardian
Creating a separate genre of women’s fiction is ultimately transcending the antiquated notion that women are less educated than men. The genre of women’s fiction perpetuates the idea that women cannot handle the the daunting classics or are too fragile of creatures to face the truth in nonfiction.
Women should be pulling up their anchors and setting sail for new harbors, far away from books that are being marketed to them for the sole reason that they are women.