Gender and Equality

This post is less tightly tied into my dissertation ideas, but is too big not to mention – the amazing news that the United States Supreme Court has finally legalised gay marriage at a national level! To me, this news goes to show even more that our gender should not and does not dictate our interests and our passions. And if the most powerful government in the world can make a change to bring about gender equality, I can’t help but feel that we all can make a difference to improve equality in our own ways. That includes publishers, booksellers, and indeed book buyers – is it really okay to tell a little boy that his interests should be blue, dinosaurs and spaceships rather than pink ballet dancers and pretty flowers? The Let Books be Books campaign has made fantastic headway in the last year, asking publishers to take of the ‘for girls’ and ‘for boys’ labels. But is this enough? The decision made by the US court this week was not a quick or simple process, yet perseverance and determination have paid off to result in joyful implications for many US citizens and inspire celebrations all over the world, regardless of gender or sexuality. A few years ago, this change would have seemed impossible. So this makes me think that change for children’s books, and the attitudes approaching gender, can be possible too.