How is it different?

I didn’t read a single book for a month. It felt really empty inside my head. I had my Kindle on the subway, and I wanted something fun. So I started Moon Called, by Patricia Briggs. I liked it! Characters good, protagonist compelling, men sexy, women capable, werewolves… well, just werewolves, actually. Doesn’t have to be more than that, right? Supernatural, politics, good voice. So what I’m saying is, there isn’t anything wrong with this book. It’s a lot of fun. Satisfying, in fact.

The protagonist has something of a privileged place in their society, they’re sort of an outsider, but everyone needs them for something. They have vaguely troubled relationships with a bunch of more-than-usually-attractive people, and they go on adventures and figure out who the bad guys are and kick ass while still being vulnerable and non-invincible and having to grow as a person. Sounds fun, right?

So, why do all my male friends start rolling their eyes when I tell them about it? Ah, yes, I do realize. How could I forget? It’s because the protagonist is female.

These are people who live and die by Harry Dresden, and does the basic premise of that series sound familiar? But, no, because the protagonist has boobs, well, clearly they get to smirk at me because I like it, because it must obviously be trashy supernatural porn. I have never been so tempted to smack people in my entire life. It happens a lot, haven’t you noticed? I’m talking about something I read, or a character I really like, and I see that smirk.

I’m sick of the smirk, my dear friends. I am well and truly sick and tired of it. If a book is about a woman, so what? If a book is supernatural werewolf porn, where do you get off judging me? What are you reading, honeybear? Last I checked it wasn’t James Joyce or anything, and even if it were I would expect your attention and respect if you decided to spend your time with me.

Listen and nod the way I do as you’re expounding for the zillionth time on some finer point of Marvel mythos, or DC relationship dynamics. Act interested. Or, here’s a thought, BE INTERESTED. These are stories! People doing neat stuff! There’s action! Adventure! Romance! (Which, by the way, isn’t shoehorned into every story in the world just for the ladeez. Men enjoy it too, thanks so much. It’s a huge motivator for the choices people make, and don’t you try telling me different.) I like the stuff you like, I’m thoughtful and I bring other perspectives to the table, even if it isn’t my favorite thing in the world. Why don’t the stories I’m more enthusiastic about than you get the same consideration?

I am honestly interested in the stories about male protagonists, and I am so sick of not getting the same attention from my male friends that I give. Even if you’re not interested, I deserve your respect. I am a thinking human being with a lot to say, and if you can’t hold in your desperate desire to feel superior then you can go fuck yourselves, because you sure as hell won’t be getting any from me.

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