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I so looked forward to this book.  Someone at the library had it on hold ahead of me, and I so wanted to read more adorable schoolgirl lesbians.  And then I got it.  And if anything the subtext between Agatha and Sophie has gotten deeper, dispelled not in the least by their mutual crush on Tedros.  They are explicitly referred to as true loves, and much is made of the fact that they have kissed each other.  But then there’s the rest of it.  I’m not really up for writing a whole review and digging into this book.  Just let me say it sucked.  It’s not that it’s badly written.  It’s fairly well written.  It’s just that the ideas in it are toxic as heck.

 According to this book, a girl choosing another girl over a boy will cause boys to become enraged and make war on the girls.  It will also cause girls to think they don’t need boys, and that will lead to girls and women all over the world rising up to hunt down and enslave men.  Feminism is evil and full of liars, and did I mention the enslaving men thing, and history really is all about the boys, and feminist scholars who try to highlight women’s stories are trying to change history.  Without girls, boys descend into a dirty, disgusting rabble, and without boys, girls are easily led by any slick megalomaniac who shows up.  Self expression and the idea that you don’t have to comply with artificial appearance standards is the bait in a feminist trap.  Your friends are still your real friends, even when they treat you like crap and body shame you.  Girls really are softer and more compassionate, and this really is all about the boys, because they so need that compassion. And girls should give boys compassion because they need it, and girls have it, and did I mention this is all about the boys?  Boys and girls need each other because they’re so different, and they complement each other, and it’s totally normal for your boyfriend to insist you never see your childhood friends again, because you have him now.  Also, a man trying to kill your best friend because she stands in the way of you being together is understandable, and you should forgive him.  Changing sex and changing gender are totally the same thing and it’s all “playing.”  Trans women just want pretty things.  Oh, and all the characters are still white.

In short, it’s sexist, gender essentialist, anti-feminist, heterosexist, transphobic, incredibly hateful mess.  A World Without Princes is four hundred thirty three pages of nope, double nope, no, NOOOOOOOOOOO! And what-did-I-just-read?-no.  Don’t give it one second of your time.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 6th, 2014 10:39 am (UTC)
I can't believe you stuck through all 433 pages. On the other hand I well know the morbid feeling of reading on because hey, it's bound to get better and all this crap is going to turn out to be the product of unreliable narrator and the author is totally not going to be on board with this hateful stuff, right? ...Right?

It's hard to believe sometimes that books like this still get written in the 21st century, but they most certainly are, aren't they. *is sad*
Jun. 6th, 2014 11:46 am (UTC)
Oh no, it could only be a product of the 21 century, because it's so damn reactionary against not only feminism, but a lot of current feminist thought. The man is not ignorant. That's kind of the worst part. The only way I got through it was the train wreck effect, and the "wow, is this really as bad as I think it is?" effect.
Jun. 10th, 2014 01:22 pm (UTC)
Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo :(
Jun. 10th, 2014 02:47 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's not often i get that big a pile of WTF in one place. Don't read it.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )