The Women of YA

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S.E. Hinton, a woman, arguably pioneered the young adult genre of literature. So why is it that women are seen as secondary in this genre, and as less valuable as their male counterparts? Book Riot explores this question, and the powerful effects that narratives written for young women can have.

Within the pages of these books, we have girl stories. That is, stories about what happens to girls, not books for girls. There’s physical violence, romance of all shades (between a girl and a boy, a girl and more than one boy, a girl and a girl), sexual violence, self-harm, tough but real language, and sex/sexuality. And sure, many of the books written by women that are challenged have male main characters, but the problem goes back to what S. E. Hinton was told when she launched this ship in the first place: you can’t be a woman and be taken seriously.


Mary Allen is a writer working, crafting, and making bad puns in the San Francisco Bay Area. More from this author →