I’ve wanted to talk about this for quite some time now and finally I have the time and courage to talk about a topic that is not only extremely important to me, but also a hot topic for many debates I have had in the last couple of months.
Genre Racism is something I notice not every day but at least once a week. Like many other bloggers, I have geners I like to read more than others. For me, YA, Fantasy and Romance are the main genres I dwelve in, though that doesn’t mean I won’t read something else if the blurb is enticing. Unfortunately. Most people don’t think outside their box. You won’t believe how often I got that smile ‘So, you read such childish things as fantasy’ a snidely huff, a sly grin. That’S all you get instead of a nice conversation. Usually, I don’t care about people having prejudices about the things I read because they are missing out, not me.
What bugs me is how short minded- some people can be and how they judge other readers by the things they read. For example, I talked with a collegue about my business, and he was like “Well, if you can get the money from stupid people who read that sh** [meaning fantasy], then they haven’t deserved anything else”. I was shocked about such a mean coment, to say the least. What kind of hate do you have to have to say such a thing. Of course, I defended the fantasy ( and the YA) genre many times before, but there is really nmo point in arguing with people who don’t want to listen.
Here are some of the prejudice I heard the most:
- Fantasy is for people who don’t get along in their lives.
& who can’t cope with reality
- YA is shitty writing, plots and has no high standard whatsoever
- YA and Fantasy are for children. Grow up!
- Sci-fi is no fantasy
- Folklore, Myths and Legends can be serious study material, but fantasy books can’t.
I want to shortly say something about all of those
- Escapicism is not an exclusive habit for people who read fantasy. I think every fictional novel or book has some kind of hold on the way you perceive reality while you read. I don’t see why a historical novel should not make for a similar feeling of ‘being sucked into a different world’
- This is simply not true. I have read so many ‘adult’ books in my life that I can honestly say that there AT LEAST as many unevolved plots, flat characters and stereotypical stories as in YA or basically any genre.
- I don’t even want to give such an accusation room for discussion
- I want to make one thing clear. Fantasy is a genre that is full of things that we do not encounter in out ‘natural’ world: demons, dragons, wizards and witches, magical creatures, hers, plants and objects. Of course sci-fi falls into the fantasy genre, simply because all plots, devioces and technology are simply made up.
- The same goes for old tales such as Beowulf, the Niebelungen song and many other Nordic tales or songs of other cultures. There is no point in denying it. That’s where our ‘modern’ fantasy gets almost all its mysterious and horrible creatures from. They come from these tales so how can one be a sophisticated part of the culture and the other meant for the trash can? Something doesn’t add up here, in my opinion.
As you might have noticed, I’m not really understanding of these people because I feel lkikke their views are really backwards and narrow-minded. Either way, I want to encourage all of you, whether you read lots of genres or just a selected few, be aware of other genres and people. There are so many great books out there that can only be fonud outside your own comfort zone.
That’s why I want to encourage everyone of my readers to try out a new genre every once in a while and try to be open about other genres. This world is so full of variety, it would be a shame not to take advantage of the possibilities laid before us.
Have you encountered people who are genre racists? What are the genres you might have prejudices about? Let’s chat a little 😉