New Years Resolution: More Strong Female Voices
Every year I make wildly unrealistic resolutions in the New Year. I’ll finally start going to that gym I pay for every month (HA!), I’ll really cut down on carbs and after work drinks (DOUBLE HA!). This year I decided to leave the superficial resolutions in 2017 and make one that actually meant something to me: In 2018, I am going to fill my life with strong female voices.
In the past year we’ve seen so many women rise up and fight for what they believe in. Whether it was taking part in the Women’s March, bringing attention to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, finally having their voices heard about sexual injustice and wage disparities and their reproductive rights and about 100 other glaring problems that they face today, or blubbering like a baby during Oprah’s Golden Globes speech (ok, that was me), women are proving that we are an unstoppable force to reckoned with and I want to fill my life with those forces.
Strong, intelligent, diverse, witty, and wonderful female voices are nothing new to the YA realm. For decades, readers of YA books have been treated to extraordinary women weaving beautiful stories of love, friendship, war, fantasy, science, pain, hardship, and everything in between and it’s time other industries start taking notes.
As Natalie Portman highlighted at the Golden Globes, female directors are still struggling to get the recognition they deserve. TIME magazine failed to include ANY female chefs on their Gods of Food cover, which opened up a conversation about how the food industry routinely mistreats women. Women only make up 19% of all of Congress. On Billboard’s 100 Best Artists of All Time list, only 25 are women. Even in the book industry there’s still work to be done, as of this morning, only 2 out of the 15 books on the NYT Print & E Combined Nonfiction Bestseller List were women (shout out to the hilarious and amazing Tiffany Haddish and Gabriel Union), Fiction was slightly better with 5 out of 15, and SHOCKER! YA cleaned up with 8 out the 10 books on the bestseller list being written by women.
In the coming year I would love to see other parts of media and culture embrace women the way YA has, but until then, join me on this journey!
Buy that ticket to Lady Bird, binge Chewing Gum or The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel or Scandal or Jessica Jones or Sense8 or Tig Notaro’s hilarious semi-autobiographical One Mississippi (women write some SERIOUSLY excellent TV).
If you’re in NYC go try some of Daniela Soto-Innes’ RIDICULOUS duck carnitas at Cosme, or Tiffany Minter’s flawless Afro-Asian-American flavors at The Cecil. Eating at home? Molly Yeh’s cookbook Molly on the Range has yet to steer me wrong.
Keep up with Danica Roem of Virginia, who was sworn in a few days ago and became the first openly trans woman to ever get elected and serve in any U.S. state legislature. Start following Stacey Abrams’ journey to becoming the first black, female governor EVER in the United States. Not only is she inspiring, but she also happens to be hilarious on Twitter and the author of 8 award-winning romantic suspense novels under the name Selena Montgomery.
Maybe one day everyone else will realize what the YA industry has known for years: Women kick some serious ass.