Meaningless names

Allison Marles apm at
Tue Jun 29 09:50:37 EDT 2004

On Tue, Jun 29, 2004 at 01:22:31PM +0200, Gili Bar-Hillel wrote:
> Emma  wrote:
> > it basically talks about how American baby names were studied across
> >the 20th century, and it was found that girls name changed a lot more.
> I'd venture a guess that this has to do with people being more conservative
> in general about the upbringing of boy babies vs. girl babies. I know this
> has been proved regarding gender roles: parents don't mind as much if girls
> do traditional boy things than the other way round. Parents are more likely
> to dress girls in "boys' clothes", let girls play with "boy toys" etc. than
> the other way round.
> ObDWJ: girls are also more likely to read "boys' books" than boys are to
> read "girls' books". I'd be willing to wager that DWJ books in which the
> protagonist was male (like "Charmed Life") or in which there was more than
> one protagonist (like "Witch Week") are more widely read than books in which
> the protagonist is female (like "Time of the Ghost"), marking them "girls'
> books".

I read an article by DWJ that addressed this particular point where she
said (I believe in reference to LoCC) that she had to start out writing
with boy protagonists because that's what people expected.  I forget 
exactly, I will have to go find it ...

aha, here it is:
I had some essence of the idea it mentioned but had muddled it.  It does
talk about LoCC and also about boy vs. female protagonists, but not in a
directly related fashion.  DWJ says at one point,
 "But girls -- partly out of necessity -- didn't mind a male hero."

I remember identifying with Christopher when I first read the book and
it didn't matter that he was a boy, so this is probably why I got the
two ideas mixed up together in my head.  I think if boys were never
told they were reading "girly" books if it had a female protagonist
or if it was not suggested that that was bad and somehow made them
less Real Boys, they'd like them just as much as girls enjoy books 
with male protagonists.

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