It matters, that boys read about girls, that they engage closely with books that speak to what it is to be a girl today. It matters that they understand how it feels to be catcalled, to be touched in a way you don’t want to be touched. And that they understand how it feels to wake up every morning desperate to be skinnier, having that desire consume you like fire. How it feels to get by on 1000 calories a day, 500, 100. How it feels to schedule your whole day around exercise, or around eating meals and then throwing them up. It matters that they engage deeply with the forces in society that might cause a girl to feel this way. This is a human issue.
It matters, greatly, that we all engage with literature that treats girls like people, so perhaps we can we actually can celebrate some small crumbling of the patriarchy some day, so more boys are equipped to take on the rampant misogyny in the world, so that everyone understand a feminist critique of, say, video games, isn’t designed to threaten anybody, but to better us all.
It matters greatly that YA literature exists, that books like Poisoned Apples exist, that girls and boys and even some enlightened grown-ups read them.
Then, maybe, we can all be better adults.
A long read, but certainly worth it.