The Walking Dead Social Constructs

, , , , , | Friendly | August 26, 2018

(I have a table at a local festival where I am selling copies of the books I wrote. A male customer, probably between 45 and 50 years old, comes to my table. He asks how it’s going — the usual — and then picks up my newest book about a zombie world. I tell him a bit of what it’s about. I’m a girl.)

Customer: “Hmm… I’m just trying to think if a boy would like this.”

Me: *happily* “Of course a boy would like it!”

Customer: “Yeah, but the protagonist is a girl.”

Me: *not quite as nicely as my last answer to him* “So? Boys can read about girls.”

Customer: *shaking his head* “Nah. No they can’t.”

Me: “Why not?”

Customer: “They can’t relate.”

Me: *clearly annoyed at this point* “Of course they can! Girls read books about boys.”

Customer: “Yeah, but that’s different.”

Me: “How? How is that different?”

Customer: *long pause* “Girls are different.”

Me: “No, they’re not. A girl reading a book about a boy is the same as a boy reading a book about a girl.”

Customer: *still shaking his head* “No, I don’t think so.”

Me: “Why can a girl read a book about a boy, but a boy can’t read a book about a girl?”

Customer: “Well, my son is 17… and he likes to read… I don’t have any cash on me, though.”

Me: *smiling* “That’s okay; I take credit cards, too.”

Customer: “Oh…”

(He buys it, I think only because he realizes he is being a moron and feels bad for clearly offending me.)

Me: “Do you want a receipt emailed or texted to you?”

Customer: *rudely* “No, then I’ll have to give you my information.”

Me: “Okay, you don’t have to get one; I was just giving you the option.”

(It was so hard for me not to sign the book, “I hope you like it even though it’s about a GIRL!” But I was also giving away chapter samplers for my next book, and was able to finish the transaction off with, “Oh, and here’s a free chapter sampler for my book that’s coming out next year. Your son will definitely like it because it has girl AND boy protagonists.”)

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