Do you have to be?
I rolled my eyes and muttered dark words at this BBC story where Fay Weldon claimed that women read for “comfort”. Even forgetting the gender essentialism — and how idiotic it is to make any claim for half the world’s population other than they have vaginas — the idea that we need to be comforted like little children is pretty infantilising.
I’m sure both men and women have “comfort food” reads, books that always please. When you’ve given up on a couple of books in a row or found them disappointing, it’s good to go to a no-fail author you know will please. But the idea that’s all that women do irks me beyond belief. I like books that challenge, surprise, scare and thrill me. I generally read for anything but comfort, and I suspect there are many like me.
The other irksome comment was that…
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