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rumple9

Why is it that not many girls like Fantasy?

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See, you're answering yourself already - your title states "girls", but in the thread you actually refer to women. I am inclined to believe that proportion of adult women that are into fantasy is smaller compared to girls (up to their early 20s). This can be easily explained by the fact that a decade or two ago fantasy was reserved mostly for nerds - the kind that read comic books and play board games or D&D. Nowadays with so many Hollywood, TV and other adaptations of popular fantasies, as well as fantasy MMOs that entice millions of players, the younger generation is much more inclined to get into the genre - and that includes both boys and girls.

ETA: Some fantasy adaptations are indeed more appealing to one gender than another, but that is largely because of the adaptation and not because it's fantasy. Take fantasy games - there are far fewer female gamers than male, but that's true for gaming as a whole so you can't rightfully claim that there is a lack of girls in WoW because it's a fantasy game; rather it's because WoW is a fantasy game.

Books and movies tend to be the most unisex - I bet you the readership and viewership of GoT is close to evenly distributed between male and female (perhaps more so with viewership than readership).

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1) Are you sure this is verifiable?

2) Anecdotal evidence suggests you might right. I suspect part of it is fantasy as a genre caters to many male fantasies and expectations.

I came to fantasy after my parent's collection of Hindu mythology ran out. My sister had the same experience. So in our case we came to it after the expectation for that kind of storytelling had been ingrained in us, and gender didn't play a big role.

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For the most part, fantasy is not written for women. There are very few female characters I can relate with and once you add any kind of metal bikini to the mix, eyerolling is inevitable.

Speaking for myself, I guess my appreciation of fantasy is in proportion to my ability to care about the world and the story despite the fact that it is not written for me.

GRRM makes a great leap forward in this way but he still has a disturbing tendency to project penis envy on his female characters, which really pisses me off.

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For the most part, fantasy is not written for women. There are very few female characters I can relate with and once you add any kind of metal bikini to the mix, eyerolling is inevitable.

Speaking for myself, I guess my appreciation of fantasy is in proportion to my ability to care about the world and the story despite the fact that it is not written for me.

You admit that you care about the world and the story despite (sometimes) being unable to relate to it. In fact so do I. Why do you think it would be important for other people to be able to relate to the main character(s)? It would certainly be advantageous, proof of which can be found in the popularity of fantasy books with a female protagonist among women, but fantasy remains a genre where relating to the characters can be difficult, because of the fictional world they live in. That is why I do not try to relate to any particular character in any fantasy and in fact my favourite character out of all fantasies I've ever read is female.

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Well the reason for my question is that I have just come from a very long term relationship where my recent ex has accussed me of being a geek living in a bubble, whereas i see fantasy (books/tv/games) as escapism from the harsh realties of life, and it got me round to thinking that in future I need to find a woman who shares similar interests but I think it might be difficult!

I fell into the fantasy genre late in life 5 years ago at age 36 and love it.

As for Ghandhi's comments I'm in the UK where there's nothing wrong with using girl/women interchangably for members of the opposite sex.

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It's fine rumple9, the women/girls thing was to provoke you to give us more information as to how you arrived at this predicament, which I thank you for providing :). It also refers to a recent thread in Gen Chat, which you you might not be familiar with.

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I remember the covers of the older SF/Fantasy novels and magazines from way back where it was almost mandatory that a very skimply clad babe with very large breasts would adorn the cover - often regarless of what the stories were about. I could see how that image alone might be a major turnoff for female readers.

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Off topic ghandhi I often use the term lady which seems to make women laugh but warm to me, as it is old fashioned but I like it. I would never use the term chick but I guess I'm a bit old fashioned but I find it derogatory. I think women like being called girls as it make them feel young.

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Well speaking as an old school D&D playing, comic book reading, girl nerd,most of my female friends seem to want to read more romance related stories and feel that it is hard to find a fantasy novel they can relate to.

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Sounds more like "fantasy" is being used in place of the perhaps more-accurate descriptor of "epic fantasy." Most anecdotal evidence suggests that in other fantasy subgenres, especially urban fantasies, but also historical fantasies, that female readers constitute at least a near-majority, if not an outright one in several fields. However, epic fantasy, with its tendency to focus on more antiquated social views, does seem to be a male-oriented field.

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Well speaking as an old school D&D playing, comic book reading, girl nerd,most of my female friends seem to want to read more romance related stories and feel that it is hard to find a fantasy novel they can relate to.

I agree that fantasy often lacks any romance and when there is, it often plays second fiddle, but why limit yourself to one genre. Girls can have their romance novels and then read fantasy for its other charms - surely good romance isn't everything to be had from a book.

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And then we have urban fantasy, a whole sub-genre that I'm willing to bet is dominated by female readers. I think there are just as many female geeks as male, but that maybe you are just looking in the wrong place.

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I once, many years ago, went to the apartment of a guy I worked with for some reason or another (not to hook up, although in retrospect I think he thought that's why I was there) and he had a giant bookshelf full of hardcover fantasy novels. Seriously, it was the kind of thing that a lot of people on this board go nuts over, but for me it was a huge turn off. His dedication to fantasy novels and D & D made me feel like I wouldn't be able to relate to him because, at that time, I had not read any fantasy. I had no experience with the genre, so being in the presence of such a huge fantasy geek (I use that term lovingly) was kind of overwhelming. It seemed odd to me that a 25-year-old man would be so in to playing games and reading books with magic and swords and probably even magic swords in them, and the dedication to this singular sub-genre of literature sent me a (false) message that this guy wasn't very well-rounded.

I'll admit, even though I have now read a little bit of fantasy and spend an inordinate amount of time on a fantasy book message board, I still find the level of geekery overwhelming at times. :)

I think there are just as many female geeks as male, but that maybe you are just looking in the wrong place.

Well, he found this board, so that's a good start!

ETA: I answered the question "why is it a huge turn off in a potential mate" rather than "why don't women like to read fantasy books" because when I started responding, the thread was in GC and that was they way I interpreted the question. Now that it's in Lit, seems like a different question. Oops.

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Funnily enough arbur I was at the home of a doctor the other day and her husband had bookshelves full of fantay books - full series of Tolkein, Feist , Jordan, Hobb, Martin etc etc and I commented to her that I was impressed. She said that's my husband's rubbish.

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I don't think it's strictly true that not many girls like fantasy, just maybe alot of us don't bring up the fact as often as guys do.

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Yeah, I don't see the premise of the topic as true at all. Perhaps women (and girls, and ladies) are less likely to get as passionate over the genre as a fella, like the above poster says, and those who don't like it may be more likely to express disapproval (especially these days where the line between 'geek' and 'cool' is evaporating fast, probably moreso in male pop culture atm) but in terms of readership/viewership? Not necessarily.

I mean, women are pretty much the reason I'm even into the genre at all; my mum started me off at a young age and a friend of my sister's lent me Magician later on, which pretty much cemented my fantasy obsession.

And like Mandy said before, I guarantee you that Urban Fantasy is overwhelmingly girl-dominated.

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