I recently heard a couple of guys talking about how they dislike reading books written from the perspective of teenage girls, because they can't relate to teenage girls. The conversation went on for a little bit and I didn't contribute as I was too surprised to speak because...really? Who can't relate to Katniss Everdeen?
It's funny how characters like Don Draper (who cheats on his wife every five seconds) and Walter White (who lies, kills, and sells drugs) have tons of male and female fans who aren't ashamed to express the fact that they relate to these characters*. But if a grown man were to admit that he felt a connection to Bella from Twilight, he'd probably get laughed at.
Out of the three fictional characters mentioned above, Bella would, according to the conversation I heard yesterday, be considered the most irrational because she can't decide between two boys...oh and also because teenage girls are just impossible to understand.
Nope. It's not okay, it's a small indication of the permeating prejudice that we live in, see, hear, and experience everyday.
Maybe Bella's lack of likability can be blamed on Stephanie Meyer's writing*, but it shouldn't be blamed on the fact that she's a teenage girl.
Human's between the ages of 13 and 19 who happen to be female are still human, meaning they experience the emotions that all humans experience; happiness, sadness, arousal, surprise, anger, fear, and disgust.
A. Be accepted by their peers
B. Succeed at something that's important to them.
How is that difficult to relate to?
There are plenty of YA female characters who I'm not a fan of, for example Tris from Divergent. I like the story and admire Veronica Roth as a writer, but I don't care for Tris one bit.
Even so, the fact that Tris isn't my favorite character has nothing to do with her gender or age, it's her personality.
It's important that we learn to root prejudice (including sexism and ageism) out of our way of thinking, even when it comes to entertainment choices. To make a blanket statement like "Teenage girls are impossible to understand and that's why I don't read books about them" is prejudice.
So, to sum it all up prejudice of any kind SUCKS!
*And I am proud to say that I am one such fan.
*I've never read Twilight, but from the excerpts of Stephanie Meyer's writing that I have read, I thought it sounded pretty good.