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The Market Doesn’t Lie – Fewer Female And BAME Characters In Picture Books

Sure, we could say that only white characters turn up in picture books because the printing ink’s cheaper. But that would be to be facile and jejeune, most unlike us around here. The Guardian is telling us though that there are fewer female and BAME characters in picture books this year.

Which might be a problem, might not be, entirely up to you to decide that for yourself. The thing to remember here though is that markets don’t lie.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]’Highly concerning’: picture books bias worsens as female characters stay silent
Guardian research shows that the top 100 illustrated children’s books last year showed growing marginalisation of female and minority ethnic characters[/perfectpullquote]

If this is of books published then that’s one problem. Or potential problem of course. If it’s of books bought then it’s a different one.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] The most popular picture books published in 2018 collectively present a white and male-dominated world to children, feature very few BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) characters and have become more biased against girls in the past year, Guardian research reveals. In-depth analysis of the top 100 bestselling illustrated children’s books of 2018, using data from Nielsen BookScan, has been carried out by the Guardian and Observer for the second year in a row. [/perfectpullquote]

They’re trying to have it both ways, aren’t they?

If it’s books published then the chokepoint is who decides upon what is published. And while we can indeed say that British publishing is a bit more pinkish than the nation at large it would be an idiot who insisted it was more gammon.

But let’s say that this really is evidence of bias among publishers. The solution is to do nothing. Because if what the public wants is more female and BAME characters then they’ll go and buy whatever few publications provide that. The racists and femaleophobes will be outcompeted, go bust and be removed from our economic landscape.

But that’s not what they’ve measured, despite their attempt to portray it as such. What they have measured is how many of what were bought. That is, the free and informed choice of the vox populi. And why in buggery shouldn’t the people get what the people want?

There is therefore no problem nor action it is necessary to take.

As The Guardian says, there are fewer female and BAME characters in children’s illustrated books this year.

So?

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Matt Ryan
Matt Ryan
2 years ago

Are there many gayist or tranny characters in these books?

Rhoda Klapp
Rhoda Klapp
2 years ago

Intrusive, again.

Dodgy Geezer
Dodgy Geezer
2 years ago

Because if what the public wants is more female and BAME characters then they’ll go and buy whatever few publications provide that. The racists and femaleophobes will be outcompeted, go bust and be removed from our economic landscape. I notice today that the Advertising Standards Agency has decided to ban adverts which do not show appropriate sexual equality. So the answer to Mr Worstall’s comment above is that IF the public want anything which is not deemed acceptable by the activists running our society, THEN instances of that thing will be banned. With no public discussion or voting to determine… Read more »

Davidsb
Davidsb
2 years ago
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer

…the answer to Mr Worstall’s comment above….

I think you will find that the comment above is actually that of Mr Jacob Rosser, rather than that of Mr Worstall.

Having said that, your response sums up the situation admirably.

Mr Womby
Mr Womby
2 years ago

How sad must you be to carry out ‘in-depth analysis’ on this even once, let alone two years running?

Leo Savantt
Leo Savantt
2 years ago

Got to admire you for keeping tabs on the Guardian, do you subject yourself to the comments? If so you are of a stronger constitution than I.

Q46
Q46
2 years ago

Business opportunity for BAME and females to start publishing businesses to fill the alleged gap in the market.

Jonathan Harston
Jonathan Harston
2 years ago

It’s ethnic minority, you illiterate morons (but it’s the Guardian, so a job requirement).

Ethnic is an adjective not a noun, minority is a noun not an adjective.

Tristram Fuller
Tristram Fuller
2 years ago

What about the story – could it be that in those books the story is just better?

Michael van der Riet
Michael van der Riet
1 year ago

As far as I know, kids’ picture books are overwhelmingly written and illustrated by um, uh, persons who present as well, that category of humans who are infinitely better at everything than the other hateful category known as male.

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