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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

"Enough With the Sexy Librarian Thing, Already"

In case you missed it, I wrote a thing over at Book Riot last week about why I'm tired of the ol' "sexy librarian" trope: "Enough With The Sexy Librarian Thing, Already." It was sparked by the Humans of New York blog asking a library student "What's the sexiest part about being a librarian?" - and I'll admit that it's a bit of a rant. BUT the issue is very important to me because I think that the objectification of librarians is not only sexist and harass-y, but yet another way to deprofessionalize us (and we certainly don't need any more of that, do we?) See below for a couple of excerpts.

"Sexual harassment is an issue with any profession, and librarianship is no different. All of us – women, men, transgender, everyone – deserve to feel safe and secure in our places of work. These playful little comments alluding to our sexuality or what we do behind closed doors or what we wear when we’re not in the library? They can turn out to be not so playful. At the very least, they are awkward and uncomfortable. At their worst, they are dangerous. It’s harmless until it isn’t (again, see Dear Book Nerd for examples of when “flirting” goes too far), and the line is just too easy to cross..."

"...I realize that I might just be shouting into the wind. And maybe I do need to stop being oversensitive. But I’ve found that nothing ever changes by NOT saying something, so I am going to continue to do so even at the risk of getting some of those fun nasty internet comments. My simple plea is this: let’s all try to shift the conversation. Let’s let a sense of respect overcome the urge to be cutesy (or insulting) about someone’s profession and passion, no matter WHAT it is. It’s true, librarians love to be asked questions. That’s our job. My hope, however, is that people will start asking us better ones."

Read the full post here and let me know what you think! Are you a librarian who has been affected by this? Am I taking it too seriously? Comment below if you have something to say! 

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