Coverflip challenge reimagines famous dude book covers as by and for women

girls ride in a car through the desert

Coverflip created by Hannah

Yesterday author Maureen Johnson, fed up with sexist responses to the perceived gender appeal of her books covers, issued a challenge to her followers. She writes:

You are informed about a book’s perceived quality through a number of ways. Probably the biggest is the cover….

And the simple fact of the matter is, if you are a female author, you are much more likely to get the package that suggests the book is of a lower perceived quality. Because it’s “girly,” which is somehow inherently different and easier on the palate. A man and a woman can write books about the same subject matter, at the same level of quality, and that woman is simple more likely to get the soft-sell cover with the warm glow and the feeling of smooth jazz blowing off of it.

Thus Coverflip was born. The idea is that you take a well-known book, then re-imagine the book “reclassified as by and for women”. The contest rules were pretty loose, but I take this to mean a number of multi-gender alternative scenarios: imagining the author of the book is of a different gender than they are, or is genderqueer, or imagining that a book’s marketing strategy would be targeted to a different gender. Whatever floats your boat. Perhaps the flexibility is part of the reason Maureen says she received hundreds of replies within 24 hours. I love Hannah’s interpretation of J. Kerouac’s On The Road, pictured, above, but HuffPo has a full slideshow of responses to the contest along with an interview with Maureen. Check it out!

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman is Executive Director of Partnerships at Feministing, where she enjoys creating and curating content on gender, race, class, technology, and the media. Lori is also an advocacy and communications professional specializing in sexual and reproductive rights and health, and currently works in the Global Division of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. A graduate of Harvard University, she lives in Brooklyn.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

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