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 a writer and advocate focusing on race, gender, and sexual and reproductive rights. In addition to serving as an Executive Director at Feministing, Lori is the Director of Global Communications at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Lori has previously worked at the United Nations Foundation, the International Women’s Health Coalition, and Human Rights Watch, and has written for a host of print and digital properties including Rookie Magazine, The Grio, and the New York Times Magazine. She regularly appears on radio and television, and has spoken at college campuses across the U.S. about topics like the politics of black hair, transnational movement building, and the undercover feminism of Nicki Minaj. In 2014, she was named to The Root 100 list of the nation's most influential African Americans, and to the Forbes Magazine list of the "30 Under 30" successful people in media.

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

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