Waterstones sparks row with ‘men who don’t read books by women’ tweet
The branch described men as being ‘ridiculous creatures’ in a series of tweets.
A Waterstones store has responded to a backlash after claiming some male customers refuse to read books by women.
The branch in Uxbridge, west London, described men as being “ridiculous creatures” in a series of tweets, saying that “at least once or twice a month” they come across a man who says he does “not read a book by a female author”.
I've worked here for... well... a very long time.— Waterstones Uxbridge (@WaterstonesUxbr) May 24, 2018
In all that time, never has a woman said to me,
"I don't read books written by men."
However, at least once or twice a month, a man will say that he'll not read a book by a female author.
Men are ridiculous creatures.
The post, published in a series of threads, read: “I’ve worked here for… well… a very long time. In all that time, never has a woman said to me, ‘I don’t read books written by men’.
“However, at least once or twice a month, a man will say that he’ll not read a book by a female author. Men are ridiculous creatures.”
The book retailer then added to say the men in question are of “a certain age”.
Of course, these men are of 'a certain age'...— Waterstones Uxbridge (@WaterstonesUxbr) May 24, 2018
The tweet has since received more than 10,000 likes and more than 3,000 shares.
It continued: “Naturally, we booksellers see this as our chance to suggest as many fantastic female authors as we can think they’d actually enjoy.
“Most times, they do consider it. Which is nice.”
After the backlash, the store clarified to say this doesn’t apply to “all men”.
Of course, I apologise - not ALL men are 'ridiculous creatures'.— Waterstones Uxbridge (@WaterstonesUxbr) May 24, 2018
Hope that helps clear things up.
Some commentators accused Waterstones of causing a PR fail.
Do @Waterstones have anyone officially monitoring social media or do they just allow individuals to churn out this garbage as and when they see fit?— Simon Hoban (@simonhoban) May 25, 2018
@Waterstones do you sanction these tweets? All men are ridiculous? Well I now feel all Waterstones stores are ridiculous and I’ll take my business elsewhere. Oh and by the way I’m a man and I do read books by female authors. #sexist #boycott— Kempy (@kempynofear) May 25, 2018
😔 please don’t tar all men with the same brush. I read all authors... Very disappointed to see such a viewpoint thrown around so haphazardly.— Mark Allen (@markallenmobi) May 27, 2018
Others, meanwhile, appeared to respond more positively.
Almost 10k of likes and over 2k of retweets doesn't strike me as bad PR. Quite the opposite, in fact...— Melociraptors in the kitchen (@MESalisbury) May 26, 2018
Just tell em Frankenstein was written by a woman-watch their faces melt.— Sean Carmody (@ReaperGrim2012) May 25, 2018
I’m ashamed at men by reading this, how sad we haven’t left the dark age— steven morgan (@twistedsteve76) May 26, 2018
I hate my male privilege and I never thought I’d say that, but if this is true I say it
A few even managed to see humour in the situation.
I prefer male writers. Like George Elliot, Harper Lee or Julian May— Jon Chadwick (@JonD_Chadwick) May 25, 2018
That one by Acton Bell is a belter— Kat Harbourne (@KatHarbourne) May 25, 2018
Waterstones did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.