Honestly, before starting The Selection series I was well aware of the negativity surrounding it based on themes of sexism.
When I read the series however, I thought that this was just a reflection of a patriarchal dystopian society where no one had a choice and that the Prince himself was not sexist. I really believed that Kiera Cass was just trying to show a world where life was unfair and that she did not intend any sexism whatsoever.
Until I read The Prince.
With this novella we get some insight into Maxon's mind and his views on the situation. As I said above, I thought he was a nice, nonsexist and non-shallow guy. But here are some quote to prove otherwise:
"And that was how the Selection did its first act in my favor: if I had her here, at least I had the chance to try"
- I thought Maxon had allowed America to stay on the basis that she needed money and that he respected her being unable to commit to him... I guess not.
“You mean you need the money?”
“Yes.” At least she had the decency to be ashamed of it.
- And why should she be ashamed?? Because she is a victim of a class structure that his ancestry created? There is no shamefulness in needing or wanting money to survive.
- Maxon constantly refers to America as 'This girl' never using her name in his thoughts
"It felt like she played with the ruffles on her dress for hours while I waited for her to answer, and I sat there convincing myself that it was only because she didn’t want to seem too eager.
“You are very kind, Your Majesty.” Yes. “And attractive.” Yes! “And thoughtful.” YES"
- I'm not sure I really need to say anything here. He basically just wants her to automatically have feelings for him without any real interaction and without him having any feelings for her.
" She was probably the sexiest candidate, and I certainly wouldn’t hold that against her."
"She nodded and curtsied before she went to get the girl beside her, who I recognized immediately as Celeste Newsome. It would take a dim man indeed to forget that face"
- Alright she's pretty but why would you have to be dim to forget her?
"Lyssa jumped out at me, but not in a good way. Unless she had a winning personality, she wasn’t even in the running. Maybe that was a bit shallow, but was it so bad that I wanted someone attractive?"
- To me this says that if someone is beautiful but has a terrible personality, Maxon won't mind.
"What made her smile so brightly, then? Was it me? Had whatever she felt for me that day passed?"
- No Maxon, it actually has nothing to do with you. You know, people have lives and they like to focus on other things.
Those are just a few of the things that really irked me with this novella. A part of me wishes that I hadn't read it and that I'd stayed in my naive mindset that the book series was just about what was wrong with society and it was making the best of it. But of course it's better to know and to feel disappointed.