Femaleing and Writing

(Yes, I know I made up a word. I think it’s quite clever, though…)

Sometimes I think too hard about the fact that I’m female and that there are actually other human beings on this earth who are…..well…..male. Different…….other…….opposite……  If you think about it hard enough, it’s kind of mind-boggling!  To be honest, though, I’d never thought deeply about what differences might show up in writers of different genders until now.  I mean, of course I knew there would be differences there too, just as there are in real life, but it didn’t really hit me until now that such differences are, in truth, irrelevant.

Yep, you read that right: irrelevant.  Here’s my thought on this: why should we have to do anything more than just be able to recognize that there are some differences between writers of different genders?  It’s just a simple, unavoidable fact, so should it actually change the way we read someone’s work?  Ok, the author is male – so?  That won’t keep me from admiring his extraordinary description and sparkling dialogue.  And that author is female?  No matter; I can still appreciate her beautiful use of simple diction and uncomplicated plot-line. I realize that there are all kinds of stereotypes out there about men and women – many, if not most, based in truth, I’ll admit – but how in good conscience can we make generalizations about male and female writers based just off those stereotypes?

People are too complex, too individualistic, too diverse  for us to actually be able to classify them in any real way, so why should we do so with male and female writers?  We might pick up a book and notice it was written by a female writer, but I do not think that this fact alone should prompt us to start judging what we’ll expect to find within it.

In short, gender does not define us on such a degree and in such a way that our writing must be defined by our gender.


4 thoughts on “Femaleing and Writing

  1. gbeebe10 says:

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. There are observable differences in the way men and women currently write, but we shouldn’t let that affect our own writing and certainly not our reading. Sometimes I think it’s easy to blame a writer’s poor narration on their gender, when really they might just need improvement in that area, regardless of whether they’re writing for males or females. Like you said, gender is just one small category of what makes us diverse as writers, and we shouldn’t perceive it as the primary influence on anyone’s work.

  2. gltandy says:

    Rachel, I love the concluding sentence of your post: “In short, gender does not define us on such a degree and in such a way that our writing must be defined by our gender.”
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