9535Re: a question on female writers of male protagonists
- Jun 21, 2003Hi! I've been off list for a while -- my Excite account can no longer
handle yahoogroups, so I only tune in every now & then. Excuse me if
I'm replying to a thread everyone else has gotten tired of.
As the writer of one of the works Lizzie mentioned (most
flatteringly -- thanks, Lizzie! -- honestly, guys, I didn't pay her
to say it) I guess I ought to respond to her question about women
writing male protagonists. But I'm not sure what to say, except to
add a few examples. Off the top of my head, I can think of other
examples of female writers' male protagonists that I've enjoyed a
lot -- Ursula LeGuin's Ged (Earthsea) and Shevek (The Dispossessed),
Joanne Rowling's Harry Potter, and Bujold's Cazaril (The Curse of
Chalion) -- and they do seem to fit the pattern Lizzie mentioned,
being more thoughtful, more emotionally open, and less violent than
the male stereotype. Then, I think of some female characters created
by male writers that I've liked: to name two very different examples,
Lewis Carroll's Alice, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, created by Joss
Whedon. Alice & Buffy don't have a whole lot in common, but they're
both bold and adventurous, traits more often stereotypically assigned
to boys. I contrast that to some of the female protagonists written
by men that set my teeth on edge, and I think what struck me as false
most often was when the author seemed to be thinking very
deliberately, "I am writing a FEMALE, and FEMALES ARE DIFFERENT,"
whereas I think the successful cross-gender writers just got inside
the protagonist's head, forgot whether they were supposed to be male
or female, and just made them human.
I would be interested in hearing how the male characters written by
female authors seem to men on the list.
Pauline J. Alama
- In email@example.com, "Elizabeth Apgar Triano"
> ... Now I have a general discussion question.writers, with
> I have these past few years read a number of books by female
> male protagonists. Several of C.S. Friedman's titles come to mind,as well
> as _Eye of Night_, and a few other titles which escape me at themoment.
> These particular male protagonists are thoughtful, reflective, andfairly
> nonviolent. Without trying to imply that men are none of thesethings, it
> does seem to me that women create such characters differently thenmen
> would, and also I have more and more been wondering whether thesegender
> particular characters appeal more to women than they do to men.
> So I'd like to hear you guys and gals weigh in on, uh, er.... cross-
> writing ??
> Lizzie Triano
> amor vincit omnia
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