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6,512 hits 3.0 (4 votes) Share Favorite | Flag 3 years ago by CowDung

Do you prefer male or female authors?


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3 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Tuesday 3/25/14 - 10:37:45 PM EST (GMT-5)
I've never really thought about this until I read the question. I would have to go with female authors.
3 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Tuesday 3/25/14 - 11:39:03 PM EST (GMT-5)
depends on the genre. while male and female authors can both thrive in some genres, have female authors done much in the realm of, let's say, science fiction? or can male authors knock a romance novel out of the park?
3 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Wednesday 3/26/14 - 12:06:35 AM EST (GMT-5)
Among my top 10 favorite books (so far), only about 3 are by female authors. However, I think this has more to do with my lack of reading work by female authors. So far, I've been exposed to and have picked up more work by male authors. I suspect is has nothing to do with the actual ability of female authors.

When I'm reading the work of male and female authors, I find them equally as capable...and I tend not to obsess over the gender of the author whose work I'm reading. Like, if I pick up work by a female author, I don't pick apart every paragraph wondering how it relates or is inspired by her femaleness....and I don't do that for the work of male authors either. But I suspect some people do when they have extreme bias.
3 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Wednesday 3/26/14 - 8:03:20 AM EST (GMT-5)
I didn't intend to question capabilities as an author- - I think it should be obvious that both sexes are equally capable of writing well.

I was looking over the list of my recent reads and noticed that I tend to read male authors.
3 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Wednesday 3/26/14 - 9:02:19 AM EST (GMT-5)
i can't think of as many female authors i like as male ones, but one of them (virginia woolf) is like my favourite ever
3 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Wednesday 3/26/14 - 10:13:37 AM EST (GMT-5)
There's nothing inherently wrong w/ this question.

Usually, if I can tell the author's gender based on the content of the writing, it's a bad thing. Obvious exceptions would include autobiographies and opinion pieces where gender is the actual topic or a legit factor, but just like anything else where we want some objective thing out of it (food, service, etc), gender should be irrelevant. W/ singing it's different b/c the timbre is part of what we like, but where the product is non-gendered, it usually doesn't matter.
3 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Wednesday 3/26/14 - 10:21:25 AM EST (GMT-5)
On Wednesday 3/26/14 - 8:03:20 AM CowDung wrote:
I tend to read male authors.

Certain genres are overwhelmingly one gender, both wrt authors and readers. There might be something in that about natural tendencies and socialization, but it would have to have all kinds of other implications and connections to mean anything bad.
On Wednesday 3/26/14 - 9:02:19 AM skyfish wrote:
i can't think of as many female authors i like as male ones, but one of them (virginia woolf) is like my favourite ever

I wonder how that might relate to historical opportunities for women writers. There just haven't been as many. I don't know how true that holds today, but going back as far as Woolf... You only have to go back about 50 years to when Susan Hinton had to go by "S.E." to have any credibility writing about male gangs.
3 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Wednesday 3/26/14 - 10:31:52 AM EST (GMT-5)
Not sure that books are truly non-gendered as the characters usually are male and/or female.

I would expect it to be more challenging for an author to convey the deeper feelings of a character that isn't their gender- - I think that subtleties would tend to be lost as the author likely doesn't have the 'life experience' to truly put themselves into their opposite gender character's situation.
3 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Wednesday 3/26/14 - 10:43:42 AM EST (GMT-5)
I'm thinking that this ^^ might be one of the reasons that the romance genre involves mostly female authors...
3 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Wednesday 3/26/14 - 10:56:53 AM EST (GMT-5)
Female authors usually put in some romantic stuff, no matter what the genre. Male authors only do that when it's essential to the story. Even established SF authors like Ursula LeGuin inserts love stories even when it digress from the main plot.
Don't like that.
3 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Wednesday 3/26/14 - 11:14:39 AM EST (GMT-5)
"Not sure that books are truly non-gendered as the characters usually are male and/or female"
Characters, yeah, and there is probably a pretty high rate of correlation between the author's gender and a main character's gender, but the story beyond that is less so. For example, I used to really like Tom Robbins, who writes a lot of female characters. A female friend of mine stated her dislike of him on that count b/c he was really just writing a male fantasy of what women are. Was that part of why I liked him? IDK.

3 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Wednesday 3/26/14 - 11:15:09 AM EST (GMT-5)
Personally, I don't think I care as much about the gender of the characters. I'm interested in story. If a female author tended to write about characters who were female and wrote about topics that weren't as interesting to me as a male, I wouldn't read her, but it would be that whole package - - female author, characters, and "interests" - - not the author's gender in and of itself, that might keep it low on the interest scale for me. A male author writing about the same topic in the same way would presumably rate the same: low.

Ultimately, the things that seem influenced by gender in this don't seem particularly problematic to me.
3 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Wednesday 3/26/14 - 11:22:51 AM EST (GMT-5)
On Wednesday 3/26/14 - 10:56:53 AM sander wrote:
Female authors usually put in some romantic stuff, no matter what the genre. Male authors only do that when it's essential to the story. Even established SF authors like Ursula LeGuin inserts love stories even when it digress from the main plot. Don't like that.

Do you have a similar distaste for *all* nonessential, digressive parts of stories, or just romance, specifically?

I'd be cautious to label it "nonessential," too. If it's just a preference thing, cool, but saying it's nonessential is somewhat of a judgment of the author's style, as well as an assumption of what constitutes "essential." Fans of that genre might really enjoy such elements, and call them "subplots" rather than "nonessential."
3 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Wednesday 3/26/14 - 11:25:05 AM EST (GMT-5)
It's been a little while since I've read either, but Suzanne Collins and Philip Pullman handled romantic subplots w/ similar deftness in their respective trilogies, as best I can recall. I enjoyed both.
3 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Wednesday 3/26/14 - 11:29:33 AM EST (GMT-5)
Interesting how you and your female friend differ on Robbins. It sounds kind of like what I was getting at with my comments about authors not having the necessarily 'life experience' to properly covey the depth of an opposite gender character. Your female friend was able to pick up on that presumably because she is more aware of what it is like to be a female...
3 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Wednesday 3/26/14 - 12:03:43 PM EST (GMT-5)
Possibly. He's the only example that came to mind just then, but considering how many authors are well liked across gender lines and who include both male and female characters in their work, I have to imagine plenty of authors aren't too hindered by that.

I wouldn't be surprised if female authors do a better job of that from having been in more male-oriented, male-dominated situations. Similarly, that I am unaware of the author's gender and its impact on the writing a lot of the time could be b/c I'm in the target audience.
3 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Wednesday 3/26/14 - 12:21:19 PM EST (GMT-5)
I think the amount of hinderance would depend a lot on the genre and the content of the story, but I would imagine that most authors recognize the limitations of not being the same gender as their character and write accordingly.

I think I can agree with your statement about female authors.

3 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Wednesday 3/26/14 - 12:45:28 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Wednesday 3/26/14 - 8:03:20 AM CowDung wrote:
I didn't intend to question capabilities as an author- - I think it should be obvious that both sexes are equally capable of writing well. I was looking over the list of my recent reads and noticed that I tend to read male authors.


I was only addressing my own lack of reading female authors. It wasn't directed towards you.
3 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Wednesday 3/26/14 - 12:51:38 PM EST (GMT-5)
I think it might be easier for women to write a male character than it is for men to write a female character. Women are raised with the male perspective being pretty much all over the place (in film, in stories, in videogames). Women are forced more to imagine a main character as male...so much that it can become incredibly natural to do so. On the other hand, men are able to limit themselves to work with predominately male characters, they become used to "choosing" male and don't have reason to do otherwise...and certainly aren't encouraged in any way to think from a female perspective.
3 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Wednesday 3/26/14 - 1:21:14 PM EST (GMT-5)
Yes, it's easy for women authors to write a male character, because they're raised with "the male perspective" stereotype, not with what men are really like. Many men in "female literature" are downright as*holes, just because a few of us are.
3 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Wednesday 3/26/14 - 1:26:46 PM EST (GMT-5)
Taking Frankenstein a bit personally, aren't you?
3 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Wednesday 3/26/14 - 1:27:27 PM EST (GMT-5)

3 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Wednesday 3/26/14 - 2:07:22 PM EST (GMT-5)
Which female authors have you been reading, Sander?

Women are raised with a male perspective largely as its represented by male authors, filmmakers, and so on. Of course, asshole dudes are one common representation (written by both men and women) but we're exposed to several other kinds of men as well.

Personally, I've written all kinds of male characters. I have written a few who would count as assholes but I don't like to 100% villainize anyone in my work so there's usually a reason behind their behavior or something sympathetic about them. One of my asshole characters had been abused by his mother and had his girlfriend die during a difficult time in their relationship. He started acting out in asshole ways largely as a result of trauma. By the end of the book, he's able to overcome what's happened to him and isn't so much of an ass anymore.
3 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Wednesday 3/26/14 - 2:07:55 PM EST (GMT-5)
Probably the only time I wrote a male asshole that was 100% an asshole was when the character was actually a demon (and the story wasn't written from his perspective).

But the majority of my male characters aren't assholes at all.
3 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Wednesday 3/26/14 - 2:11:24 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Wednesday 3/26/14 - 2:07:55 PM shakira2 wrote:
But the majority of my male characters aren't assholes at all.


That doesn't seem representative of the male population though- - 100% of us are assholes...

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