Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[writing] (fe)male stories

One of the rather intense topics of discussion last week at Rio Hondo was the concept of masculine and feminine writing. Not, specifically, stories by persons of either gender, but more generally the idea that stories themselves have gender. While there are analytics such as Gender Genie which do textual mapping based on established algorithms, the discourse ran more toward the themes and types of stories which get written, and how they can be thought to have gender associations.

There are easy stereotypes which can be pointed to, about how stories resolve, whether they're internally or externally focused, and so forth. We dug deeper than that, which was fascinating, though like many such topics it does not lend itself to resolution.

I was also struck by how this discussion overlapped with the recent kerfuffle over gender and race in editorial acceptances. The fact that our field is fundamentally committed to writing about the Other lends a strange cast to all these discussions. It's not as if there's a specific qualification for SF, unlike women's lit or post-colonial lit or whatever.

What do you think differentiates a masculine or feminine story? Can you offer (or ideally, link to) an example?
Tags: process, writing

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