This was the topic I wanted to write on as my first post of the 100 days challenge. However, I knew it would require research and time so I did what I do best, procrastinated. I have decided to pen this today. What essentially am I talking about you ask? Men writing women.
What exactly do I mean when I say this? Here are some of the common screenshots and pictures shared by people on internet that will show you the problem and then we can discuss it further
Let me start by mentioning something that I read and found very interesting. If you want to investigate how women have been written by men, start at the start, how “eve took the bite forbidden fruit” thereby blaming her for every sinful deed after that. Funny how what Adam did was not forbidden? Or maybe we have heard it in the manner where only Eve was criticized. You can take up so many books and you will find men objectifying women as mere sex objects. Is it really THAT difficult to write a complex woman character that goes beyond your bed and household? Sure, there are some who have got it right but we are majorly just sex objects. I mean “BREASTED BOOBILY”? Just write a book on boobs and get done with it. From the reading I have gotten done, writing women in third person is one thing and men achieve that easily, telling us how they think of women but to be her voice without knowing how females feel ends up being gross.
Women on other hand have proven to do a pretty nice job of writing male characters, no surprises there as we have all grown up reading male authors so they can place men better – case in point, Gone Girl. It has a story from both men and women point of view and both are amazingly justified. I am, by no way, suggesting that femal authors should be forced to write female characters that are strong. Everyone please write what you wish to. I don’t, personally, think gender has to do much with it as much as talent. All we want is for women to be real human beings in your stories, is that too much to ask? Make an effort to study the character you are building in your story, women are way more than their body. There have been researches put in place to suggest why men cheat, really astounding how many articles you will find on that. It is to tell us that it is done by men who are not emotionally stable. Yet, a woman character cannot be researched? If you have a character who is a housewife, ask them their thoughts? Don’t just make the character what you think a housewife is. Similarly, a teen girl is NOT JUST ABOUT HER HORMONES, nor is a teen boy. Teenagers have so many struggles but we see shows and books that speak only of hormones. There are good books that have actual stories but are they as famous as those about sex? I guess not.
If men want to write about women having sex, atleast ask women what they like rather than writing what you think women like! Make it a pleasurable read for us too. So far, all I have felt is gross. Sure enough, there is progress being made and we are seeing people write up characters of women as not just a piece of meat and I only hope the coming generation of writers do a better job.