(urth) (no subject)

Hmpf MacSlow hmpf1998 at gmx.net
Sun Oct 22 09:44:26 PDT 2006

I was away for a couple of days; I was going to add something in the 
misogyny discussion but going through the replies posted in my 
absence now, I see that my points have already been made by others:

Muskrat said:

>I'd also like to agree with Hmph when she says:
> > I'd say the differences between
> > men and women are somewhat (or, depending on which depiction we're
> > actually talking about, often even *hugely*) exaggerated.
>Oh, yes.  Absolutely.  I've met men who love children and women who
>genuinely can't stand the little bastards.  Theodore Sturgeon wrote
>a book called "Venus Plus X" which touches on this theme.
>I think the any differences that may exist are amplified
>by people's desire to see themselves as part of groups
>with defined roles and behaviors, rather than just another
>dumb human.   Aside from childbirth and castration most behaviors
>can be found somewhere in both men and women.

Nathan Spears:

At 05:48 AM 10/20/2006, you wrote:
>I agree with you that our emotions and our thought-processes may not 
>be as different as they have been portrayed. Our experiences, 
>however, are far more divergent than the tools with which we process 
>them.  I also believe that the best women writers, generally being 
>more empathetic and observant, can create better male characters 
>than male writers create female characters.

So, to sum it up: There probably *are* differences, but I don't think 
they're bigger or of a substantially different quality than those 
between people with different lifestyles or different cultural 
backgrounds. And a writer, whether male or female, should ideally be 
both perceptive and gifted with a high degree of empathy if he or she 
wants to write about people, so they should be able to write a person 
of the opposite gender just as well as they should be able to write a 
person who is in some other significant way different from 
themselves. I don't subscribe to the idea of the female mystique, and 
in fact find it quite annoying if people suggest there is something 
fundamentally incomprehensible and perhaps even sort-of-magical about women.

Of course, not all writers even *want* to write primarily about 
people; the assumption that good characterisation is central to good 
writing is a side-effect of the triumph of the 'modern' (19th century 
based) idea of the novel. There are writers whose main focus lies 
elsewhere, and that is perfectly legitimate - I'd argue that with 
Wolfe, his focus is certainly more on ideas/philosophy than people, 
and Tolkien, to give another example that's already been mentioned 
here, was more interested in history, linguistics, and possibly even 
geography (LotR is definitely more of a love letter to landscapes 
than it is a story 'about people') than he was in people. I love 
both, and I'm *not* reading them for their characters.

David Lebling wrote:

> >> I can't think of a female soldier in BotNS
>I would assume ********he's******** thinking of Foila, who is indeed 
>a sympathetic and
>likable character, a soldier recovering from wounds(?) in the Pelerines'
>hospice. (She's the prize in the story-telling contest, but turns the tables
>on the contestants by entering and winning.) This is in _Citadel of the
>-- Dave Lebling, aka vizcacha

Yes, I meant Foila. But I'm female, please. I may deny that there are 
great differences between the genders, but for all that, I still 
identify as a woman. *g*

- Hmpf (going back into lurking mode now)

"You broke metaphysics. Fix it."
- Triangle & Robert 

More information about the Urth mailing list