Tag Archives: Gender stereotypes

FF – What Dreams May Come

Well, last week’s story seems to have cased more confusion than fun … including for me; I have literally no idea what some of you read there, because your comments most definitely didn’t correspond to what I meant. But this isn’t a complaint; I love seeing how my writing acts on people in unexpected ways!

This week hopefully less subtle, but I await your comments as ever! Thank you for Rochelle for prompt and leadership.

kitchen-window

What Dreams May Come

Mick had dreamed of boys playing on his old swing set and climbing the fruit trees. One after the other, his boys came and went, two before they took breath, another without taking a step. He grieved as much for the dream as the babies, although he’d never admit that to Brenda.

Then the real kicker: twin girls, and all the children they could afford.

Mick took down the swings and built a pink playhouse under the apples. It rested unused until one day Mick noticed Sally stretching up from the roof and Ellie perched above her on a branch.

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Write Like A Man!

When a female writer writes a male lead, there’s always a question: “How do you get into a man’s head?” (and vice versa, I’m just going to stick this way round to save a lot of s/he-ing!)

It’s interesting, because the same debate doesn’t appear to come up to the same degree with “How do you get into a Elf’s head?”, “How do you get into a murderer’s head?” etc. Even within the same sex, different genders don’t seem to cause as much of a problem – straight women writing lesbian characters, for example.

I suspect part of the problem is one of audience-accuracy. I find it fascinating, for example, that if I write a character I think seems “Canadian”, carefully using their words and syntax and customs, locals will pick up a lot of problems with it, and if the tables are turned, I rip their British characters to shreds in the same way. Similarly, I suspect a man reading a male character written by a woman, will pick up on things “no man would say”, whereas there are unlikely to be many elves or murderers reading those novels.

Nevertheless, it seems to me an incomplete answer. Lesbians definitely read books, so do murderers and cops and adulterers and all the other characters who get written about by people without first-hand experience. As a writer, I would definitely want a few guys to read my male-centric novels before sending them to publishers, and if I ever write from the POV of a lesbian, cop, etc, I would look for a proof-reader with that sort of expertise too.

But is there also an element of stereotyping? Do we feel more comfortable saying men act / think / feel a certain way than we do with other classes of character?

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Happy Canada Day Holiday!

The last two Februarys, I’ve been trying out a thing called “February Album Writing Month” (FAWM). Like NaNoWriMo, it’s community of writers who get together to write a lot in a short space of time, in this case, an album’s worth of songs in the shortest month of the year. my husband and I tried it last year (I write words, he writes music, so it seemed the perfect collaberation) and really enjoyed it. Even if we did end up frantically trying to get everything recorded at midnight on Christmas Eve so we could give our parents copies of “our” CD the next day!

We did it again this year, although with Baby P on the way, I’m not sure they will all get recorded before Christmas. However, as a practice, I wrote a few sets of alternative lyrics for popular existing songs and I thought I’d share one with you. These are my alternative lyrics to the Brad Paisley song, “Still a Guy”, which I recommend in its own right, but also to get the most of this post you probably need to have heard the song first. Enjoy!

I’m Still A Girl

I still cry at movies like Bambi,
Although I like to think that I’m tough
When I see a tree, then I just have to climb it,
But I bruise if I try to play rough,
You’re probably glad that I’m not into makeup
that it won’t take me hours to get dressed,
I wear jeans and check shirts, but I love my desserts,
Remember, I’m still a girl.
 
When you see a car, you think engines,
And you stick your head in the machine,
You get nought-to-sixty and cylinder size,
I’m hoping they make it in green;
Well all hair and nails, I could not be accused of,
Though in a weak moment, I might,
Brush the first, paint the last, take a trip to the mall,
It’s true to say, I’m still a girl.
 
And I’ll play air guitar
Drive a tank for a car,
And I won’t let the world see me cry,
But I’ll wear FMBs,
And a short LBD,
To get wolf-whistles as I walk by…
 
I can hear you now talkin’ to your friends,
Saying “She’s pretty cool for a wench,
She may coo at kittens, but never at kids
And she loves her adjustable wrench,”
But when I want a backrub,
I do mean a backrub,
And I’ll die for a massage dont well,
Hey now, what can I say at the end of the day,
Honey, I’m still a girl.
 
And I’ll play air guitar,
Drive a tank for a car,
And I won’t let the world see me cry,
But I’ll wear FMBs,
And a short LBD,
To get wolf-whistles as I walk by…
 
I’ll never start spending on facials,
Manicures, wax and botox,
Or need a whole cupboard, just to store shoes
Or keep every hat in a box
Yeah, with so many girls doing things I can’t fathom,
Sometimes I wish I was a guy,
But I still like to flirt,
I look good in a skirt,
Yeah honey, I’m still a girl.
 
I may not be a WAG
But I’ll keep my handbag
Oh thank God, I’m still a girl!
 
 

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