Re: Women as Written by Men

#41

WriterObscura Wrote: Dear lord, the term mansplaining brings an audience - who knew?I think we're all respectful enough here that we can converse without going full-metal butthurt, so let's hope the thread remains opened.

The original intent of the post was just to point out the worst - here's some persuasive breasts, of and some that are sadistically oppressed:

https%3A%2F%2Ftina-anderson.net%2Fwp-content%2Fupl...as-mar.jpg
Just a reminder, I was all FOR the scrutiny, but not prone to trust my own rendering of a woman lead. 


That surely doesn't suggest the above HILARIOUSLY FOOLISH references are the expected result. I could do pretty well as I have a lot of women in my life - sisters, professional friends, wonderful wife, ambitious and articulate daughter... all great examples. 

But it remains, to a writer of two years, the less competent creative content. Doesn't mean I wouldn't try it. This is creative dialogue not more "mansplaining" by the way. Peace.  DrakanWine

Re: Women as Written by Men

#42

TienSwitch Wrote: It seems like there's more posts regarding the possibility of the thread being locked than there are containing any content that would get the thread locked.


Challenge accepted. 


TienSwitch Wrote: I know that this was meant as a joke, but there is some validity in a very adjacent approach. The whole "men writing women" topic is always part of a larger conversation about "dominant groups writing about disadvantaged groups". White people writing black characters. Straight people writing gay characters. So on and so forth.

I'm a straight white male, but many of my main characters include gay characters, black characters, Asian characters, and female characters. The advice that I normally give when this sort of topic comes up is to just write the characters as if they're straight white males and then just make them not. I know that sounds shallow and like it's just masking stereotypical bigotry rather than dispelling it or something, but I think it's a good tactic for the person that knows that they will inadvertently make any of these groups a product of their stereotypes (even their positive ones). So just avoid the issue entirely. You want your main character to be black, but you're afraid that even if you try to write him positively, you'll ultimately reduce his personality and history down to his race? Well, fellow white author, just write a white character, and then make them not white. Problem solved!



I'm sure this works for you, but I personally would not use this approach. I do get what you're saying about simplifying the process and avoiding stereotypes, but to be perfectly honest with you, this approach is often obvious, particularly when it comes to men writing women as men with breasts. 

Women have different experiences as a group, particularly if they're living in cultures that are significantly less egalitarian than what Westerners are used to. In fact, I'd say even in Western cultures women have challenges men don't, and with this approach these experiences are never reflected, or only superficially reflected. It becomes pretty obvious pretty quick that the author is writing everyone from one perspective and experience. If you're fine with that, more power to you, I guess, but it is in no way subtle. 

Basically, it boils down to: if you write everyone as a white person, and swap their colour palette, everyone who's not white who reads your work will probably notice. Do the same with women, and...? We also notice. As it turns out, white male is not the default human experience, so if you do write that way--it's obvious. 

(I do also protest this type of depiction from a more philosophical standpoint, because I do consider it a form of white-washing, but this is a Wendy's. I mean, RR.)

Re: Women as Written by Men

#43

bokhi Wrote:
TienSwitch Wrote: It seems like there's more posts regarding the possibility of the thread being locked than there are containing any content that would get the thread locked.


Challenge accepted. 


TienSwitch Wrote: I know that this was meant as a joke, but there is some validity in a very adjacent approach. The whole "men writing women" topic is always part of a larger conversation about "dominant groups writing about disadvantaged groups". White people writing black characters. Straight people writing gay characters. So on and so forth.

I'm a straight white male, but many of my main characters include gay characters, black characters, Asian characters, and female characters. The advice that I normally give when this sort of topic comes up is to just write the characters as if they're straight white males and then just make them not. I know that sounds shallow and like it's just masking stereotypical bigotry rather than dispelling it or something, but I think it's a good tactic for the person that knows that they will inadvertently make any of these groups a product of their stereotypes (even their positive ones). So just avoid the issue entirely. You want your main character to be black, but you're afraid that even if you try to write him positively, you'll ultimately reduce his personality and history down to his race? Well, fellow white author, just write a white character, and then make them not white. Problem solved!



I'm sure this works for you, but I personally would not use this approach. I do get what you're saying about simplifying the process and avoiding stereotypes, but to be perfectly honest with you, this approach is often obvious, particularly when it comes to men writing women as men with breasts. 

Women have different experiences as a group, particularly if they're living in cultures that are significantly less egalitarian than what Westerners are used to. In fact, I'd say even in Western cultures women have challenges men don't, and with this approach these experiences are never reflected, or only superficially reflected. It becomes pretty obvious pretty quick that the author is writing everyone from one perspective and experience. If you're fine with that, more power to you, I guess, but it is in no way subtle. 

Basically, it boils down to: if you write everyone as a white person, and swap their colour palette, everyone who's not white who reads your work will probably notice. Do the same with women, and...? We also notice. As it turns out, white male is not the default human experience, so if you do write that way--it's obvious. 

(I do also protest this type of depiction from a more philosophical standpoint, because I do consider it a form of white-washing, but this is a Wendy's. I mean, RR.)
I had the same reaction.  The advice sounds plausible if you aren't a member of one of these groups, but when you give it a second of thought, it falls apart.  Honestly, where I live a lot of white people are more likely to act performatively black than black people are to act like basic white people.


I am a white guy, so I'm only passing on suggestions given to me by black, asian, gay, etc writers, so grain of salt and all that.  But the general suggestion I've been given is feel free to do your best with secondary characters who are not white guys, but maybe let the actual marginalized people write their own leads like them.  Fellow white people, you may or may not be able to write a passable black person or whoever.  But while you're 99% unlikely to do it as well as an actual black person (or whatever group), statistically, even on a platform like web fiction where anyone can write without gate-keeping, you're very likely to be taking most of the attention in the room, drowning out actual marginalized people trying to write their own stories.  There's a whole bunch of factors that go into this that are too long for this post.  But it's not inaccurate, even though every rule has its exceptions.

Not every person from a marginalized group will agree with that take, of course.  No group is a monolith.  But before you decide to write a character in a marginalized group when you are not in one, at least take a moment to think about why many marginalized people(Not all) may feel the way I described above.  I'm absolutely not, especially as someone who isn't a member of most marginalized groups, saying white guys(or girls, or anyone who wants to write a character from a group they don't belong to) is not allowed to write people who are different from them.  I'm only saying think of your decisions in the larger context, which is hard because as a member of a majority group or just a different marginalized group, you might not be wholly aware of the context.


I do think to some extent you can write a character outside of your personal experience by looking at them as an individual.  But you can't entirely remove them from their context without it feeling a little silly, and definitely being clear to people from that group that you don't actually have any real experience or understanding of their situation.

Re: Women as Written by Men

#44
Good thing I don't have such problems as the users above.

No matter which genders my characters have I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing, so I write men with boobs and women with dicks, and find solace in it.
God, if I started putting my personal experiences in my character's stories, that would become a novel within a novel! 

Re: Women as Written by Men

#45

Sake Wrote: Good thing I don't have such problems as the users above.

No matter which genders my characters have I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing, so I write men with boobs and women with dicks, and find solace in it.
God, if I started putting my personal experiences in my character's stories, that would become a novel within a novel!


Oh same. I just think about their personality and motivations. Everything else is secondary. I've never found it helpful to go "How would a woman think?" instead I ask "How would **** think?" - No idea if that makes any of my characters believable but my stuff is pretty out-there anyway.

Re: Women as Written by Men

#48

Brian Wrote:
Commander Wrote: This is actually rather sad...


Humor can be incomprehensible, I get it.
I get it. No sweat. 

However "right" Commander might be in a PC+ world, I regret that humorists are a punching bag when they test those areas that have moved into golden calf territory.


I GET what might offend - but let's be honest, humor wasn't necessarily invented to be kind and respectful. It's that blatant antithesis that is part of what's funny.

I still laugh. Then I ask for forgiveness. :) 

Re: Women as Written by Men

#50

Brian Wrote:
VladThatGuy Wrote: I still laugh. Then I ask for forgiveness. :)

Screw that. Never apologize. If it's funny, its funny. If they cannot see the humor, it's their problem.

Crush your enemies, see zem driven before you, and hear ze lamnentations of ze women!
Mine was as much a joke. No, I never apologize for what I find funny.


It seems a useless purpose, when it was just a joke anyway. MUCH bigger things to find insult in... like war... theft... Corp gouging in crises... That's where MY conscience lights up. NO offense in jokes. They're just jokes. Good, bad, medsa... just jokes! 

So, a pirate's life for me, then!  DrakanWine  

Re: Women as Written by Men

#52
This may come off as mansplaining to some. 

I don't think the issue is so much men can't write a female character or vice versa. I think its that people have trouble writing characters they don't fully understand or try to understand in greater detail. Standard nerds writing "alpha" types, military minds writing generic civilians, random person writing about sociopaths...ect. 

Sometimes we care about how a character is shown. Sometimes we are fighting against a lifetime of viewing an archetype in one perticular way. Sometimes we want those clichés. 

Oh and a lot of times its just fun writing characters like that. 

Re: Women as Written by Men

#53
although i'm a dude and 18, i write/develop my characters according to my needs and not necessarily thinking about categorical stuff like gender or race

for example, i go, "yeah, you're [this] and [this] who happens to be a guy." there's only one time where i consider gender and that's when i'm balancing the men/women split in the main cast (because i obviously don't want it to be lopsided), and i ended up changing the gender of one of the characters

i think some writers put themselves in restricting boxes and the boxes here carried some history, so i try my best to not stuff myself in one and aim to experiment

Re: Women as Written by Men

#54

Brian Wrote: "I am pretty sure those legs had aircraft warn-off lights attached to her garters, sheathed in fishnets that would make tuna jump in the can just to be close. She had the kinda figure that'd make a priest swear off altar boys, and her rack... Man, you'd need a ski lift to get to the top, and you'd die happy on the black diamond.
She had deliciously black hair that looked like it had been poured from the bottom of a 57 chevy and then polished with an Angel's own wings, and eyes that would make a tiger cringe in shame. Her face was soft and heart-shaped, triangular chin dipping into a throat that is better explored than described."
"She was poured into a utilitarian women's suit, her fed badge proving that she liked to spend her weekends teasing the animals in Sing sing with a mannish flirt of a suit inside of which was a delicious-smelling creature that was all woman, and then some.

This is the best thing I’ve ever read in my life, thank you 😂😂😂😂😂😂

The ski lift had me howling

Now that’s a woman 😍😍
I’d like to have her number please 






Re: Women as Written by Men

#55
As a 100% man like SpongeBob, all of my major female characters are absurdly powerful from the getgo. Not only are they mages, they are archmages—the highest rank possible in my world’s setting. So, of course, they’re all extremely competent in their own right.

Two of them are one of my six main characters (Tokino and Yukino). One is based on Asuna, the other is based on Yui. However, my Asuna expy will never be relegated to a damsel in distress in a cage. And my Yui expy (who can still feel emotions) is a genuinely skilled and powerful combatant instead of a tiny pixie who can’t fight even if she wanted to (SAO’s Unital Ring does subvert this, though.)

All in all, I didn’t write these expys just so I can take a dump on Reki Kawahara’s work. It was never my intention. I just felt his characters had so much untapped potential, so I wanted to take my spin on them. For one, my expys have glaring flaws. Tokino has severe anger management issues that she bottles up 24/7. It came from her traumatic/abusive past. Yukino is prone to crying upon seeing death and misery in any scenario due to being a twelve-year-old.

Basically, I’ve never written female characters with overt clichés, but I also wanted to write them as believably human. I never saw anything wrong with writing women as strong. But if they’re not relatable in any way—you can never excuse them as nothing more than bad writing.

Writing Mary Sues/Gary Stus or power fantasies will never be my taste—which is why my Kirito expy got curb stomped by the lead character. My MC is purposely overpowered because he’s no hero by any means (He’s a combat-obsessed blood knight archetype.)

Re: Women as Written by Men

#56

Dusty_Glamour Wrote: When reading those books, I wonder if they've seen any actual women. Or they have the uncanny ability to sexualize literally anyone and look at them through an unrealistic filter.
 

I mean, did you see the recent poopstorm about Aloy from Horizon Forbidden West having a "beard", when it's just perfectly natural peach fuzz?

Re: Women as Written by Men

#57

Ziggy Wrote: And don't get me wrong, I love sexuality and the female form, and even objectification can be fun with the right partner.
I don’t know if I should be proud of my search history for this, but I got just the right shows for you, pal.


First off is “My Dress-Up Darling.” The female character has a knack for cosplaying. It’s her general hobby ever since she had a taste for eroges (just look it up). Beyond that, it’s surprisingly a realistic love story about a reclusive guy and openly playful girl. Romance shenanigans galore.

Next is “Tawawa on Monday.” The titular character expresses her love for her husband via her bazoongas (I’m not kidding). She is a total tease through and through, and it’s honestly cute and funny. The author also loves showing the husband’s sheer awkwardness through the male gaze he can barely control.

Lastly is pretty much just borderline h*n*ai: “Interspecies Reviewers.” A bunch of dudes travel around a fantasy world rating sex workers in brothels. Said workers range from humans, elves, succubi, vampires, zombies, and even skeletons. Oh, and there’s cowgirls. Literally. Their rack is special to put it simply. :)

Re: Women as Written by Men

#58
I didn't read the full story of this thread, i do read some really good arguement about the topic...

I am a cis asian woman and i've face scrutiny writing about following characters:

# Elder man (Vitellus, two of The Three Elders)
# Mid age man (Amiran)
# Young man (Chlorus, Nero, Hephastos)
# Late teenage Boys (Aron, Gabe, Penn, Mateo)
# Transwoman (Sporus, Jayda)
# Almost transmen? Queer? (Matea)
# Late teenage girls (Arete, Agave, Clara)
# Young woman (Pryne)
# Elder Woman (one of The Three Elders)
# Non human/Animals (Aethon the Stallion)

The worst scrutiny I got from another platform was about the transwoman villain I wrote (Sporus). 

what I'm trying to say is... no matter who you are, whatever you do... there's always others who will scrutinise what we do. Even for myself! I too, will scrutinise other aurthors because I too discriminate against adult male author who wrote lolicons. 

It isn't only about male writing unrealistic OP sexy woman. I have met female authors who wrote omegaverse with a male-womb too!

So that's what makes me wanna reply this thread. Hope i didn't make the time bomb ticking. Peace

Re: Women as Written by Men

#60


AshandBlue Wrote: There's an unfortunate history of trans women being portrayed as villains, so I hope it was done with care?




Well, my unfortunate encounter was readers jump into the conclusion too early and assumed villains always depict the worst. The whole villainess trope is quite popular right now, no?