Last Week’s Discussion:
Gender Double Standards
Last week’s discussion was inspired by remarks compiled from prior discussions. While the discussions were focusing mainly on females, the discussioners kept turning the tables back to men and the stereotypes that surround them. So, I brought it to the table: both genders, varying stereotypes in literature. Let’s see what they had to say:
“One thing I will say is that there are these days both dominant and submissive women out there that are equally happy in their roles, as well as the others in between. It’s the same with men, but with writing and stories surely it’s not just about stereotypes, but it’s the story in the writers mind and we both know that as writers we exaggerate everything to make it more interesting?”
J. R. Handley said:
“I just write what feels ‘right’ for the story and hope the readers concur at the end. For me that means more balanced personalities that strike me as how people would react to things. No stereotypical tropes to ruin things. I try to ensure that they’d act as close to what we’d call ‘normal’ as their situation dictates.”
Carla Louise said:
“[…] this kind of made me think a lot about The Hunger Games and the differences between Peta and Gale. […] Peta was never anything but honest, kind and caring. And Katniss perceived him to be weak – she mentions it so many times. However, his honesty, his kindness, his ability to care, his selflessness … he was better than everyone. “
It was indicated by the discussioners that male-stereotypes are just as common as female-stereotypes, but are far more over-looked. Therefore, it’s important to remember to discuss them, as well. Only then will writers notice and make adjustments.
Also, the reason we, the readers, notice these imbalances in personality representation is because they don’t fit the story. They stand out like sore thumbs. In that sense, writers need to not only show more representation, but stop trying so hard to match the stereotype and just write what works for the story. Odds are, it will pay off in the long run. P.s. If it doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not.
Check out this week’s discussion on Thursday at 10am EST:
Loving the Villain