1. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    Can You Tell Between He or She or Both?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Cacian, Nov 24, 2011.

    1) Are you able to tell wether the writer is a woman, a man, or both meaning they feel they have both masculin and feminin traits?
    2) and is it important to be aware who is behind the writing?


    3) if yes , then how can you tell?
     
  2. Slinkywizard
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    Slinkywizard Member

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    There are women who write for women, men who write for men and everything in between. Classically, Mary Shelley's Modern Prometheus (Frankenstein) is hardly chick lit, and I'd say that the prose itself exhibits almost no female traits; if anything, it's asexual.

    More modern examples include PD James, who writes hard-nosed crime fiction and in order not to pigeonhole herself, uses 'PD' in place of Phyllis Dorothy purely because readers expect certain things from female authors. There are many male readers who might be put off her work, for example, if they knew they were reading a novel written by a woman. It's a complex and multi-faceted issue.

    Interesting post.

    Whether or not you can 'tell' is impossible for me to say, since I am in all cases aware of the sex of the author before I so much as brace myself for the first page.
     
  3. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    Interesting things you said Slinky because one thing I was not aware of was that some write specifically for one gender or do both or don't care.
    I personally write for everyone otherwise it would be at task to second guess what I want to conver to my readers so I will classify my work as being ''anyone''.
    I do not believe in separatism when it comes to the intellect.
    I see that themore we read about each other the more we understand each other because whilst we hold back to when it comes to talking about our inner feelings we find much easier to confide our true feelings through writings.

    As to to being prejudice towards who the writer in terms on gender, I have yet to meet a man who tells me that was was the case.
    As far as I am concerned if you are an intellect then you are to read whatever you find interesting regardless of gender,I am afraid to say that there in no point in reading anything.


    You should be able to tell a woman writer, from a man's to both.
    I consider it important just incase a book is being sold under man's name when the original author is actually woman.
    As a woman I find it very easy to spot a woman's work from a man's and of both.
    It is a question of knowing what to look for.
     
  4. Slinkywizard
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    Slinkywizard Member

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    On your first point, that you don't know any man who wouldn't read a book because it's written by a woman, how many men have you surveyed? I ask because there's a lot of research out there to suggest that it's the rule rather than the exception, and in the publishing industry itself, female authors writing for predominantly male markets often consider it wise to use a male pen name.

    As I say, this goes back a long way. George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) so-called herself just in order to be taken seriously. Of course, that was back in the 1800s but it still remains a common prejudice even today.

    On your second, there are thousands of books out there written by women in styles specifically tailored to sound like a male author and vice versa. If you can still tell, then your powers are far greater than mine ;)
     
  5. Kube
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    Kube Member

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    Let's be fair, it works both ways. I happen to know that many romance writers are men, however you almost never see a man's name on a romance book because women just won't buy a romance written by a man. Personally, I don't see what an author's sex matters but I guess that's just me.
     
  6. Slinkywizard
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    Slinkywizard Member

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    Which is why I said 'and vice versa' ;)

    And you're right, it doesn't matter. All that matters is that the story turns out in the style they intended.
     
  7. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would definitely buy a romance novel written by a man! Or at least read a couple of chapters to see what it is really like. it would be interesting to see a male pov on it, actually. I've got a feeling men can write good romance too. can you suggest me one male romance writer, if there are any? Nicholas Sparks? is he a romance writer? I just vagely remember someone talking about this guy but I've yet to read something from him.
     
  8. Slinkywizard
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    Can't help you there, I don't read romance myself. But yeah, probably would be interesting to give it a go sometime. If you find any, let me know.
     
  9. Kube
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    Kube Member

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    Writing as a man? I'm not sure if there are any. I can't even tell you which female romance writers are actually men writing under female pseudonyms. I do however, have friends in the publishing industry who tell me that it's a fairly common practice and you'd probably be surprised at some of them. I couldn't get them to give me any more details though. :mad:
     
  10. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    This just isn't true. Ideally, your gender shouldn't show through and only the character you're portraying should. For instance, I read a story about a young girl that had been raped. It made me cry, it was beautifully written in a way that I would never have guessed that it hadn't been written by a female, a female who knew - first hand - exactly what she was talking about. It didn't even matter that I KNEW it had been written by a man, it was so dead-on perfect that I completely forgot about him and sank into that girl's story. I've read other things by him that are entirely masculine, from a male POV and would assume (if I didn't know) that they were written by a man (which of course they are), but it doesn't change the fact that being a competent writer should make you disappear.
     
  11. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    Well I have lived as far as I can remember and I am surrounded by intellects whose lives is a book, and I have yet to say that they won't read a book because it is of a woman.
    Maybe because I never crossed my mind.
    On the other hand it deos suprise that women like George Elliot and any other writers who think it is OK to pretend to be something else they are not.
    I think of the Sufragettes whose drive was to have a say in politics, were driven to almost starving themselves .
    And yet we have women writers who carry on disguising themselves under a masculin pseudonym( J.K.Rowling is one)a nd quite happily deceive their readers and comply, no questions asked, to some dated sexist unfounded attitude.
    Frankly, to me it does not say much about an intellect who claim to write books and is quite happy to hide behind a mask, a pretense.
    I simply do not think it is fair to lie to your audience about who you are.
    It is important any writer regardless of their individuality, should stand their ground and fight for their identity.
    I don't see how youcould be truthfull through your writing if you are to deny yourself your real self.
    What is a sensible mature person is supposed to do or think about these lies?
    That they are white?
    or maybe is it an oestridge hinding their heads under the sand?
    It is my opinion to think that readers should be treated better then this if we are believe what is given to us to read.
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i have to ditto slinky's first post... it's what i would have written had it not been done for me [thanks, s!]
     
  13. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    Isn't time that writers and publishers alike are to face up to this sexist attitute and delve into changing people's mentality into thinking that a writer more then just a face?
    It is demoralising to think that we live in this millenia and we are still behind with these dated attitude?
    I thought reading and writing was down to :
    is it a good a story and is it worth readind and not is this a woman's or a man's?
     
  14. joanna
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    joanna Active Member

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    "Well I have lived as far as I can remember and I am surrounded by intellects whose lives is a book, and I have yet to say that they won't read a book because it is of a woman."

    Interesting way of putting it.

    "I simply do not think it is fair to lie to your audience about who you are."

    Some writers want to leave their readers unbiased so that their work can be viewed objectively, on its own merit.
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    and simply using initials instead of an overtly feminine name is not 'lying'!
     
  16. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    Ok well in that case don't both putting any name on.
    Putting a name that is not yours or as a cover up is deception.
     
  17. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yep. And for privacy's sake, no doubt I'll use a name that is not my own, and more than likely use initials as well. Because frankly, I give readers my words - my life remains mine.
     
  18. FoxPaw
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    Gah. I accidentally erased my initial response to this thread. Oh well, to sum up:
    I don't usually care what gender person is writing the story. If I like it, then I like it. The author's name, pen name or not, would then be used to find other titles by the author to see if they interest me. Honestly speaking, sometimes I don't even look at the author at all, I just look at the back blurb to see if the plot interests me.

    Perhaps they want to use different pen names for different audiences/topics of books. Maybe they've written something controversial and don't want it to be associated with their original pen name, or real name. Etc. There are many reasons why people would make pen names.
     
  19. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Shouldn't you maybe live it before you start preaching about it? You put work up all over here, in the review room, scattered throughout threads, and I somehow find it hard to believe that Cacian is your real name, and it certainly isn't your full name. Bit hypocritical, don't you think? Since we're reading your work, we are at this point 'your readers', and are being lied to about your identity....
     
  20. Morgan
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    I was about to say the same thing, and would add that Cacian is a non-gender specific name so we can't even tell your gender by it.

    Incidentally, Morgan isn't gender specific and isn't my real name.
     
  21. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    And I should add, Trish IS my real name, that really IS me in my avatar, and I think my name is gender specific, but just in case... I'm female.
     
  22. joanna
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    joanna Active Member

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    If everyone who didn't want their full name on their work were published as "Anonymous," we would not be able to distinguish our favorite anonymous author from all the other anonymous authors.
     
  23. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    Good point.
    But I cannot help but think, and of course you are entitled to think differenty, that selling a book under a pseudonym is maybe ok for some, but to tell a reader that the writer is man when when they are a woman is lying.
    Deception is not acceptable in normal life so why carry it on in books?
    This only reinforces prejudice against a certain gender which I think is dated and sexist.
    I believe books and reading is for enjoymeny as well changing mentalities and improving the intellect.
    I maybe wrong here but this is how I truly see it.:)
     
  24. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    Cacian is a feminin name because ends with an IAN.
    Think of Marian as opposed to Mario.
    You see in the registration form it did not ask me my gender neither does it appear at the front of my avatar.
    Morgan I would assume it is a brand Name for a clothe shop I know called Morgan de Moi which I have always thought, going with the shop, that it may be a man's name.
     
  25. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Scene: Doctor's office

    -What seems to be the problem Mr Davies?

    -Well, frankly I'm struggling with gender issues.

    -Gender issues?

    -Yes. While I possess a penis, lack that anatomical apparatus that might bring forth a child and am, altogether, rather comfortable in my skin , my name, you see, is Brian.

    - Oh. A tricky problem indeed...

    I joke, yet, I think we might agree that 'Brian', 'Maximillian' and 'Adrian' might be regarded as exceptions that prove the rule, but there comes a tipping-point when those exceptions become so numerous that the rule is subverted rather than solidified...

    And I think that point is the name 'Ian'.

    But here's the thing: does Ian begin or end with Ian. If the latter, then this law collapses; if the former, then it may stand.
     

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