1. Published on Amazon? If you have a book, e-book, or audiobook available on Amazon.com, we'll promote it on WritingForums.org for free. Simply add your book to our Member Publications section. Add your book here or read the full announcement.
    Dismiss Notice
  1. Ryan Elder

    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2015
    Messages:
    1,629
    Likes Received:
    82

    Does this come off as a bit genderist if worded this way?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Ryan Elder, Jan 3, 2017.

    For the dialogue in my story, the villains think that they are being spied on, with their computers hacked.

    They know someone is doing it, but they do not know who. So when the villains talk about this mystery stalker, and what to do about that person, should they refer to the stalker as him, her, or them? The person after them, is a he, but not sure what they should refer to him as, since they do not know. What do you think?
     
  2. Foxxx

    Foxxx The Debonair Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2016
    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    131
    Location:
    Michigan
    I would use he.

    But I don't give a shit about being politically correct. So.
     
    Elven Candy and jjwiggin like this.
  3. jjwiggin

    jjwiggin Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2017
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    63
    Location:
    Does it matter?
    I second the motion - being worried about what other people would think can be death sentence to a story.
     
  4. idle

    idle Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2012
    Messages:
    337
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    one of the hearts of Europe
    Are the villains worried about what other people would think? Probably not. It's their thoughts. If they are expecting the person to be a man, its their stereotype, not yours.
     
    jjwiggin and Shadowfax like this.
  5. jjwiggin

    jjwiggin Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2017
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    63
    Location:
    Does it matter?
    Yep! Another good point. You are writing a story - of a fictitious character. Whatever their POV is, is not yours.
     
    jannert likes this.
  6. jannert

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    8,157
    Likes Received:
    7,693
    Location:
    Scotland
    @Ryan Elder - this. It's your characters having a conversation, so put yourself in their shoes. What would YOU say, if you were them?

    Plus, if the 'villains' assume the wrong gender, you can work in their shock when they discover how wrong they've been? This might be a plot point, along the lines of the leader of the Nazgul, in the LoTR trilogy's final battle, boasting, "No man can kill me." Only to discover that the soldier trying to kill him—Eowyn—is actually a woman in disguise. Uh-OH.
     
    KaTrian likes this.
  7. 221BOlympusExpress

    221BOlympusExpress Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    29
    Location:
    In front of the computer, atm.
    I would say use 'he', most people refer to God with 'He', it doesn't make them genderist. 'He' is a pronoun used generally, so it wouldn't be that much of a deal. Also, if you used 'them', it wouldn't make a good sentence, because come on, nobody gives a shit about grammer mostly and if your VILLAINS did, it would sound odd and break the flow of the sentence.
     
  8. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Contributed Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2015
    Messages:
    1,597
    Likes Received:
    1,488
    Location:
    The Hopton Stoddard Home
    Wait.

    Just wait a second.

    Are you actually worried that your

    1) physically unattractive

    2) autistic

    3) schizophrenic

    4) blood-in LARPing

    SERIAL RAPISTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    will offend your audience by being androcentric?

    Seriously, what planet are you from?
     
    Foxxx likes this.

Share This Page