Friday, October 10, 2003

I write like...

... a guy. At least according to that Gender Genie thing.

As I mentioned in the comments below (Andrea beat it out of me), my little job on the side is as a theatre critic. So I sent some reviews through the Gender Genie, and it said male. Overwhelmingly, according to the score.

I am kind of pleased about this.

I am kind of disappointed that I'm pleased about it.

I mean, that's a little self-hating, don't you think? To be a female-type person who wants to write like a male? Which, I guess, I do.

Back in the good old days when I actually had time to read a lot of fiction, I developed something of a bias against female authors. This because I'd read a few books in a row that started out as perfectly good genre fiction (mystery, fantasy, whatever) and then all of a sudden took a turn off into a feminist tirade or bodice-ripper. And then when I checked the "About the Author" at the back of the book, I'd found that the author -- who had hidden her gender by the sneaky use of initials -- was, in fact, a woman. Hit a couple of these in a row and you start to develop a bias against women writers. (I have nothing against a perfectly good feminist tirade or bodice ripper, but there's a time and a place, you know?) So, I developed this assumption that women writers were the ones who would mess up otherwise good stories, whereas male writers would just, you know, write them. As a result, I started thinking the male voice was the "normal" one. In other words, there was no such thing as "writing like a guy" -- that was just writing. It was "writing like a girl" that had negative connotation for me.

And since, when I write reviews, I want people to think, "Hey, good review," rather then, "Review from a female perspective," I am somewhat pleased that the Gender Genie does not think my reviews are particularly female.

That's not the whole story, though. I gave the Gender Genie some entries from this journal and, although it was somewhat of a closer call than with the reviews, it decided I write like a female here.

I am also pleased about this. The journal is informal writing. Frequently stream of consciousness stuff. And if it's going to be words that fall directly from my head onto the page, I certainly hope it comes out female, because that's what I actually am.

It says this entry is male. Damn.

3 comments:

andreakingme said...

No worries, treadmill girl. I write like a guy, too, but I kind of knew I did. Ever since a particularly harsh (and deserved) critique of one of my long-winded short stories years ago, I purposefully cultivate CLEAN writing. If I can get the point across in 5 words instead of 10, huzzah!

Writing like a guy is a good thing when you write like you do. Nothing's lost in the translation. Trust me.


sachenoogie said...

Okay, I'm here because my April Fool's baby sent me. Said I'd like it - I DO! You sound and write so much like her that it's uncanny. See, I don't have my own so I live surreptitiously through hers (Unhinged). Yup, that's my kid!

I'm still in the infancy stage of dipping my toes in the internet world. Feel like a newbie; wait, I AM a newbie!

Anyway, your journal is ALMOST as enjoyable as Ghandi's (didn't tell you her nickname was Ghandi, huh? Well, now you've got ammo.....).

nzforme said...

Heh. Thanks for the visit -- and the info. Now, to find a way to make that work for me... bwa ha ha.