Monday, March 12, 2012

The Author's Gender

"I rarely read books written by men." I ran across this statement yesterday and it got me to thinking.

If a man said, "I rarely read books written by women." We would jump all over his butt for being sexist...

Both of those attitudes are ridiculous and limiting for the same reason: The person is automatically rejecting a book using a criteria, the author's gender, which is irrelevant to the quality of the story. There is no gender difference in being able to write well. People who pass over a book written by one gender or the other are missing out on some great books.

And here's the ironic bit: Unless there is a picture of the author on the cover of the book, you do NOT know the gender of the author. There are men who write under female pseudonyms and women who write under male pseudonyms. It is possible that the person who "rarely reads books written by men" is primarily reading books written by men using a female pseudonym.

It's something to think about.

Now if you're consciously trying to read more books written by women or men because you're reading selection seems to be skewed toward one gender, then carry on. That's a different situation as you're attempting to be more inclusive in your reading choices.

Excluding a book because of the author's gender is just silly.

1 comment:

  1. I ran across a review from a male reader (judging from the login name) on a while back. He slammed a book from a popular Sci Fi author, and evidently, everything he didn't like about the book was down to the author being female. Because, of course, all female writers are clones who approach things like plot and characterization in exactly the same way....

    Honestly, when I run across that attitude, it makes me wonder how the person in question relates to the members of the opposite sex in his or her own life.