The funny thing about being an author in the M/M romance arena you read the oddest things in the genre’s reviews. One of them is: I can tell this was written by a woman…
Now I’ll have to admit, I’ve always found this offensive and for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why. Mostly because I didn’t toss a lot of brain at it but upon reflection and a bit of discussion with other people, I think I’ve narrowed down why it’s offensive.
It’s kind of like the schoolyard taunt of “You throw like a girl.”
See, it’s a double edged sword. One, that being female means you have less ability and two, that you should thus be ashamed of being female because you are so much less.
Now, I’ve never considered myself an activist but apparently there’s a piece of me that is rather offended by the whole “I should be ashamed I have a vagina” thing. Well, that and apparently it does my writing. I’m not even sure how that works and to be honest, if it’s doing the writing, perhaps it can continue to do so in the middle of the night without my help because really, does it need to sleep?
Rather absurd image, isn’t it?
I’m not sure why this phrase is supposed to be offensive and more importantly, what defines “writing like a woman”?
I could spend time condemning people who say this. I could but honestly, I’m not sure I care that much. Do I write like a woman? I write as a woman but I write as a writer. Not with my gender but with my experiences and my brain. I am not less because of my gender. I am not less of a writer because I write in a style someone might or might not care for. I will not be made to feel ashamed because I don’t have exterior genitalia any more than I would ask someone to be ashamed because he doesn’t have interior bits.
Connecting my writing ability to a dick or vagina won’t change how I write or what I write because the person I am is who does the writing.
So yeah, I write like a girl.
And I’m going to own that shit because that single fact doesn’t define me—any more than my sexual orientation, cultural identity or my love of coffee.
Okay, the coffee probably defines me but hey, I’ll own that shit too.