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  1. #31
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    Default Re: My Male Chauvinistic writing style

    I try to be egalitarian with writing. I have both male and female protagonists, though they are more likely to be male. Villains are equally likely to be male or female. My female villains are usually a lot more powerful and dangerous than my male villains, since I tend to find female villains underappreciated.

    The funny thing is, my male protagonists tend to be shy and sensitive, while my female protagonists tend to be the brave, strong-willed ones. Read my fanfic Pokemon X and Y: Dawn of a New Era - Calem is the quiet and reserved one while Serena is the more competitive one. Also, Serena usually manages to defeat Calem. Even though Calem gets slightly more focus out of battle, Serena gets more focus in battle.

    In all of my works, the sensitive guy gets the girl, whereas the macho meathead never does. It's to make a point about people valuing machismo over character in men and how that idea is wrong. I also tend to make female protagonists more abrasive, though usually it's to their advantage, since I'd rather have a female protagonist with flaws than a goody two-shoes.

    Many people accuse fairy tales of being male chauvinistic works, but there are plenty of exceptions. Madame d'Aulnoy, the inventor of the term fairy tale, wrote many stories with active female leads. In fact, her passive, submissive female leads, such as Toutebelle in The Yellow Dwarf and Merveilleuse in The Ram, generally do not get happy endings (Toutebelle ends up dead, and Merveilleuse ends up with a broken heart), while her more active female leads, such as Belle-Belle, Princess Mayblossom, Florine in The Blue Bird, and Aimee in The Bee and the Orange Tree, always get happy endings. There are a few exceptions, like Graciosa in Graciosa and Percinet and Desiree in The White Doe, who aren't that active but do get happy endings. (Then again, Desiree couldn't be active for her first fifteen years as to protect her from the curse that was bestowed upon her.) But overall, d'Aulnoy's works avert the "Vasquez always dies" trope that plagues media. Belle-Belle even disguises herself as a man and gets to marry the king who she fell in love with!

    Merveilleuse is actually the name of one of my villains for a planned fanfic. She is probably the worst villain I created for any fanfic in terms of how evil she is. She is an evil team leader who runs it like a royal court - and a cult. She also makes a serious attempt on Calem and Serena's lives (though she fails and the two are spared). She's the head of an evil team - she's got seven daughters to help her, all named after various d'Aulnoy princesses - Toutebelle, Florine, Aimee, Desiree, Fortunee, Rosette, and Belle-Etoile (and each one wields an Eeveelution). I might talk about that more later.
    Last edited by Baby Seals; 2nd May 2014 at 08:56 PM.

  2. #32

    Default Re: My Male Chauvinistic writing style

    I get what you're saying. It's great that you want to make more of an effort to write tridimensional women and not just props. My advice is to use the skills you already have in writing male characters as a starting point. Let me elaborate.

    When you write a male character, you just give them a personality. You write about them enjoying things, hating other things, having their strengths and weaknesses. That's much the same for any other type of character, they're people with their own personalities. Give your characters a fleshed out personality and you'll already have a character that feels more realistic and tridimensional, no matter what their gender may be.

    On the other hand, when you write a male character you also take into account all the ways in which they're different from you and how that can affect the way they look at the world. You probably don't have a pet Gyarados, but you could write about a boy who has a pet Gyarados, right? You'd do some research on what a Gyarados is like, you imagine what you'd feel like in their shoes, and you take into account how their personality may affect their outlook. You could think a pet Gyarados would be great but if you're writing a story about a boy who is afraid of the Gyarados, who spent a lot of time working hard to train a Magikarp, or who is very incompetent and can't control his Pokémon, you would take those things into account when writing about your character interacting with their pet Pokémon. What does this have to do with writing about women? Well, it's a good idea to also think about the way your character's experiences may be different from yours and take that into account when writing. If sexism exists in the universe the story is set in and your character is affected by it, then that may affect some of their outlook on the world. Do some research about the subject, read about the many different ways in which it can affect people, and then write accordingly. If your character has experienced emotional trauma as a result of it, for example, that's something you should take into account when writing your story.

    This applies to all kinds of characters who may be different from you, whether that's because of their gender, or their sexual orientation, religion, race, factors like that. In short, take into account all the ways in which that character is a human being and a character like any other, but also take into account how those factors may have affected their past experiences or opinions.

    Please note that when I talk about fleshing out a character, this obviously depends on their role in a story. If it's your main character, it only makes sense for their personality to be very developed and for this to be shown to the reader. If it's the equivalent of a Pokémon NPC who tells your main character a couple of things and then goes away, then you can subtly hint at their personality but it's not as important to tell the reader their entire life story and personality.

    Another thing that may be of use to you is the amount of discussion on common tropes in storytelling. There are plenty of scholarly articles and books on the subject, though if you don't have access to them or if it's too complex, there are also many discussions online. There are blogs that discuss this sort of thing, TVTropes, and so on. Even if you don't think that a trope is prejudiced, sometimes reading about it explains how it can be and can make you more aware of how to avoid it or how to subvert it and make it better and more interesting. Even if you disagree with a discussion, try to understand where the other person is coming from (especially if they have experience with the issues being discussed) before forming your own conclusions. Sometimes seeing things from the perspective of others can broaden your understanding. Don't be afraid to politely ask questions but do your homework too.

  3. #33
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    Default Re: My Male Chauvinistic writing style

    The best thing to do if you want to create stronger female characters is to read existing books that have strong female characters, either as the main character (such as Katniss from The Hunger Games) or an important supporting character (such as Eowyn from Lord of the Rings). If you're not a book person, watch movies with strong female characters or play a video game with a female protagonist. If the strong female character is a warrior, a woman of high status, or both, mythology and history are good sources too. Try to analyze what qualities make them strong and how you can apply them to your works.

    I actually got the idea of a predominantly female villainous team from the fact that women seem to be a minority on most villainous teams, and one where men are the minority might pose a challenge. Unlike many female-led teams in fiction, this team doesn't have pink or purple among its team colors - their colors are actually black and lime green (the same colors as Zygarde). Fortunee wears a pink and purple gown, but her sisters wear other colors (Toutebelle wears yellow and light orange, Florine wears light blue and indigo, Aimee wears orange and dark green, Desiree wears white and light green, Rosette wears red and gold, and Belle-Etoile wears black and silver. Some of these colors will make perfect sense when you read the fairy tales the names come from). The best thing is to not automatically use pink to mean female. Some girls hate pink, and some guys like pink. On a team with three girls, it would be more likely for only one girl to be in pink than all three of them. (For example, Shauna wears pink, while Serena's default outfit is red and black.) It's actually more original to use pink on a bad female character than a good one. That's why Dolores Umbridge's outfit is so memorable - it's not that common to see a female villain clad entirely in pink, especially not a Complete Monster like her. Also try to remember that the "pink is for girls" trope is fairly recent. Pink has only been considered feminine since the 1940s. Prior to the 20th century pink did not have any gender associations.

    Also, it's excellent to give female Trainers non-cute Pokemon or Pokemon not perceived as stereotypically feminine (i.e. something you'd associate with a female Trainer rather than a male Trainer). This will make your fanfics more female-friendly. Too often in canon and in fanfics I see girl Trainers using mainly cute Pokemon (i.e. Clefairy, Marill, Minccino) or stereotypically "feminine" Pokemon (i.e. Gardevoir, Ninetales, female-only Pokemon, Fairy-type Pokemon). The ones who don't tend to be villains. I often invert it - in my fanfics, Hilbert owns a Mandibuzz (female-only), while Hilda owns a Braviary (male-only). On the flipside, a guy owning cutesy or "feminine" Pokemon doesn't make him less of a badass. Cutesy material generally has more appeal to little girls and extremely girly girls. While some girly girls do play video games, there's also a lot that don't (since video games are seen as stereotypically male despite there being plenty of female gamers).

    Another good tip is to avoid the Smurfette principle as much as you can. Some settings - especially military settings - make it kind of hard to avoid, but try the best you can. It's okay to write a work without female characters occasionally - I've done it before, and it's definitely forgivable in a story with only a handful of characters. But try to include female characters in stories with larger casts. In most journey fics, you'll have no choice, since every region has at least three female Gym Leaders and at least one female Elite Four member, plus the nurses at the Pokemon Centers are female. Also try to remember that in this day and age non-traditional gender roles are okay. Most Pokemon fanfics take place in the present, so it shouldn't be an issue.
    Last edited by Baby Seals; 3rd May 2014 at 09:18 AM.

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    Default Re: My Male Chauvinistic writing style

    Quote Originally Posted by Toutebelle View Post
    I actually got the idea of a predominantly female villainous team from the fact that women seem to be a minority on most villainous teams, and one where men are the minority might pose a challenge. Unlike many female-led teams in fiction, this team doesn't have pink or purple among its team colors - their colors are actually black and lime green (the same colors as Zygarde). Fortunee wears a pink and purple gown, but her sisters wear other colors (Toutebelle wears yellow and light orange, Florine wears light blue and indigo, Aimee wears orange and dark green, Desiree wears white and light green, Rosette wears red and gold, and Belle-Etoile wears black and silver. Some of these colors will make perfect sense when you read the fairy tales the names come from). The best thing is to not automatically use pink to mean female. Some girls hate pink, and some guys like pink. On a team with three girls, it would be more likely for only one girl to be in pink than all three of them. (For example, Shauna wears pink, while Serena's default outfit is red and black.) It's actually more original to use pink on a bad female character than a good one. That's why Dolores Umbridge's outfit is so memorable - it's not that common to see a female villain clad entirely in pink, especially not a Complete Monster like her. Also try to remember that the "pink is for girls" trope is fairly recent. Pink has only been considered feminine since the 1940s. Prior to the 20th century pink did not have any gender associations.
    To add to this, my go-to villain tends to be Icira Witherflame, whose current Pokéverse incarnation leads an organization bent on starting the world anew with a human-Pokémon hybrid race. Currently, seven other female members besides herself are named (Captains Pamella Tumlin and Esther Cotton, Generals Sarah Jackson, Natasha Selwyn, Jackie Dafoe and Maya Perkins, Commander Eliza DiMaggio), and of those, only one (General Jackson) is known to wear pink or purple, and only because it is associated with the Psychic-type, in which she specializes.

    On the heroes' side, only one of my main four girls is known to wear pink, and then only as part of her band uniform. At this time, I have only designed one other outfit for her, and it is all-black.

    It may be worth noting that only one of my female characters (Commander DiMaggio) has ever been depicted wearing a skirt or dress. All the rest of them wear full-length pants (except Icira, who usually wears a full-body leather jumpsuit).

    Quote Originally Posted by Toutebelle View Post
    Also, it's excellent to give female Trainers non-cute Pokemon or Pokemon not perceived as stereotypically feminine (i.e. something you'd associate with a female Trainer rather than a male Trainer). This will make your fanfics more female-friendly. Too often in canon and in fanfics I see girl Trainers using mainly cute Pokemon (i.e. Clefairy, Marill, Minccino) or stereotypically "feminine" Pokemon (i.e. Gardevoir, Ninetales, female-only Pokemon, Fairy-type Pokemon). The ones who don't tend to be villains. I often invert it - in my fanfics, Hilbert owns a Mandibuzz (female-only), while Hilda owns a Braviary (male-only). On the flipside, a guy owning cutesy or "feminine" Pokemon doesn't make him less of a badass. Cutesy material generally has more appeal to little girls and extremely girly girls. While some girly girls do play video games, there's also a lot that don't (since video games are seen as stereotypically male despite there being plenty of female gamers).
    In my case, I have a number of zig-zagging female examples:

    • Aversion: Joanie Aimes's starter Pokémon was Grimer, probably the least feminine thing imaginable. At the time, she was living with a friend in New York and witnessed the mischievous blob entering through the plumbing. As this was prior to her officially obtaining her trainer license, she caught it with a Poké Ball belonging to said friend's cousin. Later, she also obtained a trash-talking Bellsprout from a flower shop. She tends to be depicted these days as having also acquired a Ponyta (slightly feminine, perhaps) and a Poochyena, and more often than not, her team is presented fully-evolved with Muk, Victreebel, Rapidash (which she does ride) and Mightyena.
    • Cutesy and Fairy-types: Collie Calloway did start with a cutesy Pokémon, Mime Jr., which she claims she bought in a toy store after mistaking it for a plush doll, and is often depicted as having added Frillish, Torchic, Mareep and Mawile since then. However, she is also often shown as having caught a Slakoth, and her full team tends to be shown as almost fully-evolved with Mr. Mime, Jellicent, Blaziken, Mawile, and Ampharos—the Slakoth only makes it to the Vigoroth stage. Collie chooses not to evolve it further because she would quickly get frustrated with Slaking's laziness.
    • Aversion: Annie Jameson isn't usually depicted as much of a trainer, but the two Pokémon she does have are a Porygon-Z (her starter, downloaded from the Internet) and a Sharpedo. She uses the former mainly as an all-purpose analyzer/Pokédex and hacking kit, while the latter is her main "battling" Pokémon.
    • Aversion: Bella Austin's first Pokémon was Magnemite, which she caught near Mt. Coronet on her way to college. She is often shown to have fully evolved it into a Magnezone since then, the rest of her party consisting of Probopass, Charizard, Absol, Starmie and Abomasnow.
    • Aversion: Icira Witherflame is not generally depicted as a trainer, but as a Burst Warrior. Her fused form is Ditto, allowing her to assume any human appearance from memory or imagination, and any other form she can see standing in front of her. When she is shown with a proper Pokémon team, it consists of Mightyena, Lucario, Arcanine, Machamp, Mr. Mime and Tyranitar.
    • Female-only Pokémon: Like Icira, Eliza DiMaggio is not depicted as a trainer, but a Burst Warrior. Her fused form is Froslass, giving her an appearance and powers similar to Hans Christian Andersen's Snow Queen (no, not Elsa).
    • Aversion (possibly cutesy depending on how you feel about Dragonite): Maya Perkins specializes in Dragon-type Pokémon; I have not yet identified any individual species, but I would imagine some scary-looking critters are in that lineup.
    • Uncertain, probably Aversion: Esther Cotton specializes in Ice-type Pokémon, though I have yet to decide on individual species.
    • Aversion: Sarah Jackson specializes in Psychic-type Pokémon, her signature party member probably being Beheeyem.
    • Aversion: Natasha Selwyn is fond of Poison-type Pokémon, especially creepy ones like Ariados and Seviper.
    • Aversion: Jackie Dafoe is a Fighting-type specialist and a professional kickboxer. It is likely she prefers the Hitmon family over most anything else.
    • "Feminine" Pokémon: Pamella Tumlin's one known Pokémon is Gothitelle, but mainly to serve as a counterpart to her partner Dash McCoil's Bisharp. Her actual preferences are unknown at this time.


    And as for examples of men using stereotypically "feminine" Pokémon:
    • I have very few fleshed-out male characters to begin with, but stern and stoic Wilkinson Xalrons, Jr. is noted to be a Fairy-type specialist, his team usually consisting of Wigglytuff, Azumarill, Gardevoir, Mawile, Dedenne and Sylveon. In truly dangerous situations, however, he has been known to physically wield a Honedge or Doublade like a real weapon.

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    Default Re: My Male Chauvinistic writing style

    The villainous team I created, Team Belle-Terre, has Merveilleuse and her daughters wearing gowns because their clothing is evocative of French fairy tales. Women in those days wore dresses. Most of the female Team Belle-Terre members wear gowns. The female guards dress like the men, though. (Male members of the team wear long shirts and tights.) However, Team Belle-Terre is a very strong team. (You might have seen me mention Zygarde. That's their goal - to capture Zygarde.) While Merveilleuse herself hasn't worn pants in many years, her daughters will wear pants when they are alone. It's highly impractical to be dressed like a princess all the time - plus those gowns cost a ton of money and need to be washed carefully. People only think that royals wear nice clothing all the time because they see it in portraits of royals of long ago and public appearances by royals of today. This is a great guide for upper-class characters, both good and evil: Tips To Write Better Royalty, Nobility, & Other Upper-Class & Important Characters - Springhole.net

    The colors the sisters wear do not symbolize their Eeveelutions. Fortunee wears pink, but she actually wields Glaceon, which is blue. The only ones whose colors somewhat go with their Eeveelutions are Aimee (Flareon), Desiree (Leafeon), and Belle-Etoile (Umbreon). All of them also have at least one menacing Pokemon on their team.

    I have given lots of male Trainers feminine Pokemon. An upcoming fanfic of mine reveals what Pokemon Curtis caught for his younger brother. I gave him a female Jellicent - definitely super-girly! I also gave Calem an Aromatisse and a Vileplume (though Shauna later gets Bellossom, which is girlier than Vileplume).
    Last edited by Baby Seals; 3rd May 2014 at 05:15 PM.

  6. #36
    Legendary Pokemon クリスタル's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Male Chauvinistic writing style

    After I had read the conversation going up in the 3rd page of this thread, I would like to voice out my opinion on this matter about reverting the femininity and masculinity.

    Making a woman to look/act/think like a man by giving her the generic masculine traits, or making a man to look/act/think like a woman by giving him the generic feminine traits, IMO it is a different kind of sexism.

    I kind of agree the conversation between @Niji and @GastlyGibus on the 2rd page, where men and women are different to certain extent. If it doesn't influence the brain of one person, then still it makes a difference in how the community and surrounding people treating that person. Therefore one should not ignore such gender difference fact when one wants to create a character, but at the same time don't let the stereotypical sexist opinions influence too much on how this character will turn out.
    In another words, when creating a character, first dump away all the thinking of "woman/man should act like this and that". Just think of the situations of your story, what kind of character(s) do you need in your story, what qualities and personality do you need for that character(s)? What is the role of that character(s), and what will he/she achieve in your overall story? What is the background history of that character? What social situation is he/she in? One doesn't need any sexist opinions in order to answer these questions.
    Once you had answered these questions, you can then really started to "construct" your character, by considering which of the gender will suit the situation better, what mentality will he/she has, other minor personalities, skills and other unimportant characteristics and traits if you will like to add.


    All those stereotypic sexist opinions of "pink is for girls", "blue is for boys", "women like cute and beautiful stuffs", "men like the cool machines", "men always get the job position of higher place", "women is generally at the supporting position", "the boss of a group is always the man", etc et cetera. They are a list of gender-specific traits created by the societies, where I do agree these traits does somehow influence even by a bit on us on how we are going to create characters of one gender.
    But is it such a big problem of creating female characters with such common feminine traits, or male characters with such common masculine traits? Woman can be girlish, but yet more competent than man. Man can be super-manly, but yet weaker than the woman.
    On the other side, one can create a woman without the stereotypical feminine traits, and man without the stereotypical masculine traits, so more to being androgynous. But one thing need to be careful is that on the extreme side, a woman with too much masculine traits, and man with too much feminine traits, may contain suspicion of being sexual perversion or transsexualism.

    Don't create a women with large amount of stereotypical masculine features where it makes her that look/act/think like a man, or a man with stereotypical feminine features where it makes him that look/act/think like a woman, just for the sake of making your character look less sexist. Make your character as such if your story situation truly requires such masculine woman or feminine male, where the situation is impossible for a normal masculine man or feminine woman. If you do want to have a woman for a position that is generally suitable for man, then make that woman competent, without sacrificing the inborn femininity of that character.


    Say for example, in my current fic, I want to have a caring person to act as a healer of the main group, where such character must have at least one Pokemon that is able to use healing moves. Such role IMO is better using a girl rather than a boy, so I made a female breeder with a Chansey. Then when I consider her mentality from what she has now, because she is a breeder (not a trainer) with a Pokemon that is basically not suitable for battling purpose, so it ended up that she is quite immature in battling at the beginning, so whenever she confronts any sort of danger, unfortunately she is a damsel in distress that requires help from others. But as the story progress, she will become more competent in battling, because she is also an industrious person that doesn't like to trouble others for every time she is in danger. Though, battling is really not her job, so there will not be too much battles for her.
    BTW, the Pokemon she eventually will have for battling purpose is a male Snivy (evolve to Serperior in the future), a female Swablu (evolve to Altaria in the future), and a male Lopunny (specifically male for this). I choose such Pokemon for her because those suits her caring and gentle natures. It will seems too much out of place if she possesses the aggressive Pokemon such as Gyarados, or Haxorus despite that it is said to be friendly. I can't imagine the scenes that she go to catch such Pokemon even it is their pre-evolutions. Possessing such highly combative Pokemon will just make her seems OOC, afterall her role is healer, not battler.

    Originally, I could also go with the route of having a caring big-brother Pokemon doctor character similar to Brock, but I don't think that will make the group dynamic more interesting than a female nurse character, since I already have such big-brother character for other roles as well. Making her tomboyish is also not a very good choice, because a wild and boisterous girl is not very suitable for the role of healer. So it is not my intention that the healer role ended up being a girlish maiden, but it is just that IMO the outcome will be the best with a character like that.

    I want someone to see my point here is that I choose my characters for my story as such because I think that is the best for the situation, not that because I'm sexist or anything. When the role can be fulfill for several different character types, I will always choose the more interesting options, because I want my story to be interesting.

    Don't let those sexist opinions define your character. Let your story define your character.
    Last edited by クリスタル; 4th May 2014 at 12:33 PM.
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    Default Re: My Male Chauvinistic writing style

    @クリスタル; I assure you, almost all of the examples I listed above have detailed reasons for their personalities, choice of attire and preferred Pokémon, among other things. Those that don't simply don't appear long enough to warrant lengthy explanations.

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    Default Re: My Male Chauvinistic writing style

    Quote Originally Posted by Glitchipedia View Post
    @クリスタル; I assure you, almost all of the examples I listed above have detailed reasons for their personalities, choice of attire and preferred Pokémon, among other things. Those that don't simply don't appear long enough to warrant lengthy explanations.
    My previous post was not intended to directed to anyone, but to the general issue of counteracting sexism.


    On another forums I saw, there was one author talked about the female character that she created is being stereotypically too girlish where she is emotionally too attached to her boyfriend such that she can't live without her boyfriend; and where the male character is being stereotypically too masculine such that he is overmastering most of the females, and all the female character is always weaker than the males. The author was criticized and started to afraid of the word of "androcentrism" or "male chauvinism".

    So on a different new fic that author wrote after receiving such criticism, she ending up doing the complete opposite: Making the female protagonist super-powerful, and the male character that follows the protagonist to be like a servant that follows her without any complaint.
    I didn't reply anything further about that new fic of her, because there was another reader that criticized her in better word than me. Yeah, she was still criticize for her sexist writings.


    What I wanted to say is, don't counteract the sexist issue by just making female character look/act/think like man or male character look/act/think like woman. Don't just tried to make your female character contains male traits or male character contains female traits for such reasons like "that will make the fic sound less sexist", "that will make the fic more female-friendly", "that will make the character more gender-neutral", etc.

    The sexist issue in writing is not something to be counteract or counterbalance, but author must just learn to ignore it. What I meant by ignoring, is not that author disregards the facts of difference exists between two genders. It is just that author need to learn to think the story in an androgynous manner.
    The androgynous mind is not really that difficult, it just means trying to think about your story from the circumstantial POV; looking at things from a non-sexual viewpoint; create a character that suits the situation, don't create a character for the mere sake of interacting with another character; try to depict the actions/reactions of the characters from their personalities and background history, without considering the gender; develop the story using the situational logic; etc.


    Some of the questions in the S.A.G.E. Test might give ones an idea of how to achieve androgynous thinking. Such as when one is forced to do labours that is consider socially feminine/masculine works, what is the first thing pops up in your mind?

    BTW, just a little aside. I had tried that test and the BBC - Science & Nature - Sex ID before. I scored to have a completely sexual neutral androgynous mentality. Not little bit towards feminine, nor little bit towards masculine, just exactly right in the middle.
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    Default Re: My Male Chauvinistic writing style

    I think the problems that have been discussed on this page could more or less be solved by thinking about gender more through observation of the real world than through stereotypes and tropes. There are highly masculine men in the real world as well as highly feminine women. And vice-versa. But "feminine" and "masculine" should not be defining a character any more than "competitive" or "passive" would. Personalities are inherently complex and change based on situations, time, and the society around them. If "[Adjective] man/woman" is all that is needed to get a good idea of a character's personality, you have a flat character. It just so happens that when the adjective deals with gender you invite unfortunate and potentially offensive implications.


    And I took the BBC Sex ID test and got 50 fem. It was glorious.

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    Default Re: My Male Chauvinistic writing style

    Quote Originally Posted by Rediamond View Post
    I think the problems that have been discussed on this page could more or less be solved by thinking about gender more through observation of the real world than through stereotypes and tropes. There are highly masculine men in the real world as well as highly feminine women. And vice-versa. But "feminine" and "masculine" should not be defining a character any more than "competitive" or "passive" would. Personalities are inherently complex and change based on situations, time, and the society around them. If "[Adjective] man/woman" is all that is needed to get a good idea of a character's personality, you have a flat character. It just so happens that when the adjective deals with gender you invite unfortunate and potentially offensive implications.
    Yeah, characters are complicated just as normal human being. Gender is just one of the many features to define a character.

    Thats why to develop a three-dimensional complex character, you need to consider not only the gender, but also the personalities (note the plural in here), skills, interests, the mentality and intelligence, experiences, social background, past history, likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, the relationships between other characters, etc.
    And also, think about how the general civilians in the society of your fic reacts to the general female or male. That may also influence your choice of gender for your character.
    "人には知らない世界はそこに存在する、そして人には知らない冒険はそこ に始まってる"
    Chapter 1: 謎の世界の生き物、闘うトレーナーたち
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  11. #41
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    Default Re: My Male Chauvinistic writing style

    Quote Originally Posted by Glitchipedia View Post
    @クリスタル; I assure you, almost all of the examples I listed above have detailed reasons for their personalities, choice of attire and preferred Pokémon, among other things. Those that don't simply don't appear long enough to warrant lengthy explanations.
    Same here. But in my case, I just do what comes to find. For example, if I picture one of my characters using a Charizard, that's what I give them. If I picture a character wearing a tutu, then I'll put them in one. I also think Pokemon has nothing to do with personality. A short, quiet girl could easily be a Dark-type Trainer. A person who likes computer technology could easy be a Rock-type Trainer. I know the games and anime tend to make it thematic (i.e. Ice-type Trainers tending to live in cold climates), though my stories just as often avert it. My character Fortunee is an Ice-type specialist and she lives on a large island with a tropical climate where snow is only found at high altitudes. She generally only goes to the mountains to add more Ice-type Pokemon to her collection.

    I think fanfic writers should create what they're comfortable with. You can ask for advice, and you can definitely use others' suggestions, but ultimately it is your decision on how to create your characters.

  12. #42

    Default Re: My Male Chauvinistic writing style

    @クリスタル, I agree with your general line of thinking but there's also plenty in your posts here that I disagree with.

    Most of all, I completely disagree with this:

    Quote Originally Posted by クリスタル View Post
    On the other side, one can create a woman without the stereotypical feminine traits, and man without the stereotypical masculine traits, so more to being androgynous. But one thing need to be careful is that on the extreme side, a woman with too much masculine traits, and man with too much feminine traits, may contain suspicion of being sexual perversion or transsexualism.
    WTF do you mean by "sexual perversion"? To me, that would be something that hurts others such as raping or abusing people. Since I'm not sure what that has to do with what you're saying there, we must have very different notions of what "sexual perversion" is.

    I also can't see how writing a character who is trans is negative in any way or why that would be a bad thing you'd want to avoid. There's absolutely nothing wrong with trans people. You also don't seem to understand very well what being trans means.

    A trans person is the gender they identify as. A trans woman is not "a man with too many feminine traits" and a trans man is not "a woman with too many masculine traits".

    A cis (meaning not trans) woman can be a total tomboy and a cis man can be extremely girly, that doesn't invalidate their gender identity in any way and does not make them trans.

    A trans woman can like things that are associated with men and a trans man can like things that are associated with women. Simply having "too many (gender) traits" doesn't make someone trans by default. Of the trans people I've met, they act just like anyone of the gender they identify with. Just like I've met cis women who liked machines and fighting, I've also met trans women who like machines and practice martial arts in their free time. Just like I've seen cis men who like sewing or cute stuff, I've also met trans men who like sewing and cute stuff.

    You say you're not sexist but what you say in the paragraph I quoted is pretty sexist. By assuming that men and women can't have traits (no matter how many of them they have) associated with a gender they don't identify as because otherwise they're trans you're being sexist. By saying that "men who have too many feminine traits" and vice-versa means they're trans and then talking about that as though it's something negative, you're being sexist; cisexism is a form of sexism. I'm not saying you're a bad person or that you're being sexist on purpose. Everyone is born ignorant after all and the most we can do is learn. However, you are saying pretty sexist things when you say things like that, so I suggest that you read a bit more about gender identity before trying to talk about it.

    I hope I have explained this in a way that is easy to understand and makes some sense. I had a long day, I'm typing this on a crappy keyaboard and the language part of my brain is failing me because of being exhausted. I also don't mean to speak over any trans* people, if any are reading this, feel free to let me know if I've gotten anything wrong, if I did it wasn't my intention.

  13. #43
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    Default Re: My Male Chauvinistic writing style

    I think he's saying that some people include feminine men, or masculine women, in their works, or read works containing those characters, because they are sexually attracted to those characteristics. At least that's what I took from "sexual perversion", even though I really don't consider that really perverse.

    I don't see anything wrong with that on its own, though. It's just like an artist who likes to write about hot women/men because they feel some sort of sexual release through it, as long as they can keep it tasteful and it doesn't overtake the actual narrative (unless they're purposefully writing a harlequin sex novel or something), there's no issue. And it's ultimately up to the reader to decide if they care about the writer's sexual attractions bleeding into the work. Like take Joss Whedon, and his love of young, kick-ass female characters. Some people I know think he just includes those characters because he gets off to it and is simply masquerading as a feminist, others see him as a progressive director who bumps the trend of limiting women to supporting roles in action films.

    To extend to his example, I don't think he meant actual transsexuals, I think he was once more thinking in terms of mainstream fiction where transsexual characters are usually limited to characters who look like a female or male, but are said to be actually the opposite. Like the type you always see in anime and JRPGs, they're basically just guys who look like girls, and it's done for a stylish sense rather than actually exploring the realities and difficulties a transsexual individual might face. The guy just looks like a girl because it's cool, and that's as deep as the work explores it.

  14. #44
    Legendary Pokemon クリスタル's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Male Chauvinistic writing style

    I apologize if my wording sounds offensive to ones' ear. Afterall, this is the discussion topic of thread, so I also included such extreme cases in here.

    BTW, because my writings specialized in Japanese Light Novel style writings, I'm used to the Japanese light novel community, where transvestism (I know there is a difference between transvestism and transsexualism, but they are not something unrelated) had become the mainstream in many of the light novels, story itself however becomes more mediocre. I'm not living in the American society, so I might not be fully aware of the general thinking pattern of the Americans regarding on sexist issues.

    But, before getting into deeper debating of transvestism and transsexualism, I would like to get back to the basics of literature and narratology, and the basics of character creation. Afterall, I'm here to write fictions.


    Our thinking pattern is more or less influenced by the environment and society around us. So it is inevitable that certain aspects of our community is incorporated into our writings.
    The real-world society set up an invisible standard and norm of what female and male generally should look/act/think. Luckily nowadays the general societies had become more tolerable and lenient towards female doing the job of the man, and oppositely man doing job of the woman. BUT! There doesn't mean woman become physically and mentally more like man, nor man become physically and mentally more like woman. It is the individual's social position and professional standing become more equal to each other. So woman can nowadays go acquire the skills, abilities, qualifications and accomplishments just like the man in the past. The influences female brings towards the community just about the same as man in nowadays.

    When I'm going to create a character, I'll not going to purposefully make a female physically nor mentally look like a male, nor the vice versa. Even I am going to create a short-hair tomboyish female fighter character, people will still recognize her as female but not male by the first sight. I'll only going to create a transvestite if my story requires such character.
    But, that doesn't mean I can't create female characters are not as competent as male. I can imagine easily the scenes where a female boxer stomping on the loser male fighter that she had defeated in a boxing match. I can create a female politician that can even outclass Obama. I can think up the qualities that requires for woman to become successful in their professions. I saw woman working in the technical department of vehicle plants where that is the working place generally consider for man.
    On the opposite, I can also imagine a father taking care of the child and mother going out to work. I saw the male medical caretaker in the hospital that stand the same as the female nurses. There are 5-star male chefs in the world where cooking was consider as feminine work in the past. There is even male prostitute! (sorry if this last example is a bit too extreme)

    And BTW, many of the personality traits such as being courageous, vigorous, determined, etc. Nowadays they are no more consider as masculine traits, but a common traits that can be shared by both males and females. Thats goes the same to traits like being caring, gentle, polite, etc. where those were consider as feminine traits in the past. Nowadays those are also common traits possible for male as well.
    IMO, personality is something completely genderless. It is only the community deemed some personality traits that is more suitable for woman rather man or the vice versa. Hence in the past, a polite man is also sometimes branded as "womanly". But nowadays, how many of the people will say a polite man as "womanly"?
    Even for the colour preferences, it is the general real-world community deemed such and such colour is more suitable for one gender. But not for me. If I'm going to design a dress, I'll utilize all sorts of colours on the colour palettes without any sexual discrimination, but just only consider the colours from aesthetical viewpoints. (Kamen Rider Decade is badass reddish pink!)
    Though unfortunately, the invisible Code of Dressing set up by our environment and community is still rather sexist. Woman can wear pants casually nowadays, but man wearing dresses is consider as pervert, unless the dress is traditional costume or uniform for specific purpose.
    Mental traits is now no more sexually discriminated, but physical traits is still sexually discriminated.

    Woman and man have innate physical and mental differences. But everything one can acquired after birth, such as knowledges, skills, experiences, qualifications, professions, achievements, money and housings, authorities and power. These can be changed by one's will.
    Feminism is not about eliminating the innate differences between man and woman, it is about eliminating the acquirable differences between man and woman after their birth.

    Mind to just ask, even in the real-world, just under normal circumstances, who would wants to become the opposite gender if one is perfectly mentally healthy?


    If one thinks and feels I'm sexist, then that is fine. Because I agree my mind is not going out of the invisible sexual norm created by the real-world. I still make my female characters look/act/think femininely by the general standard, and male characters look/act/think masculinely by the same standard. I just had not yet ever created a muscular woman hoodlum character, nor a male cross-dresser character that prefers to play with female friends. (Or more correctly speaking, I don't need such character in any of my past and current story)
    But one thing need to know is that, that invisible "general standard" is now completely different from the olden days, where now it had become very indefinite and unclear, and really no more applicable if down to the single individuals. I merely used such "general standard" as a guideline to create characters that represent different genders in the eyes of most general readers.

    Even it is a woman dressed in military uniform, completely covered with armory and weapons where you can only see her face, fight like any other male comrades. Or the female athletes that had much muscular body that can hold up 300kg in weight-lifting, beating the macho man in the wrestling competition. There just exist some unexplainable difference that is called "femininity" that will make one recognize immediately that person is a woman but not a man.
    Yeah, my female characters will always be recognized as female, never ever be mistaken as male. But that has completely nothing to do with their skills, abilities, experiences, qualifications, authorities and power they possess. I'll make my female trainers has the same skills as other trainers to put up a great battle. I'll create a knowledgeable lady character that has IQ higher than Albert Einstein. I'll make a cruel motherly tyrant character that even surpass Adolf Hitler!

    That's why I said to make a woman suitable for some important position, make her competent, without sacrificing her inborn femininity.
    Any that's why I said to ignore sexist issues by thinking your story androgynously and non-sexually. Your female character may look pretty and cute, act innocently like a child, has a caring nature, polite yet timid personalities, but definitely not any sexist terms like femininely nor sissyish!
    Last edited by クリスタル; 5th May 2014 at 09:18 AM.
    "人には知らない世界はそこに存在する、そして人には知らない冒険はそこ に始まってる"
    Chapter 1: 謎の世界の生き物、闘うトレーナーたち
    MY PROFILE | AUTHOR'S PROFILE | PIXIV PROFILE

  15. #45

    Default Re: My Male Chauvinistic writing style

    Honestly, I'm not sure why you chose to reply with a wall of text that only directly addresses any of the questions I asked you or any of the things I pointed out in a couple of spots and is otherwise just a repetition of what you've said before. Also, I'm not American.

    I'm not here to debate how to write a good female character. I've already made my own post on that when it comes to giving the OP advice. Ultimately, what it boils down to in my opinion is that if someone isn't sexist or is willing to do the necessary legwork of questioning and research that it takes to become aware of possible issues, then they're more likely to avoid writing in a sexist way.

    I'm not even here to debate the existence of male chefs, since it seems pretty clear that we have different opinions and perspectives on why there are so many male chefs nowadays, or even why male prostitutes exist or have existed and how gender norms can figure into that. I'm not here, either, to debate about this "innate" and "inborn" mental characteristics that you seem to ascribe to each gender without saying exactly what they are, since once again, I suspect that's a rather pointless discussion. In any case, there's plenty of studies and debate out there in the world that repeat the same things and can be found easily, and frankly, I don't really have the time or energy to engage in that sort of roundabout debate.

    If I wanted to debate your method of character creation I would have quoted your entire posts here and responded to their entirety. I haven't. Frankly? I ultimately don't care about the characters you can write, good on you if they're so great.

    I'm talking, specifically, about the fact that you speak so negatively of cross-dressing, transexuality, and some sort of "sexual perversion".

    First, you're correct, cross-dressing and being trans* are not the same thing. Cross-dressing is not, as far as I'm aware, necessarily a bad thing (nor is it always done for sexual purposes). I don't really have much of an interest to judge people who may cross-dress for sexual purposes, as long as they're not hurting anyone and it's all done in a consensual sexual scenario, I don't really care and I'd rather save my judgement for people who truly deserve it (such as rapists and pedophiles, who actually hurt others).

    Secondly, you say stuff like this:

    Quote Originally Posted by クリスタル View Post
    Mind to just ask, even in the real-world, just under normal circumstances, who would wants to become the opposite gender if one is perfectly mentally healthy?
    This kind of thing right here is why I don't think you understand very well anything to do with trans* people.

    Plenty of people, in the real world, in normal circumstances, can be trans*. Being trans* is also not about "becoming the opposite gender". It's about identifying as a gender that is not the one assigned to you at birth based on your physical characteristics.

    If there's a trans* man who was considered by others to be a baby girl when he was born because of a certain set of physical characteristics, that trans* man is not "trying to become the opposite gender". The "opposite gender" would technically be female, and the odds are that a trans* man is actually already assumed to be a woman by plenty of people out there and doesn't need any more of that. A trans* man is a man because that's what he identifies as and is trans* because that gender does not match the gender assigned to him at birth based on the genitalia that he had then. A trans* woman who may have been considered to be a baby boy upon birth is not trying to become the opposite gender either, she identifies as a woman and thus she IS a woman.

    Please read about and understand the distinction between sex/sexual physical characteristics and gender, and what being trans* means.

    Implying that trans* people (or even people who may be cis and just dress in a way that you don't approve of) are mentally ill is pretty terrible, and saying that sort of thing about trans* people is cisexist. Saying cisexist stuff IS sexist. You can go read about those issues and make an effort to take your mind "out of the invisible sexual norm created by the real-world", or you can sit around and blame that "invisible sexual norm" instead of educating yourself on issues that are being pointed out to you. Your choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Garren View Post
    I think he's saying that some people include feminine men, or masculine women, in their works, or read works containing those characters, because they are sexually attracted to those characteristics. At least that's what I took from "sexual perversion", even though I really don't consider that really perverse.
    Snipped for space.

    That makes a bit more sense then.

    I have mixed feelings about writing about characters you (generally speaking, not necessarily literally you) feel attracted to and for sexual gratification of some kind. That can be ok, but that kind of stuff can also ending up having plenty of sexist overtones, like (on the subject of transexuality) fetishizing trans women for example.

    If that user is using the example of those animes, then that makes a bit more sense. I haven't watched enough animes in that genre to know, but I didn't know those characters tend to be identified as trans* within the story and what I'd read on the subject seemed to say they had their roots on older notions of gender presentation in Japanese storytelling. Thanks for the information though. And for what it's worth, the few animes I've seen in passing within that genre had a "guy dresses up as a girl to infiltrate all-girls boarding school and stalk them" sort of plot, which isn't very good for the notions that trans* people are somehow disguising themselves as a specific gender just to stalk cis people in bathrooms or something (especially if those characters are identified as trans women within the narrative, and doubly so if the story then ends up referring to them as just a guy who likes to dress up as a lady to stalk girls).

    My main issue is that that user is doing absolutely nothing to clarify what they meant, especially since their last post initially says they're talking about cross-dressing characters but then uses questions like the one I quoted above, which are often used to put down trans* people (i.e. the old "trans* people are mentally ill") line. Even if it turns out they're talking only about cross-dressing, I'd still think that that kind of rhetoric has its issues, since there's plenty of reasons why people may cross-dress and they're not always as simple as being mentally ill or wanting to become the opposite gender or something. Maybe there's something I'm missing here, but reading massive walls of text at hours when I'm not fully awake is tough.

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