Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen
mrissa

thing I won't be writing, take 2 or 3 or 12 or whatever

I was thinking in the Brain Stimulation Box (known to most mortals as a "shower"), and my brain circled back to the meme that was going around ages ago, where writers would tell you what kinds of book they would never, ever write. And I came to a conclusion: I will never, ever write a book where I make up an imaginary setting where women are widely believed to be only good for their marriageability. "Pretty bird in a gilded cage": nope. Not me. Generally I am done with that one. I'm bored of it. Other elements in a book can make me enjoy a book that has that element, but writing a book where someone is the spunky First Girl Who -- meh. As Tamora Pierce managed to notice and write interestingly about, sometimes it's at least as interesting to have the Second Girl Who. Or to do something that's not just interesting because of the configuration of your bits. Or to do something with gender roles and relations other than "men don't want to let her/girl triumphs," if you're seriously interested in gender.

I'm not trying to forbid anyone else this general class of imaginary societies in their work. I have just spotted it as not interesting to me.

I wonder how much of this is generational. I think women of my mother's generation and older were flat-out told "girls can't _____" a lot more often than I was, growing up. Even the person who tried to get me not to be a physics major didn't try to tell me that girls couldn't, just that I would, in her estimate, be a lot more comfortable in a field with more women. (Showing pretty clearly that she knew me not at all, but never mind that part.) And I can see where if you'd heard that girls can't this and girls can't that, exorcising it in your work might have a great deal more appeal than if obstacles were subtler. Anybody care to be a data point with their own age and attitudes (and, if it seems relevant, gender) in this regard?
Tags: full of theories
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