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February 28, 2011



While I am not a writer, I do have a "male character" that I occasionally speak for... one who interacts with a slice of the public at large... a public who generally does not know this character is voiced by a middle-aged wife/mother/artist. I interact with some of these people in other aspects of life and am totally surprised by how much credibility the character is given because these people assume he is being voiced by a male. Some of these same people don't give me the time of day as a female. My thoughts are just dismissed. It's been an interesting "aside" lesson. If I'm speaking as this character, I can get away with more, am forgiven for more, am thought to be bigger, better, stronger. It's really kind of bizarre.

I'd be curious to see what reactions you get if you used a pseudonym. I bet your writing would be different as well.

One brief aside, in an already windy comment... I was buying my tomboy a PT-109 boat model this past weekend and was thinking that is one area where females do catch a break. The same can't be said for most young boys who might wish to buy a Barbie.


Okay, Jennifer, I'm dying to know who this "character" is--a real person who's hired you, for example, or someone fictional?

And yes, I do think boys get the shaft in being allowed gender-switching for toys. I think that may be part of the reader problem as well: many boys(though not all, and certainly not anymore) are taught from a very young age that girl things are inappropriate for them, that if they like girl things, there must be something wrong with them.

I have been VERY pleased to see, however, that the boys in Libby's class at preschool are allowed to walk around with purses, wear tutus during dress-up, etc. And one day I picked Libs up and she was wearing a Buzz Lightyear costume. No commentary, no judgment. They're two--they barely know there is a difference between boys and girls yet.


Very interesting. I honestly had not given this topic much thought until I read your post Rebecca. Thank you for talking about it.

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