Think More Like a Lady

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As a writer, I have to get inside the skin of my characters and walk around for a bit.  I find this process transformative in ways I never expected.  Particularly with female characters.

As I have had to explain to numerous people in my life, I am not gay or transgender or in other ways different in regards to the gender I was born into.  But I have learned to accept those things as part of reality and elements of all of them exist inside my goofy old head.  Psychiatrists I have talked to (for many reasons unrelated to me being crazy) have suggested this means I am very empathetic and often feel the feelings of people I am talking with or reading about.  I understand that many writers and teachers are the same.

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Valerie Clarke is the main character from Snow Babies and When the Captain Came Calling.

So as I work on stories with major characters who are female, I find female thinking taking over my goofy brain.

I have not experienced PMS or childbirth, but I have learned to see the world as little girls see it.   My Little Pony is a wonderful piece of didactic fantasy that teaches a girl that she can stand up for herself the way Apple Jack and Rainbow Dash do in a male dominated world, or that they can be the smartest person around like Twilight Sparkle even though she’s a girl.  Girls can be tough and smart even though the world tells them that it is not so.

 

And as I have tried to work with strong, self-reliant female characters who are not only tough and resilient, but empathetic, I have clearly demonstrated to myself that I prefer fuzzy-warm female thinking to the harsher kind of testosterone-fueled rage that one associates with male characters.  Hard and unforgiving, as character traits, lead to immovable objects being bashed by irresistible forces… and good and valuable things get broken.

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An Interstellar Episode of the Mickey Mouse Club

So I am willing to state for the record, my mind is both male and female.  And though the other boys in the locker room may make fun of me for saying such a thing, I sometimes think the female part of it is better and more reliable.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Think More Like a Lady

  1. YES! Thank you. 🙂 We are all made up of many voices, many stories, many experiences. To attempt to live within the confines of a few simple labels is not only murderous to our creativity, it’s just plain dumb. I’m glad you’ve embraced a BROADer version of yourself.

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