What should a male writer keep in mind when writing a female character?

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Well, I don’t write fiction, but…

Remember that most people do not have opinions of their own. They just regurgitate whatever the Acceptable Opinion is. Right now, the Acceptable Opinion is that male authors sexualize female characters too much, and you will get this criticism regardless of what you actually write.

Try this experiment sometime: take a description of a female character — written by a woman — and show it to someone. Tell him it was written by a male. He’ll immediately respond, “Oh, I can tell a man wrote this. His female characters are all hyper-sexualized”. Completely oblivious to the fact that he’s reading a female author.

The problem is that most people have no opinions of their own. They just repeat things they’ve heard. People see memes like this:

What should a male writer keep in mind when writing a female character?-第1张图片

And assume, “Oh, that’s what I’m supposed to think about male authors writing female characters.” So if you take a piece of fiction — again, written by a woman — and tell someone it was written by a male, they’ll faithfully regurgitate the Acceptable Opinion. When shown female character written by a man, you are supposed to rant about how the female character is too sexualized. That is the Acceptable Opinion.

So my advice is: write your female characters however you want. No matter how you write them, you’re going to have people tell you that you can’t write female characters well. This is the Acceptable Opinion. Don’t bother trying to change it.

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