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Author Topic: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?  (Read 11842 times)

AJZaethe

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Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
« Reply #30 on: September 16, 2013, 02:24:37 PM »
Oooh, that's getting dangerously close to "girls write all the feels" stereotypes! FWIW, my beta readers usually tell me I need to put more emotional reaction into my stories :)

Actually, that is exactly what I am saying. A tendency to do exactly this. But my question remains, why is this viewed as a negative, that we commonly see women doing this? Am I stating all women just write with more emotions than men? No, but I am saying that it is far more common for women to write as such and that we should not only acknowledge this, but accept it as a perspective that is just as valid to a male central aspect and worth every bit as any "man" written piece.

Offline Sean Cunningham

Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
« Reply #31 on: September 16, 2013, 08:55:00 PM »
* From an online discussion of women in the media: "We just heard a fascinating and disturbing study, where they looked at the ratio of men and women in groups. And they found that if there's 17 percent women, the men in the group think it's 50-50. And if there's 33 percent women, the men perceive that as there being more women in the room than men." QED :)

Ouch. I knew this sort of thing happens with race, but I didn't know it happens with gender. Consider me educated. :o
"You can't prove it won't happen."
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Offline tcsimpson

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Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
« Reply #32 on: September 17, 2013, 04:45:51 AM »
There was a similar question as this in one of my Goodreads groups. The answers centered more around that most of the readers in the group found that they had more epic fantasy books by male authors. The sex of the actual readers was somewhere in the middle.

Offline AnneLyle

Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
« Reply #33 on: September 17, 2013, 06:17:29 AM »
There was a similar question as this in one of my Goodreads groups. The answers centered more around that most of the readers in the group found that they had more epic fantasy books by male authors. The sex of the actual readers was somewhere in the middle.

Yes - I think that for a lot of people, especially non-fans, epic fantasy IS fantasy. Or rather, when they talk about "fantasy" as a genre of fiction, they're specifically thinking of epic fantasy and ignoring other sub-genres such as UF. And it's undeniable that pretty much all the big names in epic fantasy are male.

Sure, there are women writing epic fantasy, but I can't think of any that have hit the same popularity levels as GRRM or Robert Jordan, or even Peter V Brett or Joe Abercrombie. I have no idea why that is; maybe the men hit the core readership's buttons better? It's easy to blame marketing for the lack of prominent women in this sub-genre, but real success requires word-of-mouth, not just paid promotion.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2013, 06:22:01 AM by AnneLyle »
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Offline Fellshot

Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
« Reply #34 on: September 17, 2013, 07:00:05 AM »
Yes - I think that for a lot of people, especially non-fans, epic fantasy IS fantasy. Or rather, when they talk about "fantasy" as a genre of fiction, they're specifically thinking of epic fantasy and ignoring other sub-genres such as UF. And it's undeniable that pretty much all the big names in epic fantasy are male.

Sure, there are women writing epic fantasy, but I can't think of any that have hit the same popularity levels as GRRM or Robert Jordan, or even Peter V Brett or Joe Abercrombie. I have no idea why that is; maybe the men hit the core readership's buttons better? It's easy to blame marketing for the lack of prominent women in this sub-genre, but real success requires word-of-mouth, not just paid promotion.

I think part of it has to do with how fans seem feel that they have to pass on "the essentials" to curious outsiders as well. Look at any "I'm new to fantasy and need recommendations" discussion thread and you will see the same 10 authors recommended practically every single time. The genre is so much bigger than that and there will always be time to get to "the popular essentials" after you've figured out what it is about the genre that you enjoy best and started on books that cater to that instead. Fandom isn't a college class and there isn't any "required reading."  ::)

With some of those popular epic fantasy authors if I had started with them, I would have quit all fantasy in disgust and missed out on the more marginal authors whose work I adore.

Offline HAnthe

Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
« Reply #35 on: September 22, 2013, 09:43:23 AM »
As a small snapshot of the situation, I went through the SF/F shelves at work and counted the male/female ratio of authors.  Discounting dual-gender collaborations and those authors I just couldn't identify one way or the other, I came out with an approximate 2:1 ratio....  2/3rds of the authors male, 1/3rd female.

This out of approximately 430 authors designated as SF/F, in a single library branch in a single city, and not counting the new books.

Offline AJDalton

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Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
« Reply #36 on: September 23, 2013, 08:49:40 PM »
Come on, now. There's a full spectrum of fantasy out there. Critical theorists will tell you that there's no such thing as a 'male' or 'female' style of writing. Take for example, the significant fact most British readers think Robin Hobb is a male writer. And yet Robin Hobb's stuff still doesn't push the shouty aggressive fantasy motifs. My own books get plenty of female followers, gay followers and then hot-blooded hetero guys. Fantasy of the 1970s was a tad misogynistic... but that was down to the culture of the time, NOT the genre itself. Fantasy is a tool (definitely not a pun). It's all about how you use it... or read it.
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