Fantasy Faction

Fantasy Faction => Fantasy Book & Author Discussion => Topic started by: Sherwood H Smith on September 03, 2013, 11:57:46 AM

Title: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: Sherwood H Smith on September 03, 2013, 11:57:46 AM
As the female half of a fantasy writing partnership (The Vispadjinn by Sherwood H Smith) I am intrigued as to why it seems that mainly males both read and write the fantasy genre. Is it because the books are often action/plot predominant with less emphasis on character/emotions? Are fantasy novels written by female authors different? Can you tell the gender of the author if the name doesn't give it away?
I always hate to confirm a stereotype but in our partnership my preserve has been mainly to deepen the characters, introduce some empathy etc. I have to admit that although I enjoy reading fantasy(as well as writing it!) I certainly don't read it to the exclusion of all else. That may be because in my other life I'm a teacher so have to read a lot of classic novels.
I'd be fascinated to get others' views on this.
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: AnneLyle on September 03, 2013, 12:11:14 PM
In my experience, the overall readership is pretty much 50/50 - certainly that's the approximate split at events like Eastercon. There's this pervasive image of SFF as a male preserve that simply isn't borne out by the facts. If you include paranormal romance as a subgenre of SFF (I'd argue it's primarily a subgenre of romance), then the balance probably tips towards women...

That said, I'm sure there are subgenres that appeal more to men than women (e.g. military SF), and vice versa. But as a woman writing epic-ish* historical fantasy, my audience is roughly half-and-half, I reckon, going by the reviews on Goodreads. Sure there are a few Neanderthals who won't buy a book with a woman's name on the cover, but they're in the minority (and they'd probably object to the gay characters and romance I put into my books, anyway!).

What does irk me is that men writing epic fantasy get a lot more publicity - I've heard of bookshops putting on displays of epic fantasy novels that excluded the many women writing in the genre.


* I say epic-ish, as although the trilogy ranges across Europe, it focuses on a small group of characters. Much more like Scott Lynch in scope than GRRM :)
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: Fellshot on September 03, 2013, 07:08:22 PM
It only seems like there are more men in fantasy because certain rather loud elements of the genre like to  pretend that women aren't relevant as writers or readers. Such persons are living in a carefully constructed illusion that they maintain via a cultivated stereotypical image of a "fantasy reader," the "fake geek girl" nonsense, the misapplication of misconceptions concerning history, and of course the time honored ritual of covering one's ears and shouting "LALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU" when confronted with any evidence that contradicts them.

My experience says that the readership and the author pools are an even split with regards to gender, but that the marketing is distinctly skewed towards men because reasons. My experience also says that women have been reading and writing fantasy since the beginning because it's easier to believe an ignored presence than a complete absence.
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: Nighteyes on September 03, 2013, 09:07:25 PM
Sorry but do you need to keep mentioning your book in every post?  (And add it as a tag for the thread as well!)

No, fantasy is not a male preserve, but as Fellshoot said, sometimes the male side of fantasy (both for writers and for readers), can be a lot louder, and make it seem male dominated.  Even this very site made the mistake back in the New Year of writing a top ten list of the most anticipated books of 2013 without including a single one written by a female writer.   :o
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: Noona on September 03, 2013, 09:17:50 PM
I think sometimes female fantasy fans feel like they can't talk about the fact that they like sff, for a variety of reasons. I know I certainly used to be afraid of talking about what I read - now I run the sff section of the shop I work for and our customers (male and female) like my recommendations. So I think that it may sometimes seem mostly male, but it certainly isn't. (Although, as Anne said above, certain subgenres probably do have a more pronounced gender split.)
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: Mark Lawrence on September 03, 2013, 11:07:48 PM
I ran a demographics poll for my readers and two for general readers. Suspect sampling, but there were 500+ data points:

http://mark---lawrence.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/demographics.html


I took part in Teresa Frohock's experiment to see if people could tell the author's gender from their writing:

http://teresafrohock.com/blog/2013/1/7/gender-bending-the-big-reveal.html


And every person bar one junior staff member that I've come into 'contact' with in at fantasy publishers (over 20 people) has been female - including the bosses.
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: AnneLyle on September 04, 2013, 06:51:34 AM
And every person bar one junior staff member that I've come into 'contact' with in at fantasy publishers (over 20 people) has been female - including the bosses.

There are certainly a lot of women in publishing. Angry Robot is unusual in that, back when I was signed, all three of the staff were male*, though this undoubtedly reflects their origins as an imprint (of HarperCollins) explicitly set up to capture the 16-24 male demographic. Their author list is still predominantly male** for the same reason, but recent signings - including at least one epic fantasy author besides myself - have been predominantly female.

* Now that they've grown and started new imprints, they're getting closer to 50/50.
** Not all the authors listed on their website are still publishing books with them - it's mainly the backlist that's heavily skewed towards men
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: Sherwood H Smith on September 04, 2013, 11:37:55 AM
First of all apologies, Gariath for my shameless/desperate plugging. As I am sure everyone on this forum appreciates it's so hard to drum up any interest in a new name.

I've been really interested by your replies - and comforted by the stats quoted. They sort of reinforce what I've found in other areas of life i.e. that our perceptions are very much formed by the press' use of stereotypes and the recourse to lazy journalism at times.
Certainly in other genres I have found it very hard to 'spot' the gender of an author.
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: Blodeuedd on September 04, 2013, 06:31:49 PM
I am a woman and I love fantasy. Why? I honestly do not know. What I do know is when I have read fantasy romance (the horror) I have not liked it just cos there are more emotions and romance and blah blah blah.

And when it comes to authors, do I like at if they are male or female? No, why would I bother. If they write a good story they write a good story. If not then I will not read more.
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: Sherwood H Smith on September 05, 2013, 12:10:47 PM
 Blodeuedd - I hope it didn't appear that I was suggesting that women writers were better than men or vice versa. I was just interested if there are any differences in style or approach that people have noticed. I don't intentionally choose books by the author's gender but after a quick check of my most recently read titles the majority are written by women. Strange!
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: AnneLyle on September 05, 2013, 01:49:20 PM
Oddly, I find that most of the SF on my shelves is by women, whereas the fantasy is mixed (and most of my favourites are by men).

I have no idea what this means...
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: DBASKLS on September 05, 2013, 05:23:10 PM
Oddly, I find that most of the SF on my shelves is by women, whereas the fantasy is mixed (and most of my favourites are by men).

I have no idea what this means...

Nothing I suspect  ;)

I'm a girl. I like fantasy more than sci-fi. Personally I think those two statements are mutually exclusive. I like fantasy because I'm me  :D
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: AnneLyle on September 06, 2013, 09:22:11 AM
Actually, I think it's because I like my SF with a lot of cultural worldbuilding rather than just tech, and women writers seem to do that more than men. In fantasy, OTOH, I guess men and women both write good epic/S&S/swashbuckling stuff :)
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: graveyardhag on September 06, 2013, 11:06:43 AM
I do not currently know (as in physically see or speak to) any males that read fantasy. I have known exactly 2, as far as I can recall.
Girls on the other hand? We ladies got this. :D
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: HAnthe on September 09, 2013, 07:28:43 PM
In the library, I think I see equal numbers of men and women browsing the SF/F section.  I can't survey them, alas.  But I've got to say that when I look at our shelves, for every David Weber (who basically owns his own shelf) there's also an Anne McCaffrey; for every Robert Jordan there's a Laurell K. Hamilton; for R.A. Salvatore there's Mercedes Lackey.  People who write a lot of books, who get checked out a ton.  People who command shelf space.  It's pretty even.

Maybe I should do a proper survey of the books...

As for readers, probably 90% of my friends read SF/F (which is how we became friends).  I have more girl-friends than guy-friends.  They're all ages, interested in all different subgenres.  Sure the women probably predominate in the paranormal-romance reading, but that doesn't mean they don't read military SF on the side -- or that no men are reading the paranormal romances.

(You'd be surprised by how many men stray into the romance aisles on any given day.  We had complaints back when we split the genres up, because now people can see them there, instead of them being able to quietly check out a couple romance paperbacks without anyone noticing.)

Also, there's more paranormal and dystopian fantasy/SF drifting down into the YA and kids' materials from authors of both genders.  Rowling, Meyer, Clare -- Riordan, Colfer, Nix.  The shelves are pretty balanced.  I think it's the media and public perception that has to catch up.
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: Sherwood H Smith on September 10, 2013, 12:53:25 PM
Not sure where all the posters come from on this thread. I posted a similar thread on another forum and their view was rather different. Could the readership be different in the UK from the States, do you think? There are certainly a lot more female USA fantasy writers, I would guess - but please shoot me down in flames if I'm wrong on this? UK trends tend to follow USA so maybe the balance will soon become more even over here.
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: Arry on September 10, 2013, 01:28:09 PM
Not sure where all the posters come from on this thread. I posted a similar thread on another forum and their view was rather different. Could the readership be different in the UK from the States, do you think?
I don't know that it is even necessarily country based, I think people's impressions often come from their real life experiences. Some will have a broader view than others. And some regions of a country may have a different readership than other parts. Personally, I have stayed out of this conversation because I don't have much to add. I don't know a single woman in real life (now or at any other point of my life as well) that reads the books I like (fantasy). I have talked to a couple that read SF. BUT I am also very introverted in real life. Not talking to many people means I get a narrow glimpse of the world I live in. I do know one of my friends husbands reads similar books to me. And one of my husbands coworkers. That's about it. And that would be why I started frequenting the forum.


Quote
There are certainly a lot more female USA fantasy writers, I would guess - but please shoot me down in flames if I'm wrong on this? UK trends tend to follow USA so maybe the balance will soon become more even over here.
No idea if that is accurate or not, but I would think you should also bear in mind that there are a lot more people in the US than the UK, so it would not be a fair comparison anyway. If you compare the number of authors compared to the population size they are coming from, I would be shocked if there was a huge difference in favor of the US. There is a huge SFF community in the UK. And there are lots of women authors from there.
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: AnneLyle on September 10, 2013, 03:19:16 PM
Not sure where all the posters come from on this thread. I posted a similar thread on another forum and their view was rather different. Could the readership be different in the UK from the States, do you think? There are certainly a lot more female USA fantasy writers, I would guess - but please shoot me down in flames if I'm wrong on this? UK trends tend to follow USA so maybe the balance will soon become more even over here.

Maybe the other forum had a different demographic? There seem to be a fair number of women here :)

As for number of writers, I know lots here in the UK and there are plenty of women: writers, editors, agents. I think perception might be biased just because there are fewer of us - easier to skew the figures.

Finally, I don't think that UF/PNR is so big over here - AFAIK we don't have the equivalent of, say, Charlaine Harris. Oddly, a lot of British UF is written by men: Ben Aaronovitch, Mike Carey, Paul Cornell, Mike Shevdon, etc.
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: magisensei on September 10, 2013, 03:55:07 PM
I would have to say not really.  I've worked in book stores over the years and the readership is about equal for the most part.  Of course there are certain sub-genres of fantasy that attract more male readers as there are sub-genres that will attract more female readers. 

In terms of writers, I would have to say I read an equal amount of male to female writers and most of the time  I seem to have a greater amount of female writers that I read. 

I have noticed some discrepancies between male and female writers in terms of how well known they are - e.g. George RR Martin, Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Roothfus etc tend to be more well known then female writers in general but that might have more to do with marketing and the epic genre then being male or female, as JK Rowling is one of the most famous writers of fantasy to appear in the last decade. 

Historically I would say that fantasy was written for a more male audience especially the sword and sorcery type fantasy but during the early years in fantasy (1960s-70s) I would say in general that the fantasy market targeted a more male audience but that has changed with the times. 

If we look at fantasy in general as a category of entertainment that includes things such as comics, manga, video games, movies, board/card games and collectibles then you could say in general that the target audience is more male than female although that has also been changing although certain categories are still more heavily bought by a male audience. 

Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: AJZaethe on September 13, 2013, 02:08:29 PM
Honestly, I would say that there tends to be a different feel to a story when a female author writes. When I look at authors such as Anne Bishop's and the Black Jewels Trilogy, Anne Perry's Tathea, and Lynn Abbey's Jerlayne are packed with emotional and more heartfelt themes, tones, moods, and characters. I see this as the difference in views of males and females. I do not believe an author should feel obligated to write in a way to read as a "male" or "female" author. That would basically denounce one for the other. Both perspectives, male or female, written by a male or a female (of which I mean a male author can write like a "female" and a female author can write like a "male" author) are valid perspectives. Granted it is more male dominate with more "masculine" qualities. But what are masculine qualities? "Action" and "plot" can these ideas be said to be exclusively "masculine" or "male" central. I can't say that they are or are not for certain, but I can say why not?
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: AnneLyle on September 13, 2013, 02:16:08 PM
Honestly, I would say that there tends to be a different feel to a story when a female author writes. When I look at authors such as Anne Bishop's and the Black Jewels Trilogy, Anne Perry's Tathea, and Lynn Abbey's Jerlayne are packed with emotional and more heartfelt themes, tones, moods, and characters.
<...snip...>
But what are masculine qualities? "Action" and "plot" can these ideas be said to be exclusively "masculine" or "male" central. I can't say that they are or are not for certain, but I can say why not?

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 :)
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: Francis Knight on September 13, 2013, 03:55:45 PM
And several people have mistakenly thought I was a guy because of the POV in my books (well, I'm not helping with the pen name either :))

As for the original question, is fantasy a male preserve, the only answer can be a big fat no -- and it never has been. It may have been presented that way in media, but women have always read and written fantasy. ETA: MAry Shelley is often brought up as the originator of SF. Mary Cavendish wrote a utopian novel set in another world in the 17th century. So yeah, discounting myths (who knows who wrote those?) we've been around since the birth of modern fantasy, or earlier (if you subscribe to the view that the first modern fantasy was by GeorgeMcDonald in 1858)...
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: Sean Cunningham on September 14, 2013, 09:17:11 AM
Finally, I don't think that UF/PNR is so big over here - AFAIK we don't have the equivalent of, say, Charlaine Harris. Oddly, a lot of British UF is written by men: Ben Aaronovitch, Mike Carey, Paul Cornell, Mike Shevdon, etc.

Two Doctor Who writers and one comics writer who started in the British market and went over to Vertigo in the US. For a certain generation of UK writers who might find their way into urban fantasy, Doctor Who novels and the British comics industry were their proving grounds, maybe?

Versus Mike Shevdon, who's of the Angry Robot generation. Their author list (http://angryrobotbooks.com/our-authors/) appears to have plenty of representation from both genders.
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: AnneLyle on September 15, 2013, 06:47:57 AM
Versus Mike Shevdon, who's of the Angry Robot generation. Their author list (http://angryrobotbooks.com/our-authors/) appears to have plenty of representation from both genders.

Actually, it doesn't. Angry Robot are improving, though if you look at their entire backlist (as per the link) they still only have 11 female authors out of 45*. To be fair, they were founded as an imprint of HarperCollins aimed specifically at the 16-24 male demographic - though they went independent shortly afterwards, that editorial focus remained for a while.

I say this as an Angry Robot author who until recently was often their only female representative at UK events (most of their women writers seem to be overseas). I don't know if they've actively worked to improve that or if it's just been a case of more women submitting work to them, but the number of female writers being signed has shot up in the last year or so: Emma Newman, Cassandra Rose Clarke, Freya Robertson, Marianne de Pierres, Anna Kashina.

* 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 :)
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: AnneLyle on September 15, 2013, 06:52:49 AM
duplicate post!
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: Elfy on September 15, 2013, 07:26:59 AM
\

I have noticed some discrepancies between male and female writers in terms of how well known they are - e.g. George RR Martin, Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Roothfus etc tend to be more well known then female writers in general but that might have more to do with marketing and the epic genre then being male or female, as JK Rowling is one of the most famous writers of fantasy to appear in the last decade. 


I don't even know if that's really accurate any more either. Three of the biggest recent publishing phenomenons: Harry Potter, Twilight and The Hunger Games have all been authored by female writers. You could also throw Charlaine Harris into that mix, the success of True Blood on HBO has catapulted the Sookie Stackhouse books way up the ladder, although they were selling more than respectably before that. I see at least as many women as men browsing the SFF shelves down here in Australia as well.
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: AnneLyle on September 15, 2013, 08:31:39 AM
I don't even know if that's really accurate any more either. Three of the biggest recent publishing phenomenons: Harry Potter, Twilight and The Hunger Games have all been authored by female writers.

True. However they all write YA - men seem to dominate the adult fantasy shelves.
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: Elfy on September 16, 2013, 12:06:08 AM
I don't even know if that's really accurate any more either. Three of the biggest recent publishing phenomenons: Harry Potter, Twilight and The Hunger Games have all been authored by female writers.

True. However they all write YA - men seem to dominate the adult fantasy shelves.
They're marketed as YA and they probably do fit that definition, but plenty of adults have read them. Maybe I don't really see it because I've never bought a back based on the gender of the author.
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: AnneLyle on September 16, 2013, 06:32:23 AM
They're marketed as YA and they probably do fit that definition, but plenty of adults have read them. Maybe I don't really see it because I've never bought a back based on the gender of the author.

I guess I see it because YA is still marketed towards a different audience - when it comes to the big names who headline conventions, get promo'd in the adult SFF section of the bookshop, etc, there's a noticeable male majority.

Also, the big female names seem to go mainstream more easily (JKR, Charlaine Harris) - the guys can be huge within SFF itself, but until the HBO Game of Thrones series, they were ignored by the mainstream. Hence the wider perception that SFF is a male preserve.
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: ladygreen on September 16, 2013, 02:13:42 PM
I’ve been pondering this myself.  I think men and women SFF authors offer different perspectives and voice - both of which appeal to different sorts of readers.  I agree with the comments that women authors tend to bring depth to characters, emotions and places and male writers seem to excel with highlighting concepts of perseverance, bravery and strategic thought.  And there are plenty of authors, male and female, who do both flawlessly.  I strongly believe that at the end of the day, good writing is what makes the best impact.  But do men profit from subconscious selection and favoritism?  Yes.  This still occurs in every industry, regardless of how “modern” our societies.  Discerning readers are what make the difference, balance the scales.  As long as the genre continues to attract this type of reader, I think we (the female SFF author) need only worry about quality of work and ensure we adopt a learning mindset.
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: AJZaethe 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.
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: Sean Cunningham 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
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: tcsimpson 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.
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: AnneLyle 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.
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: Fellshot 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.
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: HAnthe 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.
Title: Re: Fantasy genre - a male preserve?
Post by: AJDalton 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.