Can she write gay men?
This blog post has come about because of a few comments I got on my blog post last week. I said ‘Someone’s genitals don’t matter unless you’re sleeping with them,’ and I got a few comments saying, ‘It matters in m/m because there are a lot of people who think women can’t accurately write a gay man.’
I figured a blog post would be the best place to address this. I’ve heard that argument frequently in this genre and this is why it annoys me:
As a guy, I never get shit for writing anything. I’ve never heard someone say, ‘I want to read fiction written by women, because a man can’t possibly get it right.’ Men dominate most genres outside of romance, and yet nothing is said about the way men write women, as someone who is at least partly a woman, I’ve seen a lot of men mess it up. I’ve also seen a lot of men get it right. I understand there are people who feel a gay man can write the best gay men, but honestly, some of the best m/m I’ve read has been written by female authors. I’m a guy, I know how guys think. I’ve also read some real crap written by gay men as well as straight men. It depends on how you view a man. There are all types of gay men, just like there are all types of straight men. Maybe the people making these comments think differently than I do or maybe the people making these comments think men can only be one way. This is not the case.
I said in my last blog post genderqueer is a spectrum, but I want to take it one step further. GENDER IS A SPECTRUM.
There are tons of effeminate straight men, just as much as there are macho ‘manly’ gay men. This is why I really hope our society can get away from such hard and fast gender roles. People are people. Everyone of them is different. I can tell you from my own experience you can’t tell someone’s orientation by how they act. My partner is bi, 6’5 and about 215. He’s covered in tattoos, played football, and everyone thinks he’s a man’s man. Well he’s also bi. His appearance don’t scream bi. I’m also the dominant partner and I’m shorter than he is. Appearance means nothing.
I think it all comes down to the author. There are plenty of people who don’t do research and get things wrong, but that’s not just in m/m. I’ve read some really horrible BDSM books. I’m a pilot and I’ve read a book by a NYT’s bestselling author where the aviation information was all wrong. Not a little wrong, in this book she had the impression small planes fall out of the air when they lose an engine, but the don’t they glide. I wanted to claw my eye out reading it. No one objects to writers writing pilots, firefighters, magicians, or spies when they aren’t one. Women who write m/m are the only people I see getting shit for their gender. It bothers me. So I will stick to my ‘gender doesn’t matter unless you’re sleeping with the person,’ stance, because a good writer will do their research and get it right, even when it’s a woman writing gay sex.
If someone wants to read only books written by men, I won’t ever yell at them. It’s their choice to read what they want, written by who they want. I’ll say here are my books. I’m not going to bully them or rant about them, but I do think this is a really oppressive view towards women writers. Hopefully a little perspective will change this view.
Now for my big list of thing to do this week.
Keep getting my house ready to sell.
Deal with showings of my house. I’m a neat freak but it’s hard to keep your place clean 24/7
Find a place to live. This is harder than it sounds.
Pack my house. (Weeps into my coffee a little)
Finish Clouded Hell (Yes I’m really working on it)
Read more than 14.7% of Magic’s pawn a day
Current song obsession: Hozier – Someone New