So my husband makes an entirely valid yet wholly offensive point that I have more estrogen than testosterone in my system, ergo I’m wont to be irrational about things. Now, he can get away with saying that to me, because I love him. Anyone else would be shot in their tracks.
I don’t find myself remotely irrational. Maybe that’s just the hormones, but I don’t see that my gender should dictate my mood. Though I’m often tricked by that.
Men are just… easier.
I’ve always been one of the boys. It’s just a thing. I grew up with two older brothers, neither of whom treated me like a china doll, more like a football to be tossed between them when I got in their way.
There were two boys my age – Barry and Troy, who were the only other kids in the neighborhood. They were rough and tumble kids, and we spent all our time together. Blissfully destroying our little world. Then, on a fine summer day, Susan moved in down the street.
Suddenly, it was much more appropriate for me to play with her. We sat inside, drank tea and made up stories for our (gulp) dolls, but I was so completely bored that I’d fuss and the visits would end early. Being forced to play with Barbies has to be one of my most abhorrent childhood memories.
My Dad, bless him, saw the trend early on and rescued me. He got me into sports, took me to football games and races, took me out to the golf course. In short, I did all the fun things the boys got to do.
As an adult, I still identify with the tomboy in me. It spills into my characters – my females aren’t fussy. They are down to earth women who enjoy a beer, enjoy football, are more likely to hang out with the male species than go shopping with other women. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I have anything against girly girls. I’m just not one of them, so I have a hard time writing that perspective.
A lot has been postulated recently on whether women are grittier, dirtier, more violent than men in their writing. I can’t answer that. I do have a very noir bent to my books, but I don’t know whether someone would read it and say “Oh, that was written by a woman. She’s trying to shock me, show me that she’s just as tough as a man.” I certainly don’t read male authors and say “Oh, he’s raped fourteen women, hung them up by their toes, drained them of blood, and bitten off their breasts. He must be overcompensating for a too-small penis.” This is truly a road to nowhere, but suffice to say I don’t buy into it. Women can be just as violent as men, and men can be just as sweet as women.
That said, I find it much easier to write from a male perspective – be it a good guy, or a not so good guy. It’s not less challenging, don’t get me wrong. And there’s several of those pesky biological reactions that because I don’t have the equipment, I have to, ahem, imagine. (Not something I generally like to poll my male friends and hubby about. “By the way, just what exactly does a hard on feel like? Do you know it’s coming, or do you find out too late? And why do they say imagine dead puppies?”)
But I digress.
Now wait. Is hard on supposed to be hyphenated? Hard-on or hard on?
And I’ve just spent ten minutes looking that up, and still don’t have an answer, and I’m laughing so hard at the sheer ridiculousness of my life – a world where a hyphen make ALL the difference.
God, sorry, I’m really going astray. I’ve just gotten Sandra R. and myself in hysterics, and that just shows you that I’m full of it.
But it sounded really good for a while there, didn’t it?
ALL THE PRETTY GIRLS
Mira Books, November 2007
Posted from Nashville, where the men are men and the sheep are nervous.
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