Gendered Writing (?)

Everyone writes differently, but I didn’t consider that these differences could be attributed to gender. But it would make sense. Men think differently than women, and writing is an expression of thought. Elizabeth Flynn, in her article “Composing as a Woman” marks the differences between female and male narratives.

“The narratives of the female students are stories of interaction, of connection, or of frustrated connection. The narratives of the male students are stories of achievement, of separation, or of frustrated achievement.”

I haven’t read many of these gender stereotypical narratives, so I’m not sure how accurate this assessment is. There will always be exceptions to the rule, and I hesitate to label peoples’ writing based on their gender.

Are there evidences of ‘gendered’ writing in my own writing? According to this definition, yes. I’ve been told from the beginning to steer away from sports stories, as they are mainly stories of achievement, and hence, redundant. And I do tend to focus on relationship, emotion, and feeling more. My writing is not very angsty, (at least I hope not) as Tobin says is true of most male narratives. If I were to write about an achievement, it would most likely not focus on the achievement itself but the psychological or external implications of the achievement.

But overall, I feel like the guys get the short end of the stick when it comes to defining their writing styles. Personally I feel like they’re a little underrated. Not every male is going to write with aggression and entitlement, and not every female is going to write about mushy feelings about sunsets etc. Both articles make them out to be less competent writers, characterized by a lack of self-control and egotistical bravado. But whereas Flynn condemns in order to bring up women, Tobin offers an explanation into the reason for males’ stereotypical narratives.


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