She fueled a debate over women characters. But the men around her had created women characters as well; and they felt their characters were well rounded. She, obviously very articulate and smart, expressed her view that men couldn’t write about women; the men maintained that they could. They had tried to avoid stereotypes; she campaigned for women’s literature, which excluded men. Some of the men had lived through the women’s liberation movement; this woman sounded as if she were coming from that persuasion. Or was she? Did her argument have merit? And then she nailed her argument by taking a stand and went as far as saying she didn’t forgive writers who portrayed women one-dimensionally and unfairly. And it seemed as if she were pointing a finger at all of the men, all male writers and their ilk. It wasn’t pretty when she said she would give a writer one chance only, too bad, and wouldn’t read that author again.
Women are, in fact, hard for men to understand. And given that fact (join the “men-are-from-Mars-and-women-are-from-Venus debate if you like), she may have been onto something. A sensitive writer, for the sake of the argument, does his (yes, his) sensitive best to dig inside and out and from that creates a woman character; the work of this author I think, if he is good, should be respected for what it is. It may be an imperfect work, as all pieces of literature are. But our young woman, who expressed her view that men couldn’t write about women, still may decide not to read another piece by any author for whatever reason or reasons. She has that right.
None of us can be fair; we all have our biases. She could, however, be forgiving; and the author, if he (yes, he) is good, is surely forgivable. “Women can’t write about men”: imagine one of the men saying that. “Men are on Mars, ” and that is that. Argumentatively, women will always win (now I’m in trouble); women have that over men. It’s inbred, or so we’re told. For decades now, with the realization that women are superior to men in certain areas including sensitiveness, we have to assume women can write about men. But if they fail, I think men would forgive them. And don’t let them (women) say men are not sensitive enough to feel irritated by an underdeveloped character of either gender; that at the end of the day men don’t appreciate genius and his or her ilk. What do you think?