I remember finding once that my stories on a website had been listed under the category of ‘women writers’, and being confused because, well, I’m not a woman. I have no idea how that happened.
I imagined someone looked at it, saw the main characters were women in their early twenties, and thought there was no way a man would write that unless it were leading to a steamy lesbian love scene. Which it never does. Nothing sexy ever happens at all. There is one scene where Jen’s just had a shower and is told to put some clothes on before running off to rescue someone, but that’s the only nudity you get. A joke, with no mention of her glistening curves. Some of the characters might be lesbian or bisexual, but it never says. Instead everyone’s just busy getting on with their jobs, trying to save the world, and not be killed trying to do it. This must have seemed odd, I suppose.
I can’t really explain it. I am male. I am straight. I’ve just never been interested in fantasy and sci-fi where the women are just there for male fantasy purposes. Although I don’t necessarily have a problem with male fantasy provided it’s presented as such, most of the time when I read a book, or watch or movie, or play a game, I want to be immersed and able to relate to all the characters on a personal level. I want them to feel like real people and not just, well, sexy lamps – a phrase I didn’t really know until a few years ago but seems apt. I guess seeing a lot of stuff where women were just lamps is what prompted me to want to read and write a lot more stories with female characters who are, well, not lamps and have thoughts and feelings and ambitions beyond just finding the perfect partner.
Another thing is that I noticed there were a lot of guy ‘buddy’ and odd-couple type storues, and stories with all (or at least mostly) male teams that are all about comraderie and friendship, but you see it less often with women. Apart maybe from My Little Pony and Sailor Moon (the later of which I’ve never watched), maybe some other animes. But most of the time they’re fantasy – I wanted to do something like that but with a more science and engineering type of bent.