Login   Sign Up 


This 19 message thread spans 2 pages: 1  2  > >  
  • Male or female?
    by geoffmorris at 13:20 on 01 June 2003

    I recently read an article in NewScientist about a computer program that could tell if the author a piece was male or female.

    Just looking at my book collection and the books that I have read they're almost exclusively by male authors. I do genuinely believe there is a real difference in the way men and women write. I don't seek out male writers over female but nevertheless there is overwhelming evidence to suggest that I do go for male authors.

    Is this something that anyone else has thought about? What are your thoughts and feelings? Are you a woman who prefers women writers or vice versa. Ditto for men.

    Let me know it would be interesting to find out.

  • Re: Male or female?
    by Jibunnessa at 14:00 on 01 June 2003
    Hi Geoff,

    Interesting question. Not sure if you got 20 authors (male and female) to write short stories and then blanked out their names, whether or not I'd know for sure which were which. Probably would be able to make an educated guess for some.

    But, I am intrigued by one thing. You mentioned that my 'Shaquilla's Papers' bit narrated by Uma was a lot like Haruki Murakami's work. I've never read his stuff. But, I am female. Does that mean you think I write like a man? Or may be one of us is an anomaly?

    What d'ya think?

  • Re: Male or female?
    by geoffmorris at 15:13 on 01 June 2003
    You must be psychic because I was kinda thinking the same thing when I posted that forum.

    The article I read, from what I can remember, seemed to concentrate more on the words we used rather than the style itself.

    I do personally think there is a difference between male and female authors but it's so hard to pin down and put into words.

    No you don't write like a man but you write a believable male character. Again it's very difficult to really try and express fully what I mean here.

    I guess that's another reason why I posted this forum to see if someone could put a more concrete idea around the subject. I will have a serious think about and post my thoughts in a bit.

  • Re: Male or female?
    by Account Closed at 12:43 on 02 June 2003
    Most of my books are written by authors of a male persuasion, but I do have some from female authors as well. There is almost a tangible difference in the writing style, and what the authors choose to describe and the way in which those things are described.

    The difference lies in thought processes, really. Mentally speaking, the two sexes work completely differently. The most obvious example being the whole giving directions thing, where a man will give directions by referencing familiar landmarks, and a woman will be more likely to remember specific directions and street names.

    I'm sure it wouldn't be too complicated to write a grammar-esque program that looked for differences like that, given that you had identified enough of them.
  • Re: Male or female?
    by olebut at 15:25 on 02 June 2003
    I dont select books because they are written by a male or female but if the story line and style is one that interests me.
  • Re: Male or female?
    by Jibunnessa at 15:39 on 02 June 2003
    Ol', you're missing the point of the discussion. Neither Insane or Geoff are saying that male writers are better than female ones. They're just talking about their own preferences (i.e that books they like generally tend to be written by male authors) and whether it's possible to tell whether something was written by a man or woman.

    I think what you say Insane about landmarks and specifics is interesting. I'll examine my writing in more detail. But, I'm sure I use both. Does that make me hermaphrodite?

    Perhaps we should have a third catagory?

  • Re: Male or female?
    by Account Closed at 15:43 on 02 June 2003
    I don't think it's actually any relation to your sexual organs Jib. If that were true, I'd use a lot of really big words.
  • Re: Male or female?
    by Jibunnessa at 15:53 on 02 June 2003
    Insane, you cheeky chappie. I wasn't talking about sexual organs. There's more to being male or female than that ya know.
  • Re: Male or female?
    by Account Closed at 15:57 on 02 June 2003
    Yeah, right. You almost had me going there.
  • Re: Male or female?
    by olebut at 15:58 on 02 June 2003
    jib i didnt miss the point my point is it matters not it is the story or the poem that matters and of course there are differences women will deal with subjects that men will often skate over.

    The computer programme I guess analysis the word and sentence structure and based on set norms decides which pattern it fits.

    Didntthey do a similar anlysis on Shakespeare and on said it was written by a women and one said different peope wrote some of teh work acredied to Will
  • Re: Male or female?
    by Jibunnessa at 17:12 on 02 June 2003
    Insane, coming back to this, my slow brain just registered what you said.

    Yes funny LOL :o).

    But, don't ya think it would be the other way round? Or would you just give firmer descriptions?


    P.S: Olebut, sorry if I got ya wrong.
  • Re: Male or female?
    by Account Closed at 09:01 on 03 June 2003
    So many innuendos.

    "My stories would end too quickly and would be quite messy"

  • Re: Male or female?
    by Jibunnessa at 09:21 on 03 June 2003
    What you mean like a sudden sticky climax?
  • Re: Male or female?
    by Account Closed at 09:22 on 03 June 2003
    Well, I wouldn't phrase it like that, it could be taken the wrong way!
  • Re: Male or female?
    by Anna Reynolds at 22:31 on 04 June 2003
    I've just realised- going back to the, er, thrust of the topic- that my bookshelves are nearly totally female- and like Geoff, I don't think that's been deliberate, but maybe it's friends recommendations, etc.. with the honourable exceptions of Steinbeck and Hemingway -oh and DH Lawrence- who writes like a woman sometimes. And male poets I cannot think of any who I enjoy reading- other than Writewords own fab poetry star James Graham whose work I love.

    Also I'm not ever quite as comfortable writing in a male voice, whereas some women writers I admire are, very much so.

    It's made me think- maybe we should have a mini-group-ette where people don't reveal their usual username/gender, and post some v short pieces/poetry- and try to guess? it might be interesting..
  • This 19 message thread spans 2 pages: 1  2  > >