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August 23, 2010

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SashaNaomi

Yep, Chris Jackson is right on. I was writing a piece about a female teenager who happened to be bisexual, but got frustrated because it seemed like all anyone wanted to know about was her sexuality. I took a break and wrote a story from a male's perspective because I knew the reader wouldn't sexualize the narrator.
I felt the same way when I used to act. Right now, off the top of my head, I can only think of two roles I ever played where the character wasn't somehow sexualized--meaning some dude did or didn't want to sleep with her and all the action seemed to center around that. Seriously, it doesn't matter how educated or strong you make your female characters--if she's the "other" to a male character who leads the action, you haven't really created a feminist or even gender equal piece.
Of course, the two roles I really enjoyed playing when I did act were male parts. That must be because I'm a big lesbian who deep down wants to be a man, right? Ha. I felt like I could be a real actor and do things that would be considered over-the-top and annoying if done by a female character. I hear the same crap all of the time--"Oh, but there are meaty roles for women." Maybe after the age of 50. I guess it really depends on your definition of "meaty." Is the female the lead in the play or in the case of a novel, the narrator of the story? Do her actions set off the actions of others, or do you have a bunch of dudes affecting her, leading her?
Oh, how I would love to be a white, educated male living in Brooklyn.

MariahMacCarthy

I only just now saw this. Great questions, and thanks for linking! :-)

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