Monday, May 19, 2008

Personal Limitations: Gender, Part 2

Last week we consider how male and females view fiction differently. In short, males tend to be more intellectual in their choices while females become more attached to the emotional. So what does this mean for fiction guidelines?

With women, their fiction will be limited by their emotional boundaries. What turns them on? What leaves them edgy? What acts as a catharsis and what drains their ability to cope with reality?

For while fiction can be a wonderful catharsis, the reverse danger is forcing the standards of the imaginary upon reality. An example of this would be expecting a husband to be the hero you see in romances or that it’s always “happily ever after” following the wedding.

With men, they need to consider emotional disconnection. This allows them to watch movies with higher violence content with less impact, and when they finish a story, the emotional baggage is usually left behind with the story.

However, emotional disconnection can be carried too far. They can become desensitized to the reality of a problem from too many encounters in fiction, and habits can be formed to disconnect from anything emotionally uncomfortable, even (or maybe especially) in the real world.

Is one problem worse than the other? No. The failure to emotionally disconnect fiction and reality can be as dangerous as completely disconnecting. And while each problem is predominately faced by one gender or the other, there is also cross-over. A male can impose the fictional world on the real one, while females can be desensitized. The key is to be aware of the dangers you face in order to guard against it.

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