What Do Boys Want? thread ode to Mira,master question asker

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J. T. SHEA
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Re: What Do Boys Want? thread ode to Mira,master question asker

Post by J. T. SHEA » October 9th, 2010, 4:26 pm

Boys want to save sweet young ladies FROM OTHER BOYS/MEN!

My WIP has beer, steak, girls, comics, big toys and sea adventures. Must add boobs, tapioca pudding and Batman. Thanks everybody!

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Re: What Do Boys Want? thread ode to Mira,master question asker

Post by Moni12 » October 9th, 2010, 4:44 pm

Maybegenius,

My friend and I are both studying Literature at a very small school in Nebraska. We really don't focus on the masculinity of the peices. Mostly we talk about symbolism, imagery, etc. It's mostly when we go over feminist Literature that we focus on gender. However, they recently added an elective to our campus called Gender and Literature. I think it's important to focus on both genders, but I feel that in the classes I've taken we focus mostly on how sexist the writers are rather than their masculinity.
I definitely see your point, though. After reading poems, novels, short stories, etc. all written about men by men it's nice to have a break and see what women were going through at the time from their own perspective. Men don't have a very fair view of women, it seems. For example, when I read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde last semester I remember being pissed with the maid who witnesses Mr. Hyde beating an old man to death because she faints and then calls for the police. However, not all feminist Literature is flattering to women either. I would point to The Awakening, by Kate Chopin and The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (funny ending, though). For a strong female character I would read Antigone, by Sophocles; it's one of three Theban plays about Oedipus, the King (except this one is about his children).

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Re: What Do Boys Want? thread ode to Mira,master question asker

Post by Jessa » October 9th, 2010, 5:18 pm

J. T. SHEA wrote:Boys want to save sweet young ladies FROM OTHER BOYS/MEN!

My WIP has beer, steak, girls, comics, big toys and sea adventures. Must add boobs, tapioca pudding and Batman. Thanks everybody!
...

*head tilt*

Huh. I'm a girl and I kinda want to read this.

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Re: What Do Boys Want? thread ode to Mira,master question asker

Post by craig » October 9th, 2010, 6:49 pm

Not to be too much of a damper, but you'll find as many opinions on what males want as there are males... or thereabouts.

I read an article twenty minutes ago about how the traditional definitions of masculinity are changing, particularly with the rise and acceptance of meterosexuality. This may be partly based on geography, age, and socio-economic status, but it's spreading in to areas you wouldn't normally expect it to -- like rural farmland areas.

And with our previous discussion on the pressures of Prince Charming, some of us (myself included) are of the opinion that gender norms (in this case, masculinity) are societal constructs. I think what's happening with the rise in meterosexuality is that society's perceived norms for males is shifting slightly. No... shifting is the wrong word as it implies we are leaving behind the "traditional" rugged male... and we're not doing that, nor should we. Perhaps it's better to say that society's norms for males are widening and expanding. In an ideal world, one we would have to work hard at if we want it to arrive, all expressions of maleness would be considered normal for males.

I do not fit into the traditional definition of masculinity -- assuming it implies ruggedness, toughness, and all things male. Nor do I fit into this new definition that includes meterosexuality -- as I am not driven by fashion, appearances (well a bit, but not a lot), designing, etc. I am male... I mean... I have a penis... yet I don't fit cleanly into the category of what a male should be.

What do I, as a male, want in a book?

I don't care much about beer, boobs, and steak. I don't care much about spies, espionage, and intense action (though some is good, too much is tiring and monotonous). I don't care about gratuitous sex, money, and guns. I would not be interested in the Male Literature course as described above.

I want genuine characters who are rich and deeply portrayed. I want conflict and drama -- not just in the sense of action, but also in the interpersonal and intrapersonal sense. I want my characters torn apart inside and struggling to deal with that while also struggling to save the world at the same time. I want a richly textured world/universe that explores the dark just as much as it explores the light, if not more so. I want tension -- and this doesn't have to be in the form of saving the world by a certain time -- it can be in the form of a character overcoming intense personal demons to regain their humanity. I want characters who, in the times of intense crisis and chaos, in the throes of devastation and destruction, exemplify the true spirit of humanity, rising above themselves to become more than we could have ever expected.

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Re: What Do Boys Want? thread ode to Mira,master question asker

Post by bcomet » October 9th, 2010, 7:23 pm

craig wrote:
I want genuine characters who are rich and deeply portrayed. I want conflict and drama -- not just in the sense of action, but also in the interpersonal and intrapersonal sense. I want my characters torn apart inside and struggling to deal with that while also struggling to save the world at the same time. I want a richly textured world/universe that explores the dark just as much as it explores the light, if not more so. I want tension -- and this doesn't have to be in the form of saving the world by a certain time -- it can be in the form of a character overcoming intense personal demons to regain their humanity. I want characters who, in the times of intense crisis and chaos, in the throes of devastation and destruction, exemplify the true spirit of humanity, rising above themselves to become more than we could have ever expected.
Craig,
I was especially touched by what you wrote.
This is amongst what *exactly* I was hoping to hear in this thread.
Thank you.
-bcomet
PS If you are open to being a future beta, I would be honored.

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Re: What Do Boys Want? thread ode to Mira,master question asker

Post by maybegenius » October 9th, 2010, 11:57 pm

craig is eloquent, as always :)
Moni12 wrote:Maybegenius,

My friend and I are both studying Literature at a very small school in Nebraska. We really don't focus on the masculinity of the peices. Mostly we talk about symbolism, imagery, etc. It's mostly when we go over feminist Literature that we focus on gender. However, they recently added an elective to our campus called Gender and Literature. I think it's important to focus on both genders, but I feel that in the classes I've taken we focus mostly on how sexist the writers are rather than their masculinity.
I definitely see your point, though. After reading poems, novels, short stories, etc. all written about men by men it's nice to have a break and see what women were going through at the time from their own perspective. Men don't have a very fair view of women, it seems. For example, when I read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde last semester I remember being pissed with the maid who witnesses Mr. Hyde beating an old man to death because she faints and then calls for the police. However, not all feminist Literature is flattering to women either. I would point to The Awakening, by Kate Chopin and The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (funny ending, though). For a strong female character I would read Antigone, by Sophocles; it's one of three Theban plays about Oedipus, the King (except this one is about his children).
That's actually very interesting to me, because I went to school here in Northern California, which is generally very liberal and feminist, and I still felt like there was a lot of male-centric literature represented at my school. Though I do think it makes sense that in feminist literature courses, gender is a large focus. Because, well, naturally! It's difficult (perhaps even impossible) to discuss feminism and NOT get into gender :)

There were definitely discussions about Shakespeare's/Joyce's supposed-or-accurate misogyny, for sure. And I absolutely agree that feminist literature needs to be held under the same magnifying glass, because women are no more perfect than men are. Naturally, not all literature by an individual is going to be representative of their entire "group" as a whole. I can think of several women who I *definitely* wouldn't want representing me, just as I imagine many men don't approve of certain male viewpoints in literature.

But I digress, I'm sorry! I hope I haven't hijacked the thread too badly :D
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