Sunday, September 14, 2008

Are boys and girls really different?

Are boys and girls really different? I mean under the surface. My mother didn't think so. She made a comment that if boys and girls were raised the same, they'd act the same. Of course, I was an only child so she had no boys with which to test her theory. She said this while I was little, long before she had grandsons. Unlike my mom, I have five children: 3 boys and 2 girls. By the way, my girls are tomboys. They think pink is for sissies. They like sports way better than my boys. They hate to wear dresses and frilly things, in particular my younger daughter. However, my girls are still different from my boys. They communicate differently, they think differently, they respond to things much differently. Why am I discussing this today? Recently one of my editors posted to her blog that men, even gay men, are different than women. She counseled those of us who write MM and MMF (in case this is a new term to you, this means "Male/Male" or in other words "gay romance"; MMF means a menage of Male/Male/Female where the male gay relationship was in place first before the female joined in) to make both heroes masculine. Just because a man is sexually attracted to other men doesn't make him less of a man. Too many times she's received submissions where one or both of the men in an M/M acts more like a woman. DD#2 has a good friend who is bi-sexual. He's a young man, about 18. I've met him. If she hadn't told me that he is bi, I couldn't tell. Even now that I know, I'm not picking up any unusual vibes. He acts like all the other young men I know. If I had taken out my ear plugs at Borders the last time we were all there together, supposedly I would have heard him discussing how sexy the different men were who with one of my daughters' girlfriends. But I was oblivious (good ear plugs). My editor was advising that gay men don't act like women. However, I've met men who display some feminine, or at least, not exactly what I consider to be macho, characteristics. A man friend of a friend loves musicals and plays. He raves about them. Sometimes he hums or even sings them when we're in public. I don't know that he's gay, but I have to admit, I wonder. Last week I submitted an M/M Valentine's Day romance to my editor. One of my heroes is very macho - a boxer and a big, hulking man. The other is a geeky nerd (not that that's at all gay). When I read my editor's post, I had already created Wes, my humming hero, and my story was almost complete. I thought about what my editor said, and I agree with her - to a point. I let Wes continue to hum and sing his songs. I mean, he loves them. Why should I deprive him of something he loves, that's part of him? The story was accepted (the vote is out on the title as of yet), and my editor didn't ask me to change anything about Wes (yet). I say "yet". Obviously the story's not gone to edit, but sometimes (more than once) my editor doesn't immediately contract my stories. More than once she's asked me to revise my stories and resubmit with her suggested changes. Since she went straight to accepting this story, I presume she thinks Wes is basically okay. At least, I hope she would've told me if he needed a lot of fixing. So, what do you think? You'll also want to see what Amarinda Jones, Anika Hamilton, Anny Cook, Barbara Huffert, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Dakota Rebel, Kelly Kirch, Molly Daniels, Sandra Cox, Regina Carlysle, and Cindy Spencer Pape are up to, so make sure to visit them also. :)

5 comments:

Kelly Kirch said...

They are different. Even their early sounds differ between the sexes. It has to do with chemical make up in the brain. I like my men to be men no matter what relationship they are in. Even the very feminine males almost over compensate their faux femininity.

Amarinda Jones said...

I have to say that MM novels that have men sounding like women make me wince. Men are Men regardless of sexual preference and I often wonder why women write MM if they don't understand that. I find that disrepectful. Stereotypes suck.

Brynn Paulin, Author of sassy erotic romance. said...

I think that your editor is right. I also think we have to be careful about stereotyping what is male behavior and what is female behavior. Singing and humming is cool. I think you need to be careful about making a guy giggle, act all wilting flower, ultra feminine, having one guy caring around the other one all the time or just basically flame all over the page. While some men do, it's not the norm and as happened with your daughter's friend you just don't know unless they tell you or you witness the attraction first hand. If your oblivious like me, even then you might not "see" it.

Brynn Paulin, Author of sassy erotic romance. said...

that's carrying around not caring around...

Anny Cook said...

Men are men are men... sigh. Regardless of where they prefer to stick their equipment.

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