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Thread: Science Fiction

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    Science Fiction

    Maybe it's just me, but it seems like men are more interested in science fiction and adventure stories , whereas women fiction having to do with relaiionships. What are your thoughts on this?

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    It's an interesting concept. In my experience, the gender divide does indeed exist between certain genres, with inevitable exceptions. It's probably a simple case of upbringing within an outdated social model that still persists: boys are the intellectuals, the scientists, the go-getters, and so science fiction and adventure stories are the reading material for them; and for girls, whose role is more domestic, relationship stories are more for them.

    Following that idea of a fixed social model, I think the genders stick with their respective genres due to social stigma. You won't catch a guy reading romance fiction at the risk of his friends mocking the hell out of him, and you won't catch a girl reading male-centric adventure stories at the risk of being "unlady-like".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coeusful View Post
    It's an interesting concept. In my experience, the gender divide does indeed exist between certain genres, with inevitable exceptions. It's probably a simple case of upbringing within an outdated social model that still persists: boys are the intellectuals, the scientists, the go-getters, and so science fiction and adventure stories are the reading material for them; and for girls, whose role is more domestic, relationship stories are more for them.

    Following that idea of a fixed social model, I think the genders stick with their respective genres due to social stigma. You won't catch a guy reading romance fiction at the risk of his friends mocking the hell out of him, and you won't catch a girl reading male-centric adventure stories at the risk of being "unlady-like".
    Right - so now it's time to get the helmet, flak jacket, dig a trench and make a sign that says - I don't subscribe to this.

    Like all generalisations - it's not true for a significant number. I wonder how many people of both genders have read and acknowledged the brilliance of Wuthering Heights for example?

    On the other hand I can see the books I'm likely to be interested in - they're the ones in darker tones on the shelves as opposed to the pastel shaded ones. This colour coding seems useful for me, but am I being simplistic?

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    I don't think so. I enjoyed Mansfield Park just as much as Snow Crash but on different levels I guess and in different ways. I am actually planning on writing my B.A. on sci-fi.

    These different genres have of course very different things to offer but it depends on what I'm looking for each time, what I end up reading.
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    These boundaries are falling away more and more. I know many more women who've read George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire (a series that has been argued is misogynistic, and at the least is definitely a more "macho" type book) than men. I think there's a bigger stigma over men reading books that are perceived as feminine rather than the other way around.

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    In the fog Charles Darnay's Avatar
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    I don't know what you guys are talking about. I only read books about fast cars, explosions, or mustaches. Anything else is way too girly

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    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Darnay View Post
    I don't know what you guys are talking about. I only read books about fast cars, explosions, or mustaches.
    Like this one? (Seems rather controversial by the sound of reviews.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motherof8 View Post
    Maybe it's just me, but it seems like men are more interested in science fiction and adventure stories , whereas women fiction having to do with relaiionships. What are your thoughts on this?
    As a general matter, I agree with you, but there are exceptions. There have been some good SF written by women. On the other hand, I have never known any males who were into true "ckick Lit"; although there is some literature written for women that appeals to some men.

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    In the fog Charles Darnay's Avatar
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    Austen and the Brontë sisters were probably considered chic lit. Maybe Sparks will become classic in 200 years and no would think twice about men reading him.
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    somewhere else Helga's Avatar
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    Ursula K . Le Guin is one sci-fi writer that has done a lot of good books.

    I agree with someone above that said there is more of a stigma concerning men reading something by Austen or the Bronte sisters than women reading sci-fi or other 'guy books' . I once read two books by Matthew Reilly and I found them OK they were so clearly made for guys, explosions, soldiers, action and in a way it's set up like a movie. That is probably the only time I felt like I was reading something that was aimed at someone very different from me.

    Oh I also read the first of the Druid chronicles by Kevin Hearne ( I think), that was guy lit, like a video game in the descriptions of the women and how they looked. It was funny though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coeusful View Post
    It's an interesting concept. In my experience, the gender divide does indeed exist between certain genres, with inevitable exceptions. It's probably a simple case of upbringing within an outdated social model that still persists: boys are the intellectuals, the scientists, the go-getters, and so science fiction and adventure stories are the reading material for them; and for girls, whose role is more domestic, relationship stories are more for them.
    Boys are the intellectuals? Germaine Greer would not be happy with you saying that In any case, what do science fiction and adventure stories have to do with intellectualism?

    Intellectuals tend to look down on science fiction, except for the few that manage to transcend the genre (The Time machine, 1984...)

    Is there a gender divide between male and female intellectuals?

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    I do not read science fiction that much, unless you consider dystopia which is one of my favorite genres, but I love adventure stories, and I have a particular fondness of maritime adventure stories.

    Kind of funny story that does rebuff this generalization, once when I was speaking with my now former boyfriend, at the time I was reading, I think it was Moby Dick, and he was reading some paranormal romance (I cannot recall which one).

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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    Some months ago I took part in a women-only run. I felt insulted when, opening the bag that I was given when I enrolled, I found a Harmony book. I don't know if you have them in your country. Here in Italy Harmony is a series of romantic books aimed at women consumers. In these books the same plot pattern is repeated over and over again, a little bit like Rocky movies or Harry Potter. Plus, they present the reader with highly stereotyped characters and relationships.The one I had in my bag was "Shameful Desires" by Carrie Lofty. I read some chapters. It was almost porn literature. The fact that it was in the run bag, together with beauty testers and a bottle of getorade, was a bit of a shock, because someone thought "they are women, they'll like this stuff".
    Another thing that got me thinking about the gender difference in literary tastes happened during one of my first university exams. I had been asked to read several novels: Don Quixote, On The Road, Heart of Darkness, Invisible Cities, Around the World in 80 Days, Gulliver's Travels. The teacher asked me what novels I had enjoyed the most, and I answered Heart of Darkness and On The Road. She told me that I had answered like the other male students, whereas girls generally chose other novels. I lent Heart of Darkness to a couple of girl friends and they both disliked it, but I haven't asked any boy friend to read it, yet. That's interesting, though. I wonder what the results of my scientific test might be.
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    In general women make up the majority of readers, and historically in the West they have made up the majority of prose readers since around 1800 when the novel became a sort of symbol of the middle class female past-time.

    Women are such a significant part of the reading public that it is really hard to find any genre literature that doesn't cater to them in some way. Even in comic books, especially Japanese ones, women are starting to make up the majority of readers.

    I think it is probably true that few men read the paperback romances, but women consume sci-fi a lot. From digging around it seems that in the 70s about 1/4 sci-fi magazine subscribers were women, it's likely that number has increased a bit with less stigma attached to women reading "male" books.
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