Re: RARA-AVIS: male PI sexuality

From: a.n.smith (
Date: 23 Feb 2000

> here's something to discuss. i was just mulling over in my mind the
> and consistent failure, in my eyes, of female writers to produce female
> protagonists with any sort of real visceral fortitude of the sort you see
> in the archetypal male PI. i think this missing element is commonly
> identified as testosterone. does anyone agree/disagree that a good PI has
> to have a strong heterosexual orientation?
> http:/

It starts to look a bit like a generalization. I like to see amoral killers who like kittens, too. The hardboiled psyche is more interesting to me than the hardboiled mask--the swagger that goes with the testosterone. While I like PIs like that as well, the danger is in the stereotype.

A male writer, Lehane produced a female character that I find believable. NOw, to turn that around, I don't have a problem with women producing women PIs who come short of the classic PI mold, and sometimes the success is in the failure itself.

I did a short paper on something similar to this a couple years ago, and if the thread gets going some more, I might dig it up and summarize, see what you all have to say.

Neil Smith Plots With Guns ( new feb/march issue.

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