Re: RARA-AVIS: male fantasy worlds?

Date: 22 Aug 2001


Re your comment below:

> . . .I just don't think it makes sense to
> judge a series based on
> the protagonist possessing a "nontraditional
> gender."

I didn't say it made sense. The question that came up was whether or not anyone had a *visceral* reaction against fmale PIs, cops, secret agents, etc., in fiction.

I responded that, alhtough I like some of the woman PI characters (I specifically mentioned both Kinsey Milhone and Delilah West), I do have that visceral reaction to seeing females in what seems to me to be essentially a male fantasy role. I even referred to it as a prejudice, or at least a pre-expectation, that I have to readjust before reading the book. That's not judgment. It's not even allowing a prejudice to keep me from enjoying a good read. It's just admitting that the prejudice exists when I was specifically asked.

Now as for whether or not the classic/cliche PI figure is a "male fantasy," that still seems to me self-evident. It was created almost exclusively by men for an almost exclusively male audience. Leaving aside everything else I said, that I think proves my point. It's a male fantasy, for males, notwithstanding the fact that it might have an appeal for many females. Just as the "classic/cliche" romance plot is a "female fantasy," created almost exclusively by females for an almost exclusively female audience. And the fact that there are males to whom this essentioally female fantasy might appeal
(like me, by the way; I've read romances for market research and found I liked them, enjoying the soties and admiring the craftsmanship) doesn't make them any less of a female fantasy.


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