Tuesday, February 8, 2011

“Feminization” in epic fantasy?

Kate Elliot, who is excellent, posted a link to the blog of author N.K. Jemisin (who I hear is excellent but have yet to find out for myself) in which Jemisin sparks a discussion about "Feminization" in epic fantasy:
It could certainly be the case that I just didn’t do as good a job of depicting the weirdness and wildness of the whole godsex thing as I’d intended. It’s also possible that it just didn’t suit some readers’ tastes. But one notable difference was also that all those more explicit scenes I could think of were written by men, and featured for the most part the male gaze. That is, the sex scenes were written from a man’s point of view, and focused on things that ostensibly male readers would like to see, whatever those might be. The only exceptions I can think of are Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel books and Storm Constantine’s Wraeththu books — both of which also took heat over their sex scenes. (It’s debatable whether “female gaze” applies to Constantine’s books, since the characters in Wraeththu are hermaphrodites who started out as men, but let’s toss it in for discussion.)
 There's a thought-provoking chat going on in the comments.

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