Gender is a HUGE subject I'm hardly going to scratch the surface of, but I love looking at big issues...
...and I did a class on feminism at university. Time to put that learning to use!
Gender and Your Audience
When you think of audience, do you consider gender at the same time? Do you think your gender informs who you can write for? If a book's lead character is male, does that make it primarily for men?
Gender equality is important and personally I find it insulting to read a book that starts treating characters of either gender as complete stereotypes in order to appeal to just male or just female readers. I know it happens a lot, but there's nothing that makes me roll my eyes more than when an otherwise enjoyable book screws up gender issues. The characters can have arguments pertaining to gender stereotypes, but I firmly believe a book's core message should not promote one gender at the expense the other.
I'm not saying that's easy. There are differences between genders and they will always be sources of conflict. What I find frustrating others may not. But I will always strive to approach gender issues equally and even though I am a woman, I will treat my male characters with the respect they deserve.
My aim is to create stories where no one picks it up and questions whether or not they should be reading it based on their gender.