Blog about feminine perspectives in writing below (Blog Post #6)

These excerpts are merely examples of female writers. Think about the content and how the events taking place are comparable to other writing from the semester. What do you notice about these perspectives?

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10 responses

  1. Based on what we’ve learned in the beginning of the semester I can’t pinpoint unique distinctions between gender writing styles. One thing that leans towards both genders being alike is their passion towards their writings. Most of the male authors using metaphors and similes to explain their feeling unlike women. Solnit for example, goes straight to the point and isn’t vague about it either. She uses personal examples as a proof to her argument. She had a strong piece that was more of an argument which was not the case for the male authors. They were all writings about personal or something similar to their personal situations translated into a story.
    Since we are focusing on the semesters first lesson on what the ideal writing is, women authors have the advantage. They do not use terms that I have never read nor want to go through the trouble to find their meanings. Meaning they don’t favor on having a merit that is so sophisticated that its merely comprehendible. Female authors just write easy-to-read pieces; At least in my opinion they are easier, because when comparing to the males, I sorta get the gist of whats the story or meaning of the text when reading, unlike a mans creative expression on paper. They are too creative…..

  2. The femininie perspective seems to be something close to what I wrote about in my first autobiographical piece because clearly I reflected on my life based on the perceptions I have had, being a female. The difference between female writing and male writing is not something stark or concrete because it varies based upon the writer. Perhaps women deal with unique challenges from men, so that might be the considerable differences. There might be certain personal hurdles that are reflectivly more feminine compared to masculine. Women writing expresses themsleves perhaps uniquely from men, there is a vunerability that is distinct from the male counterpart authors we have read thus far. Women writers seems to reflect uniquely to their experiences of womanhood.
    The piece discussed in class Tuesday (today) seeemed to be insightful and clearly written where it was relatable to the audience, whoever that might be. Female writers seem to, fro what I have noticed in this class, lay their cards out on the table and rapidly implement us into their world and perspective. It makes me think of Lena Dunham’s autobiogrpahy “Not That Kind of Girl” which I had not read in depth but definitely eludes to the female perspective. The struggles women have compared to males in life vary so it is obvious that the texts written by a female author and male author will have some variation. Dunham reminds me of a younger, more modern version of Harrison because she focuses more on the modern issues females struggle with compared to Harrison which seemed to look back more, like a recollection of her life experiences. There is more fludiity in female writing in a certain regard because there are plenty of women who experience the same womanly things in life differently and that is why i find ot fascinating both gemders textually create things so uniquely.

  3. I think that female writers seemed to be more fixated on explaining smaller details that male writers may think are insignificant. For example, in “The Forest of Memory” written by Kathryn Harrison, she said, “Who else would care to preserve…” while talking about her history and what/who made her who she was. I feel that male writers tend to address the bigger concept more and get to the point of what they are trying to let the reader know rather than adding specific details to fluff up the story. I also think that female writers tend to talk more about people rather than objects. Hourani, Said, and Darwish, just to name a few authors, talked about places and their homeland (objects). It seems like female writers talk more about relationships. Also, it seems that when comparing some of these pieces of writings, the women tend to have shorter sentences than men. Which to be quite honest, I don’t understand because I would think that it would be the complete opposite since it is usually females who are stereotyped as the more talkative gender. I also think, however, it depends on what the story is about and what the context and tone of the story is. I am sure that there are many female writers that write “like a man” and vice versa.
    “The Forest of Memory” wasn’t just a summary, but it was also an analysis of her life. At different parts of her story she listed things that were linked together that provided a vivid imagery. She had these memories and she listed them for us. She expanded on the thoughts of her memories and compared to other ideas. She became an observer of her own life and did not make the whole things completely personal. Harrison’s work was not alienating because the reader can feel a connection to what she was saying.

  4. I believe the Pillow Book is an excellent example of how a woman’s perspective can be more unique than a man’s even if they both come from the same time and place. I believe this because the society of the Imperial Palace that Shonagon writes about is very regimental with the men and women of the palace for the most part separated and spend most of their time only amongst each other. When one thinks of the Imperial Palace what instantly would come to mind would most likely be the male Emperors and their large sprawling bureaucracies made up entirely of men so I believe reading from a woman’s perspective in this setting is unique. The women’s roles in the Imperial Palace are vastly different than the roles the men have so this book would be impossible for a man from the same time and place to replicate. In this society even the Empress lives apart from the Emperor in her own separate quarters staffed primarily with other women and reading about the Shonagon’s relationship with the Empress we understand that it’s a relationship the Empress could have only with another woman.

    The relationship between Shonagon and her older brother Norimitsu is also another example of the specific feminine perspective of Shonagon. We need only look to Shonagon’s poem to understand this, “Smoothly runs the river of Yoshino, Between Mount Imo and Mount Se. Yet, should these mountains crumble, The river too would vanish from our sight.” The mountains Imo and Se represent “Younger Sister” and “Older Brother” and the whole poem represents their relationship as siblings. If we look at Norimitsu we understand the disparity between them. While Norimitsu begins as the head of Palace Repairs for the Imperial Palace he is soon elevated to an Assistant Governor position in contrast Shonagon’s role remains the same. Perhaps the rift that grows between them Is a result of Norimitsu becoming distant to his sister or vice versa due to Norimitsu as a man being able to continue to move up in society while Shonagon remains stagnant.

  5. I don’t feel comfortable making any generalizations about female writers as opposed to male writers. I know that these generalizations exist, and can even be thought of as scientific. I was watching a television episode of a crime show last night, in which the FBI agent knew that the suspect they were looking for was a man based on the fact that a note he wrote was more direct and used less adjectives. I’m pretty sure there’s even an algorithm that claims that it can, with 80% accuracy, detect whether a piece of writing was written by a male or female.

    And yet, something in me fights against the notion of looking for things that separate female writers from male. Perhaps it is more “masculine” to write more directly. Perhaps prose that is less descriptive, less emotional, can be described as masculine. But that doesn’t mean it was written by a man. The same goes for feminine writing.

    Personally, I often cannot tell when things were written by men or women. I often read sci-fi and dystopian novels written for young adults, and it’s not common for me to look into who the author is unless their face is staring up at me from the back cover. It’s happened to me before that I read a few chapters of a book and assume the writer is male or female, only to find out I was wrong. I was once reading a novel which but didn’t consider whether the writer was male or female. A few chapters in the female protagonist reacted to something in a way that I felt revealed that the author was not someone who had the knowledge of female experience. (I know this seems pretty vague- but as I try to remember details, I can’t).

  6. The writings of women that we read in class were enjoyable because they were very specific about details that pertained to the speaker’s environment and experiences and employed imagery in writing. For example, Katherine Harrison describes her only-child “status” as a “monopoly” and that a sibling would possibly have left her “endangered” (10). It serves to reassure her that being an only-child isn’t all that bad as she initially makes it sound. Similarly, Sei Shonagon expresses her love of children that are “plump” in section 40. It’s very descriptive, and seems like a diary entry. Section 39 shows her expressing her opinion very clearly and concisely, as she initially describes her disdain toward “the driver of one’s ox-carriage to be poorly dressed” (78). Section 44 shows her playing with language when she describes aspects of nature that can’t be compared.
    Although I notice these things i’m still not sure what defines these works as feminine pieces maybe because of the subject matters they discuss. I don’t think that I have read many works that take on a feminist perspective. However, there are some elements that these three pieces of feminine writing have in common. They are very observant, showing a high degree of the narrator’s alertness to her surroundings and are sure to describe small moments. But the writings of male writers that we have read so far, also are similar, which is why I believe that men and women are capable of taking on different perspectives, such as the feminist perspective. For example, Imperium also discussed loneliness in the section about foreigners, similar to Harrison’s narrator wanting to feel like she is not an only child. An observation I made about female writers is that they seem to be much more straightforward, such as when thinking about the Rebecca Solnit piece and Shonagon.

  7. While reading the works written by both men and women I genuinely didn’t notice much differences in writing styles. I felt like the writing styles from each can be achieved by either sex and can be equally expressed to be conveyed to the readers. Also, each writer, regardless of gender, has a different way of writing meaning that their writing styles can compare to one another or be on a different level. There aren’t any specifics that I can pinpoint that would make someone know that either a woman was capable of writing something or maybe it was a man. I feel like if we were to get pieces of writing from a man and a woman and cross out their names we wouldn’t be able to determine if piece A or piece B was made by a woman or man. The texts written by women that we read this week were interesting, for example, Pillow Book is written in the style of a journal with her observations and thoughts making it somewhat feminine because she’s writing in a diary. This is somewhat unique because of the way that its written in sections yet they’re structured to fit together. But at the same time, we should acknowledge that a man is capable of writing in the same manner. All the texts we’ve read so far had the same criteria of being detailed, structured containing imagery with a more show than a tell. But the way a text is displayed to the reader depends on the experience, men and women face different hardships throughout their lives. No too are alike, which means some writing can in fact be looked at as in feminine or masculine and then and only then we can truly classify a text belonging to either a man or a woman.

  8. I don’t see a difference in the way in which women write verse men. I don’t think it matters if they were written by a male or a female. I can see why some may think there is a difference. Women are stereotyped as more sensitive, creative, gentle etc. Some may say we are irrational and dramatic. So an audience might look for these traits in anything we produce. In writing I doesn’t matter who wrote it all these qualities/traits can be demonstrated in a mans writing. Take Poe for example, some may feel his stuff is a bit on the strange side of things a bit out there and has a creative deeper meaning. Writing is about form structure and the message.

    I ended up loving The Forest of Memory. I love the way it was written and the sincerity in the writing. However I did not enjoy the Red Square at Noon. Now if we are going to compare anything it should be this written piece verse’s Imperium. I enjoyed Imperium better. I think I enjoyed it more because it had more of an impact. I felt that Red Square at Noon lacked something, I felt a disconnect there opposed to Imperium. Overall Given that these stories were all some form of an autobiography I don’t think we can place gender here. An experience, a memory, a story doesn’t hold gender.

  9. I don’t necessarily believe that the styles of the female writers whose work we have read in class have a particular feminine air to them. In fact, if I was not told that the writers of The Forrest of Memory, The Red Square by Noon and The Pillowbook were all women I would not have been able to distinguish whether or not these pieces were written by a male or female. In a sense I believe this is a good reflection of the backbone the feminist ideal, which consists of the concept that men and women are virtually equal in every way, ignoring certain physical attributes. I believe that the work of each these writers contains a certain level of gender neutrality that allows for the work to be more accessible, not alienating an audience based on gender or sexuality. I personally feel like Sei Shonagon’s The Pillowbook is the biggest example of this “gender neutrality” in writing as The Pillowbook is written in the format of a personal journal, consisting of various “diary-like” entries. Because of this the reader is given the impression that the speaker is an unnamed outsider “looking in” to the everyday happenings of feudal Japan. If it weren’t for a few of the verbal signifiers within The Pillowbook (the speaker referring to herself as a woman), Shonagon’s writing would be practically indistinguishable than that of a make writers. Inversely, when compared to these readings, Rebecca Solnit’s article 80 Books No Woman Should Read is written with a distinct feminine voice, this can be attributed to the fact that Solnit’s article works as a critique of the sexist Esquire list “The 80 Best Books Every Man Should Read” and therefore it would make more sense for the author to enforce the fact that she is a woman in order to better convey the offensive nature of Esquires List.

  10. Many works that I have read in various classes never had me thinking about the gender of the author. There were no distinguishes between any form of writer besides their personal style. I’ve never said to myself that this had to be written by a male, or female. One of my old teachers conducted an experiment with her writing. She had two different college classes (around 250 different people each) read a piece written by her. On one she would have the name Janet Valentine across the top, and for the other, she would have Jay Valentine. She found that people in the “Janet” class questioned her writing and understanding of the topic than the “Jay” class. Maybe because we, as Queens College students, are used to the different diverse opportunities and opinions. That we don’t de-opinionate someone for their gender, especially for a research piece.

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