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Here is where we start getting into the territory of {{Double Standard}}s: those old chestnuts that dominate so much of gender politics. Women are expected to be one thing and men another, because male and female personalities are completely, polar-opposite, YinYangClash- or MarsAndVenusGenderContrast-level different. This is the fundamental belief of patriarchy: that men and women are DifferentAsNightAndDay, and '''''never''''' the twain shall meet. A great deal of social conditioning goes into programming people to believe this. [[CaptainObvious This logic sucks]], but it is nevertheless useful to us as writers because it lets us apply the vast majority of our experiences. Whatever we were taught to be, we just [[InvertedTrope do the opposite]].

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Here is where we start getting into the territory of {{Double Standard}}s: those old chestnuts that dominate so much of gender politics. Women are expected to be one thing and men another, because male and female personalities are completely, polar-opposite, YinYangClash- or MarsAndVenusGenderContrast-level different. This is the fundamental belief of patriarchy: that men and women are DifferentAsNightAndDay, and '''''never''''' the twain shall meet. A great deal of social conditioning goes into programming people to believe this. [[CaptainObvious This logic sucks]], sucks, but it is nevertheless useful to us as writers because it lets us apply the vast majority of our experiences. Whatever we were taught to be, we just [[InvertedTrope do the opposite]].


This article has been accused of having a feminist bias. [[BluntYes It does]]. The thing is, there is no such thing as an unbiased version of this article. The traditional viewpoint -- the "patriarchal" viewpoint, as feminists describe it -- is the MarsAndVenusGenderContrast: men and women not only do not understand each other, but ''cannot''; therefore, this page is futile, and should be added to the PermanentRedLinkClub because nothing useful can be said on the subject. According to the traditional viewpoint, you cannot learn to write a character of the opposite gender, and we cannot teach you.

to:

This article has been accused of having a feminist bias. [[BluntYes It does]]. The thing is, there is no such thing as an unbiased version of this article. The traditional viewpoint -- the "patriarchal" viewpoint, as feminists describe it -- is the MarsAndVenusGenderContrast: men and women not only do not understand each other, but ''cannot''; therefore, this page is futile, and should be added to the PermanentRedLinkClub Administrivia/PermanentRedLinkClub because nothing useful can be said on the subject. According to the traditional viewpoint, you cannot learn to write a character of the opposite gender, and we cannot teach you.


-->--Creator/VictorBorge

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-->--Creator/VictorBorge
-->-- Creator/VictorBorge



There are more ways of looking at it. ''VideoGame/TheSims'' has a maximum of eight biological needs, partially based on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs]].

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There are more ways of looking at it. ''VideoGame/TheSims'' has a maximum of eight biological needs, partially based on [[http://en.[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs]].



** PinkIsForSissies. Women can wear just about any color, but any colors strongly associated with women (which is mostly {{pink|MeansFeminine}} in America, and [[GracefulLadiesLikePurple purple to a lesser extent]]) are completely off-limits for men. The same is true for clothes; it's almost a DeadHorseTrope that Scottish men wearing traditional garb (i.e. kilts) are considered unmanly simply because a kilt is similar--''similar''--to a skirt. (And men from the 1600s would be laughed at by today's population for wearing high heels, even though high heels started out as a men-only accessory, simply because [[ValuesDissonance today they are the opposite]].) Hobbies and other lifestyle choices are segregated in this way, too: knitting, crocheting, dancing, flower arranging and other stereotypically female pastimes are simply off the table for men. And let's not even ''get'' into names! Many names that started off as male-exclusive--[[http://www.disneybaby.com/blog/25-names-that-used-to-be-boy-names/ Meredith]], [[http://firsttoknow.com/13-girls-names-used-exclusively-male/ Evelyn]], [[http://nameberry.com/blog/unisex-baby-names-names-that-morphed-from-blue-to-pink Ashley]]--are now only seen on women, and a number of other {{Gender Blender Name}}s are likely to follow.

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** PinkIsForSissies. Women can wear just about any color, but any colors strongly associated with women (which is mostly {{pink|MeansFeminine}} in America, and [[GracefulLadiesLikePurple purple to a lesser extent]]) are completely off-limits for men. The same is true for clothes; it's almost a DeadHorseTrope that Scottish men wearing traditional garb (i.e. kilts) are considered unmanly simply because a kilt is similar--''similar''--to a skirt. (And men from the 1600s would be laughed at by today's population for wearing high heels, even though high heels started out as a men-only accessory, simply because [[ValuesDissonance today they are the opposite]].) Hobbies and other lifestyle choices are segregated in this way, too: knitting, crocheting, dancing, flower arranging and other stereotypically female pastimes are simply off the table for men. And let's not even ''get'' into names! Many names that started off as male-exclusive--[[http://www.disneybaby.com/blog/25-names-that-used-to-be-boy-names/ Meredith]], [[http://firsttoknow.[[https://firsttoknow.com/13-girls-names-used-exclusively-male/ Evelyn]], [[http://nameberry.[[https://nameberry.com/blog/unisex-baby-names-names-that-morphed-from-blue-to-pink Ashley]]--are now only seen on women, and a number of other {{Gender Blender Name}}s are likely to follow.



And spend some time, additionally, thinking about what your definition of "the opposite gender" even ''is'', because you should subvert it in your writing as much as possible. If not, it'll show. Consider ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', the [[{{Doorstopper}} 14-book (!!!)]] magnum opus of author Robert Jordan. Almost every female character in it is a harsh (''tsun'') {{Tsundere}}, simply because [[WriteWhoYouKnow that's what Jordan's wife is like]], and readers noticed quickly. Jordan ''did'' go to some lengths to justify his female characters being more comfortable with power and authority: his world is much more gender-even because, [[EternalRecurrence during the last Final Boss Fight]], the BigBad cursed all male wizards to go [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity batshit insane]]. 3,000 years later, male channelers are hunted down--by women--and "[[{{Depower}} gentled]]" in service of TheNeedsOfTheMany. When only women can use magic, of ''course'' patriarchy goes out the window. But even in a world where women can and do hold positions of enormous power (like "Amyrlin Seat," the elected president of the WitchSpecies and probably the single most powerful person on the continent), they wouldn't all have ''the same exact personality''. Robert Jordan's writing made it clear that while he understood ''a'' woman, he did not understand ''wom'''e'''n''.

to:

And spend some time, additionally, thinking about what your definition of "the opposite gender" even ''is'', because you should subvert it in your writing as much as possible. If not, it'll show. Consider ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', the [[{{Doorstopper}} 14-book (!!!)]] magnum opus of author Robert Jordan. Almost every female character in it is a more harsh (''tsun'') {{Tsundere}}, simply because [[WriteWhoYouKnow that's what Jordan's wife is like]], and readers noticed quickly. Jordan ''did'' go to some lengths to justify his female characters being more comfortable with power and authority: his world is much more gender-even because, [[EternalRecurrence during the last Final Boss Fight]], the BigBad cursed all male wizards to go [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity batshit insane]]. 3,000 years later, male channelers are hunted down--by women--and "[[{{Depower}} gentled]]" in service of TheNeedsOfTheMany. When only women can use magic, of ''course'' patriarchy goes out the window. But even in a world where women can and do hold positions of enormous power (like "Amyrlin Seat," the elected president of the WitchSpecies and probably the single most powerful person on the continent), they wouldn't all have ''the same exact personality''. Robert Jordan's writing made it clear that while he understood ''a'' woman, he did not understand ''wom'''e'''n''.


!!!'''A Foreward'''

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!!!'''A Foreward'''!A Foreward



!'''Necessary Tropes'''

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!'''Necessary Tropes'''
!Necessary Tropes



This is even true in historical contexts. Look around at the people you are near. Most of them are not 100% masculine or 100% feminine. They exhibit at least a couple traits that are (traditionally) ascribed to the other gender. And if thatís true today, it was probably true in the past, because the thing about human nature is that it doesnít change. (If it does, why do we still read works that are OlderThanDirt?) True, people were much less likely to ''display'' their differences in public, but that didnít mean they didnít exist.

to:

This is even true in historical contexts. Look around at the people you are near. Most of them are not 100% masculine or 100% feminine. They exhibit at least a couple traits that are (traditionally) ascribed to the other gender. And if thatís that's true today, it was probably true in the past, because the thing about human nature is that it doesnít doesn't change. (If it does, why do we still read works that are OlderThanDirt?) True, people were much less likely to ''display'' their differences in public, but that didnít didn't mean they didnít didn't exist.



!!! An Afterward
This article has been accused of having a feminist bias. [[BluntYes It does.]] The thing is, there is no such thing as an unbiased version of this article. The traditional viewpoint -- the "patriarchal" viewpoint, as feminists describe it -- is the MarsAndVenusGenderContrast: men and women not only do not understand each other, but ''cannot''; therefore, this page is futile, and should be added to the PermanentRedLinkClub because nothing useful can be said on the subject. According to the traditional viewpoint, you cannot learn to write a character of the opposite gender, and we cannot teach you.

to:

!!! An !!!An Afterward
This article has been accused of having a feminist bias. [[BluntYes It does.]] does]]. The thing is, there is no such thing as an unbiased version of this article. The traditional viewpoint -- the "patriarchal" viewpoint, as feminists describe it -- is the MarsAndVenusGenderContrast: men and women not only do not understand each other, but ''cannot''; therefore, this page is futile, and should be added to the PermanentRedLinkClub because nothing useful can be said on the subject. According to the traditional viewpoint, you cannot learn to write a character of the opposite gender, and we cannot teach you.



!'''Choices, Choices'''

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!'''Choices, Choices'''!Choices, Choices



# Benevolence: preserving and enhancing the welfare of those with whom one is in frequent personal contact (the Ďin-groupí).

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# Benevolence: preserving and enhancing the welfare of those with whom one is in frequent personal contact (the Ďin-groupí).Ďin-group').



"But that doesn't help me at all," we can hear you protest. "I'm a man trying to write a woman/a woman trying to write a man! My own experience doesn't apply at all! Itís DifferentForGirls!" And to that we would reply: Nonsense. You, like your opposite-gender character, are subject to societal pressure. From the day you were born, you have dealt with the same social conditioning everyone has. What you were conditioned ''to be'' is different, but ''the conditioning itself'' is omnipresent.

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"But that doesn't help me at all," we can hear you protest. "I'm a man trying to write a woman/a woman trying to write a man! My own experience doesn't apply at all! Itís It's DifferentForGirls!" And to that we would reply: Nonsense. You, like your opposite-gender character, are subject to societal pressure. From the day you were born, you have dealt with the same social conditioning everyone has. What you were conditioned ''to be'' is different, but ''the conditioning itself'' is omnipresent.



** UglyGuyHotWife: Women are much more encouraged to [[MenAreStrongWomenArePretty fit into their cultureís standards of physical attractiveness]]. If a man doesnít, he gets negative attention for it, but rather less of it; it's okay for men to deviate from the norm. (Proof of concept: during her 2016 campaign for the American presidency, how many times did [[UsefulNotes/HillaryRodhamClinton Hillary Clinton]] get criticized for not smiling enough? More times than all of her competitors combined.)
** Women are discouraged from having bodily functions. If a man farts or burps in public, itís typically PlayedForLaughs; if he smells like sweat, itís not a big deal (though it can lead to him being shunned). But if a woman farts, or burps, or ''talks'' about farting or burping or--gasp!--pooping, then clearly she is an uncivilized savage. She must smell perfect at all times, even if she's still in the gym and just finished running five miles. And God ''forbid'' she [[NoPeriodsPeriod admit that she menstruates]]. This is because...

to:

** UglyGuyHotWife: Women are much more encouraged to [[MenAreStrongWomenArePretty fit into their cultureís culture's standards of physical attractiveness]]. If a man doesnít, doesn't, he gets negative attention for it, but rather less of it; it's okay for men to deviate from the norm. (Proof of concept: during her 2016 campaign for the American presidency, how many times did [[UsefulNotes/HillaryRodhamClinton Hillary Clinton]] get criticized for not smiling enough? More times than all of her competitors combined.)
** Women are discouraged from having bodily functions. If a man farts or burps in public, itís it's typically PlayedForLaughs; if he smells like sweat, itís it's not a big deal (though it can lead to him being shunned). But if a woman farts, or burps, or ''talks'' about farting or burping or--gasp!--pooping, then clearly she is an uncivilized savage. She must smell perfect at all times, even if she's still in the gym and just finished running five miles. And God ''forbid'' she [[NoPeriodsPeriod admit that she menstruates]]. This is because...



** SatelliteLoveInterest. Women are socialized to define themselves according to their romantic lives and romantic partners. At a time when boys are throwing Franchise/{{GI Joe}}s or Franchise/PowerRangers toys at each otherís faces, girls spend time thinking about the trappings of a relationship--house, kids, the husbandís career, and especially the White Wedding she hopes to have one day. (CommonKnowledge insists that men are completely disinterested in any aspect of the wedding except for [[AllMenArePerverts the consummation]].) And almost every lifestyle choice a woman makes--hairstyle, make-up and clothing, hobbies and pastimes, career, exercise and eating habits--will be judged in terms of whether it furthers her ability to get a man. A woman never does things just because she ''wants'' to do them; it's all part of her plan to get a man.

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** SatelliteLoveInterest. Women are socialized to define themselves according to their romantic lives and romantic partners. At a time when boys are throwing Franchise/{{GI Joe}}s or Franchise/PowerRangers toys at each otherís other's faces, girls spend time thinking about the trappings of a relationship--house, kids, the husbandís husband's career, and especially the White Wedding she hopes to have one day. (CommonKnowledge insists that men are completely disinterested in any aspect of the wedding except for [[AllMenArePerverts the consummation]].) And almost every lifestyle choice a woman makes--hairstyle, make-up and clothing, hobbies and pastimes, career, exercise and eating habits--will be judged in terms of whether it furthers her ability to get a man. A woman never does things just because she ''wants'' to do them; it's all part of her plan to get a man.



** MoustacheDePlume. For a woman to be taken seriously in a male-dominated field, she has to hide her femininity. She might also have to over-compensate for it, at which point sheís likely to be considered a bitch. And she'll ''still'' be asked why she didn't choose to StayInTheKitchen.

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** MoustacheDePlume. For a woman to be taken seriously in a male-dominated field, she has to hide her femininity. She might also have to over-compensate for it, at which point sheís she's likely to be considered a bitch. And she'll ''still'' be asked why she didn't choose to StayInTheKitchen.



** CampGay. Homosexual men are weird because being gay involves--guess what?--''having feminine traits''. Even worse, it involves a man being the receiving partner in a sexual transaction--in other words, being powerless, instead of being powerful, the way a "''real'' man" should. (Lesbians, on the other hand, get off scot-free, because their sexual interactions donít involve [[SarcasmMode perverting Sacred Masculinity]] and thus are morally irrelevant. Well, aside from men's cherished belief that [[ItsAllAboutMe truly satisfying sex must involve a penis]].)

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** CampGay. Homosexual men are weird because being gay involves--guess what?--''having feminine traits''. Even worse, it involves a man being the receiving partner in a sexual transaction--in other words, being powerless, instead of being powerful, the way a "''real'' man" should. (Lesbians, on the other hand, get off scot-free, because their sexual interactions donít don't involve [[SarcasmMode perverting Sacred Masculinity]] and thus are morally irrelevant. Well, aside from men's cherished belief that [[ItsAllAboutMe truly satisfying sex must involve a penis]].)



If you defy these, youíll likely feel pressure--some from your peers, some from society, and some that may even have been ''{{internalized|Categorism}}'' into your personality due to your cultureís (successful) brainwashing--to conform. After all, ''youíre not fitting your gender roles!!'' Almost everyone feels this pressure, and the question of how they resist or adapt to it, and ''which parts'' they resist or adapt to, is fertile ground for CharacterDevelopment.

Walking in these shoes can be, well, daunting. Fortunately, you have an imagination, which will allow you to walk in the shoes of someone else who has lived under these double standards, under different ones from you. You've also probably noticed some of them at work, or heard people you are close to talking about them. If you have friends of the opposite sex (you probably do), you can ask them for help. Finally, there's always the {{Double Standard}}s article here on TV Tropes to help you out--thatís where ''we'' got the above list. Study them and pay attention to the ones weíve talked about.

!'''Pitfalls'''

to:

If you defy these, youíll you'll likely feel pressure--some from your peers, some from society, and some that may even have been ''{{internalized|Categorism}}'' into your personality due to your cultureís culture's (successful) brainwashing--to conform. After all, ''youíre ''you're not fitting your gender roles!!'' Almost everyone feels this pressure, and the question of how they resist or adapt to it, and ''which parts'' they resist or adapt to, is fertile ground for CharacterDevelopment.

Walking in these shoes can be, well, daunting. Fortunately, you have an imagination, which will allow you to walk in the shoes of someone else who has lived under these double standards, under different ones from you. You've also probably noticed some of them at work, or heard people you are close to talking about them. If you have friends of the opposite sex (you probably do), you can ask them for help. Finally, there's always the {{Double Standard}}s article here on TV Tropes to help you out--thatís out--that's where ''we'' got the above list. Study them and pay attention to the ones weíve we've talked about.

!'''Pitfalls'''!Pitfalls



[[SincerityMode No, seriously.]] There are things you can ask people about social conditioning and the double standards, but matters of mere physicality are a bit harder to pin down. The problem with weighted opposites is that in order to describe one, you have to be able to describe the other. We can't ask you whether you're "austrepidacious" if you don't even know what it means to be ''not'' austrepidacious. Weighted-opposites states need to be before-and-after before we can really make a comparison. And, until and unless somebody perfects some sort of magic GenderBender ray, we're not going to have much in the way of understanding what it's like to be a woman one day and a man the next.

to:

[[SincerityMode No, seriously.]] seriously]]. There are things you can ask people about social conditioning and the double standards, but matters of mere physicality are a bit harder to pin down. The problem with weighted opposites is that in order to describe one, you have to be able to describe the other. We can't ask you whether you're "austrepidacious" if you don't even know what it means to be ''not'' austrepidacious. Weighted-opposites states need to be before-and-after before we can really make a comparison. And, until and unless somebody perfects some sort of magic GenderBender ray, we're not going to have much in the way of understanding what it's like to be a woman one day and a man the next.



First off, there is a stereotype that men are totally unconcerned about their appearance, and will happily go out in public unshaven, with mismatched socks, and generally in an unfinished state that no self-respecting woman would allow herself to be seen in. This leads a lot of women to believe that men are simply immune to the body-image issues epitomized by tropes like HollywoodHomely or HollywoodPudgy. The truth is, men ''do'' have body-image issues. But once again, men are trained [[TheStoic not to show their emotions]], especially not their insecurities. Additionally, it can be much harder for men to get any sort of grounding in the area because they are expected to be islands unto themselves. If a woman were to go to her girl-friends and say, ďIím concerned that my arms have too much fat on them,Ē they will be able to point out a dozen other women around her who have fatter ones. Male friends would not be able to, because men are not actually allowed to look at each other, not in the frank assessments necessary to get any grounding as to what actual human beings look like these days. So they keep it to themselves. But that doesn't mean they don't feel it.

Facial hair is both a blessing and a curse. A well-created and distinguished [[BadassBeard beard]] or [[BadassMustache moustache]] can add enormous presence and dignity to a face... but a wimpy one just looks dumb. And facial hair is not created equally: some people just donít have a lot of it, and canít grow it fast or thick enough to be presentable in public.

to:

First off, there is a stereotype that men are totally unconcerned about their appearance, and will happily go out in public unshaven, with mismatched socks, and generally in an unfinished state that no self-respecting woman would allow herself to be seen in. This leads a lot of women to believe that men are simply immune to the body-image issues epitomized by tropes like HollywoodHomely or HollywoodPudgy. The truth is, men ''do'' have body-image issues. But once again, men are trained [[TheStoic not to show their emotions]], especially not their insecurities. Additionally, it can be much harder for men to get any sort of grounding in the area because they are expected to be islands unto themselves. If a woman were to go to her girl-friends and say, ďIím "I'm concerned that my arms have too much fat on them,Ē them," they will be able to point out a dozen other women around her who have fatter ones. Male friends would not be able to, because men are not actually allowed to look at each other, not in the frank assessments necessary to get any grounding as to what actual human beings look like these days. So they keep it to themselves. But that doesn't mean they don't feel it.

Facial hair is both a blessing and a curse. A well-created and distinguished [[BadassBeard beard]] or [[BadassMustache moustache]] can add enormous presence and dignity to a face... but a wimpy one just looks dumb. And facial hair is not created equally: some people just donít don't have a lot of it, and canít can't grow it fast or thick enough to be presentable in public.



And a manís genitals are not between his legs, they are in front of them. It is in fact possible for a man to sit cross-legged, but most don't, because 1) the risk is not worth the effort, and 2) ''women'' sit cross-legged, and men aren't allowed to do anything women do. (It's kind of interesting how patriarchy, an attitude that supposedly is all about promoting male freedom at the expense of female freedom, actually restricts both.)

to:

And a manís man's genitals are not between his legs, they are in front of them. It is in fact possible for a man to sit cross-legged, but most don't, because 1) the risk is not worth the effort, and 2) ''women'' sit cross-legged, and men aren't allowed to do anything women do. (It's kind of interesting how patriarchy, an attitude that supposedly is all about promoting male freedom at the expense of female freedom, actually restricts both.)



Walking around with breasts means walking around with things sagging off the front of your chest. While they are not very dense, this just makes it easier to fling them around if you need to move quickly. Most men believe that women wear bras primarily to accent their assets, but the truth is that theyíre also the best way to keep the darn things from escaping. Most of the time, though, women don't really notice their breasts, unless something draws attention to them (the same way men don't really notice their genitals unless something draws attention to them, like an erection or injury). A lot of times you'll see a female character who has these [[https://www.buzzfeed.com/tahliapritchard/women-describing-themselves-as-male-authors-would random sensuous thoughts]] [[https://www.reddit.com/r/menwritingwomen/comments/740ypq/she_breasted_boobily/ about her tits]]. This is what men think women do because it's what a man would do if he were [[GenderBender womanified]]; and if he ''were'' womanified, he probably ''would'' notice his new tits... for a while. But gradually they'd just become a part of his body. For a female character to do this well into her... whatever-age-she-is-when-the-story-starts... is heteronormative thinking, pure and simple.

Periods suck. Your body is expelling a piece of itself, and itís coming out all gory and sticky, and you have to walk around with a chunk of wet cotton pressed against your downstairs to absorb it--how good a mood would ''you'' be in? Even worse, there are a lot of aches and pains associated with it: aside from the cramps as your uterus tears its own insides apart, you can have acne breaking out, you can get headaches, your breasts can get extremely sensitive or even feel like they're burning, you can feel sluggish and depressed, you can start [[WackyCravings craving certain foods]] (chocolate, salts, fats) to the point that it becomes an obsession, your sex drive can go completely off the charts in ''either'' direction... Of course, every womanís different. Some remain chipper while some get really emotional. Some have pain while some donít. The length of the process is different from person to person. Even the ''quantity'' of discharge can vary: Wiki/TheOtherWiki claims that the average volume is 35 milliliters but that anything from 10 to 80 mL is still ďconsidered typical.Ē

to:

Walking around with breasts means walking around with things sagging off the front of your chest. While they are not very dense, this just makes it easier to fling them around if you need to move quickly. Most men believe that women wear bras primarily to accent their assets, but the truth is that theyíre they're also the best way to keep the darn things from escaping. Most of the time, though, women don't really notice their breasts, unless something draws attention to them (the same way men don't really notice their genitals unless something draws attention to them, like an erection or injury). A lot of times you'll see a female character who has these [[https://www.buzzfeed.com/tahliapritchard/women-describing-themselves-as-male-authors-would random sensuous thoughts]] [[https://www.reddit.com/r/menwritingwomen/comments/740ypq/she_breasted_boobily/ about her tits]]. This is what men think women do because it's what a man would do if he were [[GenderBender womanified]]; and if he ''were'' womanified, he probably ''would'' notice his new tits... for a while. But gradually they'd just become a part of his body. For a female character to do this well into her... whatever-age-she-is-when-the-story-starts... is heteronormative thinking, pure and simple.

Periods suck. Your body is expelling a piece of itself, and itís it's coming out all gory and sticky, and you have to walk around with a chunk of wet cotton pressed against your downstairs to absorb it--how good a mood would ''you'' be in? Even worse, there are a lot of aches and pains associated with it: aside from the cramps as your uterus tears its own insides apart, you can have acne breaking out, you can get headaches, your breasts can get extremely sensitive or even feel like they're burning, you can feel sluggish and depressed, you can start [[WackyCravings craving certain foods]] (chocolate, salts, fats) to the point that it becomes an obsession, your sex drive can go completely off the charts in ''either'' direction... Of course, every womanís woman's different. Some remain chipper while some get really emotional. Some have pain while some donít.don't. The length of the process is different from person to person. Even the ''quantity'' of discharge can vary: Wiki/TheOtherWiki claims that the average volume is 35 milliliters but that anything from 10 to 80 mL is still ďconsidered "considered typical.Ē
"



And spend some time, additionally, thinking about what your definition of "the opposite gender" even ''is'', because you should subvert it in your writing as much as possible. If not, it'll show. Consider ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', the [[{{Doorstopper}} 14-book (!!!)]] magnum opus of author Robert Jordan. Almost every female character in it is a Type A {{Tsundere}}, simply because [[WriteWhoYouKnow that's what Jordan's wife is like]], and readers noticed quickly. Jordan ''did'' go to some lengths to justify his female characters being more comfortable with power and authority: his world is much more gender-even because, [[EternalRecurrence during the last Final Boss Fight]], the BigBad cursed all male wizards to go [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity batshit insane]]. 3,000 years later, male channelers are hunted down--by women--and "[[{{Depower}} gentled]]" in service of TheNeedsOfTheMany. When only women can use magic, of ''course'' patriarchy goes out the window. But even in a world where women can and do hold positions of enormous power (like "Amyrlin Seat," the elected president of the WitchSpecies and probably the single most powerful person on the continent), they wouldn't all have ''the same exact personality''. Robert Jordan's writing made it clear that while he understood ''a'' woman, he did not understand ''wom'''e'''n''.

to:

And spend some time, additionally, thinking about what your definition of "the opposite gender" even ''is'', because you should subvert it in your writing as much as possible. If not, it'll show. Consider ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', the [[{{Doorstopper}} 14-book (!!!)]] magnum opus of author Robert Jordan. Almost every female character in it is a Type A harsh (''tsun'') {{Tsundere}}, simply because [[WriteWhoYouKnow that's what Jordan's wife is like]], and readers noticed quickly. Jordan ''did'' go to some lengths to justify his female characters being more comfortable with power and authority: his world is much more gender-even because, [[EternalRecurrence during the last Final Boss Fight]], the BigBad cursed all male wizards to go [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity batshit insane]]. 3,000 years later, male channelers are hunted down--by women--and "[[{{Depower}} gentled]]" in service of TheNeedsOfTheMany. When only women can use magic, of ''course'' patriarchy goes out the window. But even in a world where women can and do hold positions of enormous power (like "Amyrlin Seat," the elected president of the WitchSpecies and probably the single most powerful person on the continent), they wouldn't all have ''the same exact personality''. Robert Jordan's writing made it clear that while he understood ''a'' woman, he did not understand ''wom'''e'''n''.



!'''Potential Subversions'''

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!'''Potential Subversions'''!Potential Subversions



And here's the fun part: [[TakeAThirdOption Take a]] ''[[TakeAThirdOption fourth]]'' [[TakeAThirdOption option]]! Which characters will provide support, and which will provide scorn? And why? As an author you can have a ''great'' deal of fun subverting expectations by mixing and matching characters, roles, and motivations. The muscle-bound quarterback who tries to scare Alexis off the field: maybe he's a ShellShockedVeteran who has seen too many friends injured while trying to play, and is concerned that a girl--typically the more fragile of the human species--will get not so much "injured" as "paralyzed from the neck down." And the one who is supportive and encourages her: perhaps he's secretly a male supremacist and is trying to get her in over her head so that she ''does'' get hurt, and he can point and laugh later. Motivation is motivation, but it can be expressed in a myriad of different ways, and you don't by any means need to stick to the stereotypes or traditions. Alexis sure isn't.

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And here's the fun part: [[TakeAThirdOption Take a]] {{Take a|ThirdOption}} ''[[TakeAThirdOption fourth]]'' [[TakeAThirdOption option]]! Which characters will provide support, and which will provide scorn? And why? As an author you can have a ''great'' deal of fun subverting expectations by mixing and matching characters, roles, and motivations. The muscle-bound quarterback who tries to scare Alexis off the field: maybe he's a ShellShockedVeteran who has seen too many friends injured while trying to play, and is concerned that a girl--typically the more fragile of the human species--will get not so much "injured" as "paralyzed from the neck down." And the one who is supportive and encourages her: perhaps he's secretly a male supremacist and is trying to get her in over her head so that she ''does'' get hurt, and he can point and laugh later. Motivation is motivation, but it can be expressed in a myriad of different ways, and you don't by any means need to stick to the stereotypes or traditions. Alexis sure isn't.



!'''Writers' Lounge'''
!!'''Suggested Themes and Aesops'''

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!'''Writers' Lounge'''
!!'''Suggested
!Writers' Lounge
!!Suggested
Themes and Aesops'''
Aesops



!!'''Potential Motifs'''

You could probably spend a ''lot'' of time on color motifs. Remember all that stuff about PinkGirlBlueBoy? Now, colors are a cultural thing, but that doesnít mean you canít use them. Heck, depending on your setting, you could even start making things up!

!!'''Suggested Plots'''

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!!'''Potential Motifs'''

!!Potential Motifs

You could probably spend a ''lot'' of time on color motifs. Remember all that stuff about PinkGirlBlueBoy? Now, colors are a cultural thing, but that doesnít doesn't mean you canít can't use them. Heck, depending on your setting, you could even start making things up!

!!'''Suggested Plots'''
!!Suggested Plots



!'''Extra Credit'''
!!'''The Greats'''

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!'''Extra Credit'''
!!'''The Greats'''
!Extra Credit
!!The Greats



!!'''The Epic Fails'''

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!!'''The !!The Epic Fails'''Fails



!!'''Directed Research'''

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!!'''Directed Research'''!!Directed Research


This article has political elements to it, because in our day and age, sex and gender are inherently political topics. As such, you may see things in this article that you disagree with and want to refute. When you do, please employ the RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment.

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This article has political elements to it, because in our day and age, sex and gender are inherently political topics. As such, you may see things in this article that you disagree with and want to refute. When you do, please employ the RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment.
Administrivia/RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment.



This is also why the RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment is important, and why contributors to this article have been instructed to break the rule about conversations in the main page. Since we cannot overcome bias, we must allow this article to be 100% biased -- in favor of ''both'' the traditional and the feminist viewpoint. It is only through total subjectivity that we can achieve anything approaching objectivity.

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This is also why the RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment Administrivia/RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment is important, and why contributors to this article have been instructed to break the rule about conversations in the main page. Since we cannot overcome bias, we must allow this article to be 100% biased -- in favor of ''both'' the traditional and the feminist viewpoint. It is only through total subjectivity that we can achieve anything approaching objectivity.


There are more ways of looking at it. ''Franchise/TheSims'' has a maximum of eight biological needs, partially based on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs]].

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There are more ways of looking at it. ''Franchise/TheSims'' ''VideoGame/TheSims'' has a maximum of eight biological needs, partially based on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs]].


Let's take a simple example: [[TearTropes crying]]. When you cried, how were you treated? If you were a boy, you were probably told to man up and stop being a wimp, because MenDontCry, you pansy. Thus, you learned to control your tears. If you were a girl, you were probably ignored and remained uncommented on... though not always. In private, you may have been ''encouraged'' to cry, since TenderTears can be used to CharmPerson. And, as such, you were conditioned to be more generous with your sobbing. And thus society proceeded along logical and accepted lines. After all, emotionality is ''good'' in a women... but bad in a man.

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Let's take a simple example: [[TearTropes crying]]. When you cried, how were you treated? If you were a boy, you were probably told to man up and stop being a wimp, because MenDontCry, you pansy. Thus, you learned to control your tears. If you were a girl, you were probably ignored and remained uncommented on... though not always. In private, you may have been ''encouraged'' to cry, since TenderTears can be used to CharmPerson. And, as such, you were conditioned to be more generous with your sobbing. And thus society proceeded along logical and accepted lines. After all, emotionality is ''good'' in a women...woman... but bad in a man.


Walking around with breasts means walking around with things sagging off the front of your chest. While they are not very dense, this just makes it easier to fling them around if you need to move quickly. Most men believe that women wear bras primarily to accent their assets, but the truth is that theyíre also the best way to keep the darn things from escaping. Most of the time, though, women don't really notice their breasts, unless something draws attention to them (the same way men don't really notice their genitals unless something draws attention to them, like an erection or injury). A lot of times you'll see a female character who has these random sensuous thoughts about her tits. This is what men think women do because it's what a man would do if he were [[GenderBender womanified]]; and if he ''were'' womanified, he probably ''would'' notice his new tits for a while. But gradually they'd just become a part of his body. For a female character to do this well into her... whatever-age-she-is-when-the-story-starts... is heteronormative thinking, pure and simple.

to:

Walking around with breasts means walking around with things sagging off the front of your chest. While they are not very dense, this just makes it easier to fling them around if you need to move quickly. Most men believe that women wear bras primarily to accent their assets, but the truth is that theyíre also the best way to keep the darn things from escaping. Most of the time, though, women don't really notice their breasts, unless something draws attention to them (the same way men don't really notice their genitals unless something draws attention to them, like an erection or injury). A lot of times you'll see a female character who has these [[https://www.buzzfeed.com/tahliapritchard/women-describing-themselves-as-male-authors-would random sensuous thoughts thoughts]] [[https://www.reddit.com/r/menwritingwomen/comments/740ypq/she_breasted_boobily/ about her tits. tits]]. This is what men think women do because it's what a man would do if he were [[GenderBender womanified]]; and if he ''were'' womanified, he probably ''would'' notice his new tits tits... for a while. But gradually they'd just become a part of his body. For a female character to do this well into her... whatever-age-she-is-when-the-story-starts... is heteronormative thinking, pure and simple.



What we ''are'' saying is that what counts as "feminine" and what counts as "masculine" is by no means universal; they change depending on the ''where'' and the ''when''. So do the ''responses'' to [[MasculineGirlFeminineBoy feminine men and masculine women]]. In some places, deviation is [[SeriousBusiness punished severely]]--there are constant tales out of the Middle East and India about people doing savage things to women because she acted on her sexual desires. In some places, people turn a blind eye; in AncientGrome, nobody cared who you slept with as long as you knocked up your wife. (Mythological Greece was very patriarchal; their word for wife, "gynē," also meant "womb" and gives us the modern word "gynecology". This tells you something about what Achaean men thought their women were good for.) And in some places you might even get applause for it: in feudal Japan, BoysLove was considered ''virtuous'' because it meant you were so RatedMForManly that women couldn't satisfy you! ...Of course, you were expected to be the {{seme}}. (We must have ''some'' standards here-AncientGrome felt the same way.) And this gets us right back to the first point about how the definitions of masculinity and femininity change depending on time and place. In most locales, the {{uke}}--the gay man who plays the role of the girl when it comes time for sexual intercourse--is considered perverted. On occasion, he is venerated, as he was in Shogunate Japan, but not most of the time. Think about modern American culture, where the idea of the seme does not even really ''exist'' (the closest is HardGay, which itself is almost a caricature), and the CampGay--you know, the effeminate one?--is the typical stereotype. When two Camp Gays get together, who's on top? American Homophobia would prefer we not answer that question (Which is a little hypocritical of American Homophobia, since it's them who insist that the dilemma exists by refusing to admit that gay men can be masculin, But we digress).

to:

What we ''are'' saying is that what counts as "feminine" and what counts as "masculine" is by no means universal; they change depending on the ''where'' and the ''when''. So do the ''responses'' to [[MasculineGirlFeminineBoy feminine men and masculine women]]. In some places, deviation is [[SeriousBusiness punished severely]]--there are constant tales out of the Middle East and India about people doing savage things to women because she acted on her sexual desires. In some places, people turn a blind eye; in AncientGrome, nobody cared who you slept with as long as you knocked up your wife. (Mythological Greece was very patriarchal; their word for wife, "gynē," also meant "womb" and gives us the modern word "gynecology". This tells you something about what Achaean men thought their women were good for.) And in some places you might even get applause for it: in feudal Japan, BoysLove was considered ''virtuous'' because it meant you were so RatedMForManly that women couldn't satisfy you! ...Of course, you were expected to be the {{seme}}. (We must have ''some'' standards here-AncientGrome here. AncientGrome felt the same way.) And this gets us right back to the first point about how the definitions of masculinity and femininity change depending on time and place. In most locales, the {{uke}}--the gay man who plays "receives" the role of the girl when it comes time for sexual intercourse--is interaction--is considered perverted. On occasion, he is venerated, as he was in Shogunate Japan, but not most of the time. Think about modern American culture, where the idea of the seme does not even really ''exist'' (the closest is HardGay, which itself is almost a caricature), and the CampGay--you know, the effeminate one?--is the typical stereotype. When two Camp Gays get together, who's on top? American Homophobia would prefer we not answer that question question. (Which is a little hypocritical of American Homophobia, since it's them who insist that the dilemma exists by refusing to admit that gay men can be masculin, But we digress).
''be'' masculine, but we'll just sip our tea and leave it at that.)



And spend some time, additionally, thinking about what your definition of "the opposite gender" even ''is'', because you should subvert it in your writing as much as possible. If not, it'll show. Consider ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', the [[{{Doorstopper}} 14-book (!!!)]] magnum opus of author Robert Jordan. Almost every female character in it is a Type A {{Tsundere}}, simply because [[WriteWhoYouKnow that's what Jordan's wife is like]], and readers noticed quickly. Jordan ''did'' go to some lengths to justify his female characters being more comfortable with power and authority: the world is much more gender-even because, [[EternalRecurrence during the last Final Boss Fight]], the BigBad cursed all male wizards to go [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity batshit insane]]. 3,000 years later, male channelers are hunted down--by women--and "[[{{Depower}} gentled]]" in service of TheNeedsOfTheMany. When only women can use magic, of ''course'' patriarchy goes out the window. But even in a world where women can and do hold positions of enormous power (like "Amyrlin Seat," the elected president of the WitchSpecies--note the [[LegendFadesToMyth similarities]] between the title "Amyrlin" and the name "Merlin"), they wouldn't all have ''the same exact personality''. Robert Jordan's writing made it clear that while he understood ''a'' woman, he did not understand ''wom'''e'''n''.

Of course, it can be even more blunt than that. Examine the plot structure of your story and where your conflict comes from. If you are a man, are you constantly writing events where a female character screws up and a man has to fix it? If you are a woman, are all your male characters chowderheads being kept on the straight and narrow by their CloserToEarth female counterparts? It goes without saying that none of this is realistic. In the vast majority of social relationships--be it a friendship, a romance, a sexual relationship, or even just two people who happen to sit next to each other at work--''both'' parties make mistakes at different times, concerning different issues. Most people are right about some things and wrong about others. If characters who are right are always of one gender--whether or not it's the one you share--there's a blindspot in the way you think, and you might want to examine yourself.

to:

And spend some time, additionally, thinking about what your definition of "the opposite gender" even ''is'', because you should subvert it in your writing as much as possible. If not, it'll show. Consider ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', the [[{{Doorstopper}} 14-book (!!!)]] magnum opus of author Robert Jordan. Almost every female character in it is a Type A {{Tsundere}}, simply because [[WriteWhoYouKnow that's what Jordan's wife is like]], and readers noticed quickly. Jordan ''did'' go to some lengths to justify his female characters being more comfortable with power and authority: the his world is much more gender-even because, [[EternalRecurrence during the last Final Boss Fight]], the BigBad cursed all male wizards to go [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity batshit insane]]. 3,000 years later, male channelers are hunted down--by women--and "[[{{Depower}} gentled]]" in service of TheNeedsOfTheMany. When only women can use magic, of ''course'' patriarchy goes out the window. But even in a world where women can and do hold positions of enormous power (like "Amyrlin Seat," the elected president of the WitchSpecies--note WitchSpecies and probably the [[LegendFadesToMyth similarities]] between single most powerful person on the title "Amyrlin" and the name "Merlin"), continent), they wouldn't all have ''the same exact personality''. Robert Jordan's writing made it clear that while he understood ''a'' woman, he did not understand ''wom'''e'''n''.

Of course, it can be even more blunt than that. Examine the plot structure of your story and where your conflict comes from. If you are a man, are you constantly writing events where a female character screws up and a man has to fix it? If you are a woman, are all your male characters chowderheads being kept on the straight and narrow straight-and-narrow by their CloserToEarth female counterparts? It goes without saying that none of this is realistic. In the vast majority of social relationships--be it a friendship, a romance, a sexual relationship, or even just two people who happen to sit next to each other at work--''both'' parties make mistakes at different times, concerning different issues. Most people are right about some things and wrong about others. If characters who are right are always of one gender--whether or not it's the one you share--there's a blindspot in the way you think, and you might want to examine yourself.



It might also be worth checking out ''Series/SexAndTheCity'' and ''Series/DesperateHousewives'', because their showrunners were men. Two of the most prominent female-centric shows in recent history were run by men. This says a lot about patriarchy, but--more importantly for our purposes--proves that it is possible to do a good job writing characters of the gender you are not. Comparatively, the documentary ''Film/TheRedPill'', focusing on Men's Rights, was made by a woman. Though it does feature scripted characters, the representation is pro-men (though this had not been the filmmaker's initial intention, it's an interesting case)--showing that a female lens to a subject does not necessarily make it female-biased.

to:

It might also be worth checking out ''Series/SexAndTheCity'' and ''Series/DesperateHousewives'', because their showrunners were men. Two of the most prominent female-centric shows in recent history were run by men. This says a lot about patriarchy, but--more importantly for our purposes--proves that it is possible to do a good job writing characters of the gender you are not. Comparatively, the documentary ''Film/TheRedPill'', focusing on Men's Rights, was made by a woman. Though it does feature scripted characters, the representation is pro-men (though this had not been the filmmaker's initial intention, it's an interesting case)--showing that a female lens to a subject does not necessarily make it female-biased. These productions prove that it is possible to do a good job writing or representing people of the gender you are not.


There is a fascinating book called ''[[http://amzn.com/0143038702 Self-Made Man: One Woman's Year Disguised as a Man]]''. The author, Norah Vincent, is a ButchLesbian who did a real-life SweetPollyOliver for 18 months for the purposes of journalism. It's one of the closest things we're going to get to a magical gender-flip ray; Vincent talks candidly about how men treat each other, and the perspective it gave her on being a woman. Sadly, no parallel book about men passing as women yet exists. (Note, in fact, that DudeLooksLikeALady is almost always PlayedForLaughs; there are very few dramas in which a man dresses as a woman.) However, the blog "Single Dad Laughing" did release an amusing entry on wearing sanitary napkins, "[[http://www.danoah.com/2015/06/a-letter-to-men-the-lesson-of-the-saggy-burrito-in-my-pants.html A Letter to Men: The Lesson of the Saggy Burrito in my Pants]]." Also check out the controversial but informative film, Film/TheRedPill.

It might also be worth checking out ''Series/SexAndTheCity'' and ''Series/DesperateHousewives'', because their showrunners were men. Two of the most prominent female-centric shows in recent history were run by men. This says a lot about patriarchy, but--more importantly for our purposes--proves that it is possible to do a good job writing characters of the gender you are not.

to:

There is a fascinating book called ''[[http://amzn.com/0143038702 Self-Made Man: One Woman's Year Disguised as a Man]]''. The author, Norah Vincent, is a ButchLesbian who did a real-life SweetPollyOliver for 18 months for the purposes of journalism. It's one of the closest things we're going to get to a magical gender-flip ray; Vincent talks candidly about how men treat each other, and the perspective it gave her on being a woman. Sadly, no parallel book about men passing as women yet exists. (Note, in fact, that DudeLooksLikeALady is almost always PlayedForLaughs; there are very few dramas in which a man dresses as a woman.) However, the blog "Single Dad Laughing" did release an amusing entry on wearing sanitary napkins, "[[http://www.danoah.com/2015/06/a-letter-to-men-the-lesson-of-the-saggy-burrito-in-my-pants.html A Letter to Men: The Lesson of the Saggy Burrito in my Pants]]." Also check out the controversial but informative film, Film/TheRedPill.

"

It might also be worth checking out ''Series/SexAndTheCity'' and ''Series/DesperateHousewives'', because their showrunners were men. Two of the most prominent female-centric shows in recent history were run by men. This says a lot about patriarchy, but--more importantly for our purposes--proves that it is possible to do a good job writing characters of the gender you are not. Comparatively, the documentary ''Film/TheRedPill'', focusing on Men's Rights, was made by a woman. Though it does feature scripted characters, the representation is pro-men (though this had not been the filmmaker's initial intention, it's an interesting case)--showing that a female lens to a subject does not necessarily make it female-biased.


There is a fascinating book called ''[[http://amzn.com/0143038702 Self-Made Man: One Woman's Year Disguised as a Man]]''. The author, Norah Vincent, is a ButchLesbian who did a real-life SweetPollyOliver for 18 months for the purposes of journalism. It's one of the closest things we're going to get to a magical gender-flip ray; Vincent talks candidly about how men treat each other, and the perspective it gave her on being a woman. Sadly, no parallel book about men passing as women yet exists. (Note, in fact, that DudeLooksLikeALady is almost always PlayedForLaughs; there are very few dramas in which a man dresses as a woman.) However, the blog "Single Dad Laughing" did release an amusing entry on wearing sanitary napkins, "[[http://www.danoah.com/2015/06/a-letter-to-men-the-lesson-of-the-saggy-burrito-in-my-pants.html A Letter to Men: The Lesson of the Saggy Burrito in my Pants]]."

to:

There is a fascinating book called ''[[http://amzn.com/0143038702 Self-Made Man: One Woman's Year Disguised as a Man]]''. The author, Norah Vincent, is a ButchLesbian who did a real-life SweetPollyOliver for 18 months for the purposes of journalism. It's one of the closest things we're going to get to a magical gender-flip ray; Vincent talks candidly about how men treat each other, and the perspective it gave her on being a woman. Sadly, no parallel book about men passing as women yet exists. (Note, in fact, that DudeLooksLikeALady is almost always PlayedForLaughs; there are very few dramas in which a man dresses as a woman.) However, the blog "Single Dad Laughing" did release an amusing entry on wearing sanitary napkins, "[[http://www.danoah.com/2015/06/a-letter-to-men-the-lesson-of-the-saggy-burrito-in-my-pants.html A Letter to Men: The Lesson of the Saggy Burrito in my Pants]]."
" Also check out the controversial but informative film, Film/TheRedPill.


** AllGirlsWantBadBoys: {{Nice Guy}}s [[NiceGuysFinishLast finish last]] because kindness is feminine, and thus unmanly (see below). Additionally, women are too stupid to think with their big heads and will go for JerkWithAHeartOfJerk types ''because'' {{jerkass}}ery is manly. Finally, this can result in EntitledToHaveYou attitudes from men both Nice and Bad, precisely ''because'' they fit the stereotype.

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** AllGirlsWantBadBoys: {{Nice Guy}}s [[NiceGuysFinishLast finish last]] because kindness is feminine, and thus unmanly (see below). Additionally, women are too stupid to think with use logic when it comes to selecting a male partner, make their big heads choices based on their emotions, and will go for JerkWithAHeartOfJerk types ''because'' {{jerkass}}ery is manly. Finally, this can result in EntitledToHaveYou attitudes from men both Nice and Bad, precisely ''because'' they fit the stereotype.



** Women are discouraged from having bodily functions. If a man farts or burps in public, itís typically PlayedForLaughs; if he smells like sweat, itís not a big deal. But if a woman farts, or burps, or ''talks'' about farting or burping or--gasp!--pooping, then clearly she is an uncivilized savage. She must smell perfect at all times, even if she's still in the gym and just finished running five miles. And God ''forbid'' she [[NoPeriodsPeriod admit that she menstruates]]. This is because...

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** Women are discouraged from having bodily functions. If a man farts or burps in public, itís typically PlayedForLaughs; if he smells like sweat, itís not a big deal. deal (though it can lead to him being shunned). But if a woman farts, or burps, or ''talks'' about farting or burping or--gasp!--pooping, then clearly she is an uncivilized savage. She must smell perfect at all times, even if she's still in the gym and just finished running five miles. And God ''forbid'' she [[NoPeriodsPeriod admit that she menstruates]]. This is because...



** AllMenArePerverts vs AllWomenArePrudes: [[AManIsAlwaysEager A real man participates in sex]] while [[MyGirlIsNotASlut a real woman abstains]]. Women are taught that they should only have sex with their husbands, and that being sexually active before then makes them DefiledForever. ''Men'' are taught that having an active pre-marital sex life makes them awesome, and ''failing'' to do so puts them straight into LoserArchetype territory.
*** A supertrope to the above; male sexuality is ''always'' considered laudable, regardless of what it is. Today we believe AllWomenArePrudes, but in AncientGrome, it was believed that AllWomenAreLustful; they were sexually out of control the way men are believed to be today. It was the man's job to have enough self-control for both of them, just as it is for women today. If he did this, he was considered studly and awesome. When a woman of today does it, she barely breaks even.

to:

** AllMenArePerverts vs AllWomenArePrudes: [[AManIsAlwaysEager A real man participates in sex]] while [[MyGirlIsNotASlut a real woman abstains]]. Women are taught that they should only have sex with their husbands, and that being sexually active before then makes them DefiledForever. ''Men'' are taught (with a few exceptions such as some religions, though the standards apply to both men and women) that having an active pre-marital sex life makes them awesome, [[AManIsNotAVirgin and ''failing'' to do do]] so puts them straight into LoserArchetype territory.
*** A supertrope to the above; male sexuality is ''always'' considered laudable, regardless of what it is. Today we believe AllWomenArePrudes, but in AncientGrome, it was believed that AllWomenAreLustful; they were sexually out of control the way men are believed to be today. It was the man's job to have enough self-control for both of them, just as it is for women today. If he did this, he was considered studly and awesome. When a woman of today does it, she barely breaks even.



# [[GirlShowGhetto Being feminine is unmanly]]. Some things are feminine in nature, so men are not allowed to do them; if they do, they are sissies. Due to the influence of feminism, women are less limited in this way, but they pay other prices for it.

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# [[GirlShowGhetto Being feminine is unmanly]]. Some things are feminine in nature, so men are not allowed to do them; if they do, they are sissies.sissies and despised or shunned for it. Due to the influence of feminism, women are less limited in this way, but they pay other prices for it.



(Vaginas, though... Who knows. They are the source of all mysteries.)

Another potential source are post-op transgender people. They've lived in both bodies and can definitely provide you with some insight into the differences. However, there is a limit to what modern medicine can do; we can surgically alter the cosmetic aspects of the body (turn penis into vagina or vice versa), but actually shifting the ''function'' is beyond us. Someone who was born a man will never have a period or get pregnant, which is a ''bit'' of a big deal. Likewise, a female-to-male trans person can have phalloplasty and end up with a penis, but will not ejaculate (no testicles or prostate gland exist) and may have trouble achieving an erection--which is also something of a big deal, since [[RagingStiffie the darn thing gets hard at random times for no reason]]. Now, if you're sane, you're probably happy to ''not'' have to deal with that, and most guys probably would be too... but the point is, it ''happens'', and learning to deal with it is part of the experience of being male. Maybe one day science will bring that part of the experience to us, but right now there are limits.

to:

(Vaginas, Vaginas, though... Who knows. They vaginas are only really physically interacted with either during sexual activity, childbirth, menstruation or for medical reasons (urinating is done via a hole over the source of all mysteries.)

vagina called the urethra). Given the fact that they're a orifice in the body, this leads to some negative connotations.

Another potential source are post-op transgender people. They've lived in both bodies and can definitely provide you with some insight into the differences. differences. However, there is a limit to what modern medicine can do; we can surgically alter the cosmetic aspects of the body (turn penis into vagina or vice versa), but actually shifting the ''function'' is beyond us. us. Someone who was born a man will never have a period or get pregnant, which is a ''bit'' of a big deal. deal. Likewise, a female-to-male trans person can have phalloplasty and end up with a penis, but will not ejaculate (no testicles or prostate gland exist) and may have trouble achieving an erection--which is also something of a big deal, since [[RagingStiffie the darn thing gets hard at random times for no reason]]. Now, if you're sane, you're probably happy reason]] and it will limit sexual activity. While there are upsides to ''not'' have to deal with that, unwanted erections, and most some guys probably would be too... but there's also the fact that a transgener penis does not always have the same capacity for receiving pleasure as a natural penis, also due to the fact that it cannot ejaculate. The point is, it ''happens'', and learning to deal with it is part of the experience of being male. Maybe one day science will bring that part of the experience to us, but right now there are limits.
male.


For women, this is a little easier, since [[MostWritersAreMale the larger majority of fiction is written by men for men]]. Almost every BuddyCopShow, almost every {{Western}}, almost every action movie, ''huge'' swaths of ScienceFiction and {{Fantasy}}... (For those latter two, you can always just check out anything nominated by the "Sad Puppies" and "Rabid Puppies," a politically-conservative voting bloc that attempted to control the nominations slate of the 2015 {{Hugo Award}}s.)

to:

For women, this is a little easier, since [[MostWritersAreMale the larger majority of fiction is written by men for men]]. Almost every BuddyCopShow, almost every {{Western}}, almost every action movie, ''huge'' swaths of ScienceFiction and {{Fantasy}}... (For those latter two, you can always just check out anything nominated by the "Sad Puppies" and "Rabid Puppies," a politically-conservative voting bloc that attempted to control the nominations slate of the 2015 {{Hugo UsefulNotes/{{Hugo Award}}s.)


->''"My youngest granddaughter, when she ''was'' my youngest granddaughter, went to a birthday party. And after she came home, I asked her, were there many boys or many girls? And she said that she didn't know, because [[PinkGirlBlueBoy none of them had any clothes on]]!"''

to:

->''"My youngest granddaughter, when she ''was'' my youngest granddaughter, went to a birthday party. And after she came home, I asked her, were Were there many boys or many girls? And she said that she didn't know, because [[PinkGirlBlueBoy none of them had any clothes on]]!"''



!'''A foreward'''

to:

!'''A foreward'''!!!'''A Foreward'''



Human beings are fairly simple creatures. We ''all'' want a few things:

to:

Human beings are fairly simple creatures. We ''all'' want a few things:things. Here's a list that we [[BlatantLies learned experts at TVTropes]] have come up with:



There are more ways of looking at it; ''Franchise/TheSims'' has a maximum of eight biological needs[[note]]Sleep, Hunger, Comfort, Social Interactions, Fun, Hygiene, Excretion (I.E. pooping) and an Environment that is pleasant[[/note]], themselves based on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs]] which assume that certain things are ignored if other, more important things are unfulfilled. (Maslow's work has been [[ScienceMarchesOn partially deprecated]], but nobody's been able to come up with anything better.) The point is that there are things that basically everybody wants to have, regardless of what those things are.

Look at your life, right now. Don't those needs basically consist of almost everything you do? Guess what: they're what almost ''everybody'' spends time on, regardless of whether they're male or female. And what that means for you is that men and women are ''a lot'' more similar than we are sometimes willing to credit.

Of course, these base drives raise a new question: now that we know what a person wants, how is he or she going to ''get'' it? And here's where gender starts to come in, because it has a big impact on ''execution''. To get food, water, shelter and money, a man is typically expected to go out and learn an industry; a woman is typically expected to... marry a man (GoldDigger, MRSDegree, etc). So this is where the differences come in.

to:

There are more ways of looking at it; it. ''Franchise/TheSims'' has a maximum of eight biological needs[[note]]Sleep, Hunger, Comfort, Social Interactions, Fun, Hygiene, Excretion (I.E. pooping) and an Environment that is pleasant[[/note]], themselves needs, partially based on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs]] Needs]].
# Sleep / Energy,
which assume that certain things goes up when your Sim sleeps and goes down when they are ignored if other, more important things are unfulfilled. (Maslow's work has been [[ScienceMarchesOn partially deprecated]], but nobody's been able to come awake.
# Hunger, which goes
up when your Sim eats and goes down at all other times.
# Comfort, which goes up when your Sim relaxes and goes down when they exert themselves or do something messy.
# Social Interactions, which goes up when your Sim talks
with anything better.) The point is that there others and goes down as they get lonely.
# Fun, which goes up when your Sim does something recreational and goes down at all other times.
# Hygiene, which goes up when your Sim takes a shower or washes their hands, and goes down at all other times (especially if they
are things that exercising or doing something messy).
# Excretion, which goes down when your Sim uses the restroom and goes up at all other times.
# Environment, which goes up and down depending on the Sim's environs. This
basically everybody wants measures whether they are in a pleasant location or not; clean, well-lighted and well-decorated spaces boost the meter while dirty, bare walls lower it. Unlike the other meters, this cannot be improved by in-game activities, only by spending money in Buy or Build Mode.

Psychologist Shalom H. Schwartz came up with [[https://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1116&context=orpc ten "Basic Values"]] which (he claims) underline almost all human interaction:
# Self-Direction: independent thought and action; choosing, creating, exploring.
# Stimulation: excitement, novelty, and challenge in life.
# Hedonism: pleasure or sensuous gratification for oneself.
# Achievement: personal success through demonstrating competence according
to have, regardless social standards.
# Power: social status and prestige; control or dominance over people and resources.
# Security: safety, harmony, and stability
of what society, of relationships, and of self.
# Conformity: restraint of actions, inclinations, and impulses likely to upset or harm others and violate social expectations or norms.
# Tradition: respect, commitment, and acceptance of the customs and ideas that one's culture or religion provides.
# Benevolence: preserving and enhancing the welfare of
those things are.

with whom one is in frequent personal contact (the Ďin-groupí).
# Universalism: understanding, appreciation, tolerance, and protection for the welfare of ''all'' people and for nature.

Look at your life, right now. Don't those needs basically consist of these lists explain almost everything you do? Guess what: they're what almost ''everybody'' spends time on, regardless of whether they're male or female. And what that means for you is that men and women are ''a lot'' more similar than we are sometimes willing to credit.

Of course, these base drives raise a new question: now that we know what a person wants, how is he or she going to ''get'' it? And here's where gender starts to come in, because it has a big impact on ''execution''. To get food, water, shelter and money, a man is typically expected to go out and learn an industry; a woman is typically expected to... marry be a man (GoldDigger, MRSDegree, etc).GoldDigger or get an MRSDegree. So this is where the differences come in.



"But that doesn't help me at all,Ē we can hear you protest. ďI'm a man trying to write a woman/a woman trying to write a man! My own experience doesn't apply at all! Itís DifferentForGirls!" And to that we would reply: Nonsense. You, like your opposite-gender character, are subject to societal pressure. From the day you were born, you have dealt with the same social conditioning everyone has. What you were conditioned ''to be'' is different, but ''the conditioning itself'' is omnipresent.

to:

"But that doesn't help me at all,Ē all," we can hear you protest. ďI'm "I'm a man trying to write a woman/a woman trying to write a man! My own experience doesn't apply at all! Itís DifferentForGirls!" And to that we would reply: Nonsense. You, like your opposite-gender character, are subject to societal pressure. From the day you were born, you have dealt with the same social conditioning everyone has. What you were conditioned ''to be'' is different, but ''the conditioning itself'' is omnipresent.



It's hard to make generalized statements about All Women Everywhere and All Men Everywhere, because--again--all these opinions are at least partially dependent on place and time. But there are a few very general rules that define double standards:

to:

It's hard to make generalized statements about All Women Everywhere and All Men Everywhere, because--again--all these opinions are at least partially dependent on place and time. But there are a few very general rules that define double standards:how men and women are supposed to approach things:


If you look at the personalities around you, the ones owned by your friends and family, you will see this played out. Almost all (actual-people) personalities are a combination of masculine and feminine traits. Some of them may repress those traits to a greater or lesser extent (more on that later), but by and large they are combinations. The reality of the situation is that much of gender is culturally based; what counts as "masculine" or "feminine" depends on who you ask, and where you ask them, and when (more on that later, too). When you get down to it, people are people; write your character as a person first, a gender second, and you're good to go.

to:

If you look at the personalities around you, the ones owned by your friends and family, you will see this played out. Almost all (actual-people) personalities are a combination of masculine and feminine traits. Some of them may repress those traits to a greater or lesser extent (more on that later), but by and large they are combinations. The reality of the situation is that much of gender is culturally based; what counts as "masculine" or "feminine" depends on who whom you ask, and where you ask them, and when (more on that later, too). When you get down to it, people are people; write your character as a person first, a gender second, and you're good to go.



Additionally, we need to make a distinction ''between'' sex and gender, because many people conflate them. Your "sex" involves your chromosomes, from which descends your genitalia and a few other things (like boobs). Your "gender" involves, well, your gender role--how society trains you to act ''in light of'' your chromosomes and all the stuff that dangles from them. But, again, ''gender is very cultural''. Just take PinkGirlBlueBoy. It's NewerThanTheyThink; pink--an offshade of the very masculine red--used to be a male color, while blue--associated with IncorruptiblePurePureness via the TrueBlueFemininity exhibited by [[Literature/TheBible the Virgin Mary]]--is still at least partially female. In Asia, the Communist Party of China abolished the "StayInTheKitchen" mentality and encouraged women to become equal partners, with equal pay, in the economic process. (It worked, as it happened.) In South America, machismo is in... but includes being sensitive to one's partners and being a kind and loving father, something that stoic models of North-American masculinity do not include. It's all relative.

to:

Additionally, we need to make a distinction ''between'' sex and gender, because many people conflate them. Your "sex" involves your chromosomes, from which descends your genitalia and a few other things (like boobs). Your "gender" involves, well, your gender role--how society trains you to act ''in light of'' your chromosomes and all the stuff that dangles from them. But, again, ''gender is very cultural''. Just take PinkGirlBlueBoy. It's NewerThanTheyThink; pink--an offshade of the very masculine red--used to be a male color, while blue--associated with IncorruptiblePurePureness via the TrueBlueFemininity exhibited by [[Literature/TheBible the Virgin Mary]]--is still at least partially female. In Asia, the Communist Party of China abolished the "StayInTheKitchen" mentality and encouraged women to become equal partners, with equal pay, in the economic process. (It worked, as it happened.) In South America, machismo is in... but includes being sensitive to one's partners and being a kind and loving father, something that stoic models of North-American masculinity do not include. It's [[ValuesDissonance all relative.
relative]].



So: the definitions of "masculine" and "feminine", and reactions to people who break the mold, will change depending on the culture and time period your story is set in. You know what this means: ''research''. What ''did'' men do, in your setting? And what did women do? If, for instance, you set your story in AncientGrome, it might be tempting to shoot for the MenAreUncultured trope; your heroic Grecian or Roman of course wants to prove himself a rough-and-tumble son-of-a-bitch with no interest in mental exercise when he could be engaging in ''physical'' exercise--right? Nope; Ancient Greece had one of the highest per-capita ratios of {{Cultured Badass}}es and {{Genius Bruiser}}s in recorded history, and having both physical and mental fortitude was considered a mark of excellence. Creator/{{Socrates}}, ''the'' Philosopher and the father of [[ContemplateOurNavels Contemplating Our Navels]], served with distinction in several battles and is believed to have made his living as a stonecutter (navel-contemplation not being very profitable). Your epitome of MenAreUncultured would be considered in Greece what he's considered today: an idiot. And not in a good way.

to:

So: the definitions of "masculine" and "feminine", and reactions to people who break the mold, will [[DeliberateValuesDissonance change depending on the culture and time period your story is set in.in]]. You know what this means: ''research''. What ''did'' men do, in your setting? And what did women do? If, for instance, you set your story in AncientGrome, it might be tempting to shoot for the MenAreUncultured trope; your heroic Grecian or Roman of course wants to prove himself a rough-and-tumble son-of-a-bitch with no interest in mental exercise when he could be engaging in ''physical'' exercise--right? Nope; Ancient Greece had one of the highest per-capita ratios of {{Cultured Badass}}es and {{Genius Bruiser}}s in recorded history, and having both physical and mental fortitude was considered a mark of excellence. Creator/{{Socrates}}, ''the'' Philosopher and the father of [[ContemplateOurNavels Contemplating Our Navels]], served with distinction in several battles and is believed to have made his living as a stonecutter (navel-contemplation not being very profitable). Your epitome of MenAreUncultured would be considered in Greece what he's considered today: an idiot. And not in a good way.

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