As a budding fiction writer, I am constantly intrigued by points of view. As a woman, I immediately identify with the female perspective and can find numerous ways to relate to it for obvious reasons. Whether or not I agree with the character, it is simple in obvious ways for me to understand her psyche. However as I write my own characters I find myself drawn more and more into the male perspective.
As a feminist I have spent a lot of my time rejecting this odd visceral pull. ‘Why should I write from a man’s perspective when I, as a woman have so many of my own tales to tell? Plus, it would be a hell of a lot easier to write from a perspective I understand.’ As you may imagine I have spent a ton of time procrastinating on my novel because, well… I just couldn’t accept the fact that the story could be told more clearly through a man’s eye.
Recently though I started to think critically about it, I took time away from writing this novel to really evaluate what story I was telling. In the end I have realized that it doesn’t matter whether a man or woman is telling the story, what matters is the story they are telling. I realized that in order to represent strong, independent and willful women the main character did not have to be a woman.
There are still strong, feminist women in the story; that aspect will not be left out. I just realized that their personalities will be seen in different light through a man’s voice. Will he understand these women? How will they interact with each other? Will things be more complicated or less so? It also gives me an opportunity to showcase to young men that they too can be feminists. I think that sometimes men relate the idea to something strictly for women when that is absolutely not the case.
Men can also be feminists and I truly believe that it would hurt my story not to show that perspective to the world. Love, lust, heartache, sadness, sorrow, needs, wants, all of the basic human emotions that people of all genders can relate to will have a place in this story, but it will be an exploration of how a man can feel all of these things on his own and along with the women in the story.
I am still learning what it means to be a feminist, and I don’t believe all of us have it all figured out. As a writer, seeing how this man evolves will be my exploration of the male perspective as it relates not only to the story I am trying to tell but also to the bigger idea of feminism and the struggles that still surround it. I hope that men and women alike will appreciate this perspective and maybe we can gain some new feminists from it.