Women Writing Science Fiction as Men — why bother?

I’ve just finished reading Mike Resnick’s collections Women Writing Science Fiction as Men and Men Writing Science Fiction as Women.  There were two rules for submissions to the anthologies: “First, each story had to be told in the first person of a man [woman]; and second, if changing the narrator from Victor to Victoria [or vice versa] didn’t invalidate the story we didn’t want it.”

So what he ended up with was a bunch of stories emphasizing the gender stereotypes we all know and hate so well.  The women wrote about men who were competitive and primarily interested in sex.  The men wrote about women who were nurturing and primarily mothers.  Ho hum.

What would have been far more interesting, and far more challenging (though a challenge sf writers, if anyone, are certainly up to), would have been stories in which changing the narrator from Victor to Victoria (or vice versa) would not have invalidated the story, would have made no difference whatsoever.

Those are the stories I want to read!  That’s a future (a fantasy?) I want to live in!

 

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