Le Guin on writing about men

From Le Guin’s “Introduction to Planet of Exile” (intro written in 1977 or 1978; can now be found in The Language of the Night). Worth reading the whole piece, but here’s a bit of it:


Planet of Exile was written in 1963–1964[…]. The book exhibits my early, “natural” (i.e., happily acculturated), unawakened, un-consciousness-raised way of handling male and female characters. At that time, I could say with a perfectly clear conscience, indeed with self-congratulation, that I simply didn’t care whether my characters were male or female, so long as they were human.

[…] it’s ever so much easier to write about men doing things, because most books about people doing things are about men[…].

[…] All too often we have found that we had no opinion or belief of our own, but had simply incorporated the dogmas of our society; and so we must discover, invent, make our own truths, our values, ourselves.

[…] I use the tools of feminism, and try to figure out what makes me work and how I work, so that I will no longer work in ignorance or irresponsibly.

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