Speculating Canada had an interesting post—Gender Swopping Characters to Reveal Stereotypes—on their blog recently. It made me think about swopping out one sex of a character for another in one of my stories. It’s not as if I hadn’t done it before in my mind. In fact, I’ve been doing it all my life thanks to the male dominate adventure culture I live in.
When I see a great movie or read a great book, I often think of it long after film credits roll and pages close. As a dreamer I dream about putting myself in the leading or supporting roll. If I really like the male character leading the adventure, I don’t mind playing his side kick. If the supporting actor is preferred, I step into the lead roll and guide him to safety.
Derek Newman-Stille over at Speculating Canada suggested taking one of our stories and switching the genders to reveal stereotypes. He tried this with his English students at Trent University, stating, “I thought gender swopping would be a really interesting way to get students to examine power structures implicated in writing gendered narratives and start to question some of the stereotypes and beliefs that are assembled with our constructions of gender.”