Sex and the Single Steampunk Writer

I am reblogging this because it relates directly back to the discussion about the characterization of fictional women in science.

Cogpunk Steamscribe

Before anyone gets too excited by the provocative title, I want to point out that I using this definition of the word:

“thesumofthestructuralandfunctionaldifferencesbywhichthemaleandfemalearedistinguished,orthephenomenaorbehaviourdependentonthesedifferences.”  – from Dictionary.com

As writers, we are more interested in behaviour dependent on the differences between men and women … and the similarities.

First up, let’s focus on the use of overtly gender-specific words, often used to create differences that do not exist. Examples would be dichotomy words like ‘actor’ and ‘actress’, ‘master’ and ‘mistress’, ‘sir’ and madam’. Acting is something done by both sexes, so the use of the word ‘actor’ could  – and lately has been – used to refer to both men and women in the acting profession. In professions that were once seen as strictly masculine arenas, like plumbing, there…

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