non-feminist short stories

I sometimes wonder if there is a market for non-feminist fiction aimed largely at men. I don’t mean specifically Christian fiction, which tends to get too sappy; nor do I mean the old “men’s interest” kind of thing, which gets a bit too absurd for today’s sophistication; but something else.

Women tend to dominate the publishing industry these days, and most things that get published have to please female editors, who are a specific group of people.

I was reading a selection of horror stories by a prominent male author recently, and the feminist sensibilities are there in the background. It is very hard to escape the tone. And, as has become appallingly obvious, some whole areas of fiction pioneered by men, such as science fiction, have now become playgrounds for “social justice warriors”.

As I like to say, “I am not a writer. I am just somebody who occasionally writes”. However, I have tried writing a few such “non-feminist” pieces recently:

The Young Wife: A Short Story

The One That Got Away: A Vignette

The Bluestocking

The Woman and Art

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by some dude on August 5, 2015 at 11:55 pm

    Men have left the bookstore… or perhaps the bookstores left men. Either way, the bookstores are barren wastelands for men now.

    Personally, I survive on things written prior to 1990. Thankfully I have a brother with whom to share the written word back and forth, halving the cost of old books.

    But we’re real oddballs. Finding a fellow male reader is like spotting a Yeti. So I would say sadly that no, there is no real market for anything written for men any longer.

    Reply

    • As for me, I tend to read non-fiction.

      I don’t read much modern fiction.

      An example of what I mean about feminisation was a book of SF stories about space stations I bought some years back. Every story seemed to feature a female captain. I thought, oh yeah, and got the message …

      I have been following the wars over the Hugo awards in SF, between the SJWs and others. Once PC, or too many women, get involved in anything, the quality tends to decline.

      Reply

      • Posted by some dude on August 6, 2015 at 1:30 am

        I lean towards historical fiction and nonfiction these days though I started with science fiction circa 1970 [ age six]. So I’m quite familiar with what you’re talking about. Hell, even the alltime grandmaster of scifi, Robert Heinlein, was leading the charge of telling us men that we were never going going to be good enough. And that started in the 1950s!

        I’m vaguely aware of the latest kerfluffle over the Hugos but it’s been so long since I’ve actually cared about SF that I can’t be bothered anymore. I’ll just stick with Sharpe and Thomas of Hookton…

        I do have one minor quibble with you though: I sometimes think the women jump in when they sense the quality declining rather than the other way round.

      • On your latter point, I think that it is pure statistics. Women clump in the “mediocre middle” on many psychological measures, such as IQ. Despite all the claims of superior female verbal skills, the best writers tend to be men. This is all part of the same basic phenomenon: at the far right of the bell curve, it is mostly men. You will see some exceptional women, but they will be that, exceptions. People used to intuit this, but now we are all supposed to believe that the occasional Marie Curie or Jane Austen should be the rule.

        A book, The Ten Best Science Fiction Stories of …, will naturally contain, say, 8 by men and 2 by women. Once the numbers are made to balance artificially, or worse, all ten are by women, the quality will drop. (I would make exceptions for certain areas like crime fiction, where women seem to do well, and obviously romantic fiction, and perhaps fantasy.)

        One area in which men also do better is, oddly, in psychological fiction, including social and psychological SF. (I was just thinking this morning that Goethe mostly used his remarkable intelligence to write psychological novels. Among SF writers, men like Ballard stand out in the psychological or social SF line.)

        Once women enter a field, the field changes. Standards are not so much lowered, as changed.

        I seem to remember some SF that a man (or boy) could read without being clobbered over the head with some feminist message. John Wyndham was writing with a feminist sensibility way back then, but that was so unusual as to be noteworthy.

        As a side note, perhaps it was the wartime experience or just their technical training, but a lot of science fiction of the Asimov type seemed to revolve around whether or not a man would make the grade and get accepted into a technical career. I suppose that was a natural masculine interest and concern.

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