Friday, September 5, 2014

The battle of the sexes is fought with a cursor!

It’s no secret that most of the “great” writers up until a couple of centuries ago were men. That’s because until relatively recently in human history, most women didn’t have the education nor the leisure time to write.

So which gender writes best? A recent poll by Grammarly, an online service that bills itself as the world’s leading automated proofreader, has some surprising results. According to the 3000 men and women they polled, overall, 59% believe that women are the better writers.

Apparently it's not because of one gender's ability to write about people different than themselves.

An old stereotype has legs in the survey’s findings of about 66% that men are more likely to write short, terse sentences while over 75% of respondents believe women write longer, more descriptive sentences.

That finding, along with the impression that women spend more time developing complex and diverse characters, led to the “takeaway” that women are the best writers.

So—what do you think? If women are the best writers, do you seek out books by women for your reading choices? Do you agree with the findings of the survey?


Susie Finkbeiner said...

Hm. I don't know that I agree. I read about 50/50 male to female authors and my list of favorite authors reflects that split. I don't think it's really about gender at all. Then again, I kind of like short, terse sentences.

Interesting survey, though!

Patti Hill said...

I looked at my favorites shelf, and I definitely have a prejudice for women writers, but the male writers I love, I really love.

Anonymous said...

Interesting! The thinkers on my shelves are overwhelmingly male, partly because my favorite writers are very prolific, but even the stand-alone novels I've preferred over the years have been written by men. I tire of flowery, overly descriptive prose, and unfortunately (my apologies, present company excepted) many of the women writers I have read have tended to shy away from the grittier, more realistic side of life.

Latayne C Scott said...

Thank you, Susie and Patti. I echo your feelings about not preferring one gender over another. And Anonymous, I have found that many of my favorite women writers do address the grittier aspects, with with a lighter touch. Example: Patricia Highsmith, Toni Morrison, Barbara Kingsolver. What do you think?

Anonymous said...

Latayne I am an avid reader of Toni Morrison, whose books I love dearly, although I cannot say I've read the other two. My response was, obviously, an oversimplification of a more complex issue. To be more accurate I should say I'm not a fan of "women's fiction", and even then there are many books in that category I have loved.

Latayne C Scott said...

Anonymous-- we are all complicated that way, que no? That's why so many feel at home here.