But any real differences have not been obliterated. A writer writes with his whole being, and that includes gender as well as many other characteristics that formed the person. If the writer is true to him/her self (see how awkward this is already?) those traits, including gender, will show. I, as a male, find it impossible to write honestly with a female point of view. I can try to imagine, but only imagine.
For some strange reason, poetry written by women appeals to me more often than that written by men. I don't know why. Perhaps I am more in tune with a feminine insight into daily existence than a masculine outlook. It does not seem to affect any other aspect of my being. This too has become a part of how I express myself.
I have just finished reading two books, one fiction and one non-fiction, about strong women and found myself with strong feelings of empathy. That's what set off this musing. And that brought to mind an incident that happened a long time ago: I was giving a reading to a (mainly Afro-Canadian audience and included, as contrast to my own, several by the American poet Gwendolyn Brooks. I was somewhat taken aback when several of the ladies took me to task. Who was I to try to interpret the work of Ms. Brooks? At the time I thought that it was because she was black, but now again I think it may also have been because she was female, and female sentiment and expression were not expected from a male.
Ah, well. Men are from Mars, women are from Venus. The divide has not crumbled completely; in some places it is stronger than ever. With very few exceptions, women write romance and men write porn.