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MLP: Classic Fiction Gender-switching

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MLP: Classic Fiction Gender-switching

Postby Butterfly North » Fri Dec 23, 10:21 2011

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/de ... rswitching

"She was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Miss Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster. The cold within her froze her old features, nipped her pointed nose, shrivelled her cheek, stiffened her gait; made her eyes red, her thin lips blue; and spoke out shrewdly in her grating voice."


That's my favourite of the ideas discussed in the article, and now I'm going through my bookshelf trying to imagine them gender-switched. I recently read Tender Is The Night and think that would be quite interesting, particularly because the author makes glaringly sexist and homophobic comments throughout. They're in a way even more glaring than the normal attitudes you get in these things because they don't match up with what's happening - so the character of Nicola Diver is repeatedly shown by her actions and in conversation to be very intelligent and then the author dismisses the idea she is intelligent by making comments about the way the minds of women work. If this was done to a male character instead I think it could be really quite subversive.

Any novels on your bookshelf that could use a full gender-switch?
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Re: MLP: Classic Fiction Gender-switching

Postby Sonic# » Fri Dec 23, 20:27 2011

That's an excellent quote.

I've played this game before, but I don't think I did too much with the books on my bookshelf. Some books, like Hammered by Elizabeth Bear, would be interesting simply because she does write strong characters, including a hardened female veteran. Then I would want to read some of the I, Robot short stories, mainly because Asimov mostly writes about men with the exception of Susan Calvin, and one of the stories is about a "female" robot.

Any classics? Hmm. Clarissa (or Pamela for that matter) by Samuel Richardson, because they're both about women who try to maintain their virtue in the face of licentious gentlemen who keep them prisoner. There are interesting cases outside the main character, like the rather masculinized old nurse and the rather effeminate Frenchman - switching the genders would demonstrate more clearly the characterizations there.
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