Can you tell whether a work of art has been created by a particular gender? My contention is that, in the very best examples, you cannot – though this has been skewed somewhat in the sense that, historically, most ‘artists’ were male.
If, as the above quote suggests, the soul has no gender, it make little sense to claim a specific gender for the inspiration process. The particles of sleeting gold alight where they will – and their job is to perpetuate the creative ‘race’, be it sculpture, music or writing.
Obviously, things are not that simple – though they could and, in my view should, be; we create under societal constraints. These often take the form of chains: ‘I cannot say this’, in so many words. We limit ourselves on the basis of the gender we have either been born into or moved in to later in our lives.
I am not going to follow the whole, ‘What constitutes a man/woman?’ argument: too complex, too long, too contentious for a post which is about writing.
I do, however, believe that the true creative artist is able, and willing, to leap the artificial boundaries built by a Patriarchal Society, religion and so on; is able, that is to say, to transcend the limitations of its body’s gender and enter a world in which such things are irrelevant.
When I am writing, I am not a woman, or a man. I am something else: Closer to creative force, forge fire, than the skin-covered meat-bags who place so much of their identity in that tiny sack called ‘Male’ or ‘Female’…
I suspect that, for many of us who do create, those times of creation place us outside the realms of the fully human! Acceptable behaviours, empathetic words and cultural mores are all tossed aside in the great surge to net the rushing stream of ideas, words, images, musical notes.
People have commented that some of my writing sounds as if it were written by a man (whatever that may mean) because women don’t deal with that kind of violence or swearing.
The urge to create is not nice or kind or pretty or sweet or considerate. It is not nurturing. In a very real sense, it does not give a toss about human frailties and feelings. Or whether the host through which it ‘speaks’ has a penis, a vagina or neither! Already ancient when we humans invented politics and manners and compassion for others, the creative fire should not be confused with its host.
Too often it is!
Your muse can whisper savagery into your ear without you becoming a homicidal psychopath! You can describe dismemberment without being a bloke, without having any desire to rend another in ‘real’ life!
My sense of identity as a writer is strong. It is part male, part female – if you want to look at in those terms – but mostly composed of a self which is neither, and goes way beyond what we, in our limited understanding, choose to call by these names.
As a writer, I am both multi-sexual and non-gender-specific!