18 oct. 2015

Ford about gender

My basic feeling is women and men are more alike than unalike, and the ways they’re different are both obvious and comprehensible and not as interesting as they’re made out to be. The thing that makes a male character interesting is the same thing that makes a female character interesting: access to a variety of humors; a capacity to face moral uncertainty; the ability to surprise, to show compassion. I would never, for instance, say to myself, What would a woman say? Rather, I’d think, Given the circumstances of this person’s life, what would this person say? Or do? Jim Harrison wrote a very good novella, “The Woman Lit By Fireflies,” in which the “point of view” character is a woman. And what he brought to that story, among other talents, was a great sympathetic sensibility. I think that sympathy for the people who are your creations is what’s necessary—not a gender sensitivity.

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