In my creative writing class in university, we were having a class discussion on gender in writing. We were talking about the challenges that might come from writing from the point of view of a character of a different gender than you. The male professor said something like “As a guy, sometimes when I read books by women I think they have trouble portraying men because they want to write all men as testosterone-crazed maniacs, and that’s just not what men are.” Okay, fair enough; I’m sure that’s a challenge for some female authors.
Then the discussion turns into the question of which gender is generally better at writing the opposite gender. The professor goes, “There’s a very well-respected professor on this campus who believes that men write female characters more accurately and realistically than women do. I won’t say who he is, though.”
I’m like, “Wait, this is a GUY?”
The professor nods.
"Wait- what - then what does HE know??"
"Well," my professor says with a smug, condescending smile that makes it clear that he agrees with this guy’s opinion, "he’s not a woman, but he is a very well-respected academic who knows a lot about literature."
WOW. Okay. So apparently not only can women not understand men well enough to write them, but they also can’t understand THEMSELVES well enough to write women. And my professor knows this because some academic guy says so, because apparently being able to analyze literature also means you know how it feels to be a woman, to the extent that you can judge over actual women how women realistically behave.
It made me especially mad that he wouldn’t even tell me who the professor was. If there’s a sexist douche professor on campus I’d rather know who he is so I know whose classes to avoid!