[LMB] OT: Why, oh why do woman mystery story writers seem to be obsessed with clothes???

Matthew George matt.msg at gmail.com
Mon Dec 2 21:26:57 GMT 2019

Even ignoring the matter of service to the story, it's a demonstration of
competence and expertise.  Both a way of showing off, and a way to increase
buy-in among readers familiar with the milieu.  A woman (or man) who spends
a lot of time reading the social messages embedded in clothing, reading a
story about a character supposedly like them, is going to perceive a
verisimilitude violation if those messages aren't being discussed.  I could
write a "military" story, but not one that would be even remotely
plausible, because I have no familiarity with relevant details.

It's actually an important reason why it was once so rare for men to write
from female viewpoints, saying that they didn't know how to write women, as
they didn't know how women conveyed and perceived.  Since women were
obliged to 'speak' both male and female languages, I've often suspected
that women who claimed they didn't know how to write women were lying for
the sake of making an ideological statement, but YRMV.

Matt G.

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