Does gender matter? Or, can (wo)men write compelling characters of the opposite sex?

A polemic from M-Cue regarding the ability of (Hollywood) writers to craft compelling characters of the opposite sex:

Men don’t know how to write likable female characters, and Women can’t write likable male characters.

…let’s start with Breaking Bad…The 2 major female characters that I’ve encountered thus far (Skyler and Marie) are annoying, bitchy, pushy, shallow characters…. Male writer. Perhaps working out some inner issues with the females in his life; who knows, but def not doing his female characters justice.

Moving onto United States of Tara. Amazing show. Awesome subject matter…Great writer, but she lets her female protagonist get away with murder…It becomes more apparent as the show moves forward, that she has no idea how to write a male character who isn’t a receptacle for her drama and emotional scraps…I think its because the writer doesn’t know how to write a strong yet sensitive man, because you have to be one to know how to write one (or at least research a few in real life)


A variation on a theme, this, and an argument I don’t think is as black and white (I know, I know) as presented above.

Responses from the meta-webs (Twitter-sphere) below:

‘Entourage, 2 1/2 Men, prime examples of [men can’t write likable female characters]’ – VeesEye

’empirically not true’ (With link to Jojo Moyes’ “Me Before You“) – Charles Arthur

disagree with the actual piece. It’s bunk. TV series aren’t written by “one person”. Nor, usually, films. – Charles Arthur


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