I have found recent news interesting, and disconcerting. We live in a very politically correct, culturally appropriate, and now gender-neutral world.
Germany has discussed legislating gender-neutral nomenclature. Using words like “he,” “she,” “her,” “him” would be banned. They would be replaced with the all-inclusive terms, “they,” “them,” “their.” Other countries, including the U.S.A. are discussing this standard.
Seems so modern and correct, but is it? As an author, especially one who pens romance and women’s fiction, this is unsettling. How do you write a novel about relationships, without differentiating the sexes? Am I to differentiate the sexes, or must they now be ambiguous? Do I have to eliminate the “boy meets girl” angle, and write about “it” meeting “it?” Can I no longer describe attire, physical appearance, hair styles, names, and the like? Eliminate all sex? Is androgeny the new standard? Is this even possible?
I actually read a sample of modern fiction that was written to be gender-neutral. Personally, I found it confusing and frustrating. It lacked depth and emotion, conflict, and empathy. I had no ideas who the characters were.
With literary agents and publishers salivating for novels with LGBTQ and Trans characters, how can I, an author of men and women finding romance, succeed? I feel there is a place for everyone, and a book for everyone. Yet, if I am limited to gender-neutral rules, are my books to be pulled from book shelves? Am I to be out of the business, now that I am out-of-touch? Or, do I have to rewrite everything to a gender-neutral vocabulary? Is this the non-so-distant reality?
I’d like to know your thoughts.