Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Welcome, March -- Women's History Month
Check this out: Ann Parker blogged yesterday about 19th century women and their occupations. According to an 1880 census, 52 women claimed "prostitute" as a career, but only 1 writer (a journalist) appears on the list.
Which brings me (please bear with the loose segue) to women mystery writers.
I remember reading an early Sara Paretsky/V.I. Warshawski novel. The details escape me, but I know I held my breath while V.I. was being knocked around, rolled into a ditch, and hit over the head. It was the first time I'd encountered a female investigator who underwent the same rough treatment as all the male PIs I'd read.
Now there are so many of "us," it's no longer a surprise when a female protagonist holds her own in an action sequence, or when a female mystery writer turns out prose no less gritty than the guy down the block.
But what, if any, are the differences between male and female protagonists when it comes to crime novels? I've seen blogs about how women humanize victims better than men do, how they explore motivation more thoroughly or have a keener sense of justice.