Robin Hobb is a she :)

Discussion in 'Robin Hobb' started by -putawaythosepliers-, Nov 7, 2006.

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    -putawaythosepliers-

    -putawaythosepliers- moldy peaches for tea

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    Why is it that many people think Robin Hobb is a he?
    Is it because of the spelling? for instance, i know someone called Robin who is male, but i also know someone called Robyn, who is female.
    Is it this spelling which determines the gender of a certain person?
    Or is it *here's my turn to be a raving feminist :p* because they are a successful writer in the fantasy genre? Would it be unfair of me to imply that people automatically think she is a he because they have sold many books and are very good at what they do, in a genre, which to be fair, is not actually overly male-dominated? I think it would be unfair.
    If you look through the sub-forums in the authors box, and are sad enough to count, like i am, then you will find that only 9 out of a total 36 authors are female, if i'm right, which isn't always.

    It is however, a common mistake, and a completely forgivable one. ive had my rant now, so i'll sit in a corner and be quiet now. :)
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    Mouse

    Mouse roar

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    Yep, I think it's because of the way it's spelt. Robin Hobb has said that she wanted a name that could've been male or female, that's why she chose it.
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    -putawaythosepliers-

    -putawaythosepliers- moldy peaches for tea

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    yes, she used to write under a psydoe.... something... mmm.. must learn to spell long words properly. I mean, she used to write under a different name didnt she?
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    Mouse

    Mouse roar

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    Megan Lindholm. And there's no mistaking that name for a man's! ;)
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    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    Just a couple of thoughts on this. It may be partly the spelling, though I've known more women with that spelling of Robin than any other. And I think we've still got a lot of unconscious tendency in our society to have that idea about writers, yes. The fact that it is so unspoken and unrecognized unless one really starts probing, makes it harder to combat. But, if you're interested in both a very sharp, smart and entertaining book on the subject, try Joanna Russ's How to Suppress Women's Writing. I think a lot of people would be surprised at how often they fall into one or another of the traps she examines in that book without realizing it. Plus it really is just a very enjoyable book by a very talented writer.

    Oddly, though... I never thought of Robin Hobb as anything other than a woman.... Not quite sure why, but that's the case. And, as you note, fantasy is certainly more given to women writers than is science fiction, overall. But that's another discussion for another time....
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    murphy

    murphy New Member

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    For some reason, I always thought of Robin Hobb as a woman. Maybe because I really liked her books and most of my favorite authors are women. Reverse gender discrimination on my part, maybe.
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    SpaceShip

    SpaceShip Outta sight

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    When I find a new author I always look them up on the net and get as much info about them as possible, so I don't very often read a book not knowing which sex they are. However there will always be a problem when people's names can be either male or female. Not like Marion (something or other) - John Wayne or Shirley (something or other) - Big Daddy: a wrestling champion. Their parents have a lot to answer for don't they?
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    Paige Turner

    Paige Turner Just another busted robot

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    Well, I was just talking about this issue with my friends Kim, Pat, Chris, Jamie and Terry. The women thought it was an ongoing issue in a lot of places, but the guys thought it was no big deal.
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    manephelien

    manephelien Transmural Feline

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    Paige, interesting about your friends, it's impossible to tell by their name alone whether they're male or female.

    I knew before I read any of Robin Hobb's books that she's female, although it did shock me to find out that James Tiptree, Jr. was a pseudonym for a female author!
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    Wiggum

    Wiggum S.M.R.T.

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    Uhm, I originally thought that Tracy Hickman was a woman.

    It's pretty much just the name.
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    Somebloke

    Somebloke New Member

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    How can anyone who has read Hobb's books believe that she is a he? The books are so clearly written from a woman's perspective!
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    Teresa Edgerton

    Teresa Edgerton Goblin Princess Staff Member

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    I only count eight, which is an even worse showing.

    We need to start and post in more threads about our favorite female authors, then we can ask for some new sub-forums.

    (If it was up to me, we'd have forums for Bujold, McKillip, and Cherryh.)
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    the_faery_queen

    the_faery_queen New Member

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    i thought robin was male because i knew a man named robin, but not any women. thinking about it, her bo0oks are very female because they're more character driven than plot, which is something i find that female writers do. *shrug* but it's not something i thought of in a sexist way, oh she's successful, must be male, because when i first read her, it was when the farseer book was new out, so she wans't successful! i just thought it because i knew a male robin. and hear it more as a male's name (robin hood)

    but i do agree that there are not a lot of female writers listed on the threads, but, i hate to say this, especially as a woman, i prefer male writers. they're often grittier, darker, *shrug* i prefer female singers, male writers. but it is true that it is mostly male writers who become listed as the big names, who seem to make it big, martin, eddings, brooks, tolkein, even when some of them, aren't actually that great!
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    greedo

    greedo New Member

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    I completely agree. Just compare it with a GRRM book, and you'll see what i mean.
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    cornelius

    cornelius former axe demon

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    well people I have to say I read the cover before I read the book and in my case it said something like " she's a fan of Tolkien , which explains her writer's name - hobb(it) "
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    ScottSF

    ScottSF ScottSF

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    I went on a small rant about this subject that nobody responded to (poor me :p) I thought at the time maybe I was overthinking, yadda yadda, here's a paste of the post.

    OK, this brings up a point that I have been wondering about. I think this is the third time I have seen someone refer to Hobb as a he. Do you think sometimes women authors pick gender neutral pen names because they fear readers will pre-judge their work because they are women? Honestly I may be guilty. Sometimes I'm looking for fantasy or historic fiction with a brutal edge and then I see a women author's name and assume that she'll pull her punches. It's funny because Assassin's Aprentice I think had a strong appeal to the 'boy' need for action and 'badassness' :p So that drew me in but it was the Liveship Traders, whose covers look a bit like romance novels, that I liked the best. When I read a different author Lian Hearn, I assumed it was a guy. I thought Lian was like the irish Liam, or maybe it was a greek name. Anyway I enjoyed her Tales of the Otori trilogy and she wrote the male characters just as realistically as the female ones. Now I'm off on a tangent but I have noticed that often male authors have trouble writing realistic female characters. Anyway, I will try better to give authors a chance and not prejudge based on gender. Now I will do 10 hail Marys and a Hokie Pokie for my sins
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    the_faery_queen

    the_faery_queen New Member

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    i dunno. i hope not. i know that jk rowling used her initials to appeal to boys, her publisher, apparnatly, thought that boys wouldn't read a book written bvy a woman. i like to think that most men grow out of that and will read a book by a woman, but in many ways fantasy is still seen as a boys club, the fact that the main character is often male, to some of what goes on in them, does sorta say that. so it could be taht female authors do pick gender neutral names, so as not to ailenate male readers. i dunno.
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    spartan_pwns

    spartan_pwns Dual-wielding is better.

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    All i know is i am guilty of thinking she was a man ;)
    But, as soon as i learned she was a woman, i couldnt see it any other way.
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    HoopyFrood

    HoopyFrood Iago with a Blackberry

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    I haven't read any of Hobb's books yet, although I have (at least I think it's this book) Assassin's Apprentice at home (which I won't be able to read until Easter, seeing as I won't be going home until then!) but I have to admit that I always thought that Robin Hobb was a man until I saw this thread. I know Robin can also be a girls name, but thanks to people like Robin Williams and the like, I guess I automatically consider it a man's name! Still, it hasn't changed anything, I'll still read the book, I still would've bought the book even if I had known it was female author. *Shrugs* I don't know why people wouldnt want to read a book just because of the sex of the author. Surely the only thing that matters is how good the book is, and if you enjoy it.
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    The Ace

    The Ace Aye fur Alba

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    Interesting, I've only read one of her books (about a guy who became grossly fat after he recovered from plague), and while I find her sensitive, I wouldn't have said it was written from a female perspective. The comparrison with George RR Martin doesn't really hold water, because he has the nasty habit of killing off any character for whom the reader develops any sympathy, that's not male, just weird.

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