I haven’t thought about this in a while but a male classmate of mine turned in a story draft told through the eyes of a woman. It’s not to say that I was against the idea and I doubt he had a girl help him write it. It got me thinking about the difficulties that can appear when writing from the eyes of the opposite sex.
I’ve only ever written from a male’s point of view once. At first, I struggled to write his thoughts because I second guess myself. Was I writing this correctly? Would this be something a guy would say? Maybe I can ask my male friend to read this and make sure it’s right. I came to realize that I had trapped myself in a stereotypical idea of what a male character should say and how they should act. I was young then, well, younger.
It wasn’t until I started seeing my character as a character. It didn’t matter if he was a boy or a girl, alien, cockroach or whatever. He had a life and a past, goals and dreams. Those goals would be the ones to walk him down a path. All I had to do was and see where my character would go. Although, it was also my goal to make sure he didn’t succeed. It’s only when I let me character be free that I had an easier time writing. I wasn’t too worried about how he sounded or what he said and thought.
Sure, there are some things (I can’t think of any examples at the moment) that a female writer won’t know about a guy or vice versa but that’s why we have brothers, husbands, and/or friends to help us out.