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Put Yourself In Their Place?

Put Yourself In Their Place?

I read the article so long ago that I remember neither where I read it nor all the particulars. It concerned a difference between the genders when reading a novel or watching a movie, particularly one with a romance in it, whether that was the main thrust of the story or merely an incidental thread.

The article posited that one gender—and here is where my foggy memory betrays me, as I don’t remember which gender it is—watches the movie or reads the book and puts themselves in the plot in place of the hero or heroine. The other gender, on the other hand, watches the movie or reads the book and envisions the hero or heroine in the reader’s or viewer’s own life.

Do you do that?

Now, I must admit that I am not a moviegoer, and although I devour a lot of books, damn few of them are fiction and none are actual romances. (There have been at least two exceptions that I recall: Both were romance novels written by authors I had befriended. Unasked, they each sent me a copy of one of their books, which I felt bound to read.) But of course, among the smattering of fiction I have read, even though they weren’t romances per se, and also among memoirs, slice-of-life, and other nonfiction I’ve read, some contained love stories even though these weren’t the main theme or thrust of the book.

But I have never done either of the two things that article ascribed to the two different genders. I have never read a book or watched a movie and put myself in the heroine’s shoes. And I have never read a book or watched a movie and imagined the hero being in my life.

I can’t help wondering if the article was wrong or if this is just another way in which I am different from the average. What about you? Do you do either of these things? I really would like to know.

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