My recent SF Novelists posts, and a related series of posts by Kate Elliott and Ken Scholes over on Babel Clash, have turned up several male writers saying they’re nervous about writing female characters because they’re worried they’ll get it wrong. And I point at the second my posts I just linked as proof that I don’t think it’s so hard — but I’ve realized that’s a bit disingenuous. There are ways writers (male and female alike) screw it up. They just aren’t the ones people seem to be worrying about when they say “but I don’t know how to write women!”
So I’d like some help gathering fodder for more posts on the topic, this time looking at the common pitfalls. (And how to avoid them, but really, 90% of that is noticing the pit before you fall into it.) I’m thinking of things like Women in Refrigerators and the Madonna-Whore complex. What other things can you add to the list?