Life You
  • Facebook
    Facebook
  • Twitter
    Twitter
  • Pinterest
    Pinterest
  • +
  • Linkedin
    Linkedin
  • WhatsApp
    WhatsApp
  • Email
    Email
SHARE THIS
  • Facebook
    Facebook
  • Twitter
    Twitter
  • Pinterest
    Pinterest
  • Linkedin
    Linkedin
  • WhatsApp
    WhatsApp
  • Email
    Email

Most people would agree that diversity in every industry is important. In the arts, there has been a greater push in recent decades for more representation, with women and people of colour slowly but steadily having a greater presence in TV, film and music. It’s slow going, but it’s happening.

In the world of literature, there is also a lack of diversity, which means we often see one group of people writing about the experiences of another. Occasionally, writing about and from the perspective of another can be executed in an emotionally and socially responsible way. Other times, it’s just really, really bad. A new thread on Twitter that asks women to imitate male writers describing the fairer sex shows just how bad it can get.

Author Gwen C. Katz was recently reading an unreleased novel by a male author who insists that he is “living proof that it’s possible for a male author to write an authentic female protagonist.” We’re not saying that men can’t accurately write about women and vice versa, but this guy? This is not that guy. Heck, he can’t even write a full sentence that any woman would agree sounds genuine.


Katz’s example of the mystery author and his bravado in writing women highlights what happens when someone tries to write about a person’s life that they themselves have never experienced. In the case of men writing about women, it always seems to either get overtly sexual or physically degrading in a matter of lines.


Ladies, if we had a nickel for every time we described ourselves as having our boobs propped up front and centre…we would have zero nickels. Is anyone propping them up around back?


Katz’s sharing of the unidentified male author inspired other women to share their examples of how they feel male authors describe women, with writer Whitney Reynolds starting the Twitter challenge “describe yourself like a male author would.” The results are both hilarious and depressing at the same time, because #sotrue.


These women are not far off. Spot on we’d say. Even accomplished male authors who write strong female characters are guilty of going straight to the boobs. We mean you, George RR Martin.


Hemingway? He may be one of the greatest writers of all time, but his books were also full of racism and misogyny.

I must have missed the ‘women are like squirrels’ portion of sex ed.


In an effort to try to even out hundreds of years of men writing about women as sexual objects, some men turned the gaze on their own sex and the results are pretty great.


Other men were legit concerned about how to accurately write women, with Twitter users quickly suggesting some easy ways to check your work.


It’s worth noting that on Wednesday, Google honoured poet Maya Angelou on its homepage. Feel free to cleanse your literary pallet with some lessons from Dr. Angelou on how to write about women.