A small collection of the times male authors had absolutely no idea how to write about women
Guys, it’s not that hard
You know when you’re a kid and the teachers split you up and take the girls into one room to teach you about periods and how your ~body will change~, and they take the boys into another room and you come back together all shifty and giggly about it afterwards?
OK, well, I have a theory that when they do that they kettle all the boys into an empty classroom and scream at them “BOYS, WOMEN’S MINDS BODIES AND SOULS ARE MAZES THAT WILL NEVER BE UNDERSTOOD BECAUSE THEY’RE NOT NORMAL HUMANS LIKE US”. And some of those boys grow up to be writers, and they write things like this:
This is what happens when we let men write books pic.twitter.com/BwQDX337K4
— Julia Carpenter (@juliaccarpenter) July 21, 2017
Super surprising I know, but male writers often make no effort to research their female characters, so they believe their insides are a maze and they can’t even fucking pee properly. I wish this was a one off, but trust me it isn’t. Male writers consistently get women wrong — both in fiction and journalism — not because they truly don’t understand women, but purely because they can’t be bothered. Unfortunately for women who have the audacity to want to read, it means you’re stuck often reading about gals like this:
One reason why female characters are often so bad and poorly developed is that male writers treat “female” as their defining characteristic
— Laura Hudson (@laura_hudson) July 11, 2017
We are tiny fragile little smol babies
You probably know Selena Gomez as a talented singer, producer, Petra Collins collaborator and genius who brought us Alex on Wizards of Waverly Place and fully grown woman. But the male writer of her endlessly creepy Vogue profile saw Selena Gomez as “doll-like” and pitiful, at one point describing her as “seven years old.” It’s just one example of the tired of trope of seeing women as fragile, breakable characters and not like, actual grown ass human beings.
It’s hard to choose the worst part because the whole thing will make you feel like elderly men are breathing the words of the article into your ear as they tie pink bows into your delicate ringlets, but this is a personal, deeply uncomfortable favourite:
“As I slip an apron over her mane of chocolate-brown hair, for which Pantene has paid her millions, and tie it around her tiny waist, I wonder whether her legions have felt for years the same sharp pang of protectiveness that I’m feeling at present.”
We are just big fucking cars
I’m not saying that Aniruddha Bahal, the guy that wrote Bunker 13, has never seen a real life woman. And I’m not saying that he puts his dick in exhaust pipes. But his attempt to describe a sexually active woman was so bad it won the Literary Review’s Bad Sex in Fiction Award in 2003. Read this and DM me your conclusions, that’s all I’m saying:
“She is topping up your engine oil for the cross-country coming up. Your RPM is hitting a new high. To wait any longer would be to lose prime time. She picks up a Bugatti’s momentum. You want her more at a Volkswagen’s steady trot. Squeeze the maximum mileage out of your gallon of gas. But she’s eating up the road with all cylinders blazing. “
We are evil bitches
There’s a lot to be said about Charles Bukowski (probably by boys in your Lit tutorials who wear Doc Martens and write in Moleskins), but here’s the Cliffnotes. He likes booze, cigarettes, booze, complaining, booze and writing about how all women are awful. I guarantee every bad date you’ve ever had has begun with the phrase: “Hey do you like Bukowski? Ever read Infinite Jest?”
“Once a woman turns against you, forget it. They can love you, then something turns in them. They can watch you dying in a gutter, run over by a car, and they’ll spit on you.”
Words male writers use to describe women's clothing: blouse, pantyhose, stockings, crop top, skimpy
— mariya 🌱 (@ohmyohmia) July 25, 2017
Our entire auras are pulsing with silent, intoxicating sexuality at all times. Basically, we want to fuck
In the great tradition of leering male writers covering beautiful talented actresses for high fashion magazines (see Selena Gomez), there’s probably none worse than Margot Robbie’s sexist, laughably rose-tinted interview in Vanity Fair, where the author says he spent a summer “hanging out” with her and is a sprawling, desperate love letter which sounds like he was mostly standing slightly behind her for weeks touching himself over his jeans and breathing through his mouth.
Look I’m not saying that’s what he was doing but that’s what this sounds like (and it’s not even the worst part):
“She is 26 and beautiful, not in that otherworldly, catwalk way but in a minor knock-around key, a blue mood, a slow dance. She is tall but only with the help of certain shoes. She can be sexy and composed even while naked but only in character.”
i don’t get this Margot Robbie profile at all. pic.twitter.com/gDc886RxVz
— Jason O. Gilbert (@gilbertjasono) July 6, 2016
Just let it sink in that this is actually how male authors see women. That male writers have no idea or inclination to find out enough about them to write them with passion or research or depth. That male writers are now so bad at writing that they’re hiding their own gender (in the weirdest Currer Bell role reversal of all time) to try to convince women to buy their trash books. Imagine – just for a second, I know it’s a big ask – if female authors wrote male characters like this.
Norman Mann was just a normal man. He had long flowing locks of like, manly hair and his stubble grazed the faces of many women as they whispered loving mentions in his ear. But Norman was unhappy. He was the most talented beautiful man in the world, but when he stood in front of the mirror, looking at his glistening pecs, eight pack and bulging thighs, he wanted more from life. Norman sighed and turned away from the mirror, walking downstairs in his amazing mansion where he also had eight Lambos and a Ferrira. His 16 inch penis swung majestically from side to side as he bounded down each step. Also he was wearing real Yeezys and he was verified on Twitter.
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