There’s a piece over at Salon by Anna North calling for the end of “women’s stories.” Not stories about women altogether – that would be insane – but the specific, dumb stories that we’ve all read over and over.
She writes that:
Hookup culture stories are extremely popular. The latest, Kate Taylor’s “Sex on Campus: She Can Play That Game, Too” sits as of this writing at the top of the New York Times’ most-emailed list. It is about women at Penn, but it is essentially the same story as this one about women at UNC, and though less overtly polemical, it is also essentially the same story as thisand this and this. It’s not hard to see why these stories succeed: They are about very young women having lots of sex with multiple partners. They’re a lot like porn, except that instead of an orgasm you get a vague sense of free-floating anxiety.
This is the emotion of the women’s story. It does not move. It does not satiate. It does not provoke tears or laughter, or even good clean fear. Maybe it titillates, but ultimately, it is intended to worry. The women’s story sidles up to you at a party and asks in the honeyed voice of a false friend whether you or other women like you might be doing sex or love or motherhood (the top tasks of the woman) slightly wrong.
Those stories are frustrating simply because we are all doing the best we can under the circumstances.
Look, specifically, can we stop doing these stories? And I say that fully aware that for $2 a word, I will write about any of these stories in a second.
- Ways to make your boyfriend propose. You can’t.
- How women who have had too many sexual partners will never get married. There is no such thing, and they will.
- How women over a certain age will never get married. This is disproved every single day, often by people you know.
- Things you can cook that will make anyone propose. It’s a hilarious concept, but they don’t really exist.
So, those are my requests. Let’s do that.