Down with Women’s Stories, Up with Stories about Women


I am not tired of stories about women’s lives, stories that tell me something real about how a particular woman thinks or works or loves. But I am tired of “women’s stories,” stories that are supposed to be about a problem that afflicts “women.”

Anna North has a terrific essay up at Salon about the endless conveyor belt of “women’s stories” expressing uneasiness with women who have casual sex or prioritize careers over marriage.

The problem, she points out, is not just unoriginality or the sexism of constantly gawking at and criticizing young women’s choices—it’s also that these stories’ focus on young, middle-class, white women reveals whose wellbeing we feel is really “worth worrying about.”

Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →