On Reading “the Midcentury Misogynists”


In a piece flawlessly titled “Reading While Female: How to Deal With Misogynists and Male Masturbation,” four female writers talk to each other about how women in college try to make sense of the male-dominated literature they’re taking in.

One of many stellar quotes:

Well, the pernicious thing about reading Roth when you’re a young person is that you think, ‘I don’t want to be that girlfriend. I don’t want to act like that.’ …I thought, ‘This is a world that I have to conform to.'”

The conversation is an excerpt from No Regrets, a collection of discussions among women about reading and writing in one’s twenties, forthcoming from n+1.

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 →