The Patronizing Questions We Ask Women Who Write
2016-03-21 14:09:46 GMT
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Dani (aka ashuping)
"“What will your kid think?” and “Are you worried your son is going to hate you when he grows up?” and “Are you going to let him read it?” and “What’re you going to do when your kid Googles you?” are all questions that, even when offered lightheartedly and in a spirit of ostensible support, feel less like genuine questions and more like a chastening. “Remember, you’re a MOM” and “Remember, you have a mother” both mean “Remember, you’re a woman, and there are consequences.” We don’t ask male artists to consider the consequences of their work, we don’t reframe them as fathers or boyfriends or sons. We don’t keep trying to pull them back down to earth, to admonish them, the way we do women. We not only give them the benefit of the doubt — assuming they’ve done their own calculus as to how much is worth what, whom they’re willing to betray or embarrass or make uncomfortable and why — we operate as if their work is worth all that. There is a confidence, an assertion of self required in writing that we so often confuse with recklessness, but isn’t necessarily the same thing. I can be ruthless, daring, even "crazy" in my writing and deliberate and thoughtful in the choices I make with it later; to doubt that is insulting, but I’m not surprised it makes people uncomfortable. People have absurdly narrow ideas of what a good mother looks like. "
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