An ongoing Twitter challenge asking women to “describe yourself like a male author would” proves men don’t know how to write about women.
Twitter can sometimes feel like a hard place to be, but on other occasions it can bring such clarity and wisdom – especially when it comes to writing.
Over the weekend, a writer took to Twitter to challenge the way male authors describe their female protagonists, and a long thread has quickly developed.
“A male author is insisting that he is living proof that it’s possible for a male author to write an authentic female protagonist,” one user posted, followed by a cringe-worthy example.
The tweet prompted podcaster Whit Reynolds to respond with a fun challenge.
“New Twitter challenge: describe yourself like a male author would,” she posted.
And thousands of women have responded.
“She was beautiful, but she didn’t know it. Soft skin, perfectly round breasts, curvy waist, and an ass the size of Montana. But there was a sadness in her eyes. There was a darkness inside of her that was begging to be explored. I immediately knew that only I could fix her,” one user posted.
“Her breasts were like two scoops of vanilla ice cream covering the maze of her inside parts. She had a face too, he thought, but it kept speaking,” another user posted.
“She wasn’t like other girls — she liked sports and could explain the rules just as good as any other guy,” one user wrote.
“Opinionated, loud and bafflingly disinterested in anything I had to say, she had the confidence of a much thinner woman,” another user wrote.
As funny as some of the responses may be, they also reveal the frustration many women feel when being described by men.
And this frustration extends to magazine articles too. Back in 2016, a Vanity Fair profile of actress Margot Robbie, written by Rich Cohen, was criticised by readers.
“She is 26 and beautiful, not in that otherworldly, catwalk way but in a minor knock-around key, a blue mood, a slow dance,” he wrote. “She is blonde but dark at the roots. She is tall but only with the help of certain shoes. She can be sexy and composed even while naked but only in character.”
Time for change in 2018?