Writing Prompt For Women: What Does The World Tell You About Who And How To Be?

Expanding on the Be A Lady They Said video

Photo by Molly Belle on Unsplash

A major component of patriarchal society is entrenched genderized boxes — this is what makes a real man and this is what a real woman is like. Messaging like this isn’t just restrictive, it’s very often contradictory, making it all the more destructive and maddening.

A new 3-minute video (Be a Lady They Said from Paul McLean on Vimeo) illustrates the absurd and harmful nature of these societal narratives for women:

“Don’t be too fat. Don’t be too thin. Eat up. Slim down. Stop eating so much. Don’t eat too fast. Order a salad. Don’t eat carbs. You need to lose weight. Go on a diet. God, you look like a skeleton. Why don’t you just eat? You look sick. Eat a burger. Men like women with some meat on their bones. Be light. Be little. Be petite. Be feminine.”

Writing prompt: Tell us something about your own personal experience with messaging around how to be a woman — the things that have frustrated you, hurt you, made you mad or spurred you on to be more of your own person. Tag me in the story so that I can read what you have to say and link your story here.

One of the main ways that we can begin to dismantle this kind of controlling binary messaging is to recognize it and call it out. As they say, sunlight is the best disinfectant.

This prompt is for women, but here’s another one specifically for men and their stories.

Julia E Hubbel, Xandra, Shannon Page, Shannon Ashley, Shani Silver, Lady Banks, Mathilda Oz, Matilda Swinney, Rachael Hope, Rachel Wayne, Emma Austin, Soul Surfer, Christine Stevens, Christyl Rivers, Phd., Robyn Sinéad Sheppard, Emma Austin, Vienna De Vega, Monika Wright, Shelbee On The Edge, Darcy Reeder, Sapphire Grey, Zita Fontaine, Sarah Martin, MA, CSC, Remington Write, Kris Lang, Kaia Tingley 🌀, Maya Yonika, Tracey Folly, J. M. Cools, Jennifer Richmond, Marley K., Octavia Morrison, Anne Shark, Kathryn Dickel, Lucy King, Jessica Wildfire, Annie Piombino, AJ Vallee

I’m leaving off dozens of women I’d love to hear from about this topic, I know, so even if you haven’t been tagged, please feel free to write something. Don’t forget to tag me.

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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