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Men who bare all are congratulated while women who do so are sneered at contemptuously, even by those who should know better.I recently finished reading a piece of literary fiction purporting to tell the story of a marriage from two sides: that of the husband and that of the wife.I run up and down the stairs between my office and the laundry room three times, but I still don’t have time to finish the laundry. I can start my strike with a clean house and a clear conscience.
The first-person narrative has also spilled over onto Twitter, where people livetweet humiliations from the TSA, or speak out under hashtags designed to coordinate political actions.
The specific vitriolic hatred and disdain for the personal essay, though, is curious and fascinating, in large part because of something Bennett herself admitted: “…it often privileges the kinds of voices that don’t get mainstream attention…aside from the fact that the ‘confessional’ essay as a form has historically attracted more women than men ….
We never want to put anyone’s safety or livelihood at risk.
For every story we publish, there are three that we choose not to because the writer doesn’t seem mentally or emotionally ready, or lacks perspective or self-awareness.
so many of the outlets that are most hungry for quick freelancer copy, and have the lowest barriers to entry for publication, are still women’s interest sites.” In a single and largely ignored paragraph, she got at the very reason the personal essay is so important, whether it’s an elegant and beautifully crafted piece run in the or an anthology of essays, or clickbait slapped up to draw a steady supply of readers: It’s a story written by someone who may not have been heard before.
Not always — and it’s not necessarily a story that benefits the world — but it’s a story that’s important to the teller.
The first-person vertical, she suggested, had become a form of monetizing — and exploiting — the lives of writers who bared themselves within it.
It does, as she noted, have a low barrier to entry, with many sites accepting personal essays more quickly than any website accepts other kinds of content, and some freelancers hope to get their lucky break through such essays — or just want to share their stories.
There is something both cathartic and terrifying about exposing yourself to the Internet.
The Internet is a swift and harsh mistress, ready to judge in a flash as media whips by — for an instant, you can become the talk of the town, and at the next, you’ve faded away into the background, remembered by only a handful of people. You know, the one.” Laura Bennett at Slate set the cat among the pigeons with a piece damning what she called “the rise of the first-person industrial complex,” namechecking a host of primarily female-orientated websites, which was not a coincidence, but I’ll get back to that in a moment.