How to Write About Women, As Told by a Man

Yet another essay from my creative nonfiction class! This was inspired by the essay How to Write About Africa by Binyavanga Wainaina, and the Twitter account “Men Write Women“. Both are linked here for your reading pleasure. I also want to emphasize that this essay is satire, so no getting angry at me! Enjoy!

Start by describing her breasts. Compare them to some sort of fruit, whether it makes sense or not. Give them emotions, talk about how they stared at you, describe the way they bounced. Everyone knows that a woman’s mood can be discerned by looking at her breasts, so take care to get that mood across. If you’re looking to go the extra mile, you can speculate on the appearance of her nipples, regardless of whether you’ll ever actually find out what they look like. The more thoroughly you describe her breasts, the more credible you will be in the eyes of your female readers.

The next most important description is the rest of her body. Are her hips wide? Are her shoulders tilted back? Is she petite? Are her legs miles long? Does her hair just barely reach her nipples? How small are her feet? Make sure to give her the best features of every ethnicity you can think of. She should be exotic, but not so much so that it’s obvious; just a hint here and there should be enough.

Her smile should come next, but keep in mind it doesn’t matter if the smile itself isn’t real. Focus on her teeth. Every woman has perfect teeth, with the exception of a slight gap in between the front two. (Unless of course you’re writing your villain, then you must include a description of how horrifying her teeth are.) Focus next on her lips. They should be glossy, or bright red, or girlishly pink, or mysteriously dark. Ignore your previous descriptions when talking about her lips; it doesn’t matter that you described her as wearing pajamas, her red pouty lips must be appreciated.

If you’re writing YA, her personality must be headstrong and stubborn, but gentle with a select few things, such as family or animals. She has to be well-liked, but not actively popular. Make sure you mention her previous relationship with one of the popular girls and allude briefly to their tragic falling-out. Her best friends should be men, because she’s just not like other girls. Give her a few quirks that everyone knows about, but nothing too crazy or she’d be considered weird. Lastly, you must give her some deep, unresolved trauma. It’s up to you whether you want to have her actually work through it or not.

If you’re writing science fiction, here is your chance to show that the nerdy, smart girls can be hot too. Give her a scene where she takes off her glasses and shakes her hair out of its ponytail. (Disregard the fact that hair doesn’t just fall like that.) She absolutely cannot be aware that she is beautiful until the male protagonist tells her. He should be seen as a brave and courageous man for taking a chance on the nerd girl. Make sure everyone knows that the more traditionally attractive woman is still just as dumb as we all suspected.

If you’re writing erotica, make sure you go all the way with it. Show your readers that you’ve had sex with many women, thank you very much. Don’t consult any women to make sure things are accurate from their point of view. Just go with your instincts; if you’ve had enough sex—and we all know you have—that should suffice. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can include a bit about her period, because everyone knows that a woman feels her sexiest when she’s on her period. Also, don’t waste any time looking up the correct anatomy of a female. No one actually knows the difference between a vagina and a vulva anyway.

The most important part of writing about women is to make sure you never, ever admit that you could have made a mistake. When it comes to writing women, obviously you, a man, are the ultimate authority.

Stay tuned for more updates,

xoxo, second sister suzie

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