She Went There

Doubters Alert

What commonly accepted truth (or “truth”) do you think is wrong, or at least seriously doubt?  Why?


When I started to write again I joined a few Writing Groups.

One was a mixed bag- various genres and there was almost an equal number of male and female writers.

I liked that group. It was supportive and competitive- not so much with each other but when we read our work you know we were working to take the room over, which is good. We were competing more with ourselves then each other.

Then I spent some time in a women’s group.

Cheese and wine and poetry and writing about deep feelings  were involved.

For this group I got dressed up.

I didn’t focus on my horror writing which was ok, but when I went for straight up drama or journaling  and read what I wrote I felt like I was going for a job interview.

In my other group I went straight from work and I work in a warehouse.

Dust and Pringles were involved.

I read whatever I had been working on that week.

What I found interesting was that in the Women’s group I got  criticism  where the listeners felt obligated to tell me before the offered their advice  where they went to college.

And then:

” I’d have done it this way….”  I heard that a lot in the women’s group.

I’m firm on this:

” I’d have done it this way “is not a criticism.

It’s showing off.

It felt like they were taking my story and making it your own. It was like watching someone flirt with my husband.


So I started to wonder about this concept about ” women helping women” thing.

The best advice I got was from my mixed group, I’ve worked in what were non-traditional fields ( Funeral Industry, Warehouses) and at the time there weren’t a lot of women doing that work.

So I wasn’t helped or hired by other women.

I was hired and mentored by men.

On one hand I understand that when you feel secure you don’t mind holding that door open or giving the advice because you’re feeling good about your position.

So I’m wondering, is this idea about women helping women and ideal we’d like to accomplish?

Is that important?

Or should we be helping and encouraging each other no matter what sex we are?

When I meet other writers who excite me I don’t care if they’re men or women, young or my age. I want to read them, engage them and encourage them.

Shouldn’t it be that way?


6 thoughts on “She Went There

  1. Interesting. I think it’s an insecurity issue stemming from that very male-dominated “place” women feel inclined to compete with. I’ve never been involved with a writer’s group that was wholly comprised of women, but I have noticed that the most outspoken “critics” of my work, if we’re to call what they present as “criticism,” were/are often women. They seem to be constantly competing for something they’ve absolutely no competition over to begin with. Anyway, thanks for sharing this.

  2. Throughout school life I had two best girlfriends and both friendships ended badly (one without so much of an explanation). I was so bruised by the end of school that I though I would never have lasting friendships with girls.

    College was better than school. I had girlfriends, but I don’t know why, I have always felt that undercurrent of competition with girls.

    I wish I could say it was different. I will be starting work life soon and I am not sure I can start with an open mind. But I am trying to!

  3. “When I meet other writers who excite me I don’t care if they’re men or women, young or my age. I want to read them, engage them and encourage them.

    Shouldn’t it be that way?”

    Yes, it should be.

    Many prejudices need to be changed. Both oppressors and oppressed have to change them 🙂

    Anand 🙂

Leave a Reply