Lissa Harris, one of my favorite writers from the heyday of the Weekly Dig, started a blog called Women Do! which is just scathing and wonderful. It’s dedicated to finding and skewering examples of the “Women Do!” type of newspaper feature story:
Not every story about women–not even every story about women doing things–is a Women Do story….
Every proper Women Do story has three hallmarks, and they are three, and these are them:
1. Irrelevance. The true Women Do story is not about medical issues, or gender discrimination, or anything properly related to women qua women. Oh no. It is about the shocking spectacle of women doing stuff that people generally do. At its heart is typically an earth-shattering revelation that some women, for instance, like to drive motor-cars or eat ice-cream. The reporter sets about tackling this topic with all the barmy innocence of a two-year-old child, a Betelgeusian anthropologist or a time-traveler from 1769.
You should read the other two as well, but to do that I’m going to make you actually go read it yourself.
The sad thing is that when it started, I thought she was going to run short of material immediately. Sadly, this has not been the case. So far, women have become morticians, farmed, robbed banks, and much much more.