For thousands of years, women have been telling stories amongst each other, and many of those stories have remained condemned to women’s spaces — some form of xo Jane, of has always existed, even before humans were writing.
People have a compulsion to share stories, both as a way to communicate about their own lives, and to provide instructive examples, but men’s stories and lives continue to be privileged over those of women.
And some tellers definitely don’t know what they’re in for when they unleash their stories on the world, even if they’ve witnessed the fallout of particularly controversial incidents for themselves.
As Emily Mc Combs of xo Jane noted when she was interviewed by As editors, we try to warn writers who choose controversial topics that backlash that may occur, and offer them the opportunity to publish anonymously.
(Originally in Ladies' Home Journal) Maybe it was the moment I discovered my 6 year-old son smashing a Pop Tart into the seat of my car. I’m a full-time freelance writer with an office in the house, which frees me of nasty commuter traffic and pantyhose. I mean, it’s not like we can’t take care of ourselves.” The gauntlet is thrown.
Or when my 15 year-old daughter sniffed at the contents of our refrigerator and said, “How come you never buy anything good to eat? But, whenever it was, that moment came and left me wanting to resign as wife and mother. My three children, ages 6 to 16, do well in school and willingly complete chores – if I remind them. Day 1 Dan leaves for work, absent-mindedly kissing me goodbye.
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 husband’s half of the book was indeed about the marriage from his perspective, and I was curious and excited to see the dynamic flipped, to see the marriage through her eyes.
Only, it turned out, “her” story was still about him, and revolved entirely around her husband.