Yesterday, Joanne Harris, the British-French author of the book Chocolat, on which the 2000 film was based, wrote some tweets. An avid Twitter user with nearly 50,000 followers, Harris was musing on the challenges of writing for a living, and it didn’t take long before the conversation turned to gender. “I think that if you love it, that’s justification enough,” Harris wrote in response to one of her followers. “Men aren’t asked to justify their interests, or sacrifice them for family.”
“I don’t know of any male writer who has been criticized for neglecting his family life, or told he’s being selfish for wanting to write,” Harris pointed out. “However, I’ve heard many women writers criticized for the same thing, or being asked how they ‘juggle’ their writing time and their family. Yes, men sometimes make sacrifices, but let’s not pretend society really expects them to in the way it expects women to put family first.” Finally, she suggested a hashtag to keep the conversation going: #ThingsOnlyWomenWritersHear.
The contributions are still pouring in, but we decided to collect some of the best — read: most infuriating — tweets that highlight the assumptions people make about women who write.
BONUS! A dude speaks!