• The Writers' Group

Why I Write - Kate

Updated: May 26, 2019

The men were allowed to write. From the ages of seven until adulthood, they were taught form, structure and plot. Every book bore a man’s name and a man’s ideas. After all, this was how it had always been, how they were taught it should be and how it would be forever after.

What use had a female for words when they had their homes and their children? It was an accepted fact that the female mind was not capable of rational, philosophical or creative thought. After all, if they had any talents in that area, why were all the words owned by men?

Oh, some women had tried to write, it was true. Somehow they had learned their letters and even had some rudimentary form of structure or plot, but it wasn’t really writing. It was more an amusing spectacle, like a toddler learning to walk, something to be laughed at and then quickly hidden away and forgotten. Men had no time for women writing and in truth, they said, women should not aspire to such greatness. Instead, they should look to their homes, making them welcoming for the menfolk to return and nurturing for the children their men chose to give them.

One woman had even written what could closely be called a book, which had been accidentally published under a man’s name. Critics had praised it at first until the deception was discovered, then all involved laughed and decried it as a great joke on the pomposity of those who had said it was good. When she was taken to prison, the woman was asked who had given her the ideas in the book or told her to write it, but all she would say was that words were universal, neither male nor female, and she had written it under her own guidance and through her own imagination. Her claims were dismissed of course and she was taken swiftly to her execution. Rumours abounded that she had held her head high when the flames licked round her ankles and cried out that women would rise and take no more.

But that was nonsense, of course.

(C) Kate

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