Man using typewriter with 'new twitter challenge: describe yourself like a male author would' tweet

Roman Stetsyk/Shutterstock @whitneyarner/Twitter (Licensed) Remix by Jason Reed

‘Describe yourself like a male author would’ becomes a hilarious Twitter challenge

This Twitter thread had a lot of great responses.


Tiffany Kelly

Internet Culture

Taking a screengrab of a section in a book and posting it on Twitter has become a common way to point out problematic sentences in literature. It’s what sparked the Ready Player One backlash. Now people—mainly women—are taking that criticism a step further by writing parodies of how a male author would describe them.

It all started last week when writer Gwen C. Katz tweeted a cringe-inducing passage from a male author. This is how he wrote from a woman’s perspective: “I sauntered over, certain he noticed me. I’m hard to miss, I’d like to think—a little tall (but not too tall), a nice set of curves if I do say so myself, pants so impossibly tight that if I had had a credit card in my back pocket you could read the expiration date. The rest of my outfit wasn’t that remarkable, just a few old things I had lying around. You know how it is.”

That’s exactly how all women think, right?? Yeah, not even close. The man in question was apparently trying to prove that men can write from a woman’s perspective in fiction. Katz followed up with a tweet saying that she thinks men “can absolutely write realistic female narrators.” But, clearly, this author needed some feedback from actual women.

The author’s passage was mocked on Twitter over the weekend. And that’s when Whit Reynolds decided to come up with a Twitter challenge: “describe yourself like a male author would.”

The tweet went viral as many women wrote funny descriptions of themselves to mimic the way that the male author described his protagonist.

Hopefully, the man in question (and other authors) learned from this Twitter thread what not to do when describing a woman in fiction. As writer Kate Leth said in a tweet, don’t be scared about writing female characters, just “treat us like people.”

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