Heather Havrilesky @hhavrilesky Ask Polly columnist @TheCut, essayist, author of What If This Were Enough? (Oct 2018). Buy a copy!: bit.ly/2xQc5iX (illustration by Michael Sowa) Jan. 10, 2019 1 min read

Can we put the "stop hating on other women" thing to bed forever? Criticism is useful and necessary. Women are intellectuals and critics and thus women critique other women.

Otherwise you're essentially depriving women of a place in any conversation. Be polite and sit on your hands while the big boys debate each other. Critiquing women thoughtfully and holding them to a high standard IS supporting women.

Also? Books by female authors don't always, always, always have to be reviewed by female book critics. Mix it up a little.

If you're subconsciously making a lot of your editorial decisions based on perceived future outrage on Twitter (either to avoid it or attract it), you really need to reset.

Try this: Before you type "someone might think..." in the margins of that piece you're editing, add "someone who is exceptionally stupid and has no reading comprehension skills whatsoever might think" and then see if your edit still seems necessary.

Because everything is going to get EVEN MORE STUPID if we're all self-conscious chickenshits and the only people who are free to sound off are the fucking idiots.

This thread was inspired by women like @iSmashFizzle @laurenthehough @rgay @laurenduca and @KaraRBrown who stand their ground on here without apology. I follow them because they model how to stop making yourself softer and gentler just for other people's convenience and comfort.

It's also a skill to ignore outrage over truly stupid trivial idiotic shit. You can open your mind and educate yourself more every day but that doesn't mean you have to answer to every confused person alive.

You can follow @hhavrilesky.


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