How Not to Write About Women

Well, here we are. The time has come for us to scream into the night, and this time we owe it to Vanity Fair’s cover feature on Margot Robbie a.k.a. an actor writer Rich Cohen can’t get enough of.

And I mean really.

“America is so far gone, we have to go to Australia to find a girl next door,” he begins. (Actually. This is his lede.) “In case you’ve missed it, her name is Margot Robbie. She is 26 and beautiful, not in that otherworldly, catwalk way but in a minor knock-around key, a blue mood, a slow dance. She is blonde but dark at the roots. She is tall but only with the help of certain shoes. She can be sexy and composed even while naked but only in character. As I said, she is from Australia.”

This was written by a man who was paid a decent amount of money to put words on a page. And this is just the opening paragraph. Here’s how it ended:

“We sat for a moment in silence. She was thinking of something; I was thinking of something else. Then she stood, said good-bye, and went to see a friend across the room. Jerry was right. She looked just like Audrey Hepburn going away.”

So I  mean, wow and oh boy. And look, I’m sure Rich Cohen is not a bad person because I don’t like to think anybody is inherently bad. But I will say he seems super in love with Margot Robbie. And he also seems like someone who wanted a career as the lead singer of a softboy indie rock band. And I will also say that he clearly doesn’t know how to write about women because imagine reading that profile and it’s about you and you’ve been described as one of two kinds of made-up beautiful. (Yikes, right?)

So to avoid this situation ever happening again, here are my ~*official rules*~ for writing about women. Because I can’t anymore, you guys. I just cannot.

Rule #1: Write about a woman the way you would write about a man.

Okay great! Done! We did it!

I knew we could make a difference, team.

Even though, for the record, I am totally “slow dance” beautiful too — right?

Photo credit: Tinseltown /

Tags: Anne T. Donahue, London Fog, margot robbie

Related Posts

Previous Post Next Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *