Ray: What in the world could be more trivial than intimacy? Hmmm? Is there anything real you can write about?
Hannah: What do you think would be a real thing to write about?
Ray: I don’t know. Lots of things. Cultural criticism. How about years of neglect and abuse? How about acid rain? How about the plight of the giant panda bear? How about racial profiling? How about urban sprawl? How about divorce? How about death? How about death? Death is the most fucking real issue. You should write about death. That’s what you should write about. Explore that. Death.
–the TV show Girls, episode 9, “Leave Me Alone”
This exchange is definitely on point in conveying (the idiocy of) criticisms often hurled at women’s writing.
But it also reminded me of conversations I’ve had with Rays in academic research, activism, and policy– certain professionals who insist on delineating between the ‘political’ and the ‘interpersonal’ and prioritising the former alone as ‘real’.
As long as we all know what’s important.
I mean, I still get confused so don’t mind when you find me knee-deep in the ‘trivial’.