Why I Don’t Read Books by Male Authors

Why I Don’t Read Books by Male Authors

I don’t read books written by men–with a few exceptions.

I don’t watch male comedians. (Unless they are really, really funny.) 

I try not to watch films or shows unless they are in some way women-led, either written, produced, or directed. 

“Gasp! She’s sexist!”

Is it because I am sexist? Or perhaps because I hate men? Neither.

This intentional decision of mine has nothing to do (in theory) with prejudice or bias against the male capacity for artistic creation, or even whether or not I like their work (with the few exceptions whose work I adore).

I do read books and watch comedy by queer men, nonbinary and gender nonconforming people, BIPOC, Indigenous, and anyone from outside of Europe or North America, though I prioritize women writers. 

Intentional Inclusion

My choices are less about who I exclude and more about who I support and why. Okay, let’s be honest. It is a little bit about not supporting white men–but that’s because white men have had the power of reality construction and knowledge production for thousands of years. Enough, already. 

We create our reality with our words and our thoughts, individually and collectively. The relationship between the individual and the collective is dynamic, continually relating to one another. As a collective, we make unspoken agreements to what is “reality” and most of this is created through media–literature, television, news, movies, and even comedy. We are in a constant process of collectively creating, defining, and agreeing to what is reality.

Various studies have shown that while women are likely to read both female and male authors, men tend to choose male writers. Historically, works created by women are considered to be for women, and works created by men have been considered to be for all people. Men write, create, reflect all of reality while women only reflect women’s reality. Or so we have been led to believe.

So many female characters are unlikeable. Why? Who has historically written these unlikeable female characters? Most, not all of course, but many, books by men don’t offer much about the experience of women. Women are diminished to boring tropes or sexual objects. Female characters have little to offer in the way of intellect or depth. Movie tropes are even worse. Many women have become conditioned to squeeze ourselves into these tired little tropes that have been created for us. Make ourselves small and uncomfortable so that the patriarchy can continue to manspread all over us.

And what is the result of all these unlikeable female characters? Men don’t like us. We don’t like each other–or we think we don’t. We don’t like female celebrities, judge them for the smallest imperfections while male celebrities get away with any number of gray hairs and wrinkles and assaults and abuses. We don’t like female politicians. We don’t like women because we have been sold imaginary worlds full of unlikeable women. Who created this world?

All Humans Are Complex & Valuable Beings 

I have had many moments when I can feel a man simplifying my being. Or witnessed their moments of surprise when I display even the slightest human complexity or intellect. Many times I have had men strike up conversations with me, talk at me for some length of time, and then say, “wow, you are so interesting.” 

Funny, I remember thinking, I have not said one interesting thing. Does he find me interesting because I listened to him talk about himself? 

Yes. He did. 

I have perceived many moments when a man shifts from seeing me as little more than an object to a human. It’s a little flash across the eyes, the moment a man registers that I have a brain as well as a body. This isn’t just about me because I am smart. (I am smart. And interesting.) This is true of any woman. We are all equally complex humans in our different and similar ways. Just like men, incidentally. 

It’s just that men often don’t see us this way. And they don’t write us this way into books or movies, so our society then doesn’t see us this way. And our culture doesn’t let us behave this way. We haven’t been allowed to see ourselves this way. Our needs make us “difficult.” Our thoughts are labeled as “over-thinking.” Our requests for accountability make us “hysterical.” Our desires make us “crazy.” Our opinions make us “too much.” Our conversations are filed under “gossip.”

Is this an oversimplification? Culture is so dynamic. We create media and art from what we are and we become what we consume. We are influenced by everything. But who holds the power to create the influence? 

Women in Publishing 

In 2016, Rachel McCarthy James studied the books reviewed by The New York Times, from 100 years earlier. There were 1,392 books reviewed in 1916 and of these, 1,085 were written by men and 304 by women. Only 7 of these were people of color and none of them were black. All 304 were white women. This does not mean that people of color weren’t writing, but they definitely weren’t deemed worthy of review by the New York Times. 

And 100 years later? Many literary organizations aren’t reviewing much more women’s writing than before. Why?

Women read more than men. Women were more likely than men to read 11 or more books per year, while men were more likely than women to read 1–10 books per year.

In 2019, according to the VIDA Count, nearly every major literary journal or publisher was still dominated by male voices, with the exception of The Tin House and the New York Times Book Review. Some of the smaller publishers showed better results. Very few published works by nonbinary writers. 

Catherine Nichols’ experiment from 2015 best illustrates discrimination against female writers. Nichols sent out her manuscript to 50 agents and got two positive responses. Then she repeated the action using a male pseudonym and this time 17 agents expressed their enthusiasm. Not only did her male version of self turn out to be an eight and a half times better writer, but he apparently also received kinder rejections.

An analysis of 3.5 million English-language books published between 1900 and 2008 spotlights a deep gender bias in the literature. It concluded that women are twice as likely as men to be described by their physical attributes — “beautiful” and “sexy” being the top two adjectives used for women. Men, on the other hand, are most commonly described by their actions and attitudes. Some of the most common male descriptors are “righteous,” “rational,” and “brave.” The researchers, from the University of Copenhagen as well as U.S. institutions, used machine-learning algorithms to comb through 11 billion words across the collection of books, which included both fiction and non-fiction texts.

A study published in 2018 found that book prices for genres with more female authors are cheaper than book prices for genres with more male authors. “Overall, books that are identified as having a female-named author cost 45% less on average than male-named. Even after the researchers accounted for price disparities between genres, female-authored books were on average still 9% less expensive.”

The extra-simplified story: More women read. More women write. Yet, more books are published by men, and more books written by men are reviewed formally. More male authors receive awards, and men (anecdotally) receive sweeter rejections. Male-dominated genres of literature (and subsequently?) male authors are worth more money. 

Women in Wikipedia 

Not everyone knows this, but anyone can edit Wikipedia. It was created to be a universal open access project, and technically, it is. However, with the goal to democratize the consumption and creation of knowledge, Wikipedia fails on every measure of diversity: geographic, linguistic, racial, sexuality, economic, and of course gender. This comes straight from Wikipedia itself: Gender bias on Wikipedia, also known as the Wikipedia gender gap, refers to the fact that Wikipedia contributors are mostly male, that relatively few biographies on Wikipedia are about women, and that topics of interest to women are less well-covered. 

In 2019, Katherine Maher, then CEO of Wikimedia Foundation, said her team’s working assumption was that women make up 15–20% of total contributors. So while in theory, everyone has the same access to editing or creating pages on Wikipedia, what happens from there reflects what happens in almost all public spaces. Men take the power. Wikipedia reflects society as a whole.

For example, many women who contribute to Wikipedia have spoken out about how their entries are often edited by men in malicious ways, using sexist, racist, homophobic and violent language. Wikipedia acknowledges that this forces women to leave as they are treated aggressively by male editors. 

Additionally, Wikipedia’s articles about women are less likely to be included, expanded, neutral, and detailed. A 2021 study found that, in April 2017, 41% of biographies nominated for deletion were women despite only 17% of published biographies being about women.

Wikipedia grew out of the open source technology community, which has long been predominantly male, and content on Wikipedia has to be backed up by secondary sources, sources that throughout history have contained a bias toward white men. Sounds to me like Wikipedia is just a giant mansplaining platform.

Clearly, women just aren’t leaning in. Is this our fault? We lack confidence. We aren’t good leaders. Should we step up and lean in and pull up our own seats to the table and exhaust ourselves trying to add information to the pool of public knowledge just to have a bunch of young, privileged heteronormative white boys erase our work, digitally interrupt us, talk over us, take credit, continuously knock us back? Sigh. 

What is the solution? If in every public space devoted to the production of knowledge, women are continually silenced, criticized when we speak up, labeled too aggressive for having opinions, and shamed when we remain silent–then what is the solution? 

Women in Academia 

Surprise, surprise. Gender disparities are rampant in academia as well–from publishing to tenure. For example, men get most of the money for research. More men are editors of academic journals. More men’s works are peer-reviewed and published. And although statistics generally show around 40-45% women faculty at universities in North America and Europe, generally only around 20-25% of tenure track faculty are women. 

Sadly, but not surprisingly, the same is true across all media and artistic industries. From movies to television to music to journalism. Any industry that creates public knowledge or art for public consumption has been reflecting the heteronormative white male experience to the world and selling it to us as “reality.”

What about the rest of reality? 

***

I have a male acquaintance who I respect and appreciate a lot, and I know he respects me a lot. We’ve had plenty of stimulating conversations, and I know he has read some of my articles and has asked me for recommendations about feminist literature. He compliments my mind rather than my body, and I know for certain he views me as more than an object. A while back, a friend of mine interviewed me on Instagram Live to speak about the topic of women’s empowerment and how it related to her book. Afterward he messaged me to tell me that he enjoyed the interview and commented about the depth in which we spoke to each other. He meant this as a compliment. He was surprised at our level of depth, and this surprised me from a man who I had shared deep conversations with. He perceives me as intelligent and yet is surprised by my intelligent conversations with women. Does he perceive me as intelligent only when I speak to him? As if my intelligence is a mere reflection of his own?

This made me wonder: how often do men actually just sit down and listen to women talk to each other? How often do they hear us without doing any talking themselves or perhaps perceiving themselves as “leading” the conversation. 

How many times do they listen to us speak intelligently without hearing it as their own voice? 

My guess is that most men, even the “not-all-men” men, rarely spend time reading, listening to, finding humor or recognizing depth and complexity from artists, creators, or writers that aren’t men. 

And this, plus all the statistics above, is why I don’t read books by men.

It’s time for women, particularly non-white women, Indigenous people, queer, nonbinary and trans people, differently-abled people, neurodivergent people, people from everywhere outside of Europe and North American to be heard, to be received in sharing our knowledge and our experiences, to be able to edit Wikipedia safely, to create culture, to bring comedic relief, to add ourselves into society through media influence, to be seen as the complex, interesting, dynamic humans that we are, because all humans are–even if the white men don’t know it yet. 

women in academia

Media, Art, & Literature Are For Everyone

Writing by women is not just for women or about “women’s issues.”  Queer writing is not just for queer people. Books by Indigenous writers are not just for Indigenous people. 

I encourage you all to notice how many women, LGBTQ, trans, BIPOC, and Indigenous creators you follow or read. And if it’s not many, then I have a short list for you here of people whose work I believe is crucial in creating new, inclusive, loving, healing realities. 

A short list of my favorite writers/activists/comedians/creators/inspirers:

  • Barbara Kingsolver
  • Robin Wall-Kimmerer
  • Louise Erdrich
  • Octavia Butler
  • Ocean Vuong
  • Isabelle Allende
  • Julia Alvarez
  • bell hooks 
  • Audre Lorde
  • Angela Davis
  • Margaret Atwood
  • Mary Oliver
  • Adrienne Rich
  • Ann Patchett
  • Roxanne Gay
  • Sue Monk Kidd
  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Viola Davis
  • Jefferey Marsh
  • Alok Vaid-Menon
  • Joy Sullivan
  • Emma Zeck
How Do We Change Language?

How Do We Change Language?

Driving Linguistic Evolution Beyond the Patriarchy

I have recently seen a tweet circulating that says, “in 2022 we’re not finishing our sentences, does that make sense anymore.” I have seen this type of idea presented in many different ways. The general message: women have too much self-doubt. We should be more confident. It’s time to stop with the self-doubt and speak with confidence. The underlying message I hear: we should speak more like men. 

There is a part of this message that resonates with me–the part about taking ownership of our language and cultivating our power through language. However, as I’ve been seeing these types of messages circulate in recent years, I’ve realized that some part of it has been bothering me. 

Lack of Confidence or Cultural Gaslighting?

I do feel that many women, myself included, have had and continue to struggle with self-doubt. The patriarchal world makes it easy for us to doubt ourselves. It likes for us to doubt ourselves. On top of doubt, we’re supposed to feel shame for our doubt and guilt about our lack of confidence. If we could only be more confident, like men, then we would be more successful in business and in life. 

I find this to be an example of deep cultural gaslighting that perpetuates the exact problem it points out. Even the most confident among us may start to doubt our confidence if the dominant narrative tells us we lack it. Even the most self-assured among us may start to wonder if the reason we aren’t as successful as men could be an inherently flawed self-esteem rather than misogynistic structural imbalances. Can we self-care our way to the top of a patriarchal structure? I don’t really think so, or necessarily want to. Even the strongest among us may stumble from time to time in a world designed by men for men.  

It’s time for us to recognize this societal gaslighting.

Perhaps we don’t need to doubt our use of language. Maybe we don’t need to dissect our forms of communicating using a male lens. 

***

A few years ago, I worked as the executive director of a nonprofit healthcare organization. During my time there, I received an award and grant for personal and organizational capacity development and was assigned a wonderful consultant. We worked closely together for about a year. 

One thing that I learned by listening and watching the way Angela communicated was how to give space in conversation. Angela would often ask, “does that make sense?” And when I was speaking, she would affirm in a similar way. Six years later, I can still hear her lovely, calming voice in my mind, “that makes so much sense.”

Confidence & Empathy Belong Together

When Angela would ask me if what she was explaining made sense, never once did I perceive self-doubt from her. What I felt was that she was intentionally building space into our conversations, space for me to reflect, ask questions, and comment. It was a way to slow the flow of the conversation and check in with me. 

Her affirmations while I paused during my time speaking were also helpful–and these questions “does that make sense,” and affirmations, “that makes so much sense” balanced each other into a beautifully constructive process. 

She wasn’t asking me if it made sense because she was unsure of herself. It wasn’t about her. It wasn’t a lack of confidence. She was asking to make sure that we were both in the same conversation, to see if something needed to be reworded or clarified. And if something did need to be clarified, it wouldn’t be because she wasn’t doing a good job explaining, it would be because we are humans, and we often need clarification. I began to mirror her and do the same in conversation, and I felt shifts in my work relationships.

Maybe this kind of compassionate, intentional communication is needed more–in professional and personal settings. Perhaps we shouldn’t encourage women to speak more like men. Here’s a radical idea: maybe men can take some guidance from women. 

Men, does this make sense? 

Now, I am all about direct communication. I facilitate practices in direct communication. There are many moments in professional and personal contexts where the most direct communication possible is exactly what is needed. So I’m not advocating against direct communication. 

In my workshops, we also practice empathetic listening, asking open and honest questions, and nonviolent communication styles. Different contexts require different kinds of communication. I believe we can be direct and empathetic at the same time. That we can communicate effectively while still pausing and allowing for spaces in our conversation, giving ourselves time to process. 

change language

Who Has the Power to Create Language?

Language, just like music, fashion, design, and culture in general, evolves. How does it evolve? Who drives linguistic trends and changes? Well, who usually has most of the social power? Could it be the same dominant group who has historically had access to academia and publishing power? The majority of the power of directing and creating movies, television, radio and news media? 

Of course, there are marginal or subversive drivers of cultural change as well. But in every social narrative, there are dominant voices–and then there are all the others. A global (ahem, colonial) common factor is that women’s voices have been hushed, along with many other intersecting populations. 

What I propose here is that instead of condemning ourselves as women for the way we speak, perhaps we could embrace our subtle and not-so-subtle differences, and see the potential strengths within them. Perhaps, instead of modeling our professional voices after those of men, we could analyze in what ways we can drive linguistic trends.

What I suggest, is that instead of gaslighting ourselves into filing our pauses and our sensitivities into the “lack of confidence” category, we embrace these and honor the place for them within the professional context. 

Make sense?


Interested in practicing some of these communication styles? Medusa offers 1:1 coaching and workshops for classes, organizations, and small businesses. Get in touch today for practical communication tools.

amy schmidt

Amy Schmidt is the CEO and founder of Medusa Media Collective. She is an editor, writer and teacher. She also teaches yoga, leadership, and empowerment self-defense for women. Her goal in writing is to create connection through empathy, and her passion is working to end gender-based violence. She likes her humor dry and her fruit juicy. 

Queer Ecology: Why Female Birds Couldn’t Sing Until Recently

Queer Ecology: Why Female Birds Couldn’t Sing Until Recently

The Patriarchal Hush of Female Birds & How Queer Ecology Can Help

Did you know that female birds couldn’t sing? Scientific observation gives us facts and from those facts we build reality, and in this reality, only male birds produce song. That is, until the past two decades when female scientists began to also study birdsong. 

Wait, what? 

That’s right. 

The Complexity of Female Beings is Not Abnormal

For more than 150 years, dating back to Charles Darwin’s writings on sexual selection, scientists generally considered birdsong to be a male trait. According to widely accepted scientific perspectives, bird’s songs were complex vocalizations that male birds produce during breeding season. Female vocalizations were rare or abnormal. 

Were.

Female vocalizations were rare or abnormal. Except they weren’t abnormal at all. Female birds could, in fact, sing and had always been singing, long before the colonization of science. Female birds were always capable of complex vocalizations along with their complex male counterparts.

They just couldn’t be heard over the patriarchy. 

In the past two decades, scientists began to “discover” female bird songs. In a recently published study analyzing the research itself, data shows that the key people driving this recent paradigm shift were women.

Traditionally, white men working in countries of the northern hemisphere have conducted much of the research on birdsong. 

Traditionally, white men have led research on many topics. That is because white men and the systems that benefit them have excluded women, BIPOC, queer, and pretty much anyone from the global south from the educational opportunities and professions that do this research–until recently when systemic conditions have improved. Slightly. For some.  It’s still not equal, of course. We (and it’s a giant we) have been excluded from producing cultural knowledge. 

Is it any wonder that female birds lost their songs just as women have been denied our voices for so many generations? Any wonder that female beings of all species seem quiet and simple, vessels for procreation, objects for the use and pleasure of the male species? Perhaps the comparison is a stretch, but I think not. I happen to think that females and males and every other expression of sex or gender is equally and differently complex and beautiful.

We Are All Biased

Science is meant to be objective. Observations, tests and results. However, we also know from the science of quantum physics, that the observer, by observing, tends to affect the outcome of the experiment.

I know I am not the first to point out that science is neither unbiased or objective. Research and observation is seen and reported through the lens of the observer. If the lens through which observation is made is only open so far, the possibilities for observation are limited to that lens’s aperture. 

Men, especially white men, have predominantly done research and controlled the production of knowledge in regards to bird song (specifically birdsong in this article, also knowledge in general).

Is Binary Killing Beauty? 

So if the people who do the observations already carry a herteronormative, binary belief system, then that will be the lens through which they will make observations. That will be the world they see and the world they report to others on. 

This is one fascinating example of how patriarchal and colonial domination has not only oppressed women and others, but is literally robbing the human world of a range of knowledge, or suppressing knowledge that previously existed. Or both. I would imagine that knowledge of various indigenous cultures includes female birdsong and lots of other beautiful things that white supremecist patriarchy has suppressed.

What other information are we lacking about our world because so many of us haven’t had access to professions that observe and create knowledge?

Just imagine. Imagine what other songs are out there. Imagine what else is waiting to be discovered, not just by female scientists, but all kinds of humans who observe through the lenses of different intersecting identities and bring varied lived experiences to their observation. And imagine a kaleidoscope.

We construct our reality through words, language, story, and media. Women and basically everyone else except white men have largely been left out of the production of knowledge and therefore, the creation of reality, to the point that we literally believed female birds to be silent. What other beautiful aspects of life are happening out there, waiting to be heard, seen, touched, felt? What more is there to discover that hasn’t been observed through limited hetereonormative white lenses?

queer ecology, female birdsong

Bring On Queer Ecology

There is an entire field of knowledge blossoming called queer ecology, which combines queer theory and environmental studies with the goal of diversifying our narratives of the natural world–and I can’t wait to see where it takes us. I can’t wait to learn what knowledge exists outside of the binary. My hypothesis? The world will become much more fascinating. 

As much as I am continually frustrated by the injustice of patriarchy and colonialism, I am equally excited for what awaits us on the other side. Excited about the beauty of the world we haven’t tapped into yet, but that is existing there, waiting for the right eyes to see it.

What a beautiful world it will be when we are finally able to see it through many different eyes. What a beautiful world it is already, filled with songs and dances of so many species, dancing right alongside our own species. 

How much more beauty is there in the world that are we capable of observing? How much more beauty can we see and process? Can we feel?

I think the answer is infinite. We can experience infinite beauty. All we have to do is learn to view it through as many lenses as possible.


Perhaps you feel called to share your infinitely beautiful creations with the world too? Join us today in adding more nonbinary, decolonized, patriarchy-smashing knowledge and wonder.

amy schmidt

Amy Schmidt is the CEO and founder of Medusa Media Collective. She is an editor, writer and teacher. She also teaches yoga, leadership, and empowerment self-defense for women. Her goal in writing is connection through empathy, and her passion is working to end gender-based violence. She likes her humor dry and her fruit juicy. 

What Being A Women’s Collective Means To Us

What Being A Women’s Collective Means To Us

Guess what? It’s not purely to exclude men.

So why are we a women’s collective, then?

We are stronger together? Yes, kind of. It is such a cliche, although not the worst cliche. It isn’t a bad concept to overuse by every company, organization, and movement. It’s not untrue. 

Women are stronger together. Also true. 

Women supporting women. Women empowering women. Nice hashtags. We even use them. 

Is that why we are a collective? Because women are stronger together? Well, that’s part of it. Of course, it goes much deeper. At Medusa, everything we do and feel and write and touch goes deeper. 

We are a collective because the patriarchy doesn’t like it. And when the patriarchy doesn’t like something, we want to do it more. Patriarchy has benefitted by keeping women apart, from denying women the opportunity to be a collective body or voice, by calling them witches or other things when they gather. 

The women are talking to each other…burn them. 

Something along those lines. 

In 1486, the Malleus Maleficarum, inspired 2 centuries of witch-hunting hysteria and the subsequent torture of women and systematic destruction of their spiritual practices and health care in Europe and beyond. This oppression lasted 500 years and thanks to colonialism, it traveled to every corner of the Earth–anywhere women gathered. 

And here’s the thing. Women gathered everywhere. They did because humans gather everywhere. It’s what we do. We are social beings. We share stories, learn together and from one another, support each other, laugh together and grieve together. 

Women’s Collectives Takes Strength From the Patriarchy

The patriarchy maintains strength by denying women access to public spaces, keeping women isolated, by keeping us from sharing our stories, by keeping us suspicious of other women, by making us witches and “mean girls” or at least intimidated by “mean girls,” at least frightened enough to point fingers at other women to save ourselves. The patriarchy is stronger when we compete against each other rather than support each other. 

I, and many of the women I know, have been each of these things: isolated, witch, mean girl and intimidated.  

We have also been abused, gaslighted, manipulated and sexually assaulted by men. I’d venture to say that nearly all women have experienced some kind of violence, somewhere on the spectrum, at some point in their lives. 

I don’t know when I became a feminist exactly. I certainly wasn’t raised this way. Nor do I remember when I started gathering with women in more intentional ways and spaces, with structure around sharing and processing and healing. But I do know that I felt my own life improve significantly when I started talking, sharing, being vulnerable, and actively circling with other women. I know that my life has become significantly richer, more open, more silly, and most importantly, more validated.

When we start sharing these experiences, they become real.

They aren’t just hidden away inside each of us as these solitary, unspoken, often doubted, heavy things. When we start sharing, and saying, hey me too, and that is fucked up–then we realize, how it is fucked up the way women have been and continue to be treated by patriarchal societies the world over. 

We are a collective to share. To support women who want to share their stories. To receive and validate (and edit and polish) and honor the stories and voices of women, in their creative process and in their business

womens collective

We are a collective of women, not to exclude men, but to validate ourselves and our experiences. 

Not only that, but we are a collective because it’s more fun. The women we work with are hilarious, loving, wild, gritty, and fun. And we really love to have fun. 

We are a women’s collective to validate.


Your story is important, valuable, and beautiful. Your voice is powerful. Your messiness is perfect and charming. Your art is needed by the world. Your traumas hurt you, and still, you are strong and soft–a work in progress and a complete work of art at once.

And we are here for you.

amy schmidt
Amy Schmidt is the CEO and founder of Medusa Media Collective. She is an editor, writer and teacher. She also teaches yoga, leadership, and empowerment self-defense for women. Her goal in writing is connection through empathy and her passion is working to end gender-based violence. She likes her humor dry and her fruit juicy. 

Storytelling: A Necessity for Women and Humanity

Storytelling: A Necessity for Women and Humanity

The World is Ready to Hear Women’s Narratives

When we think of storytelling do we think of ancient humans sitting mesmerized around a campfire? Do we think of children gathered around a jovial elder? Or do we think of modern social media platforms and marketing? 

Perhaps all of the above. 

Storytelling is a characteristic of humanity, an important part of how we understand our world and see ourselves within it. Stories are how we create culture and from them we learn how to behave within it–for better or worse. Society is not fixed, rather we create culture daily as an ongoing production of the stories we tell. 

Storytelling is also a new buzzword within the world of marketing. It may even be replacing marketing. You aren’t just selling a product or a service, you’re selling your story. 

I don’t know about anyone else, but as soon as something becomes buzzy, or even slightly trendy, I quickly find it a turn off.

But storytelling is never a turn off, because stories are what turn me on more than anything. 

Anyone else? 

Anyone else feel like they could never be bored as long as there are stories to be heard, shared and told? Books to be read. Movies and documentaries. Anyone else fascinated by the fact that a small number of letters that represent a small number of sounds can form infinite arrangements of language and infinite meaning and infinite stories? Or is that just me? 

Anyone else love their own stories? We hope you do! Because when you love your own stories, you’ll be passionate about telling them and we want to hear. We want your stories–your juicy, funny, sweet, sad, bitter, loving, funky human stories. We want them because we know the world needs to hear them too. 

Stories are part of what makes us human.

They are the connecting fibers in the larger fabric of humanity. They make us laugh and cry and feel stuff and raise our empathy for fellow humans. Stories help us understand what it means to be human. 

storytelling

The act of creating stories, and the telling or sharing of them, are natural human processes. They help us as individuals and societies to understand our human experience and locate ourselves within reality. Unfortunately, many humans, women included, have been left out of the process of contributing their stories to the collective.

Using Storytelling To Create New Realities

At Medusa, we want to actively engage in creating a better version of reality. In our reality, women’s stories are culture. We tell, share, shout, and sing them. They are honored and exalted.

We want our collective experience to be like a modern day campfire, warm and vivid, where you’ll likely hear a feminist retelling of Medusa, whispers and roars of our matriarchal ancestors, and songs from these witches who just won’t burn. You’ll hear women who are outspoken and unapologetic.

***

Join us in rewriting and respeaking the collective narrative to one that is holistic, inclusive, and full of previously hushed voices. If you’ve got a story to share, we can help you polish it. Get in touch and send it our way. 


amy schmidt
Amy Schmidt is the CEO and founder of Medusa Media Collective. She is an editor, writer and teacher. She also teaches yoga, leadership, and empowerment self-defense for women (as a diploma coach at the University of Peace). Her goal in writing is a connection through empathy and her passion is working to end gender-based violence. She likes her humor dry and her fruit juicy.