Monday, January 5, 2009

a little backstory

Hello there! Welcome to this cantankerous little corner of the blogosphere. If you are, or happen to know personally, a woman, this site is for you. And if you are perpetually amazed by how perpetually amazed newspaper reporters and editors are that women can do stuff, this site is REALLY for you.

Having begun in medias res, as it were, with a cranky rant about tattooixtresses, I thought it might be proper to give this blog a belated introduction. Far from having sprung fully formed from a fit of pique this afternoon, the Women Do Project has been underway for some years--since at least 2006, when I was toiling in the swamps of the Weekly Dig's Media Farm. There, it came to my attention one day that women go bowling. Amazed by this, I did a little poking around, and discovered that women also shoot guns and DJ. Yea, they even blog. There seemed no end to the stuff Globe reporters would uncover about these preternaturally accomplished she-beings.

In our next Farm column (alas, now lost from the Intertubes), we thrust a skewer of mockery through these nuggets of condescending twaddle, offered $5 worth of free tacos to whoever could put a stop to them, and called it a day. Alas, they kept coming. Soon, women were drinking sake and becoming police officers. (They were even ice fishing, though this is clearly hazardous to their health.) In other, less credulous newspapers, they could frequently be spotted buying electronics. And more electronics. And even more electronics.

I developed a reputation for hurling potted plants across the office whenever a "Women Do ____" story came over the transom. People began to send me particularly egregious exempla of the genre. Adam Reilly over at the Phoenix even got into the game. But to no avail. The Globe just kept right on yammering about women playing football and robbing banks. I left the Dig and went to grad school. Eventually I gave up yelling about "Women Do ____" and found other sources of meaning in life.

Until today. I just couldn't take it anymore.


  1. Stop me if I'm mistaken, but... aren't you a woman? Blogging?


  2. It cannot be denied.

    I eagerly await the trend story:

    Women bloggers increasingly blogging about newspapers writing about women blogging

  3. Yay! I can get a dose from you any time I want now!

    Maybe I didn't phrase that exactly right...

    Anyway, I'm glad you're here in the blogworld and look forward to more.

  4. Dr. Johnson,

    Sir, holding your opinions as exalted by example above those of men of an Ordinary nature, I ask with the utmost humility, why are we getting only half the story? Which of these daily tattlers has seen fit to print a single Column Inch about the matter more important still, which is to say, what of the men who allow these women such novel pursuits! Clearly, these flowers, these songbirds, these pleasingly pulchritudinous naifs could not venture into the stormy seas of their own volition. Nonsense, I say, and complete hufflepuff!

    Yours most truly,
    Snobrey J. Snobblestone III , OG CBE et. al. & co. ESQ.

  5. My very dearest Snobrey,

    Not even twenty-four hours has elapsed since this blog burst into existence--and already, the age-old cry has arisen, WHAT OF THE MEN? What, indeed?

    Not wanting to disappoint, Sir, here are some men for you. Some purely pulchritudinous ones at that.

    I remain, etc.,


  6. I don't get it.

    I guess you think everyone knows by now that women can do whatever they want, but have you never been in a position where people didn't believe that?

    The bank robber story is silly, but it does point out that more women are robbing banks and committing other crimes than in years past. I'm sure women have always been quite capable of doing that, but the numbers of women who do are rising. Why does that story bother you so much?

  7. Dear LocalWoman,

    I am not quite so uninformed as to think that being female doesn't come with a whole mess of irritating sociocultural baggage. But being a hopeless naif, myself, I like to think that we live in a world where it is not really national news that women do a variety of things not explicitly related to the constraints of their anatomy.

    Perhaps "world" was too large a word. I think it may be safe to say that about Boston, though.

    You've got to admit the bowling story was thoroughly outrageous. And if you don't--well, it's a big Internet, there's a place in it for everybody.

  8. This blog is making my penis hurt. Maybe the next story in my estimable tattler will be about how women--some women--can keep their mouths decorously clamped shut and keep to the business of babymaking. I have it on good authority that several months have elapsed since your last issuance, Ms. Harris. Might it be time for another?

  9. Can someone please parse the following? If not, here's the next feature. "Women Can Possess Ruinous Grammar."

    "I guess you think everyone knows by now that women can do whatever they want, but have you never been in a position where people didn't believe that?"

  10. Dear Marty,

    Nice newspaper.

    It's terrible how little newspaper people know about Science. Don't you think?

    Generally that sort of thing takes at least about nine months, even if you are Britney Spears.

  11. Dear Keohane,

    Parse this.

    I didn't realize I'd stumbled onto another blog for pseudo-journalists. I thought regular folk could comment too.

    I just didn't understand why silly puff pieces bothered people so much.

  12. Dear Townie Lady,

    Papers are closing foreign bureaus but continuing to pay ladies to write stories about ladies bowling.

  13. P.S. They also pay gentlemen to write stories about ladies bowling.

  14. What defines someone as a pseudo-journalist vs. a regular person vs. a real journalist? Other than this pseudo hat I'm wearing with the pseudo "Press" ticket in its pseudo brim, of course.

  15. this is brilliant.

  16. This is a very interesting post. I am currently in a Women's Studies class and this relates to some of the topics we have covered. I think it is very interesting that people feel that women do not do that same things as men. Since we live in a male-dominated society, its sad to see and hear how some people feel that men can only do certain things. That is not true, women can do things just as well or better then men can. Thanks for creating this blog.