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Breanna Coon / Her Campus

Why I Think It Is Important To Read Womxn’s Stories

Womxn come from all kinds of backgrounds and can have so many differences between them. However, they all share varied, yet similar experiences in their womxnhood. It is always interesting to me to read their stories because I can always learn something new from them. I can laugh, cry and almost everything in between just from the words written by womxn about womxn. All that being said, the reason why I think it is important to tell womxn’s stories is so that people, as a whole, can begin to see the nuances, feelings and beauty that comes from a womxn's story. 

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I once wrote a short story that was centered around the fear most womxn have once their phone reaches 25% and there is a chance they might find themselves alone at night. For me, this is a very scary situation and in the short story I wrote it like it was. I poured my own fears into my main character and created a situation that happens to many womxn all around the world. She was taken. My friends who identify as womxn loved the versions of it I wrote, both in the play and short story format. 

When my partner, who identifies as a man, read it, he told me that he was scared. That he pictured me as the main character and that even though it did not resonate with him personally, he could still feel the emotions and story that I was trying to get across. However, the critique he had of the piece was that the percentage of the battery was too high. That it did not sound realistic. I explained to him my genuine fear about my phone getting that low. He said that it was my story, so ultimately the change was up to me. After a few days, he told me that one of our mutual friends, who identifies as a womxn, asked him for his portable charger because her phone was at 25%. That was when he saw that this was not just a me thing. When we got together with friends, they all said the same thing about their fears about their phone battery getting that low. 

That is why womxn’s stories are important, so that experiences can be talked about freely. Something that I learned in one of my classes here at UCLA was that although numbers and statistics serve a purpose, they are never as powerful as stories because there is no emotion backing them up. With stories, we are able to form a connection. With womxn’s stories, specifically, we get to hear of the experiences that do not tend to be mentioned in canonical literature, which are usually dominated by experiences of white men from the past. ​ [bf_image id="q5n0j6-b6uumg-254pe9"] In today’s day and age, there are stories being written by womxn and they tell the experiences of loss, joy, heartbreak and everything in between. They are empowering to the womxn of today and for the young girls that will be reading them in the future.Womxn’s stories are so important and I hope that this International Womxn’s Month you will pick up a book or short story, an article even, and get to reading the experiences of womxn so that you too can learn, make connections, continue to grow and know that you are not alone in your experiences. 

Genessee (Gen-eh-see) is a second year, non-transfer senior majoring in English at UCLA. During her free time she loves to read, write, and dance. Currently she is a feature writer with HerCampus UCLA, writer for the UCLA VDay Coalition, and treasurer of Grupo Folklórico de UCLA. You can contact Genessee at genfloressantos@gmail.com
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