What has struck me most, in reporting this [story], is the extent of the duress women have found ourselves under—which has already resulted in women associated with this VIDA post believing that we are fundamentally at odds. We agree on almost everything: that the legacy of bad men in creative fields is onerous and near-universal; that it’s terrifying that whispers about an important and inappropriate man can circle for decades without anyone doing anything; that any man who repeatedly takes advantage of his power over women should be called to account.

We agree, even, that institutions have failed women so dramatically that we’ve reached this particular state of things—where a deeply flawed but pragmatically essential hierarchy of systems is beginning to be reversed. We believe that the police system fails women, that the courts fail women, that institutions fail women. But on the next step, we differ, and significantly. VIDA, and many of the women who spoke to VIDA, believe that this “guerrilla activism” is the only option; that asking women to present their stories in any other way than the way they’ve decided to—any other way than what makes them feel most comfortable—is infantilizing, and re-traumatizing, and asking too much, and wrong.

Jia Tolentino, “Is This the End of the Era of the Important, Inappropriate Literary Man?”