Storylessness & questing

Storylessness, after all, has been women's big problem. The erotic narrative to which they have been confined by literature and common cultural understanding ideally leads to the altar and ends soon after with a house and babies and, theoretically, bland contentment. This story not only fails to fill a lifetime, it puts the plotline in the hands of others, the men who do not admire, love, offer marriage, and make full female adulthood possible. For women who step outside this narrative, "the price is high, the anxiety is intense, because there is no script to follow, no story portraying how one is to act, let alone any alternative stories." What women need, Heilbrun realizes, is to reframe their lives as quest plots—narratives framed around ambition and achievement, which is how men's lives are organized. Questing is what makes a woman the heroine of her own life.

— Katha Pollitt, in the foreword to Carolyn Heilbrun's Writing a Woman's Life

I wonder if an endless series of conference calls is the sort of quest they had in mind.