Judith Warner, the author of a book on "why we are all overscheduled," couldn't resist turning her portrait of real-life women wringing their hands over Mackenzie's class party and Joey's soccer team into a plea for "progressive tax policies that would transfer our nation's wealth back to the middle class."....Is this a special problem with women writing about women's issues, and does it suggest that there's something wrong with the feminist slogan "the personal is political"? Personal stories are used to make writing and speeches accessible. It's often tedious and predictable. It pads out speeches and makes books excessively easy to read. This is a widespread strategy that transcends writing by or about women.
Writing about oneself has a long history: The memoir, the autobiography, the roman à clef, the essay that draws on personal experience to make witty social observations -- all are legitimate literary forms. But writing about oneself and then turning these observations about one's narrow social circle into a party platform or a tax policy -- that is a more modern invention, and one of more questionable legitimacy and usefulness.
And the slogan "the personal is political" does not mean that one's personal story ought to provide the basis for your political program. It represents the argument that what goes on in women's personal relationships with men belongs in the public, political debate and is not just a private matter to be dealt with individually. It is an invitation to turn outward from the personal sphere and, instead of working on your relationship, to think in terms of what you have in common with other women.