Obvi, We're the Ladies is an online platform for woman identified persons to share their stories and connect with one another. We seek to build solidarity and sisterhood through personal storytelling. We provide our Ladies with the support and freedom to express themselves and develop their sense of self, while engaging with an awesome community.
Why did it start?
The mission for OWTL was formed by Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle during her senior year at DePaul University. Increasingly interested in feminism, frustrated with the flood of online lists proclaiming the "right way" to be a 20-something woman, and even more frustrated with the tone most online conversations on feminism took. She sought to create something new, something better.
In an effort to explore her own womanhood and how her identity as a woman affected her identity as a person, she began a journey of self-discovery. She talked to her friends about information she'd gathered and how it inspired her and they wanted to include their journeys as well.
Mary Kate envisioned Obvi, We're The Ladies as a platform for any woman to share a story, how her experiences had affected her, and ultimately connect with another woman who had gone through something similar.
The defining characteristic to set OWTL apart from what Mary Kate was seeing elsewhere online would be the premise that each Lady could feel safe and confident knowing their experience would be respected as just that, her experience. OWTL would never expect all women to interpret or cope with their experiences in the same way.
Where'd Our Name Come From?
The name Obvi, We're The Ladies was inspired by a line from Season 1, Episode 2 of the HBO hit dramedy, Girls.
In one scene, Jessa, Hannah and Shoshanna are sitting on a bench discussing Hannah’s boy problem when Shoshanna pulls out a self help book for women. She reads a few excerpts, each directly addressing “the ladies.”
When asked, “who are the ladies?” the book is referring to, Shosh quickly responds, “Obvi, we’re the ladies!” Each of these girls has a very different opinion of the advice, but when it comes down to it, yes, they are all ladies. They’re a community.
At Obvi, and within OWTL, we strive to be this kind of community. We don't need to agree on everything, but we do have to see the struggles that undoubtedly connect us. We believe that differences aside (but recognized), we are stronger together.
At Obvi, We're The Ladies, writers can share any story about any topic. The only two rules are that they do not generalize their opinion as universal fact, and they do not disparage another woman to make a point. Through this structure, OWTL has facilitated many enlightening dialogues with and between people (not just women) worldwide.
Our essay review process is unique and collaborative, providing a particularly personal approach to editing. This provides an opportunity for contributors to grow as writers in a non-academic environment.
As part of our commitment to keeping OWTL a safe and productive space, we seek out editors with relevant experience or expert opinions from people within our team's network when editing essays concerning especially sensitive issues. This personal relationship built between contributors and editors allows for an environment to share stories the author may have otherwise been afraid to share online.
Obvi, We're The Ladies was founded in 2014 by a team of two and a few interested friends. The team has grown to more than 40 contributors globally.
We pride ourselves on the tight-knit community of Ladies behind-the-scenes of the website and the haven we've cultivated for our team of writers.
At OWTL we believe you can tell a story through any medium you prefer, not just narrative prose. We are always seeking to share the work of female artists, poets, etc. Additionally, when sharing work on our site, we feature photography taken almost exclusively by female photographers and feature our writers and their communities as models as much as possible.