I’ve been studying female autobiography for a paper related to another class, and was fascinated by The Book of Margery Kempe, which is much farther back in history than I’d originally thought I’d research in my discussion of contemporary autobiographical texts. Kempe’s Book is actually the first autobiography in the English language, which is pretty wild since the autobiography genre is generally dominated by male authors. Learning that the first English autobiography was written by a female changed the entire context of my discussion of the genre as a gendered one. I came back to the conclusion, however, that the autobiography is indeed an androcentric genre. First, we have to consider the fact that Kempe composed her work through male scribes. Historically, any time a dominant or majority group interjects into the transcription of a minority or dominated group’s story, it has been heavily tainted by the voice of the dominant, or the oppressor. We can see this in the Latin American testimonio, recorded by upper-class scribes, or indigenous people’s stories published through white Americans in the nineteenth century. So, how sure can we be that we’re hearing Kempe’s voice in a book that she didn’t physically write? A second point to consider is that she wrote her story in the context of a patriarchal religion. Her self-representation is based entirely on an attempt to earn validation from a male god and a patriarchal religious society. Do we see true representation of the female voice in this text? Or is Kempe’s account more of a seeking of patriarchal validation filtered through male scribes?