The Sexist

The Morning After: Jealous Page View Edition

* At Slate, Emily Gould argues that feminist blogs are motivated by jealousy:

It's a prime example of the feminist blogosphere's tendency to tap into the market force of what I've come to think of as "outrage world"—the regularly occurring firestorms stirred up on mainstream, for-profit, woman-targeted blogs like Jezebel and also, to a lesser degree, Slate's own XX Factor and Salon's Broadsheet. They're ignited by writers who are pushing readers to feel what the writers claim is righteously indignant rage but which is actually just petty jealousy, cleverly marketed as feminism. . . . The vibe is less sisterhood-is-powerful than middle-school clique in-fight, with anyone who dares to step outside of chalk-drawn lines delimiting what's "empowering" and "anti-feminist" inevitably getting flamed and shamed to bits. Paradoxically, in the midst of all the deeply felt concern about women's sexual and professional freedom to look and be however they want, it's considered de rigueur to criticize anyone, like [Olivia] Munn, who dares to seem to want to sexually attract men.

Really interesting points here, except for that "petty jealousy" part, where Gould's piece descends into misogyny. Poorly-researched Internet link-bait is poorly-researched Internet link-bait—and I've yet to find a comments section anywhere that's teeming with "progressive thought and rational discourse"—but apparently only "jealousy" is to blame when women are behind this. Gould doesn't offer any evidence to support the jealous theory, so perhaps she is just jealous? She is a woman writing linkbait about other women on the Internet!

* The DC Trans Coalition announces the formation of the National Coalition of State-Level Transgender Organizations, which will build a nationwide grassroots network on trans issues.

* Zack Rosen of The New Gay reminds bachelorette parties at gay bars: "I'm a person first, sodomite later":

Three nights ago I was walking down DC’s U Street, the east end of which holds several gay bars, with a couple male friends of mine. Granted many of us were wearing tank tops but I don’t think that precludes kind, humane treatment. Some girls who I don’t think were lesbians were stalled drunkenly at the alley next to Nellies, checking their phones and twiddling their Mardi Gras necklaces, when one decided to annoy the everloving crap out of me. ARE YOU GUYS GOING TO NELLIES? She screamed, in a volume usually reserved for running alongside the train taking your loved one to the Korean War. I mumbled back that no, I was going to Town, a megaclub down the street. YOU’RE SO CRAZY!!!!! she screamed back, as if singing “What a Man” to a deaf person.

I hate when people say “you’re so crazy.”

* Fugitivus gives some advice on suddenly finding you're a feminist:

A reader recently emailed me asking for some advice. She’s having her feminist “click” moment, and now finds that she is incompatible with almost everybody around her. Suddenly, the presence of rape apologism, racist jokes, sexist sneering, and other such Socialization Aids is inescapably fucking gross instead of invisibly malforming. She finds she can’t talk to anybody without finding out they believe something that is offensive, oppressive, and/or horrifyingly inhumane. She asked me, to briefly summarize: What the fuck do I do now?

* At Yes Means Yes!, Thomas MacAulay Millar on safewords and consent in BDSM, via Clarisse Thorn:

Some folks may have come across the term “consensual nonconsent.” It’s one of those terms with multiple meanings. Some people use it to describe any situation where the bottom is saying “no, don’t” but has not yet safeworded — a usage I find less than useful. Others use it to describe roleplays of nonconsensual situations. The last common usage, though, is that which I like to describe using Hunter S. Thompson’s phrase, “buy the ticket, take the ride.” It means that the bottom consents to be in a situation I’ve just described, where the top decides if the bottom needs to stop, often but not always around specific activities, and usually (wisely) heavily negotiated.

Photo via George Eastman House

  • Claire

    "...but apparently only “jealousy” is to blame when women are behind this."
    Says who? You? I don't recall Ms. Gould saying anything in her piece to the tune of "while we women get jealous and catty and the drop of a Louboutin, men stand as a shining beacon for all that a blogger should ever be: fair, unemotional, and even-handed."
    It's ridiculous to imply that it's fine for her to feel certain things about feminist blogs written by women, as long as she qualifies those feelings by comparing those feelings to the ones she has about male bloggers.

  • Gradually Greener

    Slate is becoming more and more insufferable with each passing year. Pretty much every article is an exercise in smug, snarky criticism. Yes, social criticism is useful and valuable; not every piece needs to be a measured piece of investigative journalism. But when nearly every article descends into sniping (or worse, self-congratulation), it gets really irritating to read. I pretty much stopped reading Slate when it became just a bunch of people criticizing everyone and everything in the most unconstructive manner possible. Too bad, because there are occasionally some good pieces, but I'd rather not wade through the snark to find them.

  • Jess

    It's kind of rich for of all people Emily Gould to be writing that piece on of all places Double X. I'm afraid that makes me inclined to dismiss otherwise valuable discussion out of hand... all I can hear is "I'm mad when Jezebel does deliberately provocative attention-baiting better than me."

  • Amanda Hess

    Claire, the article is titled "How feminist blogs like Jezebel gin up page views by exploiting women's worst tendencies." Which is different from exploiting "people's worst tendencies."

  • Native JD
  • K

    Much as I like all these old-timey photos, can we bring back some of the distressed barbies in bizarre poses? I really liked those.

  • Keith B

    Ah, more terrible Amandanalysis from dear leader. Here's the bit you left out of your quote:

    "These firestorms are great for page-view-pimping bloggy business. But they promote the exact opposite of progressive thought and rational discourse, and the comment wars they elicit almost inevitably devolve into didactic one-upsmanship and faux-feminist cliché."

    Gould's piece might be off on the "motivated by jealousy" part, but (1) that's not the only reason she cites and (2) her article is about drumming up pageviews. Saying the argument is that "feminist blogs are motivated by jealousy" completely misses the point.

    I like that sentence you left out; it's a pretty good summary of The Sexist. Shit summaries of a link you saw somewhere, headlines squawking oppression to get the clicks, a masthead that declares you to be some kind of feminist. To Jezebel and Broadsheet's credit, I don't think they hold themselves to "journalistic standards" like you claim to, Amanda. Gould's piece very much calls out your sort of trolling-for-pageview-revenue combined with ill-researched "I'm a feminist and this makes me MAD" snarky attitude that I wonder if it's the only thing keeping you around at the "new, online" WCP.

    Speaking of didactic one-upmanship, it's nice to see you back here, Jess. Have you gotten many clickthroughs by linking to your livejournal here?

  • jaymee

    dear amanda, i cannot believe how mean to you people are in the comments. i just want to tell you i love what you do! that's all

  • Lizrd

    Hehehe she said XX is a feminist blog. Oh, how silly.

    @jaymee Just ignore the attention mongers. The purpley criticism is often incensed to the point of unreadability. Amanda rocks.

  • cktj

    Amanda is right

    Emily is wrong

    End of story

    Now moving on to important topics like ~ how to get women/girls access to better health care and education and child care and ..... etc etc

  • Jess

    Aw, poor Keith. The internet is so hard for him. He doesn't know what a "livejournal" is, and so few people talk about his penis as much as he'd like.

  • Keith B

    Wow, you're right, Jess--a WordPress account sure does give your stupid opinions and worthless blog entries an air of professionalism that just can't be obtained from a site on LJ! Maybe The Sexist should move to WP too, so people don't confuse her petty garbage for journalism? Or is that more appropriate for a tumblr?

  • Amanda Hess

    All City Paper blogs use WordPress, actually.

  • Keith B

    Aye, but I'd say hosting your own WP instance is at least a step above a free account on wp dot com. I'll know WCP's in trouble the day it all lives there...