Thought Catalog
January 8, 2014

Why Jezebel Has The Wrong Approach To Feminism, Period.

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What is the issue?
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” Eleanor Roosevelt

In order to say how Jezebel is ruining feminism, I guess I’d need a good idea of what feminism is in 2014. And God only knows at this point, because Jezebel has ruined it. Before the Internet, being a feminist meant that your boss couldn’t fire you just because you refused to let him grab your tits. That was a good thing. These days, feminism is more about hurt feelings and trigger warnings, blogs about rape jokes, ironic racism, and fat shaming. It used to be about the pill and the right to be a female priest. Now it’s about outrage and clickbait.

Jezebel plays upon the worst female stereotype: that of the gossipy, shrill, cliquish, therapy-tethered, cast of Girls-style spoiled brat. Jezebel writers act the way misogynistic men mistakenly believe all women act, with a stick up their ass and their nose in an iPhone. This website, and sites like them, have single-handedly set back badass chicks faster than Sleater Kinney in a tractor beam.

Ohmahgod gurrrl! Joss Whedon loves women but not in the right way! What he said was bad and wrong. We’re above it because we are pointing it out to you. And now you’re above it too because you read it! Let’s be super above stuff together!

Here’s a story accusing a guy of being rapist.

Here’s one that smears the reputations of teenagers and drops an n-bomb in the URL.

And did you know that a Hobbit made a joke about raping an elf? Let’s all sneer at him, shall we? Tsk-Tsk!

Now, I shouldn’t show anyone the following Jezebel story before it’s published, but I had a hot tip on this and I can’t help but share it. Here goes!

Super Hot Closeted Gay Men Are Blowing My G*DDamn Mind!

Hold up. Can I just say one thing? No srsly. We here at Jez are looooving this list of gay men in the closet in the rural South. They’re super adorbs and some of them are even in the military (SWOOOON!) Hands down fave: Ahmed, whose fundamentalist Muslim father said he’d behead him if he ever found him – quote – slurping the American serpent. What now? Well, call me an infidel, because here’s a picture of Ahmed kissing his boyfriend. SQUEE!

(Oh, sorry. That’s a Nick Cave song about moral hypocrites. How’d THAT get in here?)

Editor Anna Holmes originally set out to make Jezebel “unapologetically feminist” but so much of the site is nothing more than vicious libel.

A friend of mine—a fabulous lady who is a published writer, teacher, and mental health advocate—had a personal experience with Jezebel a few years ago. Gawker posted a picture of her along with an explanation of her suicide attempt. Since she likes to work and have jobs and crazy unfeminist stuff like that, she wrote to Gawker and asked them to please take the harmful video down. She called and called; they ignored and ignored. Finally, she just went into the office to speak to them face-to-face.

Here’s what she had to say about the experience:

“Just in case anyone is wondering just how evil Jezebel is, when Gawker bullied me for my suicide attempt, I wrote to Jezebel to tell them that I was going to the office to speak with the (female) editor about bullying the mentally ill. I told them that as feminists, I thought they’d be interested in seeing a woman stand up for other women with mental illnesses. They forwarded my email to the Gawker editor, and she printed it out and waved it in my face when I came in.”

To recap: My friend is an unapologetic rocking feminist with balls of steel. Jezebel is a gossip rag run by snarling, hypocritical shrews. They do not care about women, they care about themselves. So why are we paying attention to them? Why are we sharing their links?

Why does NPR commend Jezebel for “jolly feminist cultural commentary”? Why is Lindy West winning awards for Women’s Media while simultaneously acting as the self-appointed thought police for standup comedy? Is this kind of tabloid feminism that young women should aspire to?

According to Alexa.com, Jezebel is ranked the 604 most popular website in the United States and the second most popular search term for finding their website is as follows: “CRONUT”.

A cronut, if you don’t know, is a cross between a croissant and a donut. It’s flaky, glossy, and devoid of actual substance.

I don’t call myself a feminist. The Machiavellian witch hunts of the Jezebel Baby-sitters Club and other “jolly feminist commentators” just like them are the main reason I won’t use the term.

Now, when strong, opinionated women such as myself want to distance themselves from a movement historically known for women’s strength, you’d think people might take a moment for reflection. Like so-called Christians picketing an abortion clinic, perhaps take a second to look inward and check to see what happened to your morals and your organization.

However, instead of looking inward, they attack outward. They published this article: The Many Misguided Reasons Famous Ladies Say I’m Not A Feminist. in which they completely ignore the fact that another woman might not be stupid, but might—gasp—have valid, well-thought out reasons to disagree with them.

Jezebel has taken a page from improv comedy in which there is never a reply of “no” there is only “yes, and…”. This is hardly surprising since improv sucks and isn’t funny.

After all, far be it for Madonna to not fall in line with the historically important bloggers at Jezebel. Bjork? PJ Harvey? Please! What have these feeble, useless women ever done for themselves? Poor, pathetic, misguided waifs. They probably don’t even live in Brooklyn!

(Ironically, if a misogynist wanted to negate and invalidate the opinions of a woman, he’d probably say something like “she’s just misguided.”)

Personally, I loved what Bjork had to say about why she’s not a feminist. I refuse to ally myself with a group of women who make their living by being tight-ass, humorless cunts, and, quite frankly, are wasting everyone’s time in the process.

Even in 2014, it blows my mind that Christian pharmacists refuse to fill birth control prescriptions. Victims of domestic violence are easily gaslit when a man simply tells the police that she’s “crazy”. There are real women’s issues out there, if only Jezebel actually chose to cover them.

Unfortunately, we Mary Tyler Moore city gals present a real conundrum for the writers Jezebel, since we are mostly living out uneventful and drama-free lives as non-raped women who buy birth control and have jobs and get abortions as we please. There aren’t enough actual stories in the metro area to warrant running a frivolous, highly trafficked blog that pulls in ad revenue from outraged feminists. And so, they manufacture them.

Ladies? Ladies. They need you to be mad so they can make money. Don’t share their links.

(I know I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, but maybe, just for a split second, you saw an article about cute puppies and forgot.)

I have a theory about Internet feminists who spend their days writing blog posts as the moral arbiters of society. I suspect they are sociopathic. Think about it. These women need a list of no-no words because they actually don’t know right from wrong.

I think they are secretly horrid, hateful people who use feminism like Dexter’s murder code. They don’t know how to behave, not really, not in their hearts. They only know what they’ve been told is right and told is wrong. You didn’t mean to hurt someone’s feelings? Well, guess what! What you meant isn’t important any more. The only important thing is what I wanted you to mean.

And so, the bloggers navigate rape jokes and racial tensions like a ride on a sabbath elevator stopping at every floor. Finding a way to travel as they please without technically breaking any laws. They’ve made so many rules they’re now making rules to get around their own rules.

As far as I’m concerned, the only people who claim intentions don’t matter are those who have fundamentally bad intentions.

You may recall this Jezebel article that went viral last year: Can You Tell the Difference Between a Men’s Magazine and a Rapist?

Funny, right? Unfortunately, I actually took the time to read the book they took the rapist’s quotes from. To say this was shoddy journalism at best would be an understatement. Ellipses used within the rapists quotes signified—not a short break in thought—but a huge leap to a brand new quote on a completely different page about a completely different subject. No wonder the rapists sound so much like men’s magazines when you’re cherry picking and doctoring the quotes like Fem-enstein’s monster.

How on earth—with all those fancy journalism degrees and omnipresent white privilege and proper internships on their way to the Jezebel office—how is it that no one took just a moment to fact check (don’t even tell me they don’t have at least five various family members from Columbia to intern for them)?

Jezebel writers, what do you do for the world? Do you offer positive things? Do you write, draw, sing, run, dance? Since you are feminists, do you take advantage of anything that feminism has actually given women the freedom to do? Or do you just sit around pointing fingers and drumming up outrage for impressionable college girls?

Hey! Not while Lana Del Rey is being Latina!

Jezebel isn’t creating strong women, it’s creating victims. You couldn’t survive as a suffragette if your parents wired you money to buy a protest sign at Urban Outfitters. If you had actually lived when women needed to earn the right to vote, you’d be at home gossiping with the next door neighbor about sad Mrs. Cooper’s dirty bloomers and the pathetic state of the Williams’ begonia patch.

You call yourselves feminists but you’re just feminine. You’re everything cliched and stereotypical about women the rest of us have worked so hard to get out from under. If Jezebel’s brand of feminism were a corporeal woman, she would be pulling on her chewing gum and driving daddy’s car too slowly in the passing lane, her right blinker permanently on, as she drives on and on and on, oblivious to the accidents taking place behind her.

For the love of Christ, even Jezebel writers themselves can’t tell feminist from misogynistic any more. Watch this video where they giggle about how hilarious it is that they don’t know what to hate today! We don’t know right from wrong! Isn’t it fun?

Clearly, Jezebel needs Jezebel to write an article telling them what to think. Like an MC Escher-style Mobius strip covered in tiny ants folding in on itself. Only, look closer. Those aren’t ants. They’re tiny 26-year-old white girls in vintage cat’s eye glasses. Aren’t they cute? Look at them there in the painting, walking in circles eternally.

And now, the important subject you’re actually reading this article for: http://jezebel.com/tag/cronuts TC mark

This article was originally published in TLG Magazine.