Tag Archives: #jezebel

Jezebel’s Witch Hunt

5 Jan

I read Jezebel on the regular. I read it because I like it, because it’s usually a decent, entertaining blog with feminist leanings.

Today, however, was an exception.

While perusing the headlines on Jezebel my eye was drawn to the headlines along the top of the page. The superficial side of me clicked on the story with the photo of the hot guy titled “Princeton Alums, State Dept. Staffer Run Revolting Sex Contest.”

Three photos of guys in their twenties appeared below the headline. I spit out my coffee when I noticed the brother of a high school acquaintance smiling back at me. The same kid who graduated in the top of his class, went to Princeton, and came to my soccer games was linked to this scandalous email thread.

I won’t go in to the nitty gritty of the email thread; you can read it yourself on Jezebel, Huffington Post, or IvyGate, if you want to give them the page views. Suffice it to say that the thread is disgusting, misogynistic and repulsive. There’s no question that it goes against everything feminism stands for, in terms of treating people with dignity and respect.

But there is a question about what Jezebel is trying to accomplish by publicly humiliating these guys. I realize they are trying to prove a point — that some men are assholes, douchebags, really, and cannot be trusted. But is airing their dirty laundry for  all the internets to see really the right way to go about it?

At the time of writing this, the story on Jezebel has over 111k views, 1,242 comments and 607 “likes” on Facebook. If I “liked” this story right now on Facebook, it would most likely appear on my friend’s news feed. My friend, who attended an Ivy League school, has supportive parents, and comes from a normal suburban family, would be able to read all about her brother’s sexcapades. How am I supposed to feel, knowing that my fellow middle school softball teammate and school newspaper colleague will get the sickest feeling in her stomach while reading something her brother never intended for her eyes, or anyone else’s, really?

Let me pause for a moment and make something clear: I am not condoning the behavior in the emails.

But. Who doesn’t talk about sex? As a woman in my early twenties, I frequently go to brunch with my friends where our main topic of conversation is what guys we are currently dating/ trying to get attention from and all of the juicy details that go along with it. How is their email thread any different from our brunch conversations? They aren’t living in the same city so they have to keep each other informed; it’s their version of brunch. Not one I would condone or approve of, but then again, I wasn’t invited.

And neither was Jezebel. It seems that this has turned into a bit of a witch hunt. Instead of fighting the culture of misogyny, this well-respected blog is trying to fight the individuals themselves. But it seems to me that this kind of targeting, complete with mass hysteria and self-righteousness, won’t lead to the outcomes we want.

What do you think? Has this gone too far? And is there a better way to fight this kind of harmful culture than calling out people one by one?

This post was brought to you by Laura.

I’m a feminist! She’s a feminist! He’s a feminist! Wait…what? (Part 2)

23 Dec

Like I said the other day, feminism is a movement of people—including men—who believe in gender equality. Men like my fellow writer Sam; men like my best friend Bryan.

Too often feminists push these allies away. It’s bad enough that we have to battle the whole “f-word” taboo, but why battle amongst ourselves, too?  Sure, feminism includes a lot of different thoughts and beliefs as individual as all the people who call themselves feminists, but can’t we all just get along?

Tom Digby and Patrick D. Hopkins both write of the taunting and exclusion they faced as men identifying in feminists in Men Doing Feminism. Hopkins even poses the following question: if feminism is perceived as about women and for women, does that mean it should be by women as well?

This exclusionary definition is going to hurt the movement for equality.  If feminists want to be on equal footing, then how can we throw men under the bus?

Hello, hypocrisy.

We have to remember that not all men are perpetrators of violence and discrimination against women. Not all men are out to get women. Some men—I’d even venture to say most men—want to help. Jezebel regularly features stories about men (like Ryan Gosling) speaking out against gender discrimination and inviting readers to share stories about the amazing men in their own lives. It’s so great to see fantastic stories like that.

Too often, men are seen as the enemy of feminism. IMO, it’s not men, but our socialization (and ridiculous gender stereotypes that perpetuate everyday prejudices and inequities) that is feminism’s arch nemesis. Like Sam said, we’re all on the same side; we’re allies.

So let’s not go mislabeling men who proclaim themselves feminists or champions of gender equality to have ulterior motives, less masculine, or obviously gay. Why can’t they just be human; compassionate people who want to help society take a few steps forward?

This post brought to you by Dawn.

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