I feel bad for Emily Gould. Next week, the former editor of gossip blog Gawker.com will publish her first book, a collection of personal essays called And The Heart Says Whatever. And when I think about what’s going to happen to her, I just want to shield my eyes.
You see, almost two years ago exactly, Emily Gould landed on the cover of The New York Times Magazine for an article published in it, “Exposed: Blog Post Confidential.” If people hated her article (several thousand words about how her sometimes nasty blogging for Gawker complicated or ruined her personal relationships), they hated her cover photo even more: Gould lying on her bed in a tank top, staring up at the camera. The types of internet comments her piece provoked included cyberbullying-ish put-downs like “narcissists,” “narcissistic pipsqueak,” “immature,” “intellectual midget,” “navel-gazing,” “idiots with big mouths,” “undiagnosed psych disorder,” and “Now I understand the timeless appeal of public stoning.” Yeesh.
As another young female writer, watching this scared the crap out of me. I should probably be old enough to know better than to get rattled by all that haterade, but I worry about the young female writers in high schools across the country who see that and then learn, “This is what will happen if I write about myself.” Keep reading »