If you are a lady of a certain age with an Internet connection, chances are you read Jezebel.com. In fact, you might be on it right now. The blog launched in 2007 and truly proved — to the mainstream media, to our feminist foremothers who complain that women today are apathetic, to men — that there is an appetite for smart, sassy, feminist commentary on the Internet. The site inspires intense feelings amongst feminists and Reddit-trolling men’s rights activists alike — the former critiquing the site for its coverage of hot-button issues and the latter for encouraging women “to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”
OK, that last one was Pat Roberston, but I am betting he would not like Jezebel either. Which is precisely why I love it.
So you can imagine how thrilling it is that Anna Holmes, founder and original editor of Jezebel, has published The Book Of Jezebel, a coffee table encyclopedia of modern womanhood. The contributors’ page reads like a who’s who of the smartest women writers today, who have written entries ranging from “Roseanne” to abortion to Alice Walker to vulvas. No wonder the conservative web site The Daily Caller already had an apoplectic fit about The Book Of Jezebel, accusing its “angry women” authors and fans of having widespread daddy issues.
I called up Anna Holmes to discuss the book’s release and her thoughts on the feminist media ecosystem today. Here’s our conversation, after the jump!
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This weekend, I found myself engaged in an impassioned conversation over Twitter with several women, among them Australia’s “Bra Queen” Renee Mayne, about a 2004 Elle MacPherson Intimates ad which resurfaced online. The image, which was reportedly made for print, magazine and newspaper ads in Australia, depicts a woman in lingerie, thigh-high stockings and high heels lying on a shag rug on the floor. The photo is snapped either through a mirror or a door, only showing the woman from her shoulders down as she lays on the ground. Her head, which is hung down or bent over, is hidden from view. Given her headless-ness, it’s fairly objectifying as far as lingerie images go —compared with, say, Victoria’s Secret ads which depict smiling women looking directly into the camera.
My main complaint about the ad was that it’s voyeuristic. As a viewer, you’re not entirely sure the subject is aware she’s being photographed while sexily dressed because the image was taken either through a door or a mirror. That’s too creepy for my liking. But a lot of women saw this ad and thought it implied a victim of rape or domestic abuse. Keep reading »
I’m not really interested in the aspect of blogging where you go around writing snotty comments about your competitors. We’re all in this together and FEMINISM RAH RAH. But last night I read an unnecessarily nasty post on Jezebel tearing “Modern Family” actress Sofia Vergara a new one for the eighth deadliest sin, being a rich person who likes to buy expensive crap. The post is titled, “Is Sofia Vergara The Worst Human Being Alive?” and goes downhill from there. Keep reading »
Holy double standard, Batman!
Our fellow ladyblog Jezebel has an exclusive today about a 16-year-old Catholic school student in Fairfax, Virginia, who sexted a photo to two lacrosse players at the school, who then shared it with the rest of their team. The girl has been kicked out of school. Everyone on the lacrosse team, including the boy(s) who shared the sext, are still enrolled.
You can read the whole story at Jezebel, but the shorter version of the story is that 16-year-old Alexis, who manages the Paul VI Catholic High School lacrosse team, texted a topless picture of herself to her friend, a lacrosse player, on a dare. Together, they laughed about it and group-texted the sext to a second lacrosse player. They all thought they were just joking around, but then one of the boys — it’s not clear exactly who — then shared the sext with the whole lacrosse team. You know, like a tit-pic expediting service. Keep reading »
This is Jezebel blogger Lindy West performing at Back Fence PDX, a storytelling series in Portland, Oregon. As you can see, Lindy is fat, and her seven minute-long story is about how the viciousness of Internet trolls used to make her cry every day. The site I originally saw Lindy’s story posted on promised that viewers would be crying by the end of it. I thought they were just exaggerating at first, but they were right. Keep reading »
Earlier this week, Anna North, a writer at the women’s blog Jezebel, posted an article about a video uploaded to YouTube which appeared to show, in graphic detail, a woman being gang raped. Just writing that sentence made me shudder, as the thought of someone brutally raping a woman, filming it, and then putting it on the internet for public consumption is horrifying beyond words. The video — titled, in Arabic, “Original video of foreign journalist being raped in Benghazi” — was quickly taken down, but Jezebel rightly wondered who raped this woman, who uploaded the video to the internet, and “will she ever get justice?”
To illustrate their post, North (or someone else at Jezebel) posted four somewhat pixelated screengrabs from the video in which the victim’s identity is obscured, though you can see parts of her mostly naked body. Images of the three men assaulting her are also pixelated, but Jezebel included accompanying captions describing the assault, just incase it wasn’t already abundantly clear that the video depicts a rape in progress. It should go without saying that the crime committed against this woman is sickening and deplorable; but I am also disgusted by Jezebel’s approach to reporting this story — which I will not link to, for this very reason — which is nothing short of callous and exploitative pageview bait. Keep reading »
Growing up in the suburban Northeast, I didn’t fit in. At my large, mostly-white, upper-middle-class high school, I wasn’t the funniest, the smartest, the most charming, or the prettiest: therefore, I didn’t really exist. Other kids cared about their Abercrombie & Fitch polos, what went down at the last Dave Matthews Band concert, and the Jettas they would pick out on their 16th birthday. That wasn’t me at all. I had tons of books on my shelves, a stud in my tongue, and every single Ani Di Franco album in existence. For three whole years, I mostly just rattled around in my own head.
Then, in the year 2000, when I was 16 and in junior year, my dad put the computer in our family room on the Internet. (This was back in the the Dark Ages when a family usually had one computer, it was shared by everyone, and it was usually a desktop.) I don’t know how I found my way there, exactly, but I soon discovered gURL.com, “a teen site and community for teen girls.” On gURL.com I could read about dating and sex and birth control (not that I had use for much of that information just yet) and talk with other teen girls in the site’s chat rooms. And through links on gURL.com, I found my way to other websites that interested me. Pretty soon, my budding-feminist-self read all about things they didn’t discuss in school — abortion rights and the Taliban — on Salon.com and websites for the Feminist Majority Foundation and Ms. Magazine. Keep reading »
GQ: Lady blogs like Jezebel exploded after the episode with the Liz-hires-a-feminist-comic thing. It sure seemed like you were commenting on the outrage when Olivia Munn — hot lady, not necessarily hot comic — was hired on “The Daily Show.”
Tina Fey: I was actually really pleased that Jezebel got that it was about the whole Olivia thing, because the treatment of Olivia was weird on that site. She just kept getting reamed! And it was this weird mix. They would go after her, and then the next thing would be like, “Defending the Rights of Sex Workers.” And I was just like, “Well, why can’t we just say Olivia’s a sex worker? Leave her alone!”
— Tina Fey in GQ talking about the “30 Rock” episode “Joan Of Snark,” which addressed the way ladyblogs like Jezebel (and, to be fair, The Frisky) have criticized “The Daily Show”‘s Olivia Munn. Some would say Olivia leads with the “hot piece of ass” angle, but not Tina Fey.
After the jump, Tina gamely answered GQ‘s question, “Is Liz Lemon ugly?” Keep reading »
Pete and Alisha Arnold made national headlines when, via their site, BirthOrNot.com, the couple asked the public to vote on whether they should have a baby or an abortion. But it appears this was actually an anti-choice publicity stunt.
I cannot handle this much nonsense after 4 p.m. on a Friday, but for you, dear Frisky readers, I will try. Keep reading »
Even those of us who proudly call ourselves feminists can admit that sometimes other feminists can be a wee bit extreme. That’s why “Vag Magazine,” a new webisode series about a cabal of young feminist hipsters who buy out fashion magazine Gemma with proceeds of their Etsy shop and replace it with uber-P.C. mag Vag, had me peeing my pants laughing. (Pants, of course, being what I wear, as skirts and dresses are tools of the patriarchy.) Staff members Sylvie, Fennell, Bethany, Heavy Flo, and Reba have big dreams for Vag, but Meghan, the lone holdover from Gemma, is increasingly terrified at how little sense these ladies make.
I watched five episodes of “Vag Magazine” — you can watch a couple more after the jump — and I knew I just had to talk to its creators, Upright Citizens Brigade alums/comediennes Caitlin Tegart and Leila Cohan-Miccio. After the jump, read my chat with Caitlin and Leila about third-wave feminists, their hilarious cast of improv stars-to-be, the MarieClaire.com piece about “fatties,” and what it’s like for ladies in comedy. Oh, I’m sorry, womyn in comedy. Keep reading »