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 »
On feminist blog Jezebel, contributor and former model Jenna Sauers has made criticizing American Apparel one of her key beats. Yesterday, another American Apparel post by Sauers popped up on the site, but this time with a different, more defensive angle: “The Reason We Keep Showing American Apparel Softcore.” See, most of the time Jezebel posts about American Apparel, they run one of American Apparel’s raunchy ads with it. And since Jezebel finds the sexuality in those ads offensive, it looks a little hypocritical to keep running them. So, what gives? Keep reading »
Ann Taylor knows what sells clothes: thin. Yesterday afternoon, Jezebel noticed that an item on AnnTaylor.com was originally depicted by a skinny model in a tank top, but three seconds later, the page re-boots and the skinny model has magically dropped 20 lbs. around her midsection. Some might say the image was airbrushed beyond looking like a proportional human being. But what a bunch of whiners! Seriously, how could that fat cow sell a Chiffon Trim Tank looking that huge? Next you’re going to tell me something crazy like we should have models who are actually the size of the average American woman. [Jezebel.com and AnnTaylor.com] Keep reading »
We love a lot of stuff here at The Frisky — shoe porn, hunky photos of Taylor Lautner — but what we love most are the ladies. Any old news outlet, like ABC or The New York Times, will tell you about the Gulf oil spill or Supreme Court confirmation hearings. But you know if there’s a news story relating specifically to women — whether it’s a new birth control method or new insights into the male mind — we’ve got you covered. We have tons of male readers, too, which is cool. But we’d like to think the news and stories we bring you is especially and fun for women.
However, some women’s studies experts who examine media for a living say that blogs for women (“ladyblogs”) like The Frisky are troublesome. UC Berkeley history professor Ruth Rosen recently spoke to National Public Radio about a recent blog post she wrote for the news site, Talking Points Memo. Her concern is that ladyblogs have become like the “woman’s pages” in newspapers, segregated sections for “women’s news,” and fluffier content like recipes and gardening tips, which men typically don’t read. Do “ladyblogs” amount, she asks, to “gender apartheid” online> Keep reading »
Say hello to a plastic surgery commercial stirring up … controversy. But is the ad actually controversial — or not? I’m not entirely sure what the deal is, but it sounds like this commercial for Park Avenue Smart Lipo ran as an actual ad on Gawker last week. According to another sponsored post featuring the commercial that ran on Gawker today, “some readers of our sister site Jezebel were outraged by it, and the post was pulled after an hour.” So, this is a commercial, a paid spot, claiming that the commercial itself is controversial, which would increase views of the commercial. So, real controversy, or not? I am not entirely clear what the controversy would be, other than the women are asking the men what the men think of various parts of the women’s bodies and such. Which I guess is controversial. If you want it to be. And Park Avenue Smart Lipo sure does. What have we learned here? PASL FTW. [Gawker] Keep reading »
You know, I understand there was a time in history when the word “feminism” meant something. Women fought to win equal rights. And some 50 years later, great strides have been made. Recently, it seems like old-school feminism has returned. This time around, though, it seems like all the political action is gone, and the new feminist key activity consists of pointing out all the ways in which women are supposedly exploited, victimized, or hyper-sexualized by the media. I’m sorry, but pointing out possible instances of sexism in the mainstream media does not a political movement make. Keep reading »