If you were on summer vacation when Bustle.com launched this summer, allow me to catch you up on the startup community’s version of a shitshow: in a piece on the tech blog PandoDaily, the founder of Bleacher Report, Bryan Goldberg, announced he had created a website for women. Bustle.com is not just not just any web site for women — it’s THE GREATEST WEBSITE FOR WOMEN OF ALL TIME. “Isn’t it time for a women’s publication that puts world news and politics alongside beauty tips?” Goldberg wrote. “What about a site that takes an introspective look at the celebrity world, while also having a lot of fun covering it?”
Bustle hired a whole mess of low-paid young female writers and interns to crank out high volumes of content daily — a strategy Goldberg presented as women writing about content that interests them. He, of course, would be the fundraising brains of the outfit — as he so eloquently put it, “knowing the difference between mascara, concealer, and eye-liner is not my job.” Perplexingly, Goldberg also shared with the world his somewhat mangled definition of feminism … which appears to be no more complicated than, you know, employing women: “Is [Bustle] a feminist publication? You’re damn right this is a feminist publication.”
Sadly for Goldberg’s feminist credentials, Internet sleuthing quickly discovered that Bustle would pay writers only $100 per day, which translates to about $24,000 a year pre-tax. So Bustle is a feminist blog except for that whole “paying women a living wage” part! When Goldberg first PandoDaily article was widely mocked across the Internet (including on The Frisky) — the best headline was Amanda Hess at XX Factor, “Man Creates Very First Website for Women Ever” — he tried again with an apology post, which basically somewhat backtracked on everything his first post had said. Keep reading »
Every week, one couple is lucky enough to get prime real estate in the Vows section, the New York Times‘ wedding announcement page, where their romance is told in a long story, and friends and family contribute adorable anecdotes. I’ve read about many a bride and groom (or bride and bride, or groom and groom), but this might be the first I’ve read where the couple talked about their abortion.
Udonis Haslem of the Miami Heat and Faith Rein, who married in August, were candid about an unintended pregnancy during her junior year of college. The couple’s reasons for terminating that pregnancy are common among many couples: it was simply a terrible time to take on the big responsibility of a child. Both were still completing their educations, had little money, and he was already caring for a child from a previous relationship. Rein was a campus track star at University of Florida in Gainesville, where Haslem played basketball. And Haslem, a self-described “Miami ghetto kid,” already had a son, Kedonis, from “a high school fling” who he was struggling to financially support. Keep reading »
Last week, the controversial professor, feminist blogger and personal essayist Hugo Schwyzer announced on his blog, in an interview with NYmag.com and again in LA Weekly that he was retiring his notorious public persona and quitting the internet for good (or— for the time being, he corrected himself some days later in yet another goodbye). Maybe you don’t know or care who this person is and that is just as well. He is a semi-big deal in the feminist blogosphere in the way that Serge Haroche is probably (hopefully) an even bigger deal among mathy-type people (he won the Noble Prize in Physics in 2012, according to this random website I found when I Googled “Nobel Prize winners”). And maybe we should all know more about Serge Haroche. But here we are talking about Hugo. (For a complete list of criticisms of Hugo’s work, you can go here. Or here. Yes, there are entire websites created for the sole purpose of criticizing this man and his work.) [Note: A few of Schwyzer's pieces on The Good Men Project were crossposted on The Frisky a few years ago.]
I can’t help it. Honestly, I’m kind of obsessed with him. As a freelance writer as well as a writing instructor — I teach courses in memoir, personal essay and opinion writing, the genres that both Hugo and I write — this whole brouhaha is pushing all my buttons. Some people are taking a certain joy in this character’s downfall — which I feel is mean but, yes, a little tempting. Like many, for me, the redemptive narrative of Hugo Schwyzer always rang less than true. Keep reading »
The British really aren’t into sex, huh? After their Prime Minister David Cameron went after internet porn last week, now The Co-operative Group, one of the largest magazine retailers in the UK, is demanding that “lads’ magazines” showing skimpily-clad cover models provide a modesty bag by September 9 to be sold in their stores. Keep reading »
A Wisconsin newspaper just made “The Vagina Monologues” a whole lot dirtier: changing the title to XXXXXXX. The Ashland Daily Press censored the word “vagina” in an ad for the upcoming production of the famous Eve Ensler play. In the ad the word “vagina” was marked out repeatedly with Xs in order to obscure the word. The paper also removed the full description of the production and an additional warning that the play contained material about violence against women, sexual content, and graphic language. At least on their web site, the Ashland Daily Press explained that in the play women “reference subject pertaining to women’s bodies, different experiences both good and traumatic, self image and empowerment.” It looks like they could use a little empowerment of their own if they’re still treating “vagina” like a dirty word. [Jezebel]
It’s not exactly a secret that CNN needs some help covering violence against women issues correctly. Remember when the Steubenville gang rape verdict was handed out and CNN was sooo worried about the poor young men whose lives had been ruined?
Well, looks like they still need some help. In a clip where hosts and reporters discuss the images that surfaced of Nigella Lawson being choked by her husband Charles Saatchi, the celebrity chef is referred to as looking both “weak” and “subservient.”
I can understand how CNN’s angle was trying to be, at least a little bit, ‘wow, what a shock that this wealthy celebrity couple might have abuse in their relationship!’ But the reporters’ are scrutinizing Lawson following the incident, rather than the guy who reportedly choked his wife four different times in front of shocked restaurant patrons. Keep reading »