My name is Amelia. I am a feminist. I also have a Pinterest account. If a recent lengthy piece on Buzzfeed (wait, Buzzfeed does “lengthy”?) is to be believed, these two things are antithetical. According to Amy Odell, the editor over at Buzzfeed’s lifestyle vertical, Shift, Pinterest is “killing feminism.” So, as a feminist who uses Pinterest, I’m, like, killing some part of myself, I guess?
Odell’s thesis is based on the fact that Pinterest’s 23 million users are overwhelmingly female (60 percent) and that they use it to curate “retrograde, materialistic content,” like “recipes, home decor, and fitness and fashion tips,” which Odell claims are staples of women’s magazines that the Internet was “supposed to help overcome.” Odell also derides the fact that Pinterest users don’t go there to read articles, which I find kind of hilarious coming from someone employed by a website that is dominated by photos and funny captions, her lengthy screed notwithstanding. Odell says websites like Jezebel, Feministing, and The Hairpin are examples of places on the internet where women “can find smarter, meatier reads just for them,” but is clearly disappointed (and even surprised) that their existence hasn’t done away with the female desire to “scrapbook every imaginable physical aspect of their dream lives.”
Call me crazy, but I don’t see what the fucking problem is. Keep reading »
Some thoughts for Taylor Cotter (the 22-year-old girl who wrote about wishing she could be poorer on the Huffington Post):
Right now things kinda suck. I know. You wrote an oblivious-sounding piece about how you kind of wished you were getting the chance to be poor and scrappy in your 20s, like artistic people are supposed to be. Like the girls on “Girls,” which sometimes seems very realistic because Lena Dunham is the only young woman with any body fat on TV. And then the piece went up on HuffPo and then Gawker picked it up and now everyone is making fun of you.
My friend sent it to me. She was like “OMG this girl wishes she was poor!” and I was already worried about you.
I mean, maybe you’re totally OK and don’t even care. Maybe you’re laughing. But if you’re anything like me, I’m guessing you’re not. I’m guessing you’re more like, “Oh shit shit shit. No wait! I didn’t mean it that way! Wait, guys! I’m not that bad! I swear. I said that in a funny way. I was trying to make this point, and I was trying to illustrate it, and the piece is more about how we’re taught that being poor is cool when you’re an artist than about how I actually really wish I was poor. The piece is really more about the images we’re given of artists. And how it can be awkward not to fit the image, even if that means being more stable than the image. You know? Seriously! I’m not a bad person!” Keep reading »
By now you’ve probably heard of the prestigious New York City high school that protested what they perceive as a discriminatory dress code by instituting a “Slutty Wednesday”—a day in which students came to school in outfits that deliberately violated the code. According to news reports, the school’s dress code is pretty basic. It requires that shorts, dresses and skirts should extend below students’ fingertips, with their arms straight at their sides and that shoulders, undergarments, midriffs and lower backs should not be exposed. Students argued that such a code affects female students more than males and that it is being arbitrarily enforced, singling out students whose bodies are “more curvy.”
“In addition to the violation of female students’ rights,” Jessica Valenti writes in The Nation, “the thinking behind the code sends a dangerous message to young women – that they are responsible for the way in which society objectifies and sexualizes them.”
The protest is similar to the thinking behind movements like Slutwalk — movements that, in the words of founder Heather Jarvis, emphasize the right for “anyone to wear what you want and be who you are without the threat of violence.”
Whereas I agree that it’s not a women’s responsibility to mitigate the male gaze, and I certainly respect that a woman’s sexuality is her own to be expressed as she chooses, the sticky fact is that many spaces we encounter have a dress code, written or unwritten. To the extent that school prepares students for the “real world,” shouldn’t students be expected to come to school properly dressed? Keep reading »
I have to respectfully disagree with Alexandra Gekas’ recent Soapbox excoriating Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones for considering her virginity “a gift I want to give my husband.” Taking Jones to task for how she’s decided to pursue her sexuality strikes me as yet another way to be holier-than-thou, through a feminist lens, almost the opposite of slut-shaming (conservative-shaming? virgin-shaming?). There are a seemingly infinite number of ways women are told we are expressing ourselves, sexually and otherwise, incorrectly. Are we showing too much cleavage? Putting out too soon? Living in sin? It’s like we can’t win, and while I’m not in Jones’ position, I’d like to think anyone who’s been judged for being “slutty” can empathize with being judged in this way. Keep reading »
In a recent interview on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” 29-year-old American hurdler Lolo Jones told Mary Carillo that Olympic qualifying is nowhere near as difficult as her struggle to remain a virgin until marriage. Jones said she publicized her vow of chastity because she wants other girls who have made the same decision to know that they are not alone and that it’s not easy.
“I just don’t believe in it.” Jones said. “It’s just a gift I want to give my husband. But please understand this journey has been hard. There’s virgins out there and I want to let them know that it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life; harder than training for the Olympics; harder than graduating from college has been to stay a virgin before marriage. I’ve been tempted, I’ve had plenty of opportunities.” Keep reading »
A note about this piece: The Frisky obviously regularly features our own brand of celebrity fashion policing (The Good, The Bad & The WTF, generally). When Sally, who regularly writes for us, pitched me this topic, I thought she had a valid point, one that many share and that she would argue well. Having her piece appear on The Frisky, I hope, further illustrates that we’re a forum for a variety of opinions, even those that, at times, might seem contrary to each other. Her piece certainly gave me food for thought. — Editor
Go Fug Yourself was the first fashion blog I ever read. Hell, it might’ve been the first blog I ever read period. And it was hilarious, refreshing, a bright spot in my daily grind that prompted illicit giggles at the expense of misguided celebs and their lunatic stylists. When I first launched my own blog – which discusses the intersection of style and body image — I popped GFY right into my blogroll without even thinking about it. Fashion! Funny fashion! Of course I wanted their stuff associated with my stuff! Especially since, at the time, I felt that celebrities had no excuses to dress badly: They had all the money and resources in the world, and were professionally pretty. The occasional experimental high-style gaffe? OK. Slogging around in sweatsuits and expressing outrage at the resultant public scrutiny? Childish and idiotic. Keep reading »
The other day, I posted a letter in my “Dear Wendy” column from a young woman who said she couldn’t understand why she didn’t have a boyfriend despite being very pretty. She went on to admit that she has very little to say in social settings, has begun resenting her friends in relationships because of her “seething jealousy,” regularly self-medicates by over-drinking and sleeping with random hookups, and even believes guys who might be interested in her for more than sex are nothing but scum deep down. “I hate this person I’ve become but know I deserve someone great,” she wrote. Well, I’ve been getting a lot of flack for my response to her, but I stand by it. Why does she deserve someone great? Does everyone deserve love and happiness simply for breathing? Personally, I don’t buy that for one second. Keep reading »