Here’s what I’ve learned about men on the internet who are annoying at best and abusive at worst: They think they know the women they harass. They have access to our ideas and our creative output (i.e. writing, videos, etc.), to our faces, to basic information about us, to a few scant personal details, and from that they concoct for us fictional life stories, fictional personalities, and fictional motivations. It can be terrifying on this end of that interaction, because we don’t know who these men are at all, but they believe they know us and interact with us, talk with us, as if they do.
It’s worse for celebrities, because it’s not just compulsive internet commenters who do this — it’s everyone. We want to be able to relate to celebrities. So we take their movies, videos, music, writing, interviews, press releases, and Instagram and Twitter accounts, and we create a fiction about who they are, or who they would be if we knew them personally. To some extent, that fictional personality is something that they curate and cultivate in order both to create demand and to create distance. Keep reading »
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is publishing her memoir in two weeks, which is already dominating headlines for the ugh-iest of reasons. In Off The Sidelines, Gillibrand reveals several occasions when male colleagues have made sexist comments about her appearance and once even squeezed her stomach. (Just warning everyone now, if you squeeze my stomach, I will unrepentantly smack you.)
Gillibrand is the mother of two and, like many moms, worked hard to lose the baby weight after her second pregnancy. But the weight gain didn’t go without remarks. As per People and TIME, one story Gillibrand shared was when an “older, male” colleague approached her in the congressional gym and said, “Good thing you’re working out, because you wouldn’t want to get porky!” Another colleague one said to her, “You know, Kirsten, you’re even pretty when you’re fat.” Yet another colleague once squeezed her stomach and said, “Don’t lose too much weight now. I like my girls chubby!” Keep reading »
A seemingly impervious narrative dominates today’s social discourse in the Black community where Black men are painted as more vulnerable victims than their female counterparts. This far-reaching myth typically arises along with discussions about gender inequality or sexism where claims are made that Black women face less hardship than their male counterparts, or even — as stated in Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele’s latest essay on The Root titled “Michael Brown’s Death Reopened My Eyes to My Privileges as a Black Woman” — are the recipients of privilege not bestowed to Black men. Keep reading »
Yeah, I know that #notallmen are dum-dums about the way that female bodies and brains work, but I can produce evidence from the Internet and my inbox that enough are to merit some clarification. Seriously, some of the things humans with penises say about humans with vaginas are mystifying, especially when it appears that the Penis Humans don’t think that Vagina Humans are of the same species and therefore have an entirely different set of elements governing the way our bodies work.
I’m not saying this stuff to pick on guys. I’m just saying it to express my bafflement. If a vocal group of ladies were saying on a consistent basis, “Isn’t it so weird that guys have hair all over their bodies?” y’all would be pretty baffled by that sentiment too. Without further ado… Keep reading »
“I don’t know that those two things — I don’t think that’s a gender issue. I’m not saying that there’s an inequality of pay, I don’t know that to be — I have a lot of women on my staff and they’re competitively paid, I can tell you that. In terms of my career, if Jenji [Kohan] wants to go through what I went through to get that … they didn’t invite me over to the smoking room and sit down and say ‘well Matthew, how much do you think you’re worth?’ There was like a year and a half of being dragged around in the press and I don’t even like to talk about it, and I certainly don’t like to talk about pay. It’s one of these things, like you’re a baseball player, and I guess your salary is public, but I don’t own a baseball team. I’m a player! There’s no player making as much as the person owning the team and no one talks about that … Jenji’s entitled to every dollar but you have to fight for it, male or female. No one gives you anything … I’m not informed on it but I think there’s a lot more — I shouldn’t speak to it, I really shouldn’t. I can just tell you that as an employer, I’ve been on top of this and I’ve never let anybody try and squeeze people out of it. January Jones had a baby on our show. Believe me, no one wanted to pay maternity leave on a 13-episode thing, and we did.”
In an interview with Huffington Post Live, Matthew Weiner, the mastermind behind “Mad Men” and “The Sopranos,” had some choice words regarding the gender pay gap (or, in his mind, the lack thereof). His thoughts are in response to “Orange Is The New Black” creator Jenji Kohan’s comment in The Hollywood Reporter that she doesn’t feel she’s getting paid as much as male show runners do. Kohan, who is good friends with Weiner, pointed to his paycheck as an example of how sexist Hollywood can be. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised at his response, but the fact that Weiner writes misogyny into his work doesn’t mean the plot lines of his shows necessarily reflect his beliefs about women. Keep reading »
Look, Doree Lewak, I’m not going to tell you not to court male attention or that you’re wrong for enjoying compliments — within reason — from strangers. I’m not going to condescend to you over the fact that it gives you an ego boost, not least of all because hey, to each their own. I wouldn’t want anyone to condescend to me for the ways I choose to interact with male and female gazes.
What I am going to say is this: Please don’t tell me what I ought to consider flattering, and then tell me to “deal with it” (in an admittedly clickbait-y article for The New York Post) because you’re on the wrong side of 25 to be talking to other people as if you’re in the seventh grade. Keep reading »