Jenna Marbles is one of my greatest pleasures. My thoughts on Jenna Marbles are almost unequivocally positive. I started watching her channel when she posted “Some Idiot/How Sports Bras Work” about Yuksul Aytug’s truly idiotic comments about female Olympians and have watched every single main-channel video since then. Jenna Marbles is basically the highlight of my mid-week.
And I get that she says stuff that doesn’t seem particularly enlightened to leftists and feminists and people who are invested in social justice. She got reamed after making a video called “Things I Don’t Understand About Sluts,” and I totally agree with the objections to that video, but I don’t know. At the same time, I find it tremendously condescending when the feminist movement (as much as that’s a thing) singles out a woman for “internalized misogyny” and decides to tell her what she should be thinking, if she would just enlighten herself and get on their level. The same thing happened this week with Beyoncé’s 2014 retrospective video “Yours and Mine,” because she said that men and women balance each other out, and defined herself as a feminist and humanist in a way that many feminists and humanists believe is naïve (at best, and ignorant at worst). It’s a demand for female public figures to be perfect feminists — as majority feminism would have them be — straight out of the gate, and it gives no slack, leaves no room for growth, and turns women who are powerful, outspoken, self-possessed, and confident away from feminism. Just look at Amanda Palmer, who just last month decried a “radical, violent brand of feminism” that, let’s be honest, a lot of feminists who consider themselves (OK, ourselves) “moderate” have engaged in, in some capacity. Keep reading »