Friday, May 15, 2009

Read my thoughts on the Double X dust up at the Guardian's Comment is Free

I have another article up at the Guardian's Comment is Free site. This one covers the kerfuffle over Double X, Slate's new online magazine for women:
I was prepared to hate Double X. See, I read about Slate's new online magazine for women before I read it. The site, spawn of the now defunct Slate blog XX Factor, has sparked a load of controversy in the feminist blogosphere. It's no wonder. Since it launched on Tuesday, Double X has posted a succession of articles aggressively critical of feminism. In fact, on the day of the site's premiere, writer Linda Hirshman penned a finger-wagging piece blasting the popular third-wave feminist blog, Jezebel, for encouraging young women in promiscuity and reckless boozing. Read more...


Tei Tetua said...

I don't know anything about Jezebel, but from what Linda Hirshman said about it (and there were links to items from it in her article) it doesn't sound like any kind of feminism at all. It's just too bad that the word can't be copyrighted! But that's the way "raunch culture" works--it's all "I'm a free woman and I'm choosing to do this."

So I'd say that what Hirshman is doing isn't attacking feminism, but decrying the way it's been betrayed, or stolen.

As she says, "It’s staffed by bloggers who are expected to produce around 10 high-traffic posts a day. It didn’t take the bloggers long to realize that one way to attract a lot of traffic was to offer up outrageous behavior to the clicking public."

It sounds like a nice way to offer titillation to the masses, with a moral cover claiming the whole business isn't demeaning to women.

But wait, we see that Jezebel has an almost equal readership among women and men! So isn't that just peachy, equality at last.

Schmutzie said...

You are being featured on Five Star Friday!

Tami said...

Tei Tetua,

I've had my problems with Jezebel, too. In fact, I wrote about the segment on "Thinking and Drinking" when it happened:

That said, I think Hirshman's assertion that women who don't report sexual assault cannot be taken seriously as feminists is ugly and short-sighted. That thinking seems to ignore the societal gender power balance that she is lecturing about.

Anonymous said...

This was all interesting stuff. It seems like people forget what the basics of feminism really is. It strikes me as odd that women aren't united in a definition of feminism and stick to it. But it is about power and how this is divided up between men and women.

It depends on where you are positioned socially, and it's about the blindness of those outside those particular social positions.

This collection of articles was fascinating. Prof. Castle's piece in particular. And maybe a lot of the backtracking on feminism is a lot like the 60s generation moving from anti-war activists to Wall Street bankers... I know real people in these categories.

Women have yet to achieve full first person status. Women can be attacked just for being women. Men are never demeaned sexually the way women routinely are.

I have yet to meet many straight women who even get a lesbian social reality.

Feminism to me is simply about the solidarity of women, and our struggle to come together and decide what we want. To me, it's about the women. Women supporting women, women learning to cross boundaries to get what this is all about.

It's not 2 or 3 or 4 wave anything, it is still about women's right to be treated with dignity out in the world, to never be called a "b---" or a "h-" or to be sexualized and demeaned at work.

It is about women getting paid, and not being expected to do unpaid labor. It's about men ending rape...they are the rapist class, they benefit from male terrorism against women. It's about a U.S. foreign policy that says female slavery is wrong, and making a feminist foreign policy.

Feminism is simply about women taking each other seriously, and really getting it. That's what feminism means to me. I was a feminist in junior high, a feminist in high school, a feminist in college, and I've been a feminist forever it seems.

I don't have a great sense of inner conflict about the notion that women are meant to be great colleagues in the greatest fight on earth. To me, it's very simple, and maybe easier for me to see what this is.

Like Prof. Castle, the plight of women worldwide can feel a bit distant. I was never interested in most of the private worlds women lived in, but I was interested in the public world that women had to move around in.

And when I encounter arrogant men taking up all that public space, I get very angry indeed.



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