This “stuff” he was asking about was articles like the ones I write for Role/Reboot and the ones I read on sites like Jezebel, XOJane, Salon, Slate, and The Hairpin. This “stuff” calls attention to discrimination and prejudice, to misogyny and hypocrisy.
If women feel like victims after reading “this stuff,” it’s not the article to blame, it’s the need for such an article in the first place. I don’t feel victimized by articles about street harassment; I feel victimized by actual street harassment. The article is the spotlight on the problem, not the problem.
You have three choices: You can pretend it’s all in my head (see: gaslighting), you can pretend what I document is true but not a problem (what even…), or you agree that what I document is true and a problem. We can disagree about how to solve it, but if you can’t even open your eyes to it in the first place, we’re never going to get very far.
More on this idea of “victim-creation” and whiny feminism at Role/Reboot this week:
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Last week I was a guest on the podcast Femimosas (Get it? Feminism + Mimosas = YUM). While drinking copiously, Alicia Swiz, Mikey Mankar and I discussed dating dealbreaker lists, Ray Rice, violence against women prevention, “Nice Guys,” friendzoning, and basically everything else ever.
Oh yeah, there was also a new Rosie Says What newsletter! It contained, among other things, Random Family turns 10, Michele Roberts is the new NBA Players Union head, what it’s like to close a Starbucks at 11pm and open again at 4am.
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This week, the staffers at Jezebel published an open letter to their parent company, Gawker Media, taking them to task for failing to protect the employees and readers from violent, rape-themed imagery posted by a rogue commenter. By failing to take the technological steps to prevent this from continuing, or changing the commenting policy site-wide, Gawker has created a hostile work environment for Jezebel staffers. As they say in their letter, if this happened anywhere else, they’d report on it, so why would their own organization be immune?
For Role/Reboot I wrote a bit about company values and that tricky space where the rubber meets the road, i.e. when resources are required to make values-on-paper values-in-reality:
Related Post: Criticizing Jezebel’s unscientific science writing.
Related Post: A few times I’ve been on Jezebel
Every Friday, get the Rosie Says What? weekly newsletter with things to read, events, stuff I like, job postings, etc.
Last week: Roxane Gay + cherries, fashion + politics, standardized test cheating.
This week: OkCupid trends, Nicki Minaj’s butt, Fire Jam yoga, face transplants.
People love to ask me if I think X is sexist.
Generally, if you have to ask, if not outright sexist, it’s probably inadvisable, tasteless, or easily misinterpreted. Sometimes something–an item, promotion, label, campaign–isn’t sexist when taken on its own, but contributes (often by accident) to reinforcing stereotypes or perpetuating inequality.
“Is ‘wingman’ a sexist term?”
Thus began this week’s trip down the Urban Dictionary wormhole that finished in my essay for Role/Reboot about the cult of the wingman, the origin of the term, and whether we can salvage it from the pick-up artist misogynists.
Related Post: Dating while feminist
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Extra Inches! Simple Rules!
Generic “Women’s Magazine”, “shocking” report, amazing diet supplement!
“Surprise him with a new body!”
“Weird” fruit! “Holy grail of weight loss!”
And yes, I have asked Facebook to “don’t show me posts like this.”
Related Post: You don’t get to choose your ads, the problem with online advertising.
Related Post: Can gendered advertising affect change?