Category Archives: The Press

In Which I Seek Refuge in a Cave and Grieve for Our Species

I take back what I said before, about how what Weiner wants to do on his text machine is up to him and his spouse. And if she’s cool with it, whatever, let’s move on because people like their little kicks and it all seems consensual, if boneheaded for a public figure, etc. etc.

I take that back because “slutbag”?? A former Weiner intern made some almost hilarious except also offensive claims about the Weiner campaign, and this is how his communications director responds? And she claims she was off the record (which, as savvy media consumers know, is idiotic for any major communications director of anything to assume about any conversation with any reporter ever. And also the reporter notes that she never made an “off the record” claim at the time, which to me is moot because:)

Barbara Morgan, apparently, thinks in those terms when disagreeing with another woman. Also, extra points to her for shockingly extreme inarticulateness.

So here’s the thing about slurs.

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In Honor of International Worker’s Day

I read this review of the new depression journalism–apparently less compelling than that of the 30s. In part because our standards of living really are higher than they were in the 30s.

Monster.com searches, desperate as they may be, are less exciting to photograph than starving, malnourished children in bread lines.

My briefest brief comment is that this review reminded me of this overly long but still worthwhile discussion of women and the DIY homecrafts movement.

What if we think about the new DIY movement as a product of the wasted energies and creativities of a generation of unemployable middle class people? Instead of fretting about hipsters and the ridiculous things they pickle? 

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Exploitative Headline Award: Runner Up

Are Female Politicians Really Good for Women?

Ugh ugh ugh ugh. UGH.

Usually I enjoy Irin Carmon’s writing. And usually the garish design is the only thing that really bugs me about Salon.

But hassenfrassenbuttercrap, Salon. That’s the kind of question that I’d expect from Peggy Noonan. And it’s a stupid question. 

The question that matters: How can we make sure that our political leadership adequately represents our citizenry?

Which means: How can we come close to gender parity in our political system? And racial parity? And, gasp, sexual orientation parity????

Leaders—political, corporate, whatever—from disenfranchised groups have to work twice as hard. We expect them to represent both their own identity groups and the rest of us. And so we judge them extra, according to a multitude of conflicting standards. But is this BAD FOR WOMEN? Is Barack Obama BAD FOR BLACK PEOPLE?

BAH.

That’s all that’s going on with whatever inside baseball politics mishugas that Carmon’s reporting on re: Christine Quinn, out lesbian mayoral candidate in NYC, who has consulted with Gloria Steinem and entertained a variety of advices about the political wisdom of advocating for paid sick leave.

BAH.

On the other hand, my desire to blog about the horrible headline is the only reason I read the article.

Exploitative headlines get page views. It’s a clickenclack media world.

 

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Sandberg, Millennial Journalism, and Evolution

What do they have in common?

Pretty much nothing.

But the Sandberg stuff and the journalism stuff have been pricking people’s underbellies recently. I thought I could helpfully share some of the more helpful entries in these latest blogosphere buggaboos.

The evolution thing is just cool.

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Seriously? Shut Up!

You guys, I was planning a long, thoughtful inaugural 2013 post with wit, verve, and teeth-cracking brainpower. But then I saw this headline.

Does makeup hurt self-esteem or help it?

Seriously? Shut up!

Gender norms define our lives, and we all internalize them, and we make the best choices we can within them. Like, yeah, make-up gets women more status in service and professional jobs.

Turning an economic/political issue into the watery “self-esteem” tripe (watery tripe? in 2013, I can mix whatever metaphor I want, thanks, plus maybe tripe is better when watery…) makes me stupider.

“Self-esteem” isn’t the problem for girls and women. Patriarchy is the problem. A pervasive, structural lack of economic, political, and social opportunity.

Working towards women’s equality by fretting about make-up is like planning a space program using Legos. Worse. It furthers the whole “cat-fight” bollocks by implying that women’s opportunity is measured in relation to other women’s appearance. Corrosive. And intellectually spurious.

Bah. Between this and the fiscal curb compromise, and whatever else I see when I surf-crastinate, 2013 isn’t off to a good start.

Update: I misguidedly surf-crastinated more and read the thing. To see if my hasty judgement of the headlines was too hasty. It was not. The content was even stupider than I expected. Sigh. 2013 better be better than this.

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Oh, the Woes of an Internet Feminist

Does the Internet = Women?

Sometimes it feels that way, with vibrant feminist discourse flourishing online, women writers self-publishing and self-publicizing, my own (ahem) attempts to build a name outside the hallowed halls of print commentariaticity. With friendly ladies tweeting me important lady-news. With Facebook being about “relationships” and feeding me dark chocolate (fair trade, thank you!) through the screen.

This recent editorial from N+1 hyperbolized this notion. The notion that because women are way underrepresented in traditional publications they have grabbed onto the Internet like pit bulls on a peanut butter rubber squirrel, and that therefore the Internet is implicitly feminine and the print mag remains implicitly dudely.

What do women have to do with the internet? We submit that, at least in the eyes of media executives, women are the internet. Women, we mean the internet, are commanding a larger share of the traditional print market. The internet, we mean women, is less responsive to conventional advertising than to commenting, sharing, and other forms of social interaction. Women, we mean the internet, are putting men, we mean magazine editors, out of work. The internet, we mean women, never pays for its content — or for their drinks!

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