Saturday, June 23, 2007

Taking It Personally

I love it when I write something and it gets a big reaction! A few weeks back I was asked to review the new "women's interest" website Jezebel and, to put it bluntly, it stank and I said so. You can see my review here on Cru-blog or over here on The F-Word who commissioned it. We had a ton of feedback, some here, some over on The F-Word (comments for the whole of May are compiled into one article so you will have to scroll down to find them) and most of all, I have just discovered, on Jezebel itself.

A lot of these comments are pretty obviously from workers at Jezebel and related sites and their set-up mates. Some even started with "I don't work for Jezebel but..." which methinks doth protest too much.

I've responded to the ones on here and the ones on the F-Word appropriately. They are mostly saying "But Jezebel is supposed to be funny", to which I can only say I find misogyny about as funny as, oooh, racism and homophobia, I look forward to their corresponding "hilarious" sites on those subjects.

The comments on Jezebel itself though are altogether different, much more in keeping with the theme and indeed quality of the site itself (Both F-Word editor Jess McCabe and myself would instantly remove comments that appeared to be personal attacks). Try these for size though:

"Could we get Ms. Smurthwaite a side of 'sense of humor' to go with that stick up her butt she's so clearly enjoying with gusto?"

"Feminism without a sense of humour is probably about as fun as sex with Smurfette."

"Did someone tell you you were ugly when you were little? Did the man in your life tell you to take yourself seriously? Still mad about missing that nosejob? Or was it the frustration of noting the lack of a size 12 at the Kate Moss Top Shop sample sale?"

"If your last name were Smurthwaite, wouldn't you be humorless and cranky too?"

"I keep reading it as Smurf-twat."

"Har dee har. Kate needs to get laid, that'll fix it"

"These UK feminists need some pokey."

So they claim to be if not a feminist site, at least a women-positive site and then they complain not about my writing or my points or my angle on their website, but with personal insults, the usual you're-ugly/ you-don't-get-laid-much/ you're-fat stuff. And brilliantly the definition of fat in their seriously messed-up world is a size 12...?!

There is also one post, which I won't repeat, which references Anne Heche and the mental breakdown she suffered after years of horrific abuse that I actually think is offensive to Ms Heche and to sufferers of mental health problems and childhood abuse everywhere.

Well good, I'm glad they don't like me complaining about them. They weren't supposed to. And just glancing over there now to see the headline "Angelina Jolie: A Jealous Bitch Just Like The Rest Of Us", I can't help thinking that if they want to confess to all being "jealous bitches", I won't bother stopping them this time...


Mary Tracy9 said...

I'm pretty sure you don't need anyone to tell you this, but...


You are doing a wonderful job criticizing the mysoginistic attitude of that so called "site for women". It takes guts to do it, so KUDOS! Keep it UP in the name of all the feminists who don't buy into that crap!

ps: why do they attack Smurfette?

Winter said...

Yes, being fat, ugly and desperate for a shag could be your only possible reasons for not liking Jezabel. Did anyone acuse you of being a lesbian perhance?

The Urban Feminist said...

Well said!

Jennifer Ewing said...

Judging by the large number of American Apparel ads on the site, we're obviously in the presence of an ironic hipster site, which is probably better tackled as a whole rather than one website at a time.

Does anyone remember the Guardian's feature on the sexism in American Apparel ads a while back?

I've got nothing against irony for a purpose, but this stuff is irony just for the sake of being blase and hip and avoiding putting yourself on the line at all costs, which turns into a great excuse to hide racism, sexism and homophobia in plain sight.

Cruella said...

Hey thanks for all the life-affirming compliments. I swear I didn't write my post to dig for them! Yeah what's wrong with Smurfette? She's blue, she rocks, doesn't she?

Stan said...

Being fat, ugly and desperate for a shag has never (and continues never) to be an obstacle to MY critical ability.

I think if you dip a big ol' stick into a muddy pond you should expect some of the bottom-feeders to become irate - please don't stop : you do it with such style.

Allison said...

I saw the same things you did when I visited the site and was offended by their narrow minded and at times, extremely ignorant views about women's health and lifestyles. I have a great sense of humor and enjoy almost every site Gawker has to offer - Jezebel is the exception.

Jennifer Ewing said...

Yeah what's wrong with Smurfette? She's blue, she rocks, doesn't she?

You might think that, but if you've read the original comic, she looks that way because Papa Smurf performed plastic surgery on her.

Yes, it's a children's comic.