Author Topic: Jezebel magazine and Mean-Girl Feminism  (Read 5635 times)

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Jezebel magazine and Mean-Girl Feminism
« on: February 08, 2015, 06:34:02 pm »
Relevant to Tumblr SJW Culture, fart-huffing, and the ongoing theme of Being Better at The Cause Than you, I encountered this post today:

https://medium.com/gender-justice-feminism/what-happens-if-you-plan-a-strip-club-birthday-when-youre-a-lesbian-the-idiot-speaks-52121eee099c

It's really worth reading the whole thing, but the synopsis is that a lesbian planned a fairly large outing to a strip club for her birthday, and after getting some texts that made her concerned that things might no go smoothly, wrote a humorously tongue-in-cheek email to her friends with advice on making the night a win for everyone, including the staff at the club. Someone thought it was funny and forwarded it to a writer at Jezebel, who, with the help of an alleged stripper friend, proceeded to rip the email to shreds because apparently, in her estimation, the 25-year-old lesbian birthday girl just wasn't doing it right enough.

http://jezebel.com/dont-be-an-idiot-at-the-strip-club-a-strippers-guide-1681793887

If anyone isn't familiar with Jezebel, it's a "feminist" online magazine that seemed to get off to a decent start, but then rapidly degenerated to something that is essentially a faux-feminist bully clearinghouse version of Cosmopolitan that spends more time ripping on women for not being perfect than it does analyzing or challenging the patriarchy, rape culture, or other feminist issues.

This seems to me to be very relevant to, and illustrative of, much of the conversation we've had over the last couple of years about movements and causes, particularly online, and how they so often start cannibalizing themselves by preying upon any of their own members they view as weak, vulnerable, or imperfect, because elevating oneself within the structure of a small group by climbing over one's comrades is easier by far, and more immediately gratifying, than tackling the larger societal structures that are causing harm to everyone. In this way organizations such as Jezebel actually perpetuate that which on their face they claim to oppose, fundamentally doing the patriarchy's work for them.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


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Re: Jezebel magazine and Mean-Girl Feminism
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2015, 07:13:34 pm »
From what I've heard, most of the original writing staff left in the last few years, and the new writing staff has indeed gone down the path of gossip and Doin' It Wrong.


At the same time, from what I've read of the post, it really did seem like the idea was to have a party of 60 show up unnanounced and more or less exploit the strippers, monitarily.

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Re: Jezebel magazine and Mean-Girl Feminism
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2015, 07:53:38 pm »
From what I've heard, most of the original writing staff left in the last few years, and the new writing staff has indeed gone down the path of gossip and Doin' It Wrong.


At the same time, from what I've read of the post, it really did seem like the idea was to have a party of 60 show up unnanounced and more or less exploit the strippers, monitarily.

Is that from reading the Jezebel post? It badly misrepresents the actual situation (the birthday girl not only called but went to the club in person to make sure they were prepared and could accommodate her party, which ended up being about 30 people and spent over $5000 in the club that evening), and passages are seemingly deliberately misinterpreted (how does "bring at least a couple of $20's in cash, you can start a tab at the bar) translate into "Everybody only spend $40"?). Even if that were not the case, though, publicly excoriating an individual, someone who is not even a public figure but just a random graduate student, based on a single personal email with zero investigation or effort to seek context (either by contacting the email's author, other attendees, or the club itself) is ethically reprehensible.

Can you imagine having one of your emails about your party plans raked over the coals by Jezebel? I don't know about you, but I certainly don't preface every single email to my friends with full backstory and context.





Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


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Re: Jezebel magazine and Mean-Girl Feminism
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2015, 08:02:51 pm »
The other thing that bothered me about the Jezebel post (there were many things) was that it seemed to disregard the fact that strip clubs can be very different in different cities. For example, tipping the bathroom and coat attendants? I don't think that kind of strip club even exists in Portland. I have never seen a coat check at a strip club, let alone a bathroom attendant. Where the fuck would a bathroom attendant even stand? In the 12 square feet of space housing the sink outside of the single stall?

For that matter, for all the pissing and moaning about the idea of patrons only tipping $40 (the NERVE) that would make a pretty good haul split between 3 or 4 girls (typical here). So it seems like the author was simply imposing arbitrary standards and expectations for the sole purpose of bullying and humiliating someone who was, ultimately, just some unknown 25 year old trying to have a nice birthday.

Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


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Re: Jezebel magazine and Mean-Girl Feminism
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2015, 08:15:28 pm »
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Jezebel writer is being very selective about comment approval.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


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Re: Jezebel magazine and Mean-Girl Feminism
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2015, 08:48:53 pm »
I remember thinking a few years ago, naively, that the rise of internet journalism would bring us closer to the 'truth' as the establishment would be able to filter and bias journalists less.

But instead, it seems like all the lessons of hundreds of years of print journalism have been tossed out the window in favor of more bias, more extremism, because castigation = clickbait and you should never miss an opportunity to stir up a good controversy so that people - whether they agree with you or not - give their precious pageview to your website.

Very disappointing.
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Re: Jezebel magazine and Mean-Girl Feminism
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2015, 09:17:41 pm »
I remember thinking a few years ago, naively, that the rise of internet journalism would bring us closer to the 'truth' as the establishment would be able to filter and bias journalists less.

But instead, it seems like all the lessons of hundreds of years of print journalism have been tossed out the window in favor of more bias, more extremism, because castigation = clickbait and you should never miss an opportunity to stir up a good controversy so that people - whether they agree with you or not - give their precious pageview to your website.

Very disappointing.

It really is. Essentially the internet has become 1/3 malicious gossip, 1/3 rumor mill, and 1/3 echo chamber.

I find it really disturbing to think that these sites are eager and willing to publish personal emails of random private citizens just for the opportunity to rake some unsuspecting nobody over the coals, though. That's really unsettling.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


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Re: Jezebel magazine and Mean-Girl Feminism
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2015, 10:11:53 pm »
Jezebel is pretty worrying, when it does things like this.

It's worth remembering Jezebel is part of the Gawker media empire, who thrive on this kind of extreme invasion of privacy, self-righteous moralising and whipping up of internet mobs.  The assumption of good causes and good intentions leading to good outcomes seems one that is hard-coded into their operating manual, possibly next to the section which recommends a sneering, preachy tone to those who disagree or even ask questions. 

I have some more thoughts, later, but I'm bunged up and ill still, so they can wait.  All I will say is that the strategy of demonization and polarization has proven to be extremely profitable.

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Re: Jezebel magazine and Mean-Girl Feminism
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2015, 10:30:10 pm »
Jezebel is pretty worrying, when it does things like this.

It's worth remembering Jezebel is part of the Gawker media empire, who thrive on this kind of extreme invasion of privacy, self-righteous moralising and whipping up of internet mobs.  The assumption of good causes and good intentions leading to good outcomes seems one that is hard-coded into their operating manual, possibly next to the section which recommends a sneering, preachy tone to those who disagree or even ask questions. 

I have some more thoughts, later, but I'm bunged up and ill still, so they can wait.  All I will say is that the strategy of demonization and polarization has proven to be extremely profitable.

It's REALLY disturbing. The idea that there is profit to be made from demonizing completely ordinary people who are just trying to go about their lives is very, very worrying.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


Demolition Squid

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Re: Jezebel magazine and Mean-Girl Feminism
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2015, 10:39:29 pm »
There still seems to be this weird disconnect where people feel like the internet removes the need to act like responsible human beings, perhaps because it doesn't feel as 'real' as, say, an article you can publish and frame does? I don't know.

I think I linked to this before but this gives me hope that it isn't entirely guaranteed to ruin people's lives. It has still never been easier to earn the unwarranted hatred of dozens (or more) of motivated, vengeful and hateful individuals, though, and that's a frightening realization I don't think you can truly appreciate until you've lived it.

ETA - This passage was the bit that made me go  :eek:

Quote
Mitchell, who was, lets remember, a schoolgirl, might have considered the sensitivity of a selfie in Auschwitz more carefully, but her picture was nothing like as crass as it seemed. She had talked for years about visiting with her father and, after he died, she had finally managed it. She took her phone out to record the moment and perhaps out of habit happened to smile. The picture was online for a month before anyone noticed. I literally woke up one morning and had literally a thousand things on my phone, notifications, Mitchell said at the time. Ive had death threats. Ive had people telling me I need to kill myself. When the race to denounce a bigot begins, people forget about details like whether or not they were guilty.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2015, 10:56:33 pm by Demolition Squid »
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Re: Jezebel magazine and Mean-Girl Feminism
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2015, 10:58:18 pm »
I swear, pedantic and uncalled for ridicule brings these people to orgasm or something.

Well, not really.  But they do seem to think they exist in a world where they have direct and unfettered access to a special place where all moral and political questions have obvious answers and where political disagreements only happen between the Evil Evil-Doers Who Are Horrible Bigots and the Angelic Paragons of Social Justice Who Fight Racism and Sexism Through Tweets (while getting paid).

A presumption of good intentions is essentially not rewarded by current internet reading habits, which are what help drive this phenomena.  Demonisation and outrage act as social currency, which translates into pageviews which translates into sweet, sweet advertising revenue.  Sure, this may occasionally get people sacked and harassed by thousands of people online because of their own inability to detect sarcasm, but you can't make a money filled omlette without breaking a few eggs and lives.

And of course it's not like this drive to mob justice is in any way creating perverse incentives.  Oh no, not at all.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2015, 11:03:16 pm by Cain »

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Re: Jezebel magazine and Mean-Girl Feminism
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2015, 12:28:32 am »
I think it's possibly as simple as population.

More and more people requiring less and less intelligence and education are bringing both cash and content to the internet. This is in part because of the ease built into wireless devices and social media services.  In short the masses, the mob is becoming the dominant force. This will likely increase over time.
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Re: Jezebel magazine and Mean-Girl Feminism
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2015, 02:34:32 am »

ETA - This passage was the bit that made me go  :eek:

Quote
Mitchell, who was, lets remember, a schoolgirl, might have considered the sensitivity of a selfie in Auschwitz more carefully, but her picture was nothing like as crass as it seemed. She had talked for years about visiting with her father and, after he died, she had finally managed it. She took her phone out to record the moment and perhaps out of habit happened to smile. The picture was online for a month before anyone noticed. I literally woke up one morning and had literally a thousand things on my phone, notifications, Mitchell said at the time. Ive had death threats. Ive had people telling me I need to kill myself. When the race to denounce a bigot begins, people forget about details like whether or not they were guilty.
Yea that made me cringe a bit as well. What, like, FUCK YOU FOR ACCOMPLISHING A THING ON YOUR BUCKET LIST IN MEMORY OF YOUR DEAD FATHER. :argh!:
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Re: Jezebel magazine and Mean-Girl Feminism
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2015, 02:46:59 am »
Upon further information, yes.  Nigel is right, and that woman did not need to be demonized.  Apparently, even the club has weighed in and said everything went well.

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Re: Jezebel magazine and Mean-Girl Feminism
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2015, 03:48:02 am »
I think it's possibly as simple as population.

More and more people requiring less and less intelligence and education are bringing both cash and content to the internet. This is in part because of the ease built into wireless devices and social media services.  In short the masses, the mob is becoming the dominant force. This will likely increase over time.

Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.