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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Skirt up, and Sober up while you're at it

posted by Sybil Vane
Insofar as anything that involves bloggers is a Big Deal, there is a Big Deal happening about two Jezebel editors who appeared on Thinking and Drinking. The show is hosted and created by Lizz Winstead, who was a co-creator of The Daily Show, blogs at HuffPo, does a lot of cool things, etc.

So the two guests, Moe and Tracie, are clearly wasted during the show and say increasingly ridiculous things feminism, women, men, and rape. E.g. - Tracie on not ever having been raped: "I think it has to do with the fact that I am, like, smart."  Moe: "It seems like in terms of bad experiences, that you have the worst ones always seem to be in countries where sex is not accepted. That is the good thing about New York, I've never had any problems with anyone here."

You can watch excepts of the thing, as well as read Lizz Winstead's reaction, here at her HuffPo post. (You can also read the official Jezebel reaction here, and Tracie's reaction here.)

Winstead's reaction is moralistic and over-the-top. She's understandably pissed at these women and feels alienated by them. I get that; I feel alienated by them. I feel like they sound like idiots. Winstead's alienation is more dramatic than mine, I think, because she is at several moments during the interview working to exacerbate a generational feminist divide (and the interviewees aren't helping with their declarations of not being oppressed). I am mostly alienated because they sound like offensive idiots.

I do feel irritated that Weinstead lambasts them for "not understanding the influence they have over young women" and touts her own "responsibility to hold these women accountable." It's condescending at the same time that it suggests young women are supposed to be consistent bastions of feminist idealism, which is another version of moral purity. I mean, the show is Thinking and Drinking, right? One expects some irreverence. 

And yet. This version of irreverence on display in Moe and Tracie's sloshy words is more accurately described as antifeminist victim-blaming.  And it's wholly cringeworthy. And maybe it needn't be taken as a statement about the shortcomings of 3rd wave feminism, or even of these two women. But it makes me gag, nonetheless. And, I don't know, I don't want to make any big proclamations about it because unlike Lizz Weinstead I don't think I'm responsible for bitching them out, and I am sure they are catching shit all over the place. So I guess I mostly want to use the opportunity to ask what, if any, *are* the responsibilities of the women in this situation? And how fucking sad is it, you know? Call me humorless, but man, this bummed me out.

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