— All Hail the Queen? by Tamara Winfrey Harris
— from “An Interview with Sina Queyras” on Canadian Women in the Literary Arts.
“If feminists really cared about equality, they’d be addressing all the inequality that faces men. Like, why do feminists only care about breast cancer and not prostate cancer? Why aren’t feminists advocating for single dads? Why won’t women sleep with me when I’m a really nice guy and I’ve made a particular effort to be nice to them, particularly? Until feminism can answer that, I’m afraid I don’t really see it as being legitimate.”
This is the last bastion of the misogynist’s argument – their self fancying checkmate, if you will. What these people are basically saying is that, despite the overwhelming evidence of entrenched sexual, physical and ideological oppression of women, the only way feminism can really be fair is if it first identifies and solves all of the ways in which the patriarchy also oppresses men.
To be more specific, women who agitate for their own liberation are only allowed to do so once they’ve fixed all the things that make men sad, thus making them stronger and even more powerful."
— from “How to spot a misogynist,” by Clementine Ford.
But being a lady (much as it may sometimes feel like it) is not sports. There’s a difference here at a molecular level—there aren’t a whole lot of identifiable Basic Rules for Being A Woman (which is what makes magazines like Cosmo so laughable in the first place).* The editors of ladyblogs don’t simply manage a bunch of content around a particular topic. They’re also, in some sense, attempting to define that topic as they go along—one that’s, by its very nature, impossible to completely pin down.** There’s a valid question here: whether or not, by setting these blogs up in the first place, “empires” like Gawker Media are attempting to commodify female experience by oversimplifying it to the point where issues of gender are given the same weight as issues of what Mark Sanchez is up to on Twitter.
— n+1’s “So Many Feelings” and the Way We Talk About Feminism on the Internet by Emma Healey
This Maisonneuve article addresses so many of my concerns about “So Many Feelings,” but I wish this could have been done without outright attacking the n+1 writer. I enjoyed the “so many thoughts” the original Fischer article provoked. Many writers make the mistake of exaggerating a situation (in this case, implying that ladyblogs diminish women’s issues until female online conversation becomes “the world’s biggest slumber party”) in order to present a hard-to-articulate kernel of truth (that there is a problem with the way our online media handles women’s writing). Healey warns that Fischer may be accidentally promoting the trope of the “humourless feminist,” but we should be equally wary of playing into that of the catfight.