Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Strife in the BlogHersphere

Duty Calls
Image courtesy of xkcd

Well, this is probably old news by now, but a storm has been brewing between a couple of my favorite feminist blogs - and a third blog which I'd never read before now. And which I won't be reading again, just for the record.

See, it all started when Feministe posted a link to an article about Call-out culture and how it actually damages online conversations between social activists. The original article is erudite and lovely and really, really long-winded. If, like me, you suddenly remembered you're teaching a more-than-full-time course load, while applying to 10 PhD programs, you probably want to read Feministe's recap of the article. And, like me, you'll probably be substituting three brownies and a vitamin B tablet for today's exercise quota. Brilliant, I know.

If even Feministe's recap is too much (and I'd understand), the basic gist is this: some activist bloggers make their name off of anonymously calling out other activist bloggers (who often have no idea they've been called out) and criticising them for some "problematic" slip up. The use of the term "problematic" is of special concern to the article's author, who sees it as a liberal elitist way of getting passive aggressive. Why the passive aggression? Well, the author suggests that some of these outraged anonymous caller-outers are themselves auditioning to fill the spots of those they depose. Problematic, indeed.

So, anyway, after I read over Feministe's article and skimmed the original, I found myself at once thinking, "Yeah, Womanist Musings! Time to stop hypocritically calling out other blogs for things you do too!" only to immediately recognize my own hypocrisy. Only to realize I still hadn't changed my mind about my love-hate relationship with Womanist Musings. And while I thought about blogging that guilt last week, perhaps nothing would have come of it if I hadn't then encountered another feministe post about a disagreement between Twisty at I Blame the Patriarchy and Holly at a blog that I'll only link after giving you due warning. The name of the blog is The Pervocracy, and while the post I'm about to link is PG-13, the rest of the blog gets so racy that after reading one racy post, I have no intention of reading her blog ever again. That being said, you can read the original post here or just Feministe's discussion of it here. Again, I'll provide the reader's digest version: Twisty has criticized Sex Positive feminists like Holly for what she perceives as capitulating to male fantasies and objectification of women. Holly has retaliated by arguing that Twisty not only misunderstands her, but that Twisty is in fact perpetuating sexist attitudes by what Holly refers to as "slut-shaming" sexy women.

Feministe, as a third party blog, manages to keep a pretty level head about the whole thing and remain relatively objective, but then Twisty heard about The Pervocracy's recent article and responded (reader beware, Twisty loves her F-bombs almost as much as she loves her horses). I can't say I blame Twisty, particularly when Holly links to her own former column, "Twisty Faster is ******* Insane" (censorship added), but it doesn't bode well when feminists start fighting each other.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not sure how I feel about feminist infighting, but I think this post was very informative. I'm always fascinated when tensions rise between various big blogs that deal with similar topics, so thanks for raising awareness for this particular instance.

    Also, thanks for sharing the pic from xkcd. It is perfect and I think I'll even share it on facebook as a confession.