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The Woman Question: Some Thoughts On The Third Year of Tiger Beatdown

[Hey, it's Tiger Beatdown Pledge Driving Week! And normally, I would insert a little schpiel here. But today, things are different. I have some stuff to say, it turns out. So here's a button! And then, later, when we're done talking, I'll give you a button again.]


 

Hey! Who here is in the mood for some navel-gazing? AGAIN??

SPOILER: Turns out it’s me.

As you might be, by this point, really painfully aware, I have been, um, THINKING about the Internet Feminism lately. What it can do, what it can’t do. More specifically, I have been thinking about the Tiger Beatdown. And the Sady Doyle. And what, if anything, those two creatures are worth in the long run. What they started out to do, and what they’re going to do, and how those two things might be different. Because honestly? I don’t know any more.

Lately, I’ve been asked to tell the origin story of this blog. And, as with most things in my life — I am not a talented autobiographer! — I can’t remember. I have about four stories which seem to tell some part of the truth; coordinating them all would take the a dedicated historian, or maybe just one of those ESPN documentary crews whose job it is to wander around interviewing professional football players who have been hit in the head for a living 9,000 times and make their musings sound witty and insightful, with the aid of dramatic music and archival footage. The way Tiger Beatdown started, I am telling you, had to do with one or more of the following things:

  1. I wanted to Become a Writer.
  2. I was pissed off at dudes.
  3. I made a joke and it came to define my life.
  4. I wanted to impress a dude.

Part One seems sort of semi-correct. I hadn’t written anything in years, and I wanted to make myself write again. I registered a Blogspot domain, started typing a little bit of something every day, and then people started to read it. Part Two seems fairly semi-correct also. I had just ended a really long relationship, and for some reason when I started to interact with dudes other than my personal former dude friend, and to consider that some large part of my future might be affected by them, I was shocked — SHOCKED! And ANGERED! To find that sexism was a very large part of the picture. I dove into the feminist theory hardcore, because for some reason I thought that would solve the problems of my intimate life (see? It’s already funny. Becomes much funnier later on, trust me) and when I made myself try to write every day, that theory and its day-to-day application was what I wanted to write about. Part Three is a smaller story; I told my best friend that I was going to start a “blog about dudes.” She asked what its name would be; I paused for a moment, was like, “so what is the worst pun I could make in this situation,” and said “Tiger Beatdown.” A name like “Tiger Beatdown” becomes its own content-determiner, eventually, I guess is my point.

And Part Four was that I did start dating again, and this dude was way more accomplished than I as a writer, and was maybe the first person I’d ever met to share my radical politics, and I wanted to have something to hold his interest. So I made something to hold his interest, and I did hold it for a while, until we moved in together and both of our lives started to fall apart and we turned on each other and we broke up.

I’m not interested in talking about the how or the why of it. Mostly because I may never actually figure it out. These things happen. This one happened very painfully, for both of us; it took us both so long to figure out that it wasn’t going to work that, by the time we had, we’d managed to rip open every gaping psychic wound the other one had possessed. One of those things where you figure out that Dad will never stop drinking and yelling and telling you it’s your fault he’s so unhappy, and you’ll never be able to do what it takes to make him stop, and that’s because you just can’t do anything right, because if you were good he would be nice to you, because when he’s happy he’s so nice; one of those things where you realize that Mom will never be less vulnerable, and you will never be able to fix all her problems or protect her from the world, and for some reason the things you say and do just keep making her cry, and that’s because you just can’t do anything right, because if you were good you could help her, and you’ve tried and she’s still so sad. Except not really. In reality you are two grown-assed people who need very different things, and the things you need are so fundamentally opposed that you actually fit perfectly together; every place that you are capable of being hurt lines up with every part of him that is capable of hurting someone, and vice versa. It’s no-one’s fault and it’s everyone’s fault. It’s beyond the question of fault. What it is, primarily, is really fucking sad.

The point is, by the time it ended, I was no longer sure that I knew anything about myself. At all. I’d been telling you about myself for well over a year; I had crafted this cute, happy, strong, funny persona that just knew everything about everything, and all the while the world was ending. I was constantly giving these high-minded lectures on how men and women were supposed to relate to each other, and as my own life had made painfully clear, I didn’t know a goddamned thing. And, at any rate, my very meaningful project of using feminism to figure out my intimate life (I TOLD YOU IT WAS FUNNY) had blown right the fuck up in my face and scarred me for life. It was some Harvey Dent shit going on with me, is what I am saying. And after a while, I figured out that there was no pushing a reset button on it: I didn’t know who I was, or what I knew, and I could just stay with the sadness and tell myself how terrible and wrong and fraudulent I was forever — and I did; long after I’d started to put my by-this-point-way-more-OK life together, I couldn’t let go of those things, couldn’t stop repeating the tape loop of feminist and personal failure that I’d installed as an apparently permanent feature in my head – or I could be this new girl. New ambivalencies, new doubts, new sadness. New angers. New plans to kill the Batman! Which I hope you’ll all enjoy, and support!

But here we are. Tiger Beatdown is about to be two years old. I know! If this were a Tumblr, I would be getting some sort of cupcake graphic! And it’s changed, and I’ve changed. The question that has been killing me, and sort of crippling me with unholy doubt, is that I no longer know exactly what this space is capable of, or what I’m capable of. I’m no longer sure that I’m doing anything right. This isn’t whining; I’m not bemoaning my lot. This is what happens to people. (Especially people who are almost entirely self-taught.) (And if anyone has perchance heard of what exactly it is I’m doing or not doing correctly, and would be willing to tell me about that: Lines are open! You can tell me right to my horrible scarred villain face!) And, you know? That’s exactly where Tiger Beatdown started.

You guys, this blog is an experiment. It always was. Whichever origin story I’m telling, the point is that I started this space because I was learning. Because I wanted to record what I was learning every single day. Figuring out that I didn’t have everything down, that I wasn’t the smartest person in the world, that I was still capable of fucking things up, and that there were parts of me and parts of life and parts of being a Strong Independent Feminist Woman (who starts a feminist blog to impress her boyfriend: THE LAUGHS, THEY DO NOT CEASE COMING) that I not only hadn’t figured out, but that I hadn’t even known I needed to figure out in the first place… that is just not a bad thing. Because it means that, no matter what else happens to me, I have plenty to write about. I’ve been to Netroots, but I’ve never been to me.

I hope you’re still going to be around for that. I hope that the process of figuring things out is as good, this time around, as it was the last. No matter what else it is, it’s necessary. It’s necessary, is what I’m learning: To fuck up, to fall down, to embarrass yourself, to change without thinking you’ve betrayed yourself, to believe two contradictory things until you figure out that they’re the same thing or that one thing is wrong. That’s the whole point of this project. Feminism used to be referred to as “The Woman Question.” That’s still what I think it is. What I don’t think, these days, is that I have the answer. I don’t, and I never will. What I have is a blog.

[Yes, a blog! A blog you can support -- she wrote mood-killingly -- with donations! So please: Give a click, won't you?]

49 Comments

  1. William Craft wrote:

    Things you are doing correctly:
    Recruiting effective bloggers/humans for Team Tiger Beatdown
    Bringing important information to the attention of your readers (I’m looking at you, This Week in Patriarchy)
    Maintaining an unbelievably well-regulated discussion in your comments section, where unpopular opinions can challenge popular ones and humans tend not to hurt each other (to the extent I’ve read the comments)
    Turning personal/political topics into insightful essays on facets of reality
    Entertaining your readers and making them love you.

    Things you are not doing correctly:
    Organizing the official Sady Doyle fan club, militia etc. etc.
    Beating down tigers (that I know of)

    Friday, August 20, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Permalink
  2. Sooz wrote:

    Well I, for one, just like reading the stuff you write because I like how you write and I like feminism, so I guess as long as you keep posting stuff I will keep reading it, unless you suddenly stop being funny or start being a bizarro pod person. Unless you already are a bizarro pod person, in which case, um, carry on.

    Friday, August 20, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Permalink
  3. mulierosity wrote:

    Some guy who writes better than you? Maybe Kafka but that’s it.

    And, it is precisely the journey, your journey, that captivates me.

    Friday, August 20, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Permalink
  4. Nicole wrote:

    $10/month, PayPal’d. That’s, what? Three cups of coffee a month? Tigerbeatdown is like a shot of espresso to my SOUL.

    I really appreciate the recent posts about the intersection of theory and actual squishy, ambivalent, complicated feelings. As an outspoken feminist who might maybe be in an abusive relationship, I feel a constant tension between how a self-identified feminist is supposed to act and the tiny and not-tiny compromises this feminist makes every day to get by.

    As with any not-respected-enough groups of people, there’s a constant pressure to be a credit to feminism, and as far as I know, you’re the only person on the internet writing about it in an honest, thoughtful way. With jokes.

    Thanks.

    Friday, August 20, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Permalink
  5. KJ wrote:

    Sady Doyle, I tell people all the time that Tiger Beatdown is my favorite thing on the internet, and it is largely because of posts like this (and the jokes. The jokes are really good).

    I appreciate how open you are willing to be about (at least parts of – I don’t expect that you share everything with us, the denizens of the intertubes) your journey; that your journey is, in many ways, like mine means that I almost always learn something from your openness. And I appreciate that. Openness (with myself, with the people I love, with the people I like enough to tolerate being a part of my life) is something I’m slowly learning. Thanks for being a part of that, and thanks for sharing what you have to say with us.

    Friday, August 20, 2010 at 10:13 pm | Permalink
  6. Turing wrote:

    “the point is that I started this space because I was learning. Because I wanted to record what I was learning every single day.”

    What more could we ask, and what more could anyone ever give? That’s all that any of us have got, and anyone who thinks they’ve got the answers is lying. Those who really do have the answers can’t share them anyway, because we have to find them ourselves (or so I’m told! That depends on their own answers.)

    Before this post completely disappears up its own ass, I must say that I have not stopped being in love with Tiger Beatdown since I read the first post, and I only wish that I could erase it from memory so that I could spend another 2 week period reading every single post in the archives obsessively.

    Friday, August 20, 2010 at 10:52 pm | Permalink
  7. This is literally my favorite blog on the internet. You, and all the writers you’ve taken on board, do a fabulous job of being funny while pointed, nuanced but not wishy washy, and finding really fucking smart things to say about whatever you’re talking about.

    I hardly ever comment for lack of anything more insightful than “Yes! That thing you said, I agree with it very hard!” But I read every post enthusiastically, and foist many of them on the folks on my google reader list. Seriously, thanks.

    Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 1:42 am | Permalink
  8. 01d55 wrote:

    Tiger Beatdown is a pun, and not a straightforward expression of badass ferocity?

    MY WORLD IS SHAKEN TO ITS VERY CORE. Also, I don’t get it.

    Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 2:05 am | Permalink
  9. CelloShots wrote:

    30 billion bonus points of awesome for “I’ve Never Been To Me” reference.

    Also, Tiger Beatdown is brilliant and glorious. If I didn’t have a boyfriend, I would be trying to date Garland Grey. If she didn’t have a husband and I swung that way, I’d be chasing Silvana instead. And Sady is quite possibly my very favorite sense of humor on the internet. And that says a lot.

    Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 2:54 am | Permalink
  10. CassieC wrote:

    Honesty is the hardest thing, because it inevitably reveals weakness and uncertainty and getting rid of old comfortable ideas. And humor is probably the only way to deal with such a hard project. Keep it up.

    Since I’ve grown up (snark), I’ve insisted on being myself at work. I tell people when I’m wrong, when I’m confused, when I’m tired, when I’m sad (and the reverse, mind you). I know everybody else, if they are honest, is going through the same ups and downs: why pretend they don’t exist? Making mistakes and feeling like shit are not shameful sins: it’s how we talk and deal with these experiences, and choose to go off on new dangerous adventures, that makes us human.

    Sorry for the long comment, in summary, here’s your cupcake, happy birthday, and many more!

    Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 4:28 am | Permalink
  11. Darla wrote:

    Sady, I know this is probably not really what you want to hear, especially from some random person who has never commented before, but…

    I love you, and you are awesome, and as far as I am concerned (that is, your public internet stuffs) doing everything right. Seriously. I cannot help but mention Tiger Beatdown to someone at least once a week, because I am just that happy it exists. (Sometimes completely at random. Other person: “You know what I really like? Cheese.” Me: “You know what that reminds me of? Tiger Beatdown. It is way more awesome than cheese.”)

    Anyway, because I am a selfish person, I hope you continue writing this “cute, happy, strong, funny persona” because it makes my day better. I had always viewed this persona as a character you were writing, not, you know, the real Sady (and, side point, Sady Doyle is such an awesome name, that I also assumed it was a pen name).

    BUT, beyond utter selfishness, I really hope you work this out in whatever way is best for you. Even if it means cute know-it-all Internet Sady will be retired. And I will still be around. (In the reading and bullying others into reading senses. Not the writing comments sense. That rarely goes well. See above, probably.)

    Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 4:52 am | Permalink
  12. k not K wrote:

    In my disastrous life of moving overseas for a dude at 19, getting dumped by him, and getting a college degree in a foreign language in only 3 semesters more than it was supposed to take… I have learned that it doesn’t matter what your dumbass reasons for an adventure originally were. It’s still an adventure. And when you tell people about it, you feel like you’re saying “hi. I’m an idiot.” but they will consistently reply to you by saying, “No, you’re awesome!” I mean, it’s probably both, but who gives a fuck?

    Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 5:50 am | Permalink
  13. Beth wrote:

    I don’t think I’ve ever commented (have I?)as I’m too overcome by the awesomeness but your blog has been revolutionary in my life. Keep doing exactly what you are doing, writing one of the wittiest, sharpest, messiest, most insightful, sanest, honest blogs on the internetz.

    PS I do realise that you are not soliciting for compliments, just confused and searching and well, here’s one bit of feedback from someone who typically remains anonymous.

    Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 6:01 am | Permalink
  14. Wickedday wrote:

    Unlurking to say that um, this may not be all that helpful for *you*, but just knowing that someone as witty and insightful and together as Sady Fucking Doyle is still figuring her life the fuck out is comforting as anything to us lesser beings.

    Also, I too entirely failed to get the pun. Perhaps it’s because I’m British? I AM CONFUSED.

    Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 7:01 am | Permalink
  15. Miranda wrote:

    This post is lovely.

    Help with the pun? My only guess is that tiger means boner. But maybe that’s just because boners, specifically the boners of douchey entitled menz, are often the butt of delightful jokes here at TBD. Beat them down, the boners! Maybe?

    Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 9:47 am | Permalink
  16. attie wrote:

    I fail to see why doing something to impress your boyfriend is somehow a shameful thing. I mean, I assume you weren’t faking your feminism while really thinking “oh god I hate all women they are such bitches all of them and also they should all be forced to have 10 children each except those I deem unworthy to further the human race” (IMAGINARY EVIL SADY TWIN, SHE HAS NEVER HEARD OF PUNCTUATION) — so really, does it matter that when you were addressing the big, anonymous internet, you were really thinking of your then-bf’s face? Isn’t that just how we humans work?

    I say, screw that holy always perfect with ‘pure’ motivation (pure what???) shit and OWN YOUR HUMANITY. ‘Cause you are one bad-ass human.

    Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 9:58 am | Permalink
  17. Sady, like others I’d selfishly love for you to continue writing here. But beyond that, I have to say, it would be a crime against the world if you didn’t continue to write somewhere. There are lots of talented people in the feminist blogosphere, and a lot of what they do is networking, bringing people’s attention to issues, creating a space for activism and that’s really valuable. What you’re doing – writing so, so well and honestly about a range of personal things – and using pop culture and books to reflect – is a particular and so so useful – and incredibly difficult thing to do. Vivian Gornick, who does it as well as anyone talks about how long it takes to get it right. You have an incredible gift for it. You just do. It works really well in blog format, but I know that schedule can be grueling – your pieces for Atlantic are also awesome. Or You’ll write an amazing book.

    As for the #4, I think all writers have an ideal reader or two in mind, someone for whom they really want to get it right, someone whose conversations get them thinking which get them writing – and why wouldn’t that someone be the person you’re falling for? It makes complete sense. I’m sorry that you had a hard time through the breakup.

    Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 10:35 am | Permalink
  18. Alix wrote:

    I had friends who read “Tiger Beat” and I love your title. That cute and funny persona may not feel much like you at times…but it’s part of your gestalt, whether you want to admit it or not. That is part of you, just like the part of you that makes mistakes, and is sad, and has trouble with life. ALL OF US ARE LIKE THAT. We choose which parts we will show to the world, and which parts we will hide. Sady is teh awesome, whichever part she chooses to show. You’ll get a donation from me after my ebay auctions end today. :)

    Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 10:36 am | Permalink
  19. Mekal wrote:

    You are the one place on the internet I check 3 times a day to see if anything new has been posted. I love you and the way you write, your story is relative to all of us. I too have made huge very open mistakes and wondered if it would all come together in the end, but it does, kinda.
    Your writing and all the momentum this blog has created has really had an effect on me and because I am too enamored with the status I think this blog holds, I keep quiet. But you, who truly holds feminism to new standards(in keeping that feminism does include Support and Respect)I wanted to let you know that your words are always welcome and so are your thoughts, they have become essential. Your brand of Feminism is what we need. So don’t stop or I will have to beat you down:)
    Much Love,
    Just another Feminist

    Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 10:40 am | Permalink
  20. topaz_girl wrote:

    My best friend introduced me to your blog, and it is one of the best things she has ever done for me. And you did the rest.

    You were the first feminist blog I ever read. I didn’t know feminism/feminists could be funny until I was checking the blog every day. Not that I thought all feminists were humorless and scolding, but I didn’t realize how FUCKING AWESOME-HILARIOUS feminists are. You introduced me to more of my (now) favorite activism blogs. You and your journey have helped me find both my own way to feminism and a way to question it, should I go astray. You put beautiful, funny, wise words to the frustration I couldn’t define.

    That’s not nothing. Sady, when you’re learning, a lot of us are learning WITH you. A billion thanks to you and the other TBD contributors.

    Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 11:14 am | Permalink
  21. Ellie wrote:

    I just want to join in with the general outpouring of love and support! I love you and you are awesome, and also obviously a completely real person! So that’s excellent.

    Also, over the past year I have been revising the way I think about things like, for example, culture, and credit two people/things for this: one of my English professors, and Tiger Beatdown. By seeing that there are other people out here (and not only people who write blogs! But people who read them too, and comment) who also care about things which we are told, persistently, that we should not “waste time” caring about, like media and culture (WTF?), has made me more willing to approach those things (media and culture, and literature too) prepared to question, and doubt, my own (and others’) ingrained responses. And those things (doubt, and questions) are really the only things you need to start living intelligently. That, and to start questioning your own privilege, which leads back to questioning your own (ingrained) responses. Which you have also pointed me towards, and for which I am grateful.

    (So, I can’t remember if I comment here as “Evie” or as “Ellie”. Bummer.)

    Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 11:35 am | Permalink
  22. Brigitte wrote:

    I have nothing eloquent or insightful to offer, primarily because I have a raging hangover. Except maybe that. In my horrid, head-pounding, body-aching state, I still read and am moved to comment, because I very much want you to keep on.

    Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Permalink
  23. Ennu wrote:

    I love this blog. I’ve been reading it since (and I apologize in advance for reminding everyone of this movie!) the post you wrote on Observe and Report. I loved it so much that I spent the next few weeks feverishly reading through the archives and have read it every day since. The fact that you brought on new (smart! funny!) people with different backgrounds has only made it better. I can always count on this place to make me laugh and to make me think.

    Thanks so much for making it!

    Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Permalink
  24. Erin wrote:

    Pun explanation:

    ‘Tiger Beat’ used to be a popular celebrity gossip magazine for 12 year old girls. It might still exist, but last time I saw it, it was full of pictures of Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, and Brittany Spears. If it still exists, it is probably back to back Justin Bieber.

    So the blog name is a play on words with the silly magazine.

    Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Permalink
  25. Alicia wrote:

    For years, I just smiled and grit my teeth and made noncommittal noises whenever someone said something racist/sexist/homophobic/etc. because it was rude to just up and argue with someone in a polite conversation. Sure, it made my gut churn, but there was a time and a place for arguing, it was called college, and I was not in it anymore.

    I no longer do this, or at least not so much. I’m getting better. In fact, I’ve had more arguments about real things in the past year than in the previous quarter-century. I’ve changed some opinions, and had some of mine changed as well.

    Tiger Beatdown: helping people not put up with bullshit, whether other people’s or one’s own.

    Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Permalink
  26. JustDucky wrote:

    Um… my only suggestion?

    MOAR! I want MOAR!

    Serously, though: I really like what you’re doing here. It’s good stuff. Makes me laugh like no other feminist-oriented site does – and that’s too bad, because everyone seems to take themselves WAY. TOO. SERIOUSLY. Which, I suppose, has its place, but gets a little too much.

    Thanks for keepin’ it real.

    Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Permalink
  27. ari wrote:

    i love you. i fucking love you! start liking girls, move to the bay area, we’ll be happy. i love this post. do whatever you want – love it.

    Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Permalink
  28. mmr wrote:

    You are amazing. I only just recently discovered tiger beatdown and I bookmarked it immediately. I don’t know you, but I am proud of you. The journey is the destination!!!

    Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 6:10 am | Permalink
  29. strato wrote:

    Being a Strong Independent Feminist Woman in a world of patriarchy should lead to righteous conflict, one would think. But most of the time the nemesis is nothing but a nebulae of hostility and mixed signals, of infuriating expectations and invisible limits… so the path of the a Strong Independent Feminist Woman is often less epic than it is confusing and frustrating. If we keep it from being depressing, we save the day (meaning: you save the day).

    Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 8:06 am | Permalink
  30. the rejectionist wrote:

    DON’T! STOP! BELIEVING!

    Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Permalink
  31. R wrote:

    Um HELLO, Tiger Beatdown is a hilarious pun. It’s at least 10% of the reason why I continue to read your blog [during work hours] even though your posts are so deliciously long that I end up spending half the day reading them. Because I laugh a little every time I see “Tiger Beatdown.” Hilarious.

    Monday, August 23, 2010 at 10:06 am | Permalink
  32. the scarlet varlet wrote:

    ok seriously. here’s the thing about Sady Fucking Doyle i just cannot get over: she is not afraid to SAY IT. i’ve come to depend on you, Sady, to remind me that we as women can say it, whatever that means for each of us, and we should say it every day.
    it’s a simple equation:
    part 1) you inspire me to speak about my experience; the fact that you think the world should hear you makes me wonder if the world should hear me too.
    part 2) you have a skill set that helps you disseminate this FUCKINGAWESOME material en masse. you have a great team behind you. as a reader of TBD, i feel a connection to lots of ideas i never knew existed outside my own brain, and i now know these people are on my team, too. no matter what TBD becomes, it IS, and i’m so thankful for that.

    Monday, August 23, 2010 at 11:17 am | Permalink
  33. alanna wrote:

    I second JustDucky – I require more updates! Like, if you could update every hour on the hour (who needs sleep?) or possibly every minute? That would be perfect. Please get on that immediately!

    On a more serious note: this is my favorite blog, and my favorite community. Sady, Garland, Silvana, Rejectionist, commenters, anyone I’m forgetting – thank you for creating a space where we can discuss and disagree respectfully. Thank you for challenging me, encouraging me, and goading me to be a better person. We are all the revolution!

    Monday, August 23, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Permalink
  34. Emily wrote:

    I am another of your (and TB’s) adoring fans. I don’t use an RSS feeder, so I come to TB at least 12,000 times a day hoping to see a new update for me to devour. I love the way you apply feminism to practical, every day issues in such a thoughtful and original way. Watching you and the other writers wrestle with how to dissect the narrative fed to us by the hegemonic perspective and rearrange it to be viewed through a feminist lens has given me the intellectual tools to do the same in my own life.

    Your writing is clever and entertaining and funny! Without sacrificing substance or thoughtfulness. There is no other blog I know of that compares — if there is, please let me know!

    On a side note, I really miss the Sexist Beatdown. I know Amanda left the Sexist, but I’d still love to see more Sady+Amanda team-ups here on TB.

    Monday, August 23, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Permalink
  35. Dr. Vanessa wrote:

    Sady fuckin’ Doyle! Thank you for the TBD blog. You provide insight, humor and perspective in a feminist sanctuary. A refuge, if you will (and I know you will). Like many others, I also openly share my love of TBD with friends and family. When I think they are not reading the links I send, I have taken to reading them out loud to my brother and sisters whenever I get them cornered. And they love it too. When brother asks, “Why do you find Avatar offensive?” TBD is there for me! My sister with children has asked me to keep “TBD for Teenz” (the sex education entry) to share with her kids when they are old enough. For all the other things you (and your team) provide, which many comments have enumerated here, I thank you. I also want to thank you for the practical, action-able information you provide.

    Of course, TBD often makes me laugh out loud at work — unattractive, cackling, ridiculous laughter. Today was no different. Several LOL moments; but the BEST: “I’ve been to Netroots, but I’ve never been to me.”

    Heavens… that has MADE. MY. DAY. And reminded me of some of the terrifying pop culture that taught me about being a woman when I was a young girl. I remember listening to that song very closely, trying to learn what my choices were going to be as a grown up. Wow. I just re-read the lyrics and remember I was intrigued by “the things a woman ain’t supposed to see.” Thankfully, Top 40 songs and Rice’s musical “Evita” were not my only influences as a girl learning to be a woman. Not the best lessons… but not the worst either! I am glad that girls today have “internet feminism” and especially TBD.

    Thanks again for articulating, problematizing, and theorizing your experiences AND letting us all in on the process. The personal is the political and vice versa. And don’t let “The Menz” keep you down!

    Monday, August 23, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Permalink
  36. Em wrote:

    I love your style. I love what you say. I love your writing. That is all.

    Monday, August 23, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Permalink
  37. Nikki wrote:

    I live in Holland where only old rich people have credit cards, but I’m getting one, solely to pay for things on the internet, and when I say pay for things on the internet, 90% of the time I mean getting Sady Doyle food and drinks and with that I will leave a comment to say Tiger Beatdown is my big refer-to website and I’ve got Silvana’s “Like I am a disappointment to the human race by not living up to my god given potential to be fuckable” written in white board marker underneath my mirror. Keep up the good work.

    Then, because you asked, in my opinion the good work is a variety of writers commenting from different, challenging perspectives on issues in popular and/or contemporary culture. With jokes. And heart.

    Monday, August 23, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Permalink
  38. Jesse wrote:

    This comment thread and the article together is a nice reminder for me that nobody else feels perfect either. Sady, your genre here may be internet feminism (at the moment; and if you change it I think you can see most or all of your readers would not just follow you but ENTHUSIASTICALLY follow you) but posts like these also belong to an uber-genre one might call “What it’s like to be a person” (or, “literature”). If the Sady persona, or at least the real-you-talking-about-the-Sady-persona persona, allows you to reach, and tickle, the universal humanity of a decent number of what seems like very cool people, I would say: don’t feel too guilty about maintaining it. This is about as good as gets, for writing. The internet is such an ugly mess. Tiger Beatdown is one of the few places (maybe the only one I know of) that manifests the promise of the internet – the ability to share, MEANINGFULLY share something worth sharing. Like Turing said at #6, what more than this could we, in our wisdom, ask of you?

    Not many people have a talent for managing the internet: for making a space and protecting it. So that’s pretty sweet. But also: not many people have the ability to reflect on themselves and come up with the hard, difficult, correct answers, and also share them. That’s art, as practiced by the masters. As long as you keep it up you’ll keep changing, gaining and shedding pieces of personality. That’s how you know you’re doing it right. So I would say to you, if you really are looking for our opinions: no matter what anyone says, or how much good we say it does us, don’t retain this Sady persona artificially. Use it as a voice or a tool if you can separate yourself from it and want to – maybe you already are – but let go when it begins to restrict or smother you. Don’t stay for us, just keep going. You’ve discovered some nugget of truth, and don’t trade it for our adulation. Hold on to it. It’ll rise like a bubble to the surface.

    Christ, what am I even saying anymore? The fact that you can make us start talking like this with one short blog post would seem to argue that you’re onto something. Whatever you do, as long as you keep making jokes like “New plans to kill the Batman!” I will be your willing follower.

    Monday, August 23, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Permalink
  39. Austin wrote:

    I’ve never commented before, but I have to say this post sums up why Sady Doyle is one of the best, sharpest, most thought-provoking writers out there. So much political and cultural commentary comes from a place of righteous rage and pure snark, and while there’s plenty of that here, too, there’s also a healthy heaping of introspection and questioning. I love that.

    Monday, August 23, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Permalink
  40. Emily wrote:

    I’m commenting again! Because this post inspired me to read the 18 months of back articles I had not previously thought to read, having only discovered the joy of Sady’s writing in May of this very year!

    And there is an article, circa November 2008, on which comments are now closed, in which Sady takes Dan Savage to task for being an immense douchebag. And the people wept with joy!!! I have been hating Dan Savage for a very long time, and have long been disconcerted by his popularity in feminist circles, particularly among that subcircle of feminists calling themselves “sex-positive feminists” which sounds awfully great, being as how I love sex and I love equality, but then they go and endorse things like drugging your wife so you can sleep with her unconscious form via “implied consent” AND BIZARRELY LABEL THIS “SEX-POSITIVISM” AND NOT RAPE. I find Savage’s advice belittling if not hostile to almost everyone who is not a cisgendered man and I’m SO GLAD to see another feminist who clearly is not “sex-negative” calling him out on it.

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Permalink
  41. Farore wrote:

    I have been following you since (almost) day one, and I am just as, if not more, happy with the blog content as I was when I first found it. Yes, it’s a journey of personal discovery; yes, it’s often lighthearted; yes, it’s an experiment. But that’s why I started reading to begin with, and as you add more writers (and jokes!) I only grow more interested.

    When I first entered the feminist blag-o-webs, my point of entry was Shakesville. I was really interested, and so happy to have a ‘safe space’ online. After a while, though, I began to lose interest in feminist blogs, because while they were engaging and safe and oh my god, someone else sees this stuff too, after a while the cumulative effects of so much depressing news, every day, weighed on me. As someone who struggles with depression and anxiety, I was finding that, even with trigger warnings, and PC commenting rules, and all that, the constant influx of bad news, hopelessness (which Shakesville’s concept of ‘using teaspoons to empty the ocean’ didn’t help), and frustration was too much for me.

    But I was reading Tiger Beatdown by now. And it was, and continues to be, a flash of sunshine in my day, a splash of citrus in the bitter tonic the sexist world was feeding me. I could choose to laugh rather than to cry; I found that call-outs worked a lot better when made with a joke than with an accusation; I could disdain and mock sexism rather than fearing it, at least some of the time.

    And when Shapely Prose went on vacation in favor of fluff posts; when Shakesville’s occasional bouts of cisprivilege-fail became too frequent for me to feel safe there anymore; when the comments section at Jezebel and on Broadsheet were no longer worth the spoons it took to dig through the garbage for the gems; when the hopelessness and infighting and daily grind of the rest of the blog-world was too much for me, there was Tiger Beatdown.

    These days, I don’t read hardly any other feminism blogs, not regularly. I follow links from TB when they’re given, and I check in on a handful of others to see if I’m missing anything. I feel a lot more positive about the whole feminism thing, and when someone makes a sexist or racist remark, I mock them instead of feeling wounded. I’m working on my own blog, even though I don’t often have the time to write that I wish I did, and every writer here inspires me. Including, and especially, Sady-fuckin’-Doyle.

    So, yeah. Overshare, it’s what Farores are best at. But I wanted you to know – even though I can rarely afford to donate, even though I go weeks at a time without commenting, whatever – Tiger Beatdown is my *real* safe space. Not because I’ll never see privilege or fuck-ups or whatever here, not because we jump all over people perceived as being ‘bad feminists’, not because of a harsh set of commenting rules, but because of the attitude I have home-grown from seeds TB gave me. Because when Tiger Beatdown..ers? Tiger Beatdown Deliverers? Tiger Beatdownians? … whatever, when we see someone committing a fail, we go ‘hey, you failed, this is how, maybe don’t do that’. Or better yet, ‘haha, you failed! [BONERS]!’ Because the people who write here are real people, not trying to be almighty blogmixtrices, not trying to be perfect, just being their thoughtful, funny, messy selves. It gives me room to be myself, too. And it gives me jokes for ammo and a sharp tongue as a weapon when I go out into the world.

    Which, funnily, has been happening a lot more often since I started reading Tiger Beatdown.

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Permalink
  42. Alyssa wrote:

    I just want to add to the love (I subscribe now weee!!!)and say that I think I’ve probably read everything you’ve written at this point (that is everything online anyway I’m not stalking you and reading your childhood stories or anything) and all I have to say is please keep writing, and bringing the awesome and the jokes. At the very least thanks for convincing me to watch Veronica Mars! ;) I apologize if this makes no sense for am I sick and somewhat delirious.

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Permalink
  43. This is one herd I don’t mind being a part of. I love you, Sady Doyle, and I love Tiger Beatdown and everything else you write. I mean that. I really do love you, the person, no matter what persona or journey or what you’re publishing. If there’s ever anything a random person in California can do for you, don’t be afraid to look me up.

    Okay, now that that embarrassing confession is over… The thing I love most about Tiger Beatdown is that it allows me to think about being wrong, or confused, or misinformed, and not being a bad or worthless person because of it. That’s something I struggle with every day – if I can’t Do It Right, then what good am I?

    Not only that, but it allows me to be right, and know it, even if the world tells me otherwise. I am MAGNILO-FUCKING-QUENCE, and that is a good thing.

    Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Permalink
  44. Pepper wrote:

    Oh man. Yeah. I’ve been a lurking reader for years now, and you know, I love TB so much. I love it like puppies and banana bread and the look of dawning awareness on the face of someone coming up another step out of the cesspool that is our sexist culture. I don’t think anyone should fool themselves into believing that they aren’t actually creating a heteronym(thanks Pessoa!)when they write for an audience. Who among us hasn’t gained much of our early writing experience writing to a person we wanted to impress, or get a good grade out of or whatever. That makes it no whit less powerful or honest or happy-making.Really, on the balance, I’ve done things that worked out less well than this to impress my boyfriends, so, you know, I think you can claim it as a win :D . Everything everyone else has said times all the adorable kittens in the world.

    Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 2:37 am | Permalink
  45. Oh man. Yeah. I’ve been a lurking reader for years now, and you know, I love TB so much. I love it like puppies and banana bread and the look of dawning awareness on the face of someone coming up another step out of the cesspool that is our sexist culture. I don’t think anyone should fool themselves into believing that they aren’t actually creating a heteronym(thanks Pessoa!)when they write for an audience. Who among us hasn’t gained much of our early writing experience writing to a person we wanted to impress, or get a good grade out of or whatever. That makes it no whit less powerful or honest or happy-making.Really, on the balance, I’ve done things that worked out less well than this to impress my boyfriends, so, you know, I think you can claim it as a win :D . Everything everyone else has said times all the adorable kittens in the world.

    Friday, August 27, 2010 at 1:49 am | Permalink
  46. N'Awlins Contrarian wrote:

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’ve written, and published, a lot of very thought-provoking material. Hell, I usually have a very different political and philosophical viewpoint than you do, but I STILL really enjoy–and probably benefit from–reading TBD.

    You can’t, don’t need to, and should not worry about solving all the world’s problems. Just try to keep making positive contributions.

    As long as you don’t take yourself too seriously, are honest enough to admit your failings and frailties (as you did above!), and retain some ability to laugh at yourself, keep at it!

    Friday, August 27, 2010 at 11:52 pm | Permalink
  47. mulierosity wrote:

    …and the navel gazing goes on for a week -_-

    MORE TB plzkthxbye

    Saturday, August 28, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Permalink
  48. William wrote:

    I’m late to the party on this one, but:

    A) That you are actually a human being is not shocking, except perhaps to you.

    B) Writers write. You’re a fountain of talent. Don’t stop writing.

    C) I’m not here for what you are, exactly. I’m here for how you become. This post is a fine example of that.

    D) You’ve taught me a lot. I appreciate it.

    Tuesday, August 31, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Permalink
  49. dunes wrote:

    I guess this is the post where a lot of lurkers come out of the woodwork. I’ve been reading TBD regularly for about a year, finally donated a few weeks ago, and love sharing your posts with others. I put you, Sady Fucking Doyle, in my top 3 influential women writers, up there with Naomi Klein and Laura Carlson. I guess I don’t have a lot to say that hasn’t been said (thus the not commenting before) but here’s one more person who you have brought insight and MIRTH to. I hope you keep writing because you want to. I too have realized some important things about my life from your blog and also am glad to be better armed against the SEXISM IT IS EVERYWHERE and thanks for the giggles.

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Permalink