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So, Just So We’re Clear:

Let me take a second here to paint a target on my back. And then, let’s talk about feminist media. Because here’s the history of feminist media on the Internet, as I understand it. It goes:

  • People start writing about their feminism on the Internet.
  • People start doing it for themselves.
  • People do this for free.
  • Or they do it for sub-minimum wages.
  • Women lose their jobs and become the targets of national smear campaigns because they do this.
  • Women are stalked and threatened with rape and death because they do this.
  • And they keep doing it anyway. Because they care. Because they think it matters. Because talking about feminism online provides a community, a safe space, a way to find people who will support you and help you educate yourself and challenge you, and it provides many, many girls and women with free resources for becoming stronger and improving their own lives.
  • Several media corporations go into the business of creating spaces like this.
  • These spaces often get high traffic, are profitable, and are rewarded with plentiful attention and praise, and the people who create spaces for feminist media but don’t do it for profit, or who do it for a profit that isn’t exactly profitable, join in the praise and support. They welcome those blogs.
  • Again, because they care. They believe that these issues are so important, and that media centered around them is so valuable, that they don’t especially care whether it’s “corporate” or volunteer, whether they’re at the top of the heap or not: They just want the spaces to exist. And there are women doing good work in those spaces, so we praise and link to and comment upon and enable them financially.
  • One space becomes more prominent than all the rest — so prominent that its name becomes synonymous with “feminist blogging.” Because it is, often, really fucking good, this is fine.
  • This site publishes a piece advocating sexual assault.
  • Or maybe it’s just a rape joke.
  • Either way, Jezebel, Happy Thanksgiving. Your gratitude inspires us all.


  1. warhol's gnarwol wrote:


    I’ve been a reader of TBD for a little more than a year, and I just want to say how much I appreciate having a place online to read and learn about feminism.

    What you and Garland and the rest of the TBD staff have demonstrated to the rest of us is that it’s “okay” to be ask the hard questions, to stand up for what you believe in, and to be consistent about your beliefs, even if it doesn’t always generate “controversy” or billions of pageviews.

    I know that blogging isn’t the most lucrative career path, but after the consent post on Jez, I’m really thankful for Tiger Beatdown. Thank you for your continued eloquence and bravery- have a lovely holiday.

    Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Permalink
  2. kiturak wrote:

    @ Dora, lol right!
    But they (Canadians, btw, and to be sure I’m not thinking this is something specifically Canadian, nor that they were any more sexist than guys from elsewhere in the world, really! I liked them very much! hey Canada!) were expecting that *before going there*. Paaarissss (= France), where wild women have sex with strangers ALL THE TIME.
    I won’t deny that kind of notion doesn’t exist for other countries, usually from an extremely racist attitude. But it seems to me like there’s some special fantacizing going on about France especially, as opposed to other western European countries.

    Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Permalink
  3. kiturak wrote:

    (won’t deny it does exist, is what I wanted to say. Sorry!)

    Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Permalink
  4. drinkwater wrote:

    One of the above commenters described Jezebel as “ostensibly feminist,” and I think that’s an apt description. I think it would be even more apt to say that Jezebel is feminist for pay. Their job is to get hits, and they’ll do that by whatever means possible. Writing indignantly about gender inequity has gotten them hits. Exploiting the public’s love of gossip and famewhoring has also gotten them paid. I didn’t mind for the longest time because I’m an easy sell to most gossip. It’s always been more interesting to see the community that has been built around their writing.

    But it’s been made repeatedly clear that they don’t give a shit about that community. When it comes down to it, they own the site, and they’ll censor anyone who doesn’t agree with them. And as of late, the quality of the public conversation has reflected that.

    However, having said all that, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with giving voice to the opposition. We are not so weak that we can’t take an opposing viewpoint, which is what I thought this article was about. The man who wrote it is a moron. Who cares what he thinks? I thought it was a straw man propped up to be whacked down publicly. If the dude wants to set himself up for that, who am I to protest? I disagree with his opinion, not with Jezebel’s choice to publish his opinion. Big difference.

    Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Permalink
  5. Annie wrote:

    @K Not K
    WELL DONE! You said it better than I ever could.

    Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Permalink
  6. April wrote:

    Perfect. Thank you for writing this post.

    I started reading Jezebel a few years ago but then stopped because it was just too much to keep up with. I started visiting again a couple of months ago and really started to like it. Until this…

    Oddly enough, right around the time I re-joined Jezebel, I was raped. It was the one place that I could be open and honest about it. Now? Not so much.

    Briana commented up there that she started crying at work when she read the post. Yeah me too but I was at home by myself.

    I’ve only read TBD a few times, after someone linked to it on Jezebel. But I think I’ll be spending more time here now.

    Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Permalink
  7. Brett K wrote:

    Oh my god. I’m a Canadian woman living in Paris, and that piece made me feel physically ill. Honestly, before I came here, I never got male attention. I was always kind of jealous of the girls who got catcalled and hit on all the time.

    Then I came to Paris. The author is right about the men here – they don’t care about consent. They don’t see anything wrong with hitting on a woman after she’s indicated her disinterest, of physically touching someone they’ve run into on the street, of getting a girl drunk in order to get her into bed. It’s disgusting and scary. I’ve had to start avoiding restaurants and shops that I used to go to just because the guys who work there won’t take no for an answer. I’ve stopped wearing make-up or fitter clothing because I’m afraid that dudes will take that as an invitation.

    I love this city and a lot of the people in it, but the men here terrify me. And I can’t speak for French women – maybe they’re used to it, maybe they’ve come to terms with it, I don’t know – but all of that bargaining for sex that supposedly allows us to get exactly what we want? Bullshit. All the bargaining I do is with the goal of getting these guys to leave me alone.

    That Jezebel article is not an “opposing viewpoint”. It is a straightforward advocation of sexual assault. I’ve always enjoyed Jezebel, but I’m done with it now. The only consolation I feel is that most of the commenters on that post seem to feel the same way.

    Oh, and by the way, Dudebro, we don’t emphasize consent because of some puritanical fear of pleasure. We emphasize it because we believe everyone is entitled to pleasure, even if they happen to be female. I hope you never get laid again, asshole.

    (Wow, this was a really long comment, especially considering that I’m normally a lurker. Thanks for this post, Sady, even if it has made me horribly depressed.)

    Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Permalink
  8. Brett K wrote:

    *fitted clothing. Apparently I can’t spell when I’m angry.

    Also, I would like to echo the commenters who pointed out that this guy’s exoticizing bullshit is in no way representative of actual French culture. This guy is clearly taking all of his cues from the assholes (who are a prominent group, sadly) and ignoring everyone else. Also: French feminists are awesome.

    Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Permalink
  9. Pennyworth wrote:

    Jezebel doesn’t post trigger warnings. I genuinely respect and understand why some sites choose to do so, but that’s not us. Depending on an individual’s experience, so many different things can be a trigger — we’re not going to determine what is and isn’t worth a warning.

    Translation: it’s too hard to think about how what we’re saying might upset people, so we’re not going to. It’s up to you to psychically determine whether an article might be about how sexual assault is actually OK before you read it.

    Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Permalink
  10. Jenny North wrote:

    Is this Edward Pasteck dudebro simply Nick Pedersen, who published this article last week?,0,1047341.story

    (thanks to Feministe –

    If so, Jezebel is even more wretched and misguided than I thought possible.

    Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Permalink
  11. Doctor Nick wrote:

    Good article, but your website renders very strangely on chrome (the column has a width of one character, so every word is followed by a line break)

    Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Permalink
  12. Diverkat wrote:

    Longtime lurker, coming to say that I love Tiger Beatdown and this article is pretty much exactly why.

    Jezebel has spat in the faces of its readers too often lately. I’m done with them. Jessica Coen’s disingenuous non-apology was the icing on that shitcake.

    Sady, never stop being awesome.

    Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Permalink
  13. rebecca wrote:

    I’m glad there’s you.

    Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 11:54 pm | Permalink
  14. fachero wrote:

    I’ve always thought is synonymous with feminist blogging. Jezebel has always seemed like a tabloid to me. A better tabloid, but a tabloid still.

    Friday, November 26, 2010 at 2:23 am | Permalink
  15. Alien Tea wrote:

    Comment on the article by Jessica Cohen:

    Hey everyone-
    A few things, just to address the multiple concerns and let you know that no, your words are not falling on deaf ears.

    – Let’s get it out of the way: This was not published for traffic-baiting purposes. We are not compensated on page views; the sort of traffic this post produces is not the sort of traffic upon which the site’s success is measured. If you’re actually curious about the Gawker Media business model, that information is easily accessible via a basic online search.

    – Jezebel doesn’t post trigger warnings. I genuinely respect and understand why some sites choose to do so, but that’s not us. Depending on an individual’s experience, so many different things can be a trigger — we’re not going to determine what is and isn’t worth a warning. That’s your personal call. In a similar vein, you should not expect Jezebel to always be a safe space. That can be defined in so many ways; what is and isn’t safe for you is, again, a matter of your judgment.

    – This was posted because while it’s indeed bullshit, it was bullshit that was written with a degree of thought and articulation that, even for its many failings, was earnest. Pasteck’s purpose was not to attack but, misguided as he may be, to present his perspective to this audience. Okay, well, I’ll let him put it out there because I worked at length with him, both of us knowing that it would be controversial; a Jezebel staff member has met with him in person, spoken with him on-record, and debated this issue with him. Ultimately I felt that his conviction, and the manner in which he presented it, was fit to post. I don’t necessarily agree with every single thing a writer here may say, but if I’m okay with how they present their case, I will run their post. Same goes here.

    Finally: I have read every single email and most of these comments (and will continue to do so, even if I am unable to further respond). I am sorry that so many of you find it personally disturbing; that was never the intention. A heated discussion, sure. But not to disturb anyone.

    (And just so you don’t think I’m ignoring any of this, a heads up that I cannot jump back into the comments and continue a discussion right now — I have to interact with family, whether I like it or not.)

    If you’re celebrating, have a good holiday.

    (thought you all might like to read it without having to give the site any traffic)

    Friday, November 26, 2010 at 3:32 am | Permalink
  16. harperleebowitz wrote:

    I’ve been reading Jezebel since they launched, and have forgiven them a lot of bull. (everything I’m about to type makes going back to them sound like an abusive relationship! ugh.) Mostly, I’ve stayed for the kids, er, commenters.

    Sady, thank you for this post.

    GODOTMO, I’m right behind you!

    Friday, November 26, 2010 at 8:32 am | Permalink
  17. lijakaca wrote:

    I thought it was just that I had ‘graduated’ Jezebel a year or so ago after finding more relevant feminist spaces for me, but it seems my instincts were right and it is changing for the worse. I read it religiously a couple of years ago, then started reading political and more non-101 blogs more, and now I hardly go there at all. It makes me sad, because I think a lot of people took baby steps towards feminism with Jezebel, but it seems like now along with baby steps (getting people to recognize photoshopping nad impossible beauty standards, calling out sexism in politics etc.), there are now huge leaps back mixed in too, which defeats the purpose.

    Friday, November 26, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Permalink
  18. Other Becky wrote:

    For those of you who have mentioned having been regular Jezebel readers due to the frequency of posts, Shakesville has multiple posts per day, and Womanist Musings is updated fairly often as well.

    Friday, November 26, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Permalink
  19. Napalmnacey wrote:

    What Other Becky said. Shakesville also has a really thriving community, and has open socialising posts most days of the week.

    But I love to come here for the snark. Sady, keep rockin’ in the free world, gorgeous.

    Friday, November 26, 2010 at 11:37 pm | Permalink
  20. Laurennmcc wrote:

    Sady, and all you other commenters:
    Thanks everyone. I really needed to see this. I have been trying to figure out what to do about my own Jezebel addiction. I was waivering, because it has been thru Jezebel that I found Tiger Beatdown, Feministing, Feministe, and a load of writers that I really enjoy. Plus, the commenters at Jezebel have been, for the most part, a really smarty pants bunch, well spoken and clever. Hard to find in group situations on the internets.
    I have to admit, however, the thing that has kept me coming back to Jezebel is the frequency and scope of the articles. Sady, I adore you, think you are smart as a tack, but you and Garland don’t post multiple times a day. (How dare you! It’s like you have something else to do besides entertain me!)Feministe and Feministing don’t have enough variety, or posts about clothes, cake or pie. (Yes, I am shallow, and enjoy a good pie fight.)
    This is what I want: I want a site that will hire Megan Carpentier and Amanda Marcotte and Sady and Garland, and Sarah Jaffe and Anna North. I want regular bylines from Lily Burana and Melissa Gira Grant. I want pop culture and serious political discussion and pretty dresses. I want a community online that reflects what I have seen offline: a feminism that is inclusive of many ideas, races, classes and experiences.
    Why is this so impossible?

    Friday, November 26, 2010 at 11:42 pm | Permalink
  21. Winnow wrote:

    All I have to say is: Jezebel, meh. Good-bye & good riddance.

    I fail to see how Pastek’s illustration of French sexual harassment/assault (a.k.a. courting) differs from the situation here in North America. Woman are often cat-called, propositioned, groped, etc, but it’s all ‘part of the game’. Men chase, women run, man occasionally catches woman, woman takes time out of her busy day to smile and patiently explain all of the reasons why she is not interested in having sex right at this moment with a perfect stranger, woman backs away slowly, always smiling, spends the rest of her day trying to figure out what she did to call attention to herself. Meanwhile, men are frustrated by all that cock-blocking consent business.

    French solution = get’er drunk! = North American solution

    What’s his problem?

    Right. I needed to get that off of my chest. Anyhoo…

    All I (really) have to say is: only TBD satisfies my need for the deeply serious snark; the kind that can gleefully eviscerate that slimy ball of sickened frustration that forms in the pit of my stomach upon exposure to all those Edward Pastecks out there. And, by dog, they are everywhere!

    Thank you Sady!

    Saturday, November 27, 2010 at 12:16 am | Permalink
  22. EmmeF wrote:

    Thank you for this. I’ll just give my page views to you. I have a few years of material to catch up on, after all.

    Saturday, November 27, 2010 at 11:33 am | Permalink
  23. Loadie wrote:

    I found you because of the crap they pulled, that is the last time I hit their site and I’m grateful to you for being!

    Saturday, November 27, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Permalink
  24. Bethany wrote:

    Just another “Thank you!” for saying what I wanted to — and for saying it so beautifully.

    Sunday, November 28, 2010 at 12:01 am | Permalink
  25. lil sis wrote:

    I love TBD, jezebel stinks. real feminist spaces for the win!!!!

    Sunday, November 28, 2010 at 7:29 am | Permalink
  26. Samantha B. wrote:

    Laurennmmc, I get your point-I like pretty dresses quite a bit!- but I am thinking maybe there is a value to getting that information from disparate sources? The problem is that once you try to become an all inclusive site for women you start to define what femininity should look like- something that’s always really discomfited me about Jezebel, even apart from the stuff that’s been flatly abhorrent.

    Sunday, November 28, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Permalink
  27. snobographer wrote:

    When I was banned from Jezebel and requested that my account be deleted, I received an e-mail from one of the admins saying they do make their money from page views.
    What supremely grates my cheese is all the women in the world can say unequivocally that no we don’t like being sexually harassed (duh!) and as soon as one guy comes along and says, “no really you find my lechery empowering” it’s his word that will generally be taken as the gospel truth on the subject.
    But no really I read it on a feminist blog so I’m doing you a big favor when I leer at your chest and pinch your butt. You’re welcome.

    Sunday, November 28, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Permalink
  28. smirkette wrote:

    I’m so happy to have found this site via the comments on the offending article. Jezebel’s lost my page views for good, and I’m stoked to have a better place to go to for interesting articles of the feminist persuasion.

    Sunday, November 28, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Permalink
  29. Occasional User wrote:

    Doctor Nick at #62: I had the same issue in Chrome, starting right after I installed AdBlock. I went into the AdBlock options and set it to stop blocking ads on and the formatting went back to normal.

    Sunday, November 28, 2010 at 11:24 pm | Permalink
  30. tapette wrote:

    The fact that Jezebel passes as today’s premiere feminist website deeply depresses me. Commenters who critique the editors’ problematic statements are banned after getting shot down in a totally defensive manner. I just can’t fathom why any feminist site would continue to support bloggers like Tracie Egan Morrisey or Jessica Coen.

    Monday, November 29, 2010 at 12:44 am | Permalink
  31. jules wrote:

    @Doctor Nick

    Good article, but your website renders very strangely on chrome (the column has a width of one character, so every word is followed by a line break)

    I am a fellow Chrome user, and have never had this problem? (Is this a spam comment? It kind of reads like one, though the rendering problem is pretty random for spammers.)

    Monday, November 29, 2010 at 11:50 am | Permalink
  32. j. cruel wrote:

    Am I the only one who read the Jezebel article and wasn’t offended? The position articulated by the globe-trotting legal critique in training is absurd and offensive in a plethora of different ways but I see no reason a Jezebel editor must walk us through a critique of it. It was posted because it was offensive–to open up conversation in the discussion thread about notions of consent, aggression, and puritanical sexual ideation. No one at Jezebel is advocating his position and I cannot fathom how a frequent reader of the site would take it as such.

    Monday, November 29, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Permalink
  33. rsood4 wrote:

    I for one am happy to have found a place that recognizes the ridiculousness of Jezebel’s post and can articulate it clearly. I really am done with Jezebel, and although this obviously isn’t intended to be a contest, Tiger Beatdown wins in my book.

    Monday, November 29, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Permalink
  34. ginmar wrote:

    Do you thnk this was somehow new? Do you think we needed to see this for zillionth time? Did you read any of the comments?

    Monday, November 29, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Permalink
  35. Jinian wrote:

    Logical flaws abound, my favorite of which is that the French women who go to the places he’s talking about represent All French Women Ever, not just those who appear to buy into the groping regime. I gotta say, though, I love the picture with the article. He’s his own Privilege Denying Dude!

    Monday, November 29, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Permalink