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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. KJO wrote:

    Thank you thank you thank you (to Sady, not to Jezebel).

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Permalink
  2. bluebears wrote:

    Sady, thanks for writing this.

    I sometimes almost feel (no scratch that I usually feel) ridiculous for having standards concerning Jezebel. In a way it’s like, how dare I expect more from that place. But I do! Because even though they don’t announce that they are a feminist blog or call themselves a feminist blog they insinuate that that’s what they are. At least in part.

    To publish something like this?? I don’t know. I don’t know what to say. Deep disappointment.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Permalink
  3. k not k wrote:

    Mhm. I never bothered commenting at Jezebel and they can forget my page views now too. That article was the worst pile of crap I’ve seen in a long time.

    It’s unbelievable that they’d publish something like that!

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Permalink
  4. Boganette wrote:

    Thanks for this. I’m glad other people are feeling as pissed off as I am. Grrrr.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Permalink
  5. emjaybee wrote:

    It’s about pageviews, isn’t it? Pissing off angry feminists–who link to them–and generate traffic–is a marketing strategy.

    It’s an EVIL marketing strategy. But Jezebel in particular is prone to it. I don’t spend much time there pretty much for that reason. I’d rather Sady or Shakesville or Pandagon or Feministing got my pageviews.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Permalink
  6. godotmo wrote:

    Cue massive commenter exodus from Jezebel to Tiger Beatdown. Please. I’ll start!

    Honestly, I have hoped, more than once, that this migration would one day magically happen, because every single post on TBD fills my heart with love and joy and vehement feminist anger (but, you know, the productive, solidarity-driven, GOODNESS EXISTS, SOMEWHERE! kind)—but Jezebel is unrivaled in the size and depth of its pool of commenters and its ability to maintain conversations amongst so many thousands of people, so I’ve favored that site with my time and comments.

    But this is an unfair and lazy position to hold indefinitely. I’ve never commented at TBD at all—I’ve never tried to find, much less help to build, Jezebel’s kind of community elsewhere.

    So, I’m commenting! Because in light of today’s events, you deserve it a lot more, and if I’m secretly hoping for this mass migration to take place, I should maybe, you know, migrate myself.

    Thank you, TBD, for so consistently filling my heart with love and joy and productive, solidarity-driven, goodness-believing vehement feminist anger. I would like to give back to this site a lot more than I’ve been doing, starting now.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Permalink
  7. Miranda wrote:

    Pretty dope post right here.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Permalink
  8. WavetoIcarus wrote:

    Jezebel has gone to complete and utter drivel in the past year and a half. Mo might not have been my favorite, but right around when she left, the site changed and just became a shell of its former self.Offensive, triggering and utter crap.
    Thank you for writing this.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Permalink
  9. A Nonny Moose wrote:

    I’ve had problems with Jez for some time over their inconsistent stance towards disabilities, PoC, mommy-wars and their ableist language.

    They’re a site that shares a parent company with Gawker, Deadspin and Kotaku, 3 of the dudeliest of dudebro sites around.

    It is a site that really does sometimes embodies the image of feminism only belonging to white, middle class women. And being of that privilege, that really frigging frustrates me

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Permalink
  10. Sooz wrote:

    I like how that American fella assumes he understands how French ladies feel about their position in society.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Permalink
  11. Judy McGuire wrote:

    Thanks for writing this. I was too sputtering mad to be coherent about it. And let me clarify—not angry about the idiotic story (which was maddening, but at base, just really fucking stupid), but that Denton and Co. think we’re just a bunch of morons. I’m not going to post an outrage or wounded comment over there, I’m just going to “spend” my pageviews elsewhere.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Permalink
  12. tigtog wrote:

    Another voice saying thanks, Sady. I rarely click through to Jezebel any more, even though they still sometimes do some really good stuff. There comes a time when wading through shit to get the good stuff becomes just not worth it when there’s so much good stuff to read where no shit-wading is required.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Permalink
  13. Vertigo wrote:

    Thanks for this post Sady. I am still baffle by Jezebel that I don’t even know what to say…

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Permalink
  14. Regina wrote:

    Sady, thank you for writing this.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Permalink
  15. Kathy wrote:

    @ Blubears I never thought Jezebel was marketed (however subtly) as a feminist blog. Tasha Fierce at Feministe called it “Ostensibly Feminist,” and I think that’s apt.

    I’ve been a one-in-a-while commenter/daily reader at Jez for nearly two years, and it’s so disappointing how much it’s gone downhill, especially in the last few months. While I’d sort of accepted it as a young, straight, middle-class white lady site — and the commenters were always good at pointing this out until several of them were banned — I always had high expectations, too. I still want to, but it’s time to move on.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 6:06 pm | Permalink
  16. emh wrote:

    Adding to the thanks to TBD. I had no idea what to even write in the comment thread over at Jezebel. It was hard just believing they had indeed published that with such a pitiful disclaimer. I was waiting for the page to refresh and a notice appear saying “oops, we were hacked.”

    I’d been reading Jezebel for three years now, but I can’t find it in me to give them another chance.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Permalink
  17. Meredith wrote:

    I quit reading Jezebel a few months ago. I occasionally read Lifehacker, but that’s about all Gawker gets out of me now. I think it ultimately came from the (second) MizJenkins banning debacle in the end. The site has gone to hell in the past year or two and it makes me really sad. We need to make awesome spaces elsewhere. Like this space! <3

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Permalink
  18. bobella wrote:

    Thanks for summing this up, Sady. I’ve been reading Jezebel for several years, but the new management’s total lack of accountability for the last few months has really made me wonder why I bother anymore.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Permalink
  19. Shadow Boxer wrote:

    Thanks for this, Sady. I now feel totally fine with ignoring Jezebel entirely and not clicking through no matter who’s writing the piece. TBD is a lot friendlier, welcoming, and safer-feeling (ok, not a word, go with me here) than Jezebel has ever been to me.

    Thanks for calling them out, and thanks for providing a safe space.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Permalink
  20. Rachel wrote:

    I was new to Jezebel but only thought of it as a sorta-feminist site. Like, “We’ll yell and tell you when you’re wrong!” But not much substance. Plus there were a lot of hierarchy and power issues… not my kind of feminism.

    Also, the close ties to Gawker (et al) removed that notion from my head.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Permalink
  21. Ennu wrote:

    Between this and the gross article they linked to about Christine O’Donnell it is getting hard to take them seriously. I doubt ALL of the women who write there have a word in whether this kind of stuff gets posted on it, but someone does. And they should really fucking stop.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Permalink
  22. Al wrote:

    Thank you, Sady. Jezebel posting this article is an incredible betrayal of its readership, and I am relieved to see other, saner feminist bloggers calling it like it is.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Permalink
  23. manboobz wrote:

    This is what happens when a blog (that is, Jezebel) is more obsessed with ginning up page views through cheap controversy than it is with anything else.

    I’ve got a sarcastic little response to the Jezebel post on my blog.

    (It links back to here too.)

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Permalink
  24. ZA wrote:

    Thanks you. Jezebel has it’s head in the sand on this one. They are betraying everything they are supposed to stand for and without apology. Hell, they don’t even seem to notice. And they sure as hell don’t care what their commenters have to say about it.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Permalink
  25. shanachie wrote:

    Thanks TBD. I’ve been a long time reader of Jezebel but the last couple of months have had me wondering wtf several times. I think I’m finally done. I mostly haven’t found much of interest anyway. I found it somewhat cliquish and I detest cliques.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Permalink
  26. Mongoose6 wrote:

    I have really mixed feeling about Jezebel. They often try to be feminist, and are pretty feminist for a blog with their readership base. But they do make a lot of terrible mistakes. Primary among these, I think, is an undeserved sense of self-righteousness and an inability to apologize / correct course.

    Periodically I do want to completely disengage, but they are the biggest feminist blog (EVEN IF in name only). So, I don’t want to ignore the conversations that are started there, because I think that there is value in reaching a broader audience.

    From my own perspective (privileged rich white thin cis woman), I also don’t appreciate the constant parading of media idealized female beauty in celeb shots, magazine covers, and more. I thought that was covered in Feminism Pre-K.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Permalink
  27. Melissa wrote:

    OMFG. Was that Jezebel article supposed to be satire? ‘Cause if so…not particularly funny…but if not…then I can officially say I will NEVER go to Paris. (Not that it was financially in the cards anyway, but still, that’s fuckin’ scary.)

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 8:44 pm | Permalink
  28. MTS wrote:

    GODO TMO, I am with you! I follow Tiger Beatdown on RSS and it’s consistently…more consistent. And badder ass. And better written. Jezebel is like a big candy store — it’s not really good for you, but damn, those pretty colors sure look good.

    Anyway, written at the Jezebel has really gone downhill. I can read Gawker if I want to be condescended to.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Permalink
  29. Sir wrote:

    I second GOTOTMO’s motion to exeunt. Jezebel is so 2009. Tiger Beat Down is forever.

    I’ve had enough of the whine-o-sphere that is Jezebel. I’m ready for full-time TBD goodness. Sady, I’m a new reader but TBD’s consistently clever, relevant and critical content has me hooked. Thanks for being awesome!

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Permalink
  30. Devery wrote:


    That was the most elegant, perfectly done smackdown EVER. This post is like a fucking chess game. When you are at the top of your game, you are really at the top. THANK YOU.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Permalink
  31. Aliaras wrote:

    Oh god, I didn’t get past the first two paragraphs. I have a friend who was studying in Paris this summer and massively struggling with this attitude, and now someone on an ostensibly feminist site is going to praise it? What the hell?

    So, I’ll remove Jezebel from the even sometimes list. Damn.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Permalink
  32. Briana wrote:

    To echo everyone else, THANK YOU. I honestly adore Jezebel, and when I found that post, I started crying at work. I know that they don’t explicitly come out and say that they’re feminist, but writing about sexual assault, trigger warnings, sexism, etc. really made me feel like they were a safe space. I don’t think I’m the only one, either– half of the comments talk about how they were shocked this was on Jez and the other half was seriously triggered. It’s nothing short of revolting, and I’m just so utterly depressed by the idea of one of the few spaces that people like us have getting taken away like this. I already read TBD on a regular basis, but the non-regular posting (I totally understand that you folks have other obligations, this is not me going “why can’t you update more you suck”) is one of the reasons I made Jezebel such a huge part of my blog routine. I could get a several times daily dose of kittens and (quasi)feminist discourse! I really don’t want to take them off of my blogroll– hopefully they’ll recognize that they’re being total assholes and shape up.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 10:23 pm | Permalink
  33. Disappointed wrote:

    Even more disappointing, when Amanda wrote about this at Pandagon.

    A) She called the comment trolling “awesome sauce” and seemed to miss the whole hostility pretending to be satire issue.

    B)Didn’t question the idea France is some mega-pro-harassment zone, even though it was a clearly xenophobic sexist using this stereotype to excuse his own behavior. She admitted it didn’t match her own experience, but surmised that she had a male companion so the relentlessly sexual French must have stayed just out of sight.

    I like Amanda, but she sometimes has issues with privileged myopia on some things.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Permalink
  34. Abby wrote:

    Jezebel stopped being a safe space for me when they embraced ableist dialogue through the unapologetic use of the r-word both in a derogatory sense to explain individuals with intellectual disabilities, and as a synonym for stupid.
    That I cannot feel like an included human because of my disability, and that I am constantly reminded of the dehumanization of my sister because of her intellectual disability, in a place like Jezebel really frustrates and isolates me.
    So for me, this is the last straw, after many, many straws.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Permalink
  35. Shrinking Violet wrote:

    I’ve been a regular reader of TBD for awhile, and I love, love, LOVE the site but this is my first time commenting. I just want to say thank you for this post.

    My interest in Jezebel has been declining over the past year as I feel it’s steadily gone downhill and, as others have mentioned, I’ve been really disappointed in their treatment of issues concerning PoCs and PWDs among other things. Anyway, I think this is the last straw for me – I’m done with Jez for the foreseeable future. I’ll get my feminism from blogs that don’t publish articles advocating sexual harassment and assault, thanks.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 11:18 pm | Permalink
  36. Sady wrote:

    @Disappointed: I think the “awesome sauce” was more sarcastic, actually. She rips the piece apart; I doubt she thinks it’s “awesome.”

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 11:48 pm | Permalink
  37. Disappointed wrote:

    Jessica Cohen’s has posted an evasive “explanation” which kinda makes things worse.

    “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.”

    Yes, pretend that New Yorker article was never published.

    “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.”

    As many commenters point out:

    1. Since when is Jezebel about posting admitted bullshit from some random dude without context or explanation because he’s “sincere” about it? This is the site which has “crap email from a dude” as a feature – if this essay had appeared on any other site, they’d mock it relentlessly.

    2. The case is not well presented, it’s boilerplate rape denial.

    3. If the author is so sincere in his convictions, why is he hiding his identity? More importantly, why is Jezebel allowing him to do so when they are so often about naming names dish?

    3. Why this “diverse view” context part of the original post? Could it be that Jezebel / Jessica Cohen has rape apology issues as well? Was this some weird favor to a friend?

    4. Given the strict comment moderation and rules, plus a site branded on snark and calling out dudes, this sudden “I decided to put his articulate BS out there as a featured post” rings very very false.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 11:49 pm | Permalink
  38. Disappointed wrote:

    Sorry that should read: “Why wasn’t this “diverse view” context and explanation part of the original post?”

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 11:51 pm | Permalink
  39. Victoria wrote:

    Gross all around. Thank you for the concise smackdown.

    Also: Has this guy ever been to a bar in a US college town? Because his description of the scene behavior in Paris pretty easily fit my early 20s in the Midwest. And absolutely not in a good way.

    Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 12:08 am | Permalink
  40. K FONG wrote:

    I’ve been struggling for too long with a Jezebel habit. This habit is no longer healthy. I admit that I am powerless over bullshit and need help from a higher blogging standard; I seek guidance and strength through reading and commenting from a Blog as I understand it…

    Hi. I’m sort of new to TBD. Hopefully I’ll be here for awhile. God knows Jezebel no longer has my readership.

    Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 12:15 am | Permalink
  41. That piece was just awful. The idea that consent itself is an idea we ought to just “get over” is completely insane. I can’t understand how anyone would ever see that as remotely feminist, or even as a reasonable talking point. Analyze how we communicate about consent? Sure, let’s. Throw it under the bus? Um, no.

    Thanks for writing this.

    Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 12:17 am | Permalink
  42. brenbrowning wrote:

    Thank you for this post. I’m here at TBD for the first time and plan to stay.

    Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 1:39 am | Permalink
  43. Lara Foley wrote:

    Brilliant post

    I was initially found about this editorial on pandagon. I clicked the link noting that it was Jezebel and figured that the Jezbel article was going to be a scathing criticism of the piece in question. I was utterly shocked to find that the piece was actually a Jezebel original. What the hell were the editors thinking posting this without nary a comment or a critique, or even context, it was posted

    I read all the comments to the “editorial” and was even more disgusted by justifications for the post by Jessica Cohen which can be read here:

    Jezebel is clearly only a feminist blog when it suits them to be one.

    Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 3:08 am | Permalink
  44. Sigh wrote:

    The original post had no framing, just a marginally sarcastic headline to, if you were generous, mildly indicate the beliefs were not Jez’s. There was no ‘posted by’ attributed to the article. As the evening progressed, A little editor’s note appeared that explained that the author was planning to continue writing under his pseudonym. After a while, the word “elsewhere” was added to that. After a bit more time passed, “His views do not necessarily reflect the views of the site” was added, then a link to an explanation by Jessica here:

    To summarize, a pretty thin explanation at best. The commentariat was enraged, sounding a lot like what you read here, and at first glance, this appears to be a case of the editor making a huge mistake in understanding her readership, and very much not understanding how to address the situation. She denied the page views troll charge, but appeared to stand by her call.

    I am relatively new to the feminist blog world, and a male, but I have to say that when I read that article I felt dumbfounded at first at how they could make such a poor judgement call, but my shock was quickly eclipsed by cynicism. This was either a disappointingly cold and calculated move or a heinous error in judgement. After reflecting on this a lot, I am really leaning towards the cold and calculating theory. It seems unfathomable to me that Jessica Coen would not have understood what a shitstorm this article would engender, and given that, it seems that provocation was the point.

    Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 3:18 am | Permalink
  45. Kith wrote:

    This Jezebel article is repugnant.

    Also, how “funny” is it that it’s published the very day the national French campaign against rape begin?

    It appears that French women take the matter of consent at heart!
    Quelle suprise!

    The slogan for this campaign is “shame should switch sides”. Well, Mr. “Pasteck” and Jezebel, shame on you!

    Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 6:36 am | Permalink
  46. red wrote:

    hey, came across your site cos i’m interested in finding out more about feminist media. loved your critique. xo

    Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 8:10 am | Permalink
  47. k not k wrote:

    This is what I wrote to the editor of Jezebel. That stupid “apology” really got to me, I admit it!


    Your choice to run an article from an idiotic rape apologist who spent a couple of months as a tourist in a foreign culture and came back with a Unified Theory of American Women are Uptight Bitches… it was a shockingly bad choice. You ought to know better, and you ought to have realized this by now. Speaking as an American who’s lived in Europe for nearly 10 years, I assure you that his piece was not “well-argued” or “articulate”, it was a bunch of exoticizing crap about a society whose customs he never fully understood. France is only a paradise for heterosexual men who want to touch women without permission in his fervid imagination, maybe he should’ve spent more than a year there because without fluency in the language and immersion into the culture there is NO WAY a random American is going to understand everything about the dating game there. Allowing anyone who’s spent a year in another country to pop off about a complex aspect of that nation’s culture is an astounding choice for a publisher like you. It basically guarantees that the pieces you run about other cultures will have all the accuracy of Amerigo Vespucci’s accounts of the New World.

    It’s even more amazing that you chose to let some random dude run this piece on a site for women because you figured “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.” Is this honestly how you choose what to post on one of the most popular women’s sites on the Internet? You knowingly publish things that you realize are bullshit, because someone pitched a piece to you and you spent time working on it with him? That’s not even getting into the bizarre privilege of publishing it under a pseudonym, which you afforded to him. I really, really wonder what is going on here.

    In short, this man’s ignorance and condescending attitude toward women is obvious in his writing, his view of French culture is extremely skewed, and his thesis is laughable. Your apology is also incredibly weak – do you honestly expect your readers to be left *un*disturbed by a look into the brain of a rape apologist?

    You might want to consider a second try at an apology, perhaps an actual article that’s not buried randomly in the comments section. At least Gawker offered that type of transparency when they printed the tell-all about Christine O’Donnell.

    But in any case, I don’t think I am interested in visiting your site anymore.


    Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 9:10 am | Permalink
  48. Selmajezk wrote:

    I really thougt it was some kind of “april´s fool prank”.
    now my decision to “break up” with jezebel is finally made.
    I think I will like it over here.
    Great post!

    Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 9:49 am | Permalink
  49. arginusae wrote:

    Interesting that Jezebel decided to post that tripe on the eve of the International day for the elimination of the violence against women. So today, several French feminist organisations (Among them “Ni putes, ni soumises” (“neither whores nor dormats”, Mix-Cité and Le Collectif féministe contre le viol) are organising campaigns against street harassment, rape, domestic violence, and of course it gets talked about more in the press and on TV today because it’s November 25th…and lo, American dude who spent a few weeks in Paris and derived his trenchant sociological observations from what he saw in nightclubs on the Champs-Elysées, well, American dude KNOWS for a fact that French women are cool with that stuff. God save us from American expats projecting their shit on France (or on “Europe”, that totally monolithical entity of 30 or so countries, with different languages and different histories, but they’re ALL cool with sex and harassment, unlike these stuck-up American girls, apparently. American dude knows it because he spent three months in Paris and talked to a couple of French girls).

    As for Jezebel, I don’t even know what to say. But I suppose that the next time they post an indignant article on something awful they read in Marie-Claire or Cosmo, everyone will be entitled to tell them: “well, that doesn’t necessarily reflect the views of Marie-Claire and Cosmo, they just wanted to give a platform to that person who thinks that fat people are gross, or that women of color should stop complaining, to open dialogue, that’s ALL. You know, just like that time you opened your webpage to that rape apologist who decided that he knew everything about French women.” (Asshole, next time you decide to lecture American women about what they should accept from you, leave us out of it, okay? no, even better, shut up.)

    This is just vile. I’m disgusted.

    Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 9:59 am | Permalink
  50. kiturak wrote:

    Nothing to add here, except maybe:
    I’ve lived in France for three years. In my experience the whole point is completely unfounded bullshit, whishful thinking from the part of a rape apologist maybe, I don’t know. Par contre, what I realized when I was there was that a lot of dudes I spent time with, coming as exchange students from North America, seemed to come to France with some sort of preconceived notion of a romanticized Sex Utopia. I never understood where they got that from.

    Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 10:07 am | Permalink
  51. Dora wrote:

    I’ve heard this crap before, just not with the US vs. Paris. There’s always this guy who comes back from a trip to wherever saying “Dudes, the girls there are hotter and total sluts and they LOVE it when you whistle and grope and they will never call it sexual harassment, unlike the insane hostile women we have here.” Some men find solace in a fantasy about a magical faraway land where the women are life-sized sex toys that never talk back.

    Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 11:12 am | Permalink
  52. 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
  53. 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
  54. kiturak wrote:

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

    Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Permalink
  55. 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
  56. Annie wrote:

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

    Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Permalink
  57. 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
  58. 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
  59. 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
  60. 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
  61. 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
  62. 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
  63. 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
  64. rebecca wrote:

    I’m glad there’s you.

    Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 11:54 pm | Permalink
  65. 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
  66. 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
  67. 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
  68. 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
  69. 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
  70. 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
  71. 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
  72. 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
  73. 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
  74. 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
  75. 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
  76. lil sis wrote:

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

    Sunday, November 28, 2010 at 7:29 am | Permalink
  77. 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
  78. 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
  79. 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
  80. 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
  81. 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
  82. 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
  83. 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
  84. 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
  85. 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
  86. 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