From the “chicks just can’t win” files: Jessica from Feministing has the honor of being invited to meet with President Clinton, along with several other bloggers. Said bloggers pose for a photo with Bill. It’s fairly clear that the photo is arranged by height, with the shorter people in the front. Jessica, one of the shorter people there, is in the front row. She stands, back straight, with her hands at her sides like everyone else. She moves slightly over so that she’s not blocking the former President.
But clearly, it’s all about the tits.
Jessica: I’m not judging you by your looks. (Don’t flatter yourself.) I’m judging you by your apparent behavior. It’s not about the smiling, but the three-quarter pose and related posturing, the sort of thing people razz Katherine Harris about. I really don’t know why people who care about feminism don’t have any edge against Clinton for the harm he did to the cause of taking sexual harrassment seriously, and posing in front of him like that irks me, as a feminist. So don’t assume you’re the one representing feminist values here. Whatever you call your blog….
Note that Jessica is posed in pretty much the exact same way (mirror-imaged) as the woman standing next to her. That woman, though, is wearing a black top, so you can’t see the outline of her breasts as well.
Note that Jessica is also wearing a simple grey sweater, with a high neck and cap sleeves. And long pants. And yet Althouse is criticizing her for her “behavior” — which apparently comes down to how she was standing in the photo.
I saw the photo yesterday. I did not notice that Jessica was “posing;” I did not notice her breasts; I didn’t think twice about the arrangement of the photo. Different perspectives, I guess.
Ann’s commenters also jump on Jessica, referring to her as an “intern” — har har — and debating her fuckability. Ann then accuses Jessica of not being a “real” feminist (compared, apparently, to… Ann…), and tells her that she’s misappropriated the word feminism and has done nothing for the movement.
Really, Ann, fuck you. You’re out of line, and this is incredibly shitty.
Perhaps this isn’t the kind of evidence that Ann is looking for, but here’s what Jessica’s done for my feminism: She inspired me to start blogging in the first place. She broadened my perspective as to what even constitutues a feminist issue. She’s shown me that determined women can take their passion and turn it into a career. She has helped to mobilize an entire generation of younger feminists. She’s taken risks, and has been willing to lend her wisdom to the development of our movement. She’s been remarkably successful at a very young age. She’s been a key part of creating online feminist communities, and creating real-life activism and action out of those communities. Her writing has made me think. It’s taught me more than entire women’s studies courses I took. It’s demonstrated that young women are active, intelligent, assertive and engaging. She’s made me proud to identify as a feminist. And she’s one of my feminist heros.
I know she’s inspired many more than just me. And talking about her breasts all the live-long day won’t change the fact that she is an amazing, brilliant, good human being who I’m sure will shape the world in more positive ways than Ann Althouse could ever aspire to.
What Jessica did wrong was show up at a political event in a female body. End of story. Ann, you should be ashamed.
And Jessica, as always, you should be incredibly proud of everything you’ve accomplished.