DoubleX blogger Susannah Breslin responds to feminist critiques of her magazine by asserting that Yes, Virginia, feminism is dead (apparently they rejected her initial title). The piece, in its entirety:
Apparently, if you launch a website for women in 2009, the most important question is whether or not it’s feminist. At least, that’s what you’d think, judging by today’s launch of the women-oriented website you’re reading. Only, the funny thing is, I thought feminism was dead. I mean, didn’t we kill it already?
At best, it seems odd to judge a 21st century production by the politics of a decades-old movement, the relevance of which has been dubious for years now. The sense I get reading Jezebel’s dismissive, snippy critique, which seems to amount to “you’re a bunch of old farts, blppph,” or Tracy Clark-Flory’s more considered missive is that the only way to judge a female-oriented site is by whether or not it’s “feminist.” What gives? Aren’t we over that already? I could have sworn feminism was cultural road kill, at this point. And isn’t it intellectually reductive and culturally retarded to imply that the only site for women worth doing is one that follows an abstract set of political rules upon which no one can agree? It seems to me that “feminist” sites like the aptly-named Feministe are interested in having it both ways. They want all the power their feminist foremothers promised them—and the right to play full-time victims of the patriarchy. Get over it. Get on with it. I hope the feminist mantle doesn’t fit Double X. I hope this site is bigger than that. I want to be more than a victim of the patriarchy, go farther than the feminist movement ever did, spend less time reading about women who are wondering if their supposed sisters are doing “the right thing” in terms of antiquated political concepts, and get the hell on with doing it already.
Except apparently in Susannah Breslin’s world, “go[ing] farther than the feminist movement ever did” and “get[ting] the hell on with doing it already” means blaming women when their husbands cheat and writing about how feminist writers are such whiners and victims.
If DoubleX isn’t a feminist blog and doesn’t concern itself with feminism, that’s totally fine — but Breslin acts as if feminist bloggers pinned those hopes on DoubleX with no indication that it would address feminist issues. We didn’t. We were responding to an article on DoubleX which describes the site as “a symposium on the current state of feminism.” The site has featured at least seven articles about feminism in two days. The beginning of many of the articles features a link to a site poll about Betty Friedan. Many of the DoubleX writers and editors cut their teeth in feminist blogs and magazines — Latoya Peterson, Katha Pollitt, Linda Hirshman, Jessica Grose, Meghan O’Rourke, and Emily Bazelon are all well-known writers who either explicitly identify as feminist or regularly cover feminist issues. The blogroll at DoubleX lists blogs as “aptly-named” as Feministe, Feministing, and Broadsheet.
But sure, it’s all of us whiney feminists with victim complexes who are attributing a feminist bent (or a claim of one) to DoubleX.
I’ll say again that I think DoubleX’s editorial staff is great; I think the writers they’ve chosen are by and large very impressive. But if they aren’t a feminist blog — if they joyfully announce that feminism is “roadkill” — perhaps they should alert their feminist contributors, editors and readers.
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