I Should Stop Reading News Sites…

Today, I had some time to read the news and got so excited, because I’m a nerd like that. Sadly, the first three articles I read annoyed me so much that not only did I stop reading, but I also felt compelled to share them with you.

Hooking Up for Sex: Sluts or New Feminists?
The title alone should have made me stay away, but I took the plunge. I was so annoyed, I wanted to pull my hair out. 1) Please, let’s stop talking to slut shamers, yes? 2) Let’s also stop centering all these discussions on women. 3) Can more of these pieces be about societal expectations, sexual repression, etc.? 4) No, seriously, are we really still talking about this?!

Newsweek Still Wages Gender War, 40 Years Later
Okay, this article about women in journalism isn’t actually bad, except this really confused me:

On the 40th anniversary of the revolt, much has changed for women, who have since forged sexual freedoms and broken glass ceilings in political life and in the workplace.

What the hell does sexual freedom have anything to do with glass ceilings, journalism, politics, etc.? Talk about out of place. In retrospect, it probably wouldn’t have bugged me as much if not for the article I read right before it and right after. Which brings me to the winner of the bunch…

Do Open Marriages Work?
The intro alone suggests that she believes open marriages don’t work, but since she laid it out as the good, bad, and “#$@%^!” I thought it was safe to continue. I was wrong.

What she labels “good” is written with such skepticism, it’s less about the “good” and more about her judgment on what others find good. Also, major fail for bringing up pizza(???) as a comparison in a discussion about open relationships. Added fail for making it only about sex. I mean, did she do any research at all?

The “bad” is not about general challenges to open marriages; it’s about her own problems with it. Which, okay, cool… but then don’t mention anything about research in your article. Because research implies some sort of objectivity, no?

As for the “#$@%^!” section, all I can say is thanks so much for reinforcing stereotypes and using your own preconceived notions to speak for a community of men AND WOMEN who choose this lifestyle. This made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside:

By the end of my research, I firmly believed that open marriage is merely an excuse for getting away with behaving self-indulgently and recklessly. In my book “Prince Harming Syndrome”, any man who wants an open marriage is what I call a Prince Harming.

I now see why she titled this section “#$@%^!” – she left me feeling a little like that myself.

Though I must say I laughed at:

It was surprisingly difficult to find statistics on whether open marriages work. Ironically, open marriage isn’t something we talk about all that openly.

Yes, it’s SUCH a surprise given how open-minded and non-judgmental people are about it! I’ve never encountered any resistance to it! Certainly not in your own piece, heck no!

I’m done ranting, you can carry on now.

(cross-posted at Jump off the Bridge)


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14 comments for “I Should Stop Reading News Sites…

  1. Marle
    March 23, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    “There’s no difference between your partner enjoying a pizza with anchovies without you and your partner enjoying a blonde with blue eyes without you. ”

    Yes, because women are pizza. GRR!

  2. March 23, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    And what does she think about women who want open marriages? Oh wait, we don’t exist. Women all want exclusivity and never crave sexual or romantic variety. Heavens!

  3. March 23, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Hmm. I read the article, and until the very end, I thought she was just describing her own experiences. She often started thoughts with, “for me,” or “in my opinion,” which indicates her experiences, not her judgment for the rest of humanity.

    The last part, though, indicates that she did little research and didn’t actually try it.

    It’s completely her prerogative that she doesn’t want an open marriage, and the reasons she gave for wanting to be in a monogamous marriage were very similar to my reasons for being in a monogamous marriage– and for being married, period. The problem with that article wasn’t that she decided that an open marriage wasn’t for her, but that she allowed herself to act as though her opinion spoke for everyone else considering, or in, an open marriage.

  4. jfm
    March 23, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    “On the 40th anniversary of the revolt, much has changed for women, who have since forged sexual freedoms and broken glass ceilings in political life and in the workplace.”

    I skim too fast and read this before any of the rest of the post, and thought it was in reference to some kind of actual violent revolution, what with the broken glass and all.

    On second read, with the full context, I still think it’s a really badly written sentence. Are sexual freedoms really something you “forge”? Were women doing the forging in the workplace or what?

  5. March 23, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    jfm–“Are sexual freedoms really something you ‘forge’?” That was my exact thought when I read that sentence! It reminds me of some of the unfortunate phrases I have run into reading student papers–it isn’t anything to be ashamed of, since they are learning to write, but still, they can be… sigh. ‘While most of the migrants to the northeastern United States were single men, and while many women migrated to the southern states, the migrants to the middle atlantic region were of the middling sort.’ (No joke. Makes it sound like genderqueers were migrating to the mid-Atlantic, when really, he meant ‘middle class.’)

  6. Bakka
    March 23, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    I think sexual freedom has a lot to do with breaking glass ceilings. Being able to control one’s reproductive capacities (especially when one is a member of the gender socially expected to take on the majority of the care giving related to offspring) is directly relevant to one’s ability to achieve in workplaces that are not designed to be friendly to those who provide dependent care.

  7. sophia b
    March 23, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    yeah, a lot of mainstream news sites irritate me for similar reasons. the last annoying one i read had two lines of research saying that where i lived it looked like women had more sexual partners than men. how interesting.
    Then it went into a rant about how casual sex happened because people had emotional problems and talked to a councellor about people who had serious issues surrounding sex. yeah…

  8. Alexandra Lynch
    March 24, 2010 at 3:35 am

    It’s people like that who can’t believe that both these statements can be simultaneously true: 1) I have been married for fifteen years and we are happier than the day we took our vows; and 2) I have two boyfriends, one of whom shares my taste in horror and science fiction and one of whom says he loves me by driving an hour to help with my laundry when I am sick.

    No couple has the same marriage as another couple. Our marriage works for us. I should hope everyone is so lucky and is happy too.

  9. March 24, 2010 at 8:07 am

    Bakka, it’s not a matter of whether or not gaining sexual freedoms breaks glass ceilings (although I don’t know if that term really applies here), it’s that sexual freedom has nothing to do with the article. The article is about women in journalism.

    Also, all of your comments about the poor sentence structure made me LOL – thanks for that!

  10. March 24, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    @ Hot Tramp,
    Either we don’t exist or we’re all dirty skanky sluts who just go around using people and being generally selfish. Or at least thats the reaction I get from one “friend” whenever something about me being poly gets brought up.

  11. Maria
    March 24, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Noticed you used the phrase “sexual repression”? Someone has never heard of Foucault apparently? Check History of Sexuality Vol. 1, section called “The Repressive Hypothesis.” However you feel about the topic, basing your argument on outdated and debunked Freudian theories does not help your case.

  12. Marle
    March 24, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Maria, I certainly think that our society’s virgin/whore perspective on sex, with women not allowed to have sex on the one side and on the other side it’s all about male pleasure, represses sexuality in women. And I have no idea how you could assume the phase “sexual repression” means that someone’s basing their argument on Freud. Is he the only one who ever talked about it? No, and a modern feminist perspective on sexual repression is very different from Freud’s perspective.

  13. March 24, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Noticed you used the phrase “sexual repression”? Someone has never heard of Foucault apparently? Check History of Sexuality Vol. 1, section called “The Repressive Hypothesis.” However you feel about the topic, basing your argument on outdated and debunked Freudian theories does not help your case.

    Well, yes, I have heard of Foucault. I have also read Foucault. Point taken on perhaps finding a better phrase to use, but as I was writing this, that’s the term that came out.

    Also, I don’t really agree with everything Foucault said, but that doesn’t mean I agree with Freud’s theory either. Not sure why you would assume that I do.

  14. Hogarth
    March 26, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    ‘“There’s no difference between your partner enjoying a pizza with anchovies without you and your partner enjoying a blonde with blue eyes without you. ”

    Yes, because women are pizza. GRR!’

    who said the blond in question has to be a woman?

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