July 6th, 2010

rebel rebel your face is a mess


So, Jezebel, also known as the most rapidly jerking knee of internet-era feminism, recently published a story, based largely on a few unsourced quotes and one former staffer, that The Daily Show is a boy's club/hotbed of reactionary woman-hatred. It contained some pretty egregious shit: pointing out that there are only two female writers on staff, as if having a quota would make for a better show, is pretty low, but even worse is how they first complain that there aren't enough female on-air correspondents, and then dismiss the new female on-air correspondent, Olivia Munn, because she's pretty and has a lot of male fans, as if that renders her not female enough.

Anyway, the female staffers at The Daily Show -- who represent 40% of the people employed there -- wrote what seems to me to be a fairly reasonable response. The Jezebel writer harrumphed that if they really feel that way, they should have responded to her request for interviews, as if they're under some kind of obligation to talk to any shithead who pesters them lest they be accused of sexism. But even more hilarious is the perpetually clueless Amanda Marcotte's reaction to the response via Twitter:

Wait, did they really dig out the hairdressers and make-up artists and make them do this? Pathetic.

Which is, you know, pretty much the most sexist possible reaction to the response, implying that the opinion of all the female writers, correspondents, producers, assistants, tech people, and accountants are worthless and that the women on the show must be make-up artists and hairdressers. (Only one person signing the document fit that job description.) And were forced to sign the response.

And, to make it even better, Marcotte goes on to recommend this piece at Jezebel, which is a video clip of the sexist pickup lines used on Mad Men, and a recommendation -- from the author of the post -- that people should emulate Don Draper instead, as if Don Draper were not an anti-Semitic, alcoholic, neurotic, identity-stealing, nakedly ambitious serial lecher who treats his wife and kids like crap and punches women in the vagina. (But he's so HANDSOME! And CHARMING!)

Although I've been an advocate of women's equality, and an opponent of sexism, for a long time, I've never really been comfortable identifying myself as a feminist. I figured it was up to women to grant me or not grant me that title. But, Christ, if this is what passes for it these days, I wouldn't take it if it came with a monthly stipend. This doesn't have anything to do with liberation, or equality, or justice: it's just another species of upper-middle-class neurotic whining combined with boosterism disguised as advocacy.
baby you got a stew goin

As long as I'm being an internet complaint generator

It's pretty pointless for me to pretend, at this late date when my goal is to die in air-conditioned comfort in a house big enough to hold all my books, that I'm some kind of anti-consumerist firebrand. I won't even act like I'm immune to the allure of convenience packaging -- I am self-employed and single, after all. There's not even anything inherently wrong with a company trying to sell you as little of its product as possible for as much money as possible; that's the name of the capitalist game, and it takes something pretty outrageous to even be worth responding to.

Having said all that, you've got to be shitting me.

What this is, is a cardboard package containing enough herbs and spices -- in portions of less than one teaspoon -- to make a single meal that uses those herbs and spices. And it retails for two dollars, or roughly the same amount of money you would spend on a container of the same spices that has twenty times as much.

I predict it will be a huge seller.