Friday, May 15, 2009

On Double X

Yesterday Campus Progress put up my thoughts on the new Slate Double X site:

A bunch of feminists, myself included, were really excited about the May 12 launch of Double X, Slate’s new site “about politics, sex, and culture—that both men and women listen in on.” After all, the site features a long list of some of the top feminist writers, including The Nation’s Katha Pollitt, former Jezebeler Jessica Grose, Slate’s own Emily Bazelon, the illustrious E.J. Graff, and The Root’s Dayo Olopade. What’s more, after years of drivel-like articles that declared feminism dead and the journalism industry in crisis, it was a reassuring sign that Washington Post/Newsweek International saw potential profits in a woman-focused site.

Then, on Tuesday, Double X went live with articles titled “Whine, Womyn, and Thongs: How Feminism Has Failed,” “How I Got Bored With Feminism,” “Yes, Virginia, Feminism Really is Dead,” and “What’s the Problem Now? Feminism’s Dilemmas.” It’s enough to make all those feminists who eagerly anticipated the site’s launch—again, myself included—want to pull their hair out. What’s more, Double X seems to be trying with all its might to stoke a divisive generational flame war among feminists. This war, characterized in part by accusations from older feminists that younger feminists are somehow betraying the “true” spirit of feminism, is best summed up in the words of Deborah Dickerson in Mother Jones earlier this year: “Today’s feminists need to blog less and work more … I gotta say: Pole-dancing, walking around half-naked, posting drunk photos on Facebook, and blogging about your sex lives ain’t exactly what we previous generations thought feminism was.”

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