Blog-on-Blog Crime


The new “ladyblog” Double X, an offshoot of the online magazine Slate, just launched in Beta, with former Jezebel editor Jessica Grose one of the women at the helm. Oddly enough, one of the first entries is a piece called “How Jezebel is hurting women.”

Author Linda Hirshman argues that while the Jezebel writers look “a lot like the natural heirs of feminism,” and “are clearly familiar with the rhetoric of feminism,” the behavior they chronicle in their posts is dangerous to the movement, and the message:

“How can women supposedly acting freely and powerfully keep turning up tales of vulnerability—repulsive sexual partners, pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, even rape? Conservatives have long argued against feminism by saying women are vulnerable, and we need to take care of them. Liberals say there’s no justification for repressing sexual behavior.

“As a generation of young women is discovering, and as polemicists from Camille Paglia to Ariel Levy have pointed out, there’s something missing in both points of view. Women can pretend they’re female chauvinist pigs, but it’s still women who are more sexually vulnerable to stronger men, due to the possibilities of physical abuse and pregnancy. These Jezebel writers are a symptom of the weaknesses in the model of perfect egalitarian sexual freedom; in fact, it’s the supposed concern with feminism that makes the site so problematic.”

In sum, she says of the site: “It’s incoherent.”

(Update: Jezebel responds with “Who You Calling A Bad Feminist?”)

(Update #2: Feministing gives Double X a bad review, dismisses its criticisms of Jezebel.   I am swimming in ladyblogs.)

Claire Caplan enjoys dotting Is and crossing Ts. She works for a public radio station in Baltimore, Maryland. More from this author →