This is why I hardly read blogs anymore

In the past year the amount of (feminist) blogs that I read regularly, or even on an occasional basis, has shrunk to fit on one hand. Literally, aside from keeping up with Iris, the only blogs I regularly read are Hoyden About Town, The Border House, Geek Feminism, Sociological Images, and Shakesville. That’s it. There are a few more that I’ll browse when I’ve already read everything on the above blogs.

Until today, Tiger Beatdown was on the latter list. Now, the writing style of the blog has always rubbed me a bit the wrong way because of how easy it is to cross the line from pointed sarcastic critique to being just plain mean. The posts I had read had seemed to be careful to keep it pointedly sarcastic, though, so I figured I’d stick to a casual readership until I had reason not to.

SEXIST BEATDOWN: Revenge of the Smiler Edition is that reason. I generally don’t bother reading “Sexist Beatdown” because I’m not a fan of the dialogue style posts, but the intro piqued my interest because Sady was using some classic Mean Girl tropes and I wanted to know if there was going to be any discussion about how the tropes themselves reinforce rivalry among girls and women, which in turn reinforces the sexist environment that gives rise to girls who fit the cliche.

Except that I didn’t get far into the post until I saw this:

AMANDA: I mean, her songs are deeply crazy* to me.

Given that ableism is a huge problem in the mainstream feminist movement (see Ableism is not feminism. Spread the word. and Feminists are fine with being bigots if it’s just ableism), I was less shocked by the ableist slur than I was disappointed. “But wait,” I thought to myself, “There is an asterisk! Perhaps there is a reasonable explanation for the use of the slur.”

So I went to the bottom of the post and checked it out:

*I know some folks don’t like this use of the word! Tiger Beatdown acknowledges and respects that. Tiger Beatdown also isn’t a fan of comments that focus on one word or line in a piece rather than the piece as a whole. Please keep that in mind.

Seriously? I mean, SERIOUSLY? How is using an ableist slur that you know some of your readership dislikes and then telling them that they aren’t allowed to call you out on your bigotry (because it’s a derail, of course!) acknowledging and respecting the feelings of your readership? All I can say is that y’all have been too deep in the snark for too long if you think that kind of behavior is what passes for “respect” among other social justice advocates.

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6 thoughts on “This is why I hardly read blogs anymore

  1. Yeah, I stopped reading Tiger Beatdown a while ago. I am gonna add Border House to my list now though, yay!

  2. I still regularly read tiger beatdown but yeah that rubbed me the wrong way as well. To be fair the statement was written by Amanda who only occasionally co wrights with Sady on the Sexist Beatdown articles (I never read entirely through those articles far too much sarcasm for my tastes and far too obnoxious). Amanda has her own website at Pandagon were she regularly makes albeist remarks all the time unabashed and unashamed (yes I sometimes read her blog and yes its very painful to read). I never expected much from Amanda but you know what I am truly disappointed in Sady for trying to minimize the issue. She does these articles with Amanda all the time and I was under the impression that they were friends so why has never pointed out the issue of albeism to her. I cannot help but feel the hypocrisy to a women who actively speaks out against sexism tells the mentally ill or as Amanda put it “crazy” to shut up and just accept albeist words just because her feminist peer is in the room (obviously pleasing her friend is more important than stoping the marginalizing of the mentally ill even more). Then again as a person with more than one mental illness I never expect much respect from mainstream feminists.

  3. @Foreign-eyes: From what she said in the comments, Sady apparently doesn’t have a problem with ableist slurs. Which, you know, is her right, but I find it deeply disturbing that she sees herself as “acknowledging and respecting” those who do. Respecting someone is incompatible with saying, “I know this hurts you but I’m going to do it anyway because I don’t think it’s a problem.”

  4. Foreign-eyes, I think you’re mixing up Amanda Hess and Amanda Marcotte. Amanda Marcotte does Pandagon (and iirc had a seal press book with nasty racism), Amanda Hess writes (wrote? I think it might have ended? or maybe it just moved. I dunno, I don’t read it) The Sexist and does Sexist Beatdown with Sady.

    And I am so glad I’m not the only one who is really bothered by Tiger Beatdown. Everyone I know seems to dote on it. I was done when she did the POSTS BY MEN! week and said something about people who are not ladies and are therefor gentlemen (nice binarism) and then b michael had a post where he used insane as a slur and she specifically said she approves of everything she posts on her site, so. The vitriol was bugging me before that, but that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    IIRC she posted about how she refused to stop using ‘dumb’ as well as ‘crazy’, too.

  5. @Shiyiya: And you can’t even talk to her about it; she made it very clear on the Sexist Beatdown thread with her defensive, sarcastic, and downright rude responses to Laurie who pointed out the problem with Sady’s framing of female archetypes (the same issue I had that prompted me to read the post in the first place) that she’s not actually interested in acknowledging and respecting any opinion other than ones she believes are valid.

    • I wonder if fame has gone to her head? (Is that a bad idiom?) I’ve seen good people that would have spoken out against things suddenly do a 180 when they became more popular (or get more money) that they feel they don’t have to appeal to everyone. It seems to me that this might be the case. “I’m famous and thus don’t/couldn’t care.” Kinda thing. Which is sad when people start doing that. I’ve heard it also happens to good people in the gaming industry that go to California, some how they change. They stop talking to “the little people” and get real arrogant about things.

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