I do have to hand it to her.
She is reacting to this, which she doesn't link to. Ordinarily, people are shy about letting their animal insecurity out, on the Internet. I mean, this post from her-- it is literally saying, "I am good, and people like me, and I am smart and funny." We all have that need. I do, you do, we all do. We all want to be known that way. Sometimes, we have to express it by equally expressing that someone else is bad, or below us. I try to avoid it, but who am I to stand on pretense? If it empowers Sady to question my sexual prowess, then perhaps it's better that she say so. It leaves me little poorer. And if her commenters really get their kicks by saying I should rot in hell, then, you know, progress!
Now, on the subject of traffic, and such-- I am glad for Sady. I am glad that she is successful. As she implies, at this, I am not successful. Not in the traffic sense. Not in the attention sense. Certainly not in the monetary sense, but then, I am not a professional blogger, pundit, commentator, or journalist. It's just me. I'm glad that she gives praise to the men she admires. I don't know, exactly, what that has to do against my post. Really, I think she is doing exactly what I suggested she not do. I think she is reading my post in short-hand, as many do, and I don't think it says nearly anything that she is arguing against. That's just my take, but then, I am arguing, and her post and comments insists that she does not want to be held to the standards of argument.
Here is this reality: the world is not friendly to women, and it is not friendly to feminism, and so the fight is difficult. Now, if that post of Sady's were to find attention outside of the little world it occupies-- 100,000 hits a day, now, don't get me wrong! Sady is a big fucking deal, as she will tell you-- if it went out into the Out There, I think she would find it uncomfortable. Because many would not be kind. Why? Because Out There, they believe that ideas must be defended with rigor, that there is, actually, something like a rational argument, and that advancing your cause is dependent on that argument. And some of the people who would read her post are most assuredly and most explicitly not feminists. Sady insists that I am no feminist, because she says so, and she has the power to dole that appellation out to whomever she chooses. Fair enough. But surely even if my feminism is illegitimate or fake, that's superior to the reactionary anti-feminism that is all around her. Posts like the one she wrote contribute to many, many noxious stereotypes about feminists, and I wish she would have waited, a bit, and thought it through just a bit more.
The sad truth is that inertia alone is enough to leave the world in the condition that Sady doesn't want it to be, and for this reason she will have to work harder and better, and from my limited, low-traffic, (apparently) not getting laid perspective, a post like the one she has posted can't help her. But then, I would say that, wouldn't I? I am the one being put on blast, after all.
Look, this is the thing: here I am. Here I am. That is my whole point to the enterprise. You want to chat? Here I am. I don't have an institutional affiliation to protect me; I don't have a lot of traffic to protect me, I don't have anonymity to protect me, I don't have the benefit of putting on the mantle of some great movement against oppression to protect me. I am willing to talk, and willing to listen. So: what do you want to talk about?
Update: Per the update on that post-- it's true that I did used to occasionally email Megan Carpentier about Jezebel posts back when she wrote for them. The point wasn't to tell her she was mean, although I'm sure I often did do that. The point was that I thought from her writing that she was smart and funny and for that reason I felt I should email her to let her know when I thought Jezebel was being unfair. And, you know, it's true-- I did and do often think that Jezebel is being unfair.
Maybe that's wrong of me. I don't know. And it could easily be the case that my emails to Megan, like my comment to Sady, weren't sufficiently constructive. But whatever is true, it was true that I was emailing her because I cared about what she thought. And it is true that I engaged with Tiger Beatdown because I value it. I am committed to the proposition that I am wrong about all of this. I am trying. I am trying hard. But it is difficult to read that I should be derided for opinions that I don't hold, that I should be attacked for what I don't think. And, of course, on a human level, it's tough to be made fun of.