So I wandered by Huffington to see if there was any commentary there yet about Jesse Helms passing (and may eternity be kinder to him than he was to our world) and instead fell down the Old Guard vs. New Wave feminist rabbit hole. The quick recap:

Lizz Winstead, co-creator of the Daily Show, hosts a weekly show called Thinking and Drinking. Last week, she invited Tracie Egan and Moe Tkacik from Jezebel to be guests on the show.

Winstead said:

I wanted to have a conversation about Hillary and sexism, women’s magazines and if they feel any obligation to write about responsibility and safety when they write graphically about their sex lives.

Egan said:

I thought this thing was supposed to be a comedy show, but to be honest, I didn’t really do my research on how the interview was really gonna go.

What happened, according to one of the most cogent accounts of the night I’ve read to date was:

What I expected to be a simultaneously light and enlightening conversation about sex and feminism turned into one of the most horrendous displays of girl-on-girl crime I’ve ever witnessed.

Unless, of course, you read Winstead’s own comments on what happened:

I don’t know if they came to the show drunk, or just ended up drunk by the time they hit the stage, but what I do know is that the discussion that ensued was deeply disturbing to me for a few reasons:

Jessica Roy (she of the cogent account above) summed up the evening with:

What essentially happened is that the gloves came off and this idea, this basic idea that drives the notion of feminism – that women and men are equal – became so lost in the friction of fractionalized opinions, splintered conflicting ideas that became so convoluted that everyone lost sight of the fact that we can all be feminists – we can all be women – without thinking the same exact things. And instead of coming together to celebrate being women it completely became this Old Guard Feminism represented by Winstead vs. this New Wave Feminism represented by Moe and Tracie and Jezebel as a whole. It was as if all of the recent generational clashing in the feminist sphere came to a head and exacted its cruel, bloody revenge right in front of me at 10pm on a Monday night in SoHo.

I’ve just finished watching the entire show. I deliberately held off on posting about this until I’d had a chance to do that. I occasionally read both Winstead on Huff and Moe and Tracie over at Jezebel, but I’m by no means a regular reader of any of them. For the most part, I’ve come away from anything written by any of them feeling a little more informed – or at least with a different viewpoint to consider. I walked away from this feeling – honestly – saddened, and not so much by the show itself as by the entire controversy it has sparked.

Cara and I have talked about this a little – but we’ve maintained some distance so that we can write from our own viewpoints before we start influencing each other. There is so much here that we discuss often, though, that chances are we’ll sound a great deal alike. Then again, maybe I’m just dreaming.

First impressions after watching the whole show
Perhaps Tracie and Moe meant to come across as flippant and irreverent, but the overwhelming impression I got was that they are poorly informed and don’t mind shooting their mouths off without getting more informed. It’s an attitude I see far too often in my younger daughter’s friends (and, I hate to admit, in my younger daughter) – a ‘whatever, what’s the big deal’ attitude about anything that doesn’t have immediate influence on their lives. This came through most clearly in comments about rape happening most often in ‘countries where there’s more sexual repression’.

On Moe talking about her date rape: I don’t know the woman, and I wasn’t there in the audience. At best, I had a very grainy video with poor sound (my computer’s fault, not the vid’s) to judge by, but I had the very strong impression that somewhere in the middle of answering Lizz’s questions she was suddenly hit with the reality of what had been done to her. Her voice was shaking as she talked about his response to her ‘how could you do that to me?’ – “I didn’t think sex was any big deal to you.”

I understand on an intellectual level the instinct that made Lizz press Moe about not reporting the date rape. On an emotional level I was horrified by what she was doing. I wanted to say to Moe, “It’s all right to be angry about it NOW. It’s all right to shake when you talk about it. It doesn’t make you weak, and it doesn’t make you a victim. I wish he were here so I could kick him in the nuts. I wish he were here so YOU could kick him in the nuts.”

I am more bothered by the aftermath of this show than I am by what happened at the show. I do believe that writers and public figures should be aware that they have an influence on those who read and listen to them. I’m concerned, though, about the whole ‘role model’ thing. I would far rather see us teaching young people how to – as Cara would say – separate the stuff from the stuff than to see us bring back the “Morality Police” to be sure that our so-called ‘role models’ never do anything “inappropriate”.

Edit : Read More:
Jezebels Gone Wild

I don’t want to demonize these women. They are not their words. But godDAYYUM

What I know for now Jess of the cogent account above talks about feminism and confusion and her own evolving consciousness. Read it, then talk to me about the ‘feminist wars’.

The post I really didn’t feel like writing

Essentially all I really want to say is that as a third wave daughter of a second wave mother, I am acutely aware that we agree about far more than we think we do, and that the common ground is where our focus should fall.

Jezebel writers too smart to be raped

We have no problem with the choices these women make in their personal lives, but we do have a problem with the fact that they take an issue like rape and make light of it. Pass it off like it’s funny, impossible, fictional and that they are too smart to let it happen to them.

Current contents of my grey matter

for every muck racking, hell raising, in-your-face Feminist there are a thousand ladies like my Grandma Hazel who take the energy folks like Steinem and Paglia channel into public outrage and use it to get shit done.


Name (required)

Email (required)


XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Share your wisdom