My reader list gets shorter

Posted in My Favorite Feminists, Pop Culture, Women's Bodies by Dizzy on August 19, 2008

Maybe I’m coming in a little late to the game and there’s already a whole bunch of incisive commentary about Pandagon’s ads.  I’m new to that site, having just discovered the Google Reader iPhone app and gone batshit crazy on adding every femblog I could think of to it,  so pardon my ignorance to the backlash,  if one indeed exists.

So what the fuck?  When did popular feminist blogs start being okay with ads using the faux-frightened,  finger chewing women wearing only t-shirts to sell clothes and a naked Pamela Anderson to promote PETA, one of the most mysogonistic organizations to ever curse the planet?   “Watch as this sexy icon lays it all out in this very graphic video.”   Clever bait and switch, except not.  Vile and disturbing and profoundly disappointing.

That’s the kind of shit I expect to see on just about every other kind of website in the universe – liberal and conservative and ecommerce and catholic and movie review and cooking tips and music downloading and nutrition and world news, whatever.  It’s everywhere.  But on a feminist blog? Are you freaking kidding me?  Is nothing sacred? Nothing at all?  Isn’t this exactly the kind of thing the writers at Pandagon are trying to change about the world?

I actively avoid sites/blogs that use this kind of imagery to sell or promote.  It ain’t easy, I tell you what, but I do it because seeing that stuff a thousand and one times per day makes my hands shake and puts me in a funk that’s getting harder and harder to shake off.  Of course I realize that I can’t entirely avoid provocotivey positioned ladies on the porn-addled,  man-is-the-default-user innerwebs, and I’m more than adept at clicking away when I see it, but I honestly expect that the sites that I’ve designated in my little reader as Feminist will not actually contribute to the woman-hating horseshit I presume they’re rallying against.

For heck’s sake, Pandagon. I hope you get your priorities straight.

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7 Responses

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  1. None said, on August 20, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    FWIW, I just clicked over there and got an anti-abortion ad. Sonogram image, text talking about innocents being murdered, the whole nine yards. And this is a feminist blog?

  2. Laura said, on August 20, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    I’m glad I’m not actually going insane. I couldn’t believe that ad when I saw it.

  3. Genevieve said, on August 21, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    Wow. That is surprising. The Pandagon people don’t write nearly as much about anti-objectification stuff as they do about pro-choice stuff.

    Feministing had some troubling ads up recently. People called them out on it and they’re working to get them removed. I haven’t seen any comment criticism of Pandagon’s ads, though. Don’t know why. Amanda Marcotte actually told people to not donate money to PETA in her book, so I don’t know why their ads are on her blog.

  4. lauredhel said, on August 21, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    It’s all over, on the commercial blogs – Feministe has been running giant American Apparel ads for ages now, and there’s another ad up for How To Look Good Naked.

  5. Dizzy said, on August 21, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    Is it unreasonable to call for a strident and hysterical feminist blogger and blog-reader boycott of feminist blogs that sell ads to American Apparel and PETA and anti-choice groups, at the very least?

    As someone who firmly believes that ads like this actively work against what feminists are trying to accomplish, I feel betrayed by these sites. I feel sold out. I think that the power of what these folks write is seriously compromised by the fact that they allow unfiltered misogyny to appear next to their words.

    I’m feelin it, how bout you?

  6. Lauri said, on August 24, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    Dizzy, I am new to both your site & Pandagon, but had noticed the same thing. I can say that as of right now (Monday Aug. 25), those ads have mysteriously disappeared? Could it be that we can actually influence something by observation and discussion? Please! Let it be so!

    btw, loved your comments on The Context–“I know it must be hard to fathom that a girl doesn’t care what a smart man thinks about the thing that she cares most about in the world, or that there’s a movement that exists that doesn’t much take into consideration what men have to say on the topic.”

    Already a fan, look forward to visiting many times more.

  7. Bill Bartmann said, on September 3, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    Cool site, love the info.

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