Several people have asked me about “Shoot the Messenger”‘s interview with Jezebel.com‘s Moe and Tracie. Part of me doesn’t want to give this ‘tempest in a teapot’ any more of the blogosphere’s energy. But frankly, after enough people asked, I watched the train wreck of an interview, went to Jezebel.com, to Tracie “Slut Machine”‘s website, and even read Jezebel.com’s response post along with their reader comments to it.
My first “profound” observation is I just don’t get it. I don’t get why anyone would see these two women as role models (which is what Shoot the Messenger claims), even in the most pedestrian sense. Their websites are inane and their observations are shallow, in my opinion. I don’t see why anyone who hosted or put together a comedy show would see these two as interesting guests to interview based on their writing. Maybe I’m missing something. There are tons and tons of other more interesting women out there to interview on sexuality and its pleasures and dangers.
My second observation is that these two young women clearly need a healthy dose of intervention from a variety of interested family members. In the very least, they need to read some of the feminist writings out there, such as Jane Sexes it Up, or other sex-positive feminist writings.
My last observation is that I’m thankful that my kid has better sense than these two young women do. She’s just as much a product of the radically self-indulgent, self-disclosive impulses of “new media” as these women are. Yet, she manages to navigate easily what someone at Slate calls, “The perils of overexposure, oversharing, over-the-top Internet/video self-indulgence.”
Probably the best response to the situation that I saw comes from Feministing.com, who writes about the representation of feminism by Moe/Tracie/Jezebel. She concludes by saying,
“I… deeply care about the way that feminism is portrayed, the ways that feminist issues get talked about and how to create a better world for women. And maybe that makes me some post-hipster too-earnest uncool idealist, but I’d rather be a dork with a cause than a nihilist with a lot of page views.”
***Note: I keep coming back to this post to edit or add to it. I guess I have more to say. I think the reason these young women need to read sex-positive feminist writings is because that genre of writing has a lot to say about both the pleasures and –dangers– of sex from a feminist perspective. Tracie and Moe are obviously pretty clueless. But apparently when others have made that observation about Tracie and Moe, they have been portrayed by commentators as being clueless themselves, particularly about “younger generation” feminists. Which is why my niece (the kid) is a perfect counter-point to these women. Clearly, it’s not a generational thing going on here. It’s something else entirely, but what it is, I haven’t quite figured out.
Thanks for your frank and fair assessment, ‘cuz frankly I don’t get it either. Internet celebrity doesn’t equal role model any more than the Atlanta Braves equal America’s team, much less some “state” of (post)”Feminism” IMHO.