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A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian Home of hypocrisy

If one is to believe the hype, websites like “Slate” and “iVillage” have replaced ESPN and Barstool as the new bastions of high Internet traffic., a feminism-centered branch of gossip blog Gawker, is a major player in this so-called “estrogen revolution”. proclaims its focus to be on “Celebrity, Sex and Fashion for women. Without airbrushing.” This tagline is certainly appealing to a young female student still coming into her own. It seems, albeit superficially, as if the website contains just enough frothy, sassy fun to stay interesting while still stubbornly sticking to its intellectual, feminist roots.

However, for a website that extols feminist values and strong women, spends an ample amount of time making fun of women who don’t fit their definition of a modern, feminist woman (i.e., promiscuous, urban, young and sexually brazen to the point of being crass).

For example, in one recent article detailing the hiring of “The Daily Show’s” new correspondent, author and former “Attack of the Show” host Olivia Munn, Jezebel spent more time and print detracting from Munn than the hiring practices of “The Daily Show”. The article reprimands Munn for being on the covers of Playboy and Maxim, remarks that one of Munn’s jokes was “so passé” and includes sexually charged pictures of Munn to undermine her credibility as a quasi-news correspondent. Overall, the tone of the article was that Munn isn’t funny enough and is too sexy to be credible.

The issue here is not whether or not Munn is indeed unqualified for the job, but rather that instead of focusing on “The Daily Show’s” hiring practices, demeans Munn by focusing more on the fact that she posed for the cover of Playboy than the fact that she has published a book, hosted a show, has a college degree and is active in philanthropy and charity work. This is exactly the kind of behavior that the website gets angry at men’s magazines and tabloids for, but by masking its cattiness as feminism, gets away with it.

“Writers … are pushing readers to feel what the writers claim is righteously indignant rage but which is actually just petty jealously, cleverly marketed as feminism,” Emily Gould wrote in a recent “” article on feminist blogs.

It gets all the more confusing when, after publishing an article on why Munn and her sexuality is bad, publishes an article on why Rihanna and her sexuality should be left alone.

The article, which is demurely titled “Rihanna Does Whatever She Wants With Her Vagina and for Some Reason That’s a Problem”, discusses in depth the various ways the media has wrongly “slut-shamed” the singer. Lindy West, the author of the article, hypothesizes that the media has targeted Rihanna’s sex life so negatively and aggressively because she “seems to be truly having an awesome time and women owning their sexual pleasure veers dangerously close to women wanting to own their bodies.”

Wait, but didn’t just “slut-shame” Munn and say she was, essentially, too sexy to be credible? What makes Rihanna different? Does have two different definitions of the word?

Later in the article, West begs everyone to “stop shaming celebrities for having sex”, because, as West explains, “what you’re saying, essentially, is that women’s sexual behavior is shameful and should be hidden and/or mocked. Women’s sexual behavior needs to be accepted.”

Again, the hypocrisy seen here is incredible. cannot scold Munn for her sexual behavior but then chastise everyone for scolding Rihanna for her sexual behavior. Secondly, the last line of the article instructs Rihanna to “slut it up.” Far from being empowering, telling a woman to “slut it up” just continues to make light of a very real issue and, obviously, utilizes the stigma of the word “slut” illogically. cannot call a woman a slut, even in jest, if they want the stigma of female sexuality to crumble.

Yet another example of the website’s hypocritical tone emerges while looking over their Olympic coverage.

Instead of focusing on the wonderful achievements the athletes in London have achieved, entitles its Olympic photo album “Olympic Thighlights.” Now, if ESPN or GQ did this, would be shrieking about misogyny and chauvinism faster than ESPN could release a pre-written apology statement. But because it proclaims itself to be a feminist website, again gets away with doing the same things they get angry at others for doing.

This, however, seems downright mild when compared to the duplicity the website showed during a live interview program from a New York theater. The program, entitled “Thinking and Drinking”, featured two bloggers, nicknamed “Moe” and “Slut Machine”.  The topic at hand? Why one of them could not be bothered to call the police when she was raped. The two giggle as “Moe” says she has unprotected sex and was date raped and as “Slut Machine” admits she “decided to go home with someone I never would have, had my vision not been impaired by 14 hours of drinking.”

This is not sexual liberation; this is remarkable ignorance and provides a laundry list of reasons for those against sexual freedom to continue their cause.

In a world where young women are constantly being told what to be, how to dress and whom to be with, one would hope that a website that supposedly values progressive ideals would provide a bit of aid in helping women discover themselves. This, however, is yet to be the case with

A feminist website that speaks candidly about sex and feminism would be a wonderful addition to the Internet, if, of course, done correctly. Unfortunately, has become a confused, petty mess, a blog that no longer puts out coherent, reasonable advice for young women to follow.

Until speaks sense, the young women of the world will just have to keep looking for a rational and straightforward alternative.

Emily Merlino can be reached at [email protected].

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  • J

    JessiJul 29, 2014 at 2:57 am

    Wow. Thank you for this article. I was, until tonight, a long-time reader of Jezebel. I ended up here after Googling for Jezebel alternatives. I have, many times, seen this hypocrisy. It disgusts me. I feel like its message is poisonous. One of the worst instances was an article they wrote a few years ago where they (laughingly) bragged about physically abusing the men in their lives. They encouraged people in the comments to brag about it, as well. Anyone who rejected the notion that it was OK to abuse a man was met with comments about how it was OK because women aren’t strong enough to really hurt a man, and because men are in a position of power and have been abusing women since the dawn of time. This statement, in different forms, is how they defend all of their hypocrisy. They promote the idea that it’s OK to be a bigot as long as you’re not coming from a position of power. They do not care about equality at all. They definitely promote selfishness. They have caused many people (especially the young men who end up there via links from other Gawker media sites) to reject feminism because this is the image of feminism they”re promoting. I am so glad that there are people writing articles like this. I sincerely appreciate the comments here, as well. I am glad to know that Jezebel isn’t what feminism has turned into. I am all for equality…for human beings treated other human beings as equals. I don’t need to feel superior to anyone to work towards that goal.

  • S

    SarahFeb 18, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    Jezebel is the BIGGEST JOKE and ANTI-FEMINIST garbage site I’ve ever been to. They do not care about EQUALITY, unless it’s to EQUALLY to slam men and women for their gender and looks..I was looking up gender bias language in the workplace and an article that popped up from Jezebel was not only trying to imply they are AGAINST gender bias language but they included their own completely gender bias language in referring to women as “guys” and talking in a very Valley Girl dumb down fashion..complete utter joke garbage site!

  • C

    CindaFeb 3, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    THis is a great article. I recently read an article written by a Jezebel journalist of whose name I’ve forgotten, but it was in response to Katie Roiphe’s claims about Fifty Shades of Grey. It was basically defending Fifty Shades of Grey and its author for bringing BDSM/”non-vanilla” sex into the mainstream, and completely bashed Roiphe’s claims that Fifty Shades exploited women living in a time where women have become fascinated with the age-old “theater” which contains and bolsters women’s submissiveness to men. I thought Roiphe’s claim was well-thought out and, as a women’s studies undergrad and self-identifying feminist, a good show of how Fifty Shades of Grey only facilitates women’s propagation of their subordination to men. I’m still not sure what Jezebel is aiming to be; actually, let me rephrase that. I’m pretty sure Jezebel is appropriating FEMINISM ITSELF as a way to justify their writers’ and readers’ roles “strong, young, modern,” usually urban women who owe men nothing, which is all just a code for insecure, angry, crass girls who don’t seem in the least concerned with the rights of others nor the responsibilities that come along with being a true feminist. I’m sad at and for the writers and readers of Jezebel. This isn’t real feminism; it doesn’t have to be crude, or mean, or brassy. Real feminism is about real equality and real rights, and its concerned with making sure no one benefits through someone else’s disadvantage. Seems to me Jezebel is benefitting from the title “feminism,” which to them implies blatant disregard for others in the name of being a woman, when real feminists are concerned with preserving the integrity of everyone’s prosperity in the name of equality. If Jezebel were truly feminist, there’d be no Jezebel.

  • S

    SadNov 12, 2012 at 1:37 pm makes money (ad revenue from clicks) by exploiting rape victims. They make sure to include the word “rape” in their articles more when it is “trending” on Google because of the political crap – more clicks mean more $$$$. Just today the headline is “The East Coast Rapist in his own horrible words!”

    Yep, nothing so feminist and anti-rape as giving a platform to the thoughts of a rapist and making money off the “horrible” details of someone’s sexual assault. makes $$$ exploiting rape victims while masquerading as concerned feminists. Shame on them. Thank you for writing this piece and criticizing their blatant hypocrisy.

  • P

    PaulOct 20, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    “Wait, but didn’t just “slut-shame” Munn and say she was, essentially, too sexy to be credible? What makes Rihanna different? Does have two different definitions of the word?”

    The only difference I could spot is that Munn is a celebrity aimed to men while Rihanna is aimed to women.

    Obviously feminists will attack Munn, since in a feminist utopia, women should NEVER do anything that appeal men (especially if is sexual) and taking Munn away from the media spotlights is also a attack on men.

  • D

    DaveOct 9, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    What doesn’t mean to “own” your sexuality? As a man this sounds to complicated for me. All I known is I have testosterone and a penis and I compete with other men for the right to have we with “liberated” women. I’m a huge Feminist and I sk my part by helping young girls to sexually liberate themselves and not to listen to all the mysoginist noise about self respect and being virtuous and love and commitment and all that other oppressive crap. I love women like those at Jezebel because without these women men would not be empowered with cheap, easy access to women’s bodies that was not available before pop and lipstick feminism that has become mainstream. It truly is an amazing world to live in a super single dude that just wants to bang a lot nod modern chicks (but sucks to be a committed guy or family man).