The idea for this SXSW Core Conversation was originally pitched as a panel discussion for this year’s Interactive component of the festival. While it didn’t make the cut for that, happily, it was deemed worth talking about in SXSWi’s Core Conversation series, a town hall-style discussion that actually may suit the subject at hand even better than an audience/panel/moderator configuration.
The premise behind the topic is as self-explanatory as its title: Often, it can be violent and bloody to be a woman writing online. While the wounds are virtual, the online conversation frequently sinks to lows surrounding female writers’ personal lives and suspected proclivities — rather than their capabilities, qualifications, and accomplishments — in ways that have negative repercussions for them both professionally and personally. We see this happening to men who write online less frequently. We want to talk about why that is, and what can be done to combat it.
We hope you’ll join the conversation, both here and in Austin next month.
I am co-convening this panel with Rebecca Fox at SXSW on Sunday, March 15th from 11:30 am - 12:30 pm. Topics may include oversharing (and why articles about oversharing may or may not need to be accompanied by fetching photos of lovely young ladies on tousled bedsheets); Jezebelism (and who gets to decide what Feminism is, anyway?); fambeballing (and other variations on “balling”); microfame and gender-based backlash; Tumblettes; and why there is such a thing as “Tumblettes.” Come!
This should, indeed, be an interesting discussion given Rachel’s piece about Emily Gould — referenced in Rachel’s second sentence — last year in which she catigated her for banning commenters who slagged her looks (been there, done that), talking too much about her personal life and posting a picture of herself in a bathing suit (I prefer party dresses and fishnets or Feminazi bonerkiller clothes). I also think it’s a little interesting that they’ll be discussing “Jezebelism” without, you know, any of the women who write or wrote for the site in the room. I guess it’s a just little more fun just to talk about us behind our backs.
Can I suggest a topic even though I won’t be there? Maybe as part of the discussion that I won’t be present for, you all can discuss how women sometimes give the worst of it to other women.
Wow Megan, and here I thought you knew me. Some clarification:
1. One of the issues to come out of Emily’s piece was the fact of how she was presented - Rebecca Traister had a great take on it at Salon. Since this is a gender-slicing panel, the point for everything is going to be examining why women get a different treatment than guys - more sexualized (whether or not a girl/woman is young/hot plays into it - Emily, Kathy Sierra) and a lot more backlash. Emily’s story was a major online event for the times, and generated a ton of discussion and debate in the blogosphere (a lot more than Josh’s did). It’s definitely part of an examination of gendered reactions to online writing.
2. As for Jezebelism, “and who gets to decide what Feminism is, anyway?” refers to the controversy about how Lizz Winstead portrayed “the Jezebel incident” - namely, devoid of significant context and in carefully-excerpted snippets. This unleashed a ton of debate about what it meant to be feminist - and a feminist role model, as well as basic journalistic fairness. There’s also the fact that Moe and Tracie were castigated not only for their sexual attitudes but for being drunk (in a show called “Thinking and Drinking” - imagine that!) - last I checked being drunk and sleeping around was decidedly less problematic for men. It’s the fallout and the backlash from it all that we want to discuss.
3. “I also think it’s a little interesting that they’ll be discussing “Jezebelism” without, you know, any of the women who write or wrote for the site in the room. I guess it’s a just little more fun just to talk about us behind our backs.” WTF? I don’t even know who is coming to SXSW. If you are, great - that’s what was meant by “We hope you’ll join the conversation” and “Come!”
4. I need to be clear that I have never castigated ANYONE for talking about their sexual assault - you linked to a piece called “My sexual assault is not your political issue.” I think the stat is 1 in 4 women have been sexually assaulted. You have. I have. It’s not an issue to invite any castigation, period.
5. Here’s your conclusion: “Maybe as part of the discussion that I won’t be present for, you all can discuss how women sometimes give the worst of it to other women.” Here’s Rebecca’s conclusion: “We see this happening to men who write online less frequently. We want to talk about why that is, and what can be done to combat it.” Here’sWith respect, you have misunderstood this panel completely - but you could not have offered more compelling proof of why it’s a conversation that needs to happen.