Monday, June 23, 2008

Gossip Misogyny

I am tiring of gossip blogs.

This means that they are over the hump from trendy to 'jumped-the-shark' I suppose.

I'm sure it's just boredom, I'll move on to some other time waster, but part of me thinks that I am tiring of the endless hatred towards women featured on these blogs. It has been rubbing me the wrong way lately.

I'd hate to stereotype and complain about what, in essence, I am doing here...but

It seems most blogs are written by one of the following categories of author:
1. Gay men who, deep down, feel that it is their right to make fun of whomever they choose, since they've suffered through it their whole lives. They might be right. But, it is also these bloggers who say some of the most awful women-hating things I've ever heard. They post with little understanding of what feminism is. And while I'm sure the attitude is intended to be funny and light, I'm tiring of hearing women be put down for their looks, life choices, clothing and creative work, by men, whoever they are. I'm tired of it being 'ok' because they are gay.

2. Women who, deep down, wish they themselves were celebrities, and therefore tear down any celebrity woman who may do something 'different' than the mainstream, weigh 10lbs more than nothing, or wear a not-so-flattering make up application. It reads very much like the popular girls in school when they talked about unpopular girls. It feels like celebrities truely are either too thin or too fat. And if the blogger is female, why are they choosing to perpetuate this? I feel like, when I read this type of blog, that the blogger is only happy with perfection. I feel like women shouldn't be talking about other women this way. It's self defeating. And sad.

3. Angry straight men who post primarily bikini or nip-slip shots along with crude commentary about how slutty the celebrity is. I feel this is akin to the guys who walk around in malls with cameras on their shoes trying to get 'up-skirts'. Creepy and seeing women only as objects, filled with hatred and really quite offensive in tone, this type of blog I don't read often, and usually by mistake.

Now of course there is the odd exceptional blog, where it manages to be critical without the intense women-bashing, objectifying and hatred, but that seems more rare than anything. Couple all of these blogs with mainstream tabloid magazines, sell it all to a bunch of 14 year old girls, and sure thing, it will breed a lot of self hate and low self esteem. No wonder young girls are now dieting so early in life. I've heard 8 year olds call themselves fat and in need of 'slimming down'. That is so disturbing, and I can't help but think this critical entertainment culture that is accepted in the mainstream has a role in it.

I think it's been getting worse lately. I am assuming this is the case because when any market floods, you have to push boundaries to stand out. I assume this is why the tone of gossip blogs has gotten particularily nasty of late. After all, Britney Spears, who has kept gossip blogs in business for almost the entirety of last year, is seemingly stable and calm. How they treated her in the media was a new low, even for tabloid journalism. To post pictures of someone having a mental breakdown is very sad. To exploit that, reprehensible. Even the gossip blogs chilled out on that once she was deemed bi-polar, as if after torturing her for a year or so, they suddenly had morals. So they have to find something new to tear apart, and really any old girl with an unperfect photo will do for that day. Some gossip bloggers say the celebrity is a bitch and therefore deserves it. Or that they 'put themselves out there' and deserve our judgement. While I see the logic in this thought, I do wonder, why must women tear eachother down, and then furthermore, why do we just stand by while men do it? Is it really so hard to be happy for someone else's success? I guess it's not that entertaining to be nice.

Some would argue, that these blogs just express what we are all thinking to ourselves. I beg to differ. I think reading this type of commentary makes us all think that way more often, because it enables us to feel it is normal. If we never read that type of thing, we'd think it was really shocking.

I can't possibly wrap up my thoughts on this right here in this post. I have too much to say and think about before I can do that. I do hope though, that quitting is as easy as getting started.

1 comment:

SVCON said...

I've managed give up on full on gossip blogs, maybe b/c I was never really into them. It seems the only time I check 'em now is when they're refrenced in Jezebel's Crimes Against Womanity. Now if I could only kick my woman's magazine habit...