“Reports of my boobs and fists have been greatly exaggerated,” says Laura Hudson, staring at a webcomic that depicts her with enormous versions of both, under the headline, “What I’m Offended About This Week!”
Today, Elsie Larson is wearing gold. “I’m kinda obsessed with gold lately,” she writes, “Gold details, jewelry, even metallic fabrics like this gold skirt that [my sister] Emma wore.” Kaylah Doolan has decorated her home for Christmas and shares photos of the end result— reindeer lights and tinsel decorating hallways, a ceramic elf perched on top of a stack of DVDs, Christmas tins by her bright blue typewriter. Abbey Hendrickson has five new things she recently found “in blogland” to share, including knit sea urchins, Free People boots, and quirkily wrapped gifts. Anja Verdugo recently worked on a “soft goth” photo shoot and documented the event with pictures of yellow and pink roses and makeup brushes next to a container of various lip balms.
Such is a day in the world of lifestyle blogging, an increasingly popular genre that women dominate.
“Should I say hi again? She knows I’m here.” J slinks along the hallway of Gutbusters, the diet-pill company she works for, to avoid seeing the new hire she keeps running into. Growing impatient with the situation’s awkwardness, J wonders, “Does this girl live in the hallway?”
An interview with Veronica Arreola, Shay Stewart-Bouley, Renee Martin, Arwyn Daemyir, Deesha Philyawby Bitch Magazine,Illustrated by Jasmine Silver,appeared in issue Red;published in 2011;filed under Internet culture.
Five bloggers on race and erasure in the mommy blogosphere
Several months ago, Bitch published a piece on the vexing economy of mom blogs and the contentious personalities that have come to define their corner of the Internet, for better or worse. The discussion it sparked wasn’t about whether mom blogs were, on balance, good or bad—it was about why they were so...white.
If you know your way around an Internet meme, you’ve probably heard of the online cooking show Epic Meal Time, a Food Network–meets–Jackass celebration of heart-clogging lowbrow cuisine. Each Tuesday, its rowdy Canadian creators cook up something both imaginative (Chili Four Loko, for instance), gross (meat salad), or, more likely, both (the Thanksgiving episode found them taking Turducken a few carnivorous steps further, stuffing five different game birds into a pig). The show has become understandably famous for its humor, its gratuitous use of bacon, and the creators’ proud disregard for suggested fat and cholesterol intake. (Each episode features a calorie and fat count with numbers that regularly reach the tens of thousands.) But what’s been less discussed is EMT’s more uncomfortably cavalier attitude toward women.
With all the pixels expended on the annual female-blogging extravaganza known as BlogHer, you might be forgiven for having overlooked the very first Modern Media Man Summit, a heavily sponsored and branded affair held this past September in Atlanta. Targeting "the blogosphere’s top men and dad bloggers," M3 promised to "change everything"—presumably by connecting dad bloggers to new and improved products and branding opportunities from corporations like GM and T-Mobile. While some BlogHer attendees complain about the ever-increasing commercialization of the convention, the organizers of M3 are eager to get in on the brand-pitch action, cleverly positioning the newest iteration of the New Man as, well, a housewife: "Today’s Modern Media Man now is a domestic engineer. He cooks, cleans and often times stays home while the woman of the home goes off to the traditional office job. Men do an increased level of the family shopping, are taking an increasing role in rearing the children and are creating a new definition of what happens in a home."
We were under attack. It was late on an August night. I was trying not to come down with a cold and just about to go to bed. But I was also guest-blogging at Feministe that week, so I logged on to check my e-mail and moderate comments one last time before I turned in. I was already overwhelmed. Between writing timely posts, separating the trolls and spammers from the innocents in the moderation filter, and trying to maintain a civil debate between polarized commenters on my threads, I was marveling that anyone could do this week in and week out and still keep a day job.
Then I got word that a loosely organized cybermob known as Anonymous was attempting to crash feminist sites, including Feministe, flooding comments sections with misogynist rants and threatening feminist bloggers with rape and other violence. This had happened before, but never with such organized force. Privately, we worried about our safety and strategized about how to defend our sites and ourselves. Publicly, we decried these attacks in blog after blog. We knew our attackers wanted to silence us, and we refused to give them that satisfaction.
It turned out that we were wrong. Wrong about what their goals were and wrong about what our response should have been.