So the Jezebel thing is a huge story here in New York, and I hope that doesn’t sound pretentious or shitty, but I realize that there are a lot of things that go on here that seem to grip everyones’ minds, and when I talk to my BFF in Chicago/North Carolina/Atlanta about it, she’s like “what?”. And these are hip, brilliant ladies. I think New York loses its perspective sometimes, thinks its a teenager with a training bra- “EVERYONE WILL KNOW I’M WEARING THIS AND TALK ABOUT ME!!!” But either way, let me explain.
Lizz Winstead is one of the creators of The Daily Show and a pretty awesome woman. She has a local talk show of sorts here called Shoot the Messenger. A few days ago she had Tracie Egan and Moe Tkacik from the website Jezebel, which I adore, on the show. She was interviewing them about, you know, feminist stuff.
I don’t know what happened, but it seems that Tracie and Moe got drunk, and everyone said things that were a little bit shitty. I won’t bore you with the entire thing, but this clip features some of the most insane parts. Check out the photoshopped and non-photoshopped versions of Faith Hill lording over them all, as a sad reminder of the spirited conversation that should have been:
0:58, when Moe admits that she was date raped her third time having sex, and says “I wasn’t going to fucking turn him in to police or some shit!”
1:53, when Tracie says that she hasn’t even been raped because “it’s about education, maybe, and I’m smart…..DON’T HISS!” (the audience was, in fact, hissing)
2:25, when Tracie, who is still discussing why she’s never been raped, says “I’ve never hung around with frat guys”
5:15, when the discussion devolves into how there is no specific type of rapist, to how we are in a culture of emulators, to how everyone bought Ugg boots two years ago
You can read Lizz Winstead’s response to the whole thing here at the Shoot the Messenger site- “I feel a responsibility to hold these young women accountable for the statements they make as they seem sure to keep repeating them.”
You can read the main editor of Jezebel’s response here- “I like to think that this site is a place where women (editors and readers alike) are able to agree to disagree and certainly, messages get lost in translation, but the whole event turned out to be one big mess of failed jokes, disturbing intimations, absurd judgments and self-righteous victim-blaming…by most everyone involved.”
What I realize from this is that the shame is no longer about the fact that rape occurs. That’s the shame of the 90s. The shame of the 00s is that women have gone past “taking back the night” and are now taking back the old school shitty scorn and belittling both of rape and the women that get raped. Hearing rape talked about now is the equivalent to those cutesy stories about Saddam Hussein really liking Doritos. In our effort to shrink it down, we made it a weapon again, and a tiny, condescending one at that. For every rape joke I hear from a female stand up comic, for every time I make jokes about rape myself, I will think of this clip, and I will feel shame. Maybe that’ll be the shame of the 10s.