Last week, as you may have guessed from my post, I was on vacation. Thus, I managed to miss all of the fuss about a new online women’s mag called Bustle until this week. It would be more accurate, I suppose, to say I ignored it as I did see info about it pop up on our Twitter feed from time to time, and I decided it would irritate me too much to read about it, based on the comments I saw.
So I put off my suspected irritation by a few days. And lo and behold, I was beyond aggravated when I finally read this article where Bustle’s founder talks about the launch and the About page for the magazine. In fact, I immediately emailed my fellow bloggers here at 5C6W to complain about it.
Slate has a hilarious write-up that points out just how deluded Bryan Goldberg is if he honestly thinks that he’s presenting something shiny and new to the public with his site, but I have to say, my disgust is not so much over him trying to spin his project in a way that will get it funded and recognized as it is over the general cluelessness with which he does it. He gave his site the unfortunate name Bustle, which doesn’t exactly suggest progressive, inclusive feminism despite his claims; he talked about makeup during his launch, which is beyond obnoxious in its you-cute-little-lady-you symbolism; and he claims to be flummoxed by the negative reactions he’s gotten from all the women who’ve been writing – literally for years – the kind of stories and articles he says he supports. If he really has no idea why he’s pissing people off, then he is that lovely type of guy who calls himself a feminist while consistently forgetting to treat women like human beings because he’s too busy treating them as “women.” Let’s keep it polite and just say I don’t much care for those guys.
Anyway, I’d much rather read this new women’s site, which I also stumbled across on Twitter: The Riveter. This magazine has a print and an online version and is dedicated to longform journalism written by women, but that is the only sense in which they are a women’s website; they are not focusing on women’s interest content, only on supporting women writers. Unsurprisingly, they are not hugely funded and didn’t have a well-publicized launch. But read their About page, and note the lack of condescension. Note the lack of talk of makeup or skirts. Note the lack of suggesting that they’ll coordinate our online reading experiences for us, with the underlying assumption that we’ll use our lady brains to figure it out for ourselves.
So, sorry, Bustle, but you will not become my new go-to site for fashion, news, and lifestyle content that I normally would not look for in one place anyway. I’ll continue to prowl around the entire Internet and curate my own reading experience because otherwise what’s the point of having the vast reaches of the Internet at your fingertips? And if I do, perchance, want to do some reading that’s tailored to me as someone who happens to possess a vagina (and also be named Katie, along with every other white woman), I’ll go check out Reductress instead.