Justice, Sex & Gender, Uncategorized

In Which Sexism Remains Mysteriously Present.

Sexism can be confusing. Sometimes it doesn’t look like sexism. For example, if you were to auction off dates with your female bloggers, get called out for it, and then decide that in order to escape this mess you got yourself into, you’d auction off some dates with your male bloggers, because, you know, the idea of BUYING someone, regardless of gender is not innately problematic. As a smart friend of mine pointed out: “Involving men is not an equalizing measure because it’s still referencing the original commodification of women. it’s satire of the original problem based on gender differences, i.e. why football players can dress in drag for pep rallies, because men being girly is hilarious.”

So there was a lot that came out of the Jewlicious fundraising fiasco, not the least of which was a total lack of recognition that what was proposed was actually problematic and sexist. Instead, the use of the words “patriarchy” and “misogyny” was mocked, and Naomi Zeveloff, the Forward writer who called out the auction situation, was condescended to. (According to David Abitbol, she “sure seems nice.”)

Here we are a few weeks later, and not only does Jewlicious refuse to take any responsibility for the situation, but they’ve actually continued to engage with the sexist media by posting about the World Air Stewardess Association’s announcement that the El Al Airlines has the “Most Beautiful Air Hostesses.”
Is this confusing? Is this somehow not a blatant commodification of women? If you want to convince people you’re not sexist, it’s not enough to just say you’re not, you have to actually do something. A post about how this list of the most beautiful women who serve you food in the air is a problem would be a start.
To quote David Abitbol himself, “the patriarchy is pernicious and needs to called out constantly.” Once you rely on a trope as antique as lady selling, you and the media that perpetuates it deserve to be held accountable- actively, relentlessly and without hesitation. 

6 thoughts on “In Which Sexism Remains Mysteriously Present.

  1. There is an ad for Jdate on this blog with a sexy woman and barely a faceshot of a man. ‘Where it happens’

  2. Tasteless JDate ads aside, can you sharp eyed geniuses tell me where we mentioned an “auction” or for that matter, a “date?” (hint: we didn’t) Can you also let me know where we mocked “patriarchy” or “misogyny?” (hint: we didn’t) And when I said that Zeveloff seemed nice, might that have been based on a phone call I had with her that, while brief, left me with the impression that she was indeed nice? (hint: Yes) Now, take a moment and reread the stewardess piece. It was a prima facie dumb news story. There was nothing in Larry’s post that could be construed as celebratory or approving. So how was this sexist exactly? (hint: it isn’t, unless you are a mean spirited, holier than thou, self righteous thought policeman looking to meet some self imposed ideological quota) Of the three (!!!) posts written on the topic of Jewlicious’ egregious sexism, this is the dumbest by far. I am embarrassed for you.

  3. For posterity, we don’t control those ads.
    As to the mocking, try this (from this post):

    …[Jewschool] unleashed the big boy words like “misogynistic” and “patriarchy.”

    You were referring to my original post on this.

  4. Uhm, rennaissanceboy, there’s a difference between mocking the concepts of misogyny and patriarchy and mocking your misuse of those terms. As for the JDate ad, it’s not a random Google ad nor is it an ad placed by your ad rep. It’s an affiliate ad that you guys placed there. You could easily produce a less sexy (sexist?) banner yourselves and link it to your affiliate code should you be so disposed.
    I notice, renaissanceboy, that you’re being less strident about answering questions of late. No pressure, just making an observation.

  5. Look, if you really want to keep pushing on the ads, here’s how it works: we contract our ad services out to a third party. The third party chooses what ads appear there, within some boundaries (I’m not responsible for that contract so I don’t know the specifics). We don’t approve or disprove every single ad that shows up on the site. I didn’t see the one you’re talking about, but from what I’ve read I’d be inclined to agree with the critique. So drop this already.
    And yes, I’m losing interest in this conversation. I’ve said just about everything I had to say, and gotten far, far less out of it than I’d hoped. I was hoping for an interesting debates, but so far, most of your responses to me and others here have made me feel like you were offended that we even brought it up. If I didn’t think this whole thing was worth getting into I wouldn’t have written the post (I see stuff I dislike on the Internet all the time and don’t usually take the time to write about it, as you noted earlier on). None of what’s since then that has left me with much interest in continuing. And if you’ve ever read the comment threads on other posts I’ve written, you’ll know that’s not because I dislike arguing.

  6. renaissanceboy: The JDate ad was not placed there by your 3rd party ad rep (who we both share btw). Ask your editor, you’ll see that I am right. It was placed there by whoever manages your web site, presumably at the behest of your editorial team. The URL that it points to contains an affiliate code- unlike all your other ads. It is well within your organizational power to modify or remove that particular banner. It is completely different from the banner ads you get from the 3rd party. Sorry to point out those inconvenient truths.
    “I was hoping for an interesting debate…” Well if that was your hope you went about it completely wrong. Do you think there might have been a nicer way to make your point than to splash my name on a title and declare that what I did was both lame and misogynist? If robust dialog is what you crave, you may want to consider that for next time.

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