So I had been a long time reader over at Jez. It was so amazing when it first started up. I loved Hortense and most of the other writers and commenters. They were so intelligent, eloquent, original and wickedly funny. Over time, things became less awesome. My beloved Hortense left and Jessica Cohen came on to the scene in no particular order. The quality of that website flat-lined when she took over. That’s just a fact. I’ll never forgive that crap “article” she wrote about calling Charlie Sheen that never went anywhere. Literally, it was an overly long piece that was just about her calling him and trying to meet up with him. This was in a 24 hour window of Jezebel publishing an article detailing his history of violence against women. But Jessica thought she was cute and interesting, of which she’s neither. She is the most talentless hack on a website that capitalizes on being perceived as feminist without actually being feminist. You can’t google “feminist blog” without that site being in the top results. Cohen even allowed herself to be profiled as a “new face of feminism” as part of her job as an editor at Jez. Then Jez will do something ridiculously assy and anti-woman/human to get page views like giving rape apologia a platform, posting pictures of a woman being raped, and making a man who bullies women of color online and who previously tried to murder his girlfriend, among other creeptastic things a paid regular writer and alienating readers in the process, to name a few. When called out on their bullshit, Jez will flounce and fall back on “We’re not a feminist website, so nyah” as previous links will mention some of Coen’s notorious non-apologies for her shit behavior and decisions.
You don’t have to be feminist, but do you have to be such horrible shitheads? And do you have to be horrible soulless shitheads that pretend to be feminists? “Too smart to be raped?” Really? As a survivor, I’m telling you to go fuck yourself. I wasn’t raped because I was stupid. I was raped because someone I thought was my friend decided to rape me. Period. Again go fuck yourself.
There are a myriad of other things wrong with Jezebel; the blatant, unapologetic, oblivious racism not least of them, as well as their repeated insensitivity to rape and survivors. How about promoting bad science? Or writing about science without understanding it and not hiring a damn science writer? making light of mental illness? Unprovoked hatred of their commenters? The hypocritical slut shaming? Banning commenters for any amount of criticism? There are so many problems that repeatedly rear their ugly heads that there is a drinking game detailing some of them. Many people have issues with Jez for different reasons.
A personal nitpick is their constant state of changing for the worse. We have a comment system that works? Let’s change it so it’s incomprehensible. We have a website design that’s simple, clean and readable? Let’s change it to be more complicated and buggy as hell. It’s admittedly not the worst thing about Jez, but it always feels like they’re making changes to drive away readers.
Well, it worked Jez. I can’t stand anything about your website other than the community of commenters, Lindy, and Dodai. I can enjoy most of that community at Pmag and Lindy keeps a personal blog. I like Dodai, but I detest your website more than I like her, so I’ll go without.
The writers at Pmag are just as clever and funny, but tend to be more insightful, thoughtful and original than the average Jez schlepper. Also, that powers that be at Persephone actually like their readers and encourage discussion. What a novel concept.
I was reading a news round up on Friday and she wrote little haikus for each news item. How fucking adorable is that?! Someone actually writing something original rather than just regurgitating news from other sites with some predictable snark salad formula with some amirites? sprinkled in.
So, I really don’t think I’ll be missing Jez at all. Especially after the day they took commenting down (without warning, i might add. Their sister sites were given a heads up prior to. I just take this as evidence that the staff at Jez doesn’t like their commenters as much as the others do.) and basically trolled their commentariat with terrible articles. It took me so long to leave and be done for good, but I don’t feel tempted at all to look back. I don’t think I ever will, either. It has turned into something twisted, a perversion of a women’s blog that’s opened itself to trolls. I don’t even recognize it anymore. Let them have it. The staff and the trolls deserve each other. They’re basically one and the same, these days.