On Giving Credit to Feminist Writers

Sady Doyle writes “For the Record” on sadybusiness:

…and I’m mad at the trend of anonymizing and erasing women who do feminist work, attributing every single fucking idea and cultural gain to vaguely defined “feminists” rather than the actual people who sat down, wrote the pieces, made deadline, and endured harassment over it, only to find themselves literally erased in the coverage.

I was also pissed off by the way that Patton Oswalt’s re-thinking of rape jokes — which was genuinely just great! I loved it! I was such a fan! — was reported as Patton Oswalt randomly birthing a beautiful brain-baby, in all but one or two outlets, one of which I actually worked for. (The other one was Entertainment Weekly, which was just bizarre.) Actually, that post was the result of years of activist work, not least by Molly Knefel, but also by Lindy West, Melissa McEwan (who called Oswalt out for re-enacting a rape in one of his comedy specials, and has not let up in the years since — I had more than a feeling that she was the “idiotic blogger” he referred to in his Tosh tweet), and a decade’s worth of women who have worked on changing this conversation. There have been people, writers, working on this for a long-ass time, says [that blogger]. [That blogger’s] feeling is that, since they’re women, and feminists, there’s a real drive to cast their voices as both amateur and illegitimate. This, in [that blogger’s] opinion, is a way to keep anti-sexism from ever comprising a crucial and accepted role in both cultural criticism and social interactions.

But they’re not remembered. Their names — like my name — are erased. Their work — like my work — is cast as the work of a collective.

Sady Doyle writing about the pernicious tendency to not give credit to women doing the difficult and unrewarding work of feminist writing, even while accepting and appropriating their thoughts and writing.

Having just read the Patton Oswalt piece where he rethinks his ideas about rape jokes, I’m so glad she made this point, because yeah, I was ready to take what he said as a complete win without considering that there were a lot of hard-working women who worked on changing his mind and none of those women got a shout-out in his piece. Or get a shout-out ever. Given the quality of Sady’s writing, she should have a much bigger profile than she does.

Erasing the individual women who’s writing has influenced thinking about women is flat out sexism, and unfortunately the ability to easily appropriate people’s work without attribution on the internet means that an entire generation of talented female writers is easily ignored.

I wish that Sady had a more permanent archival home on the internet than she does now – tumblr is too ephemeral for her writing and it’s hard to see the full record of her work, which is amazing, thoughtful stuff.

Female Writer from Hill's Manual of Social Business Forms

Continue ReadingOn Giving Credit to Feminist Writers

They come for her jokes, and stay for her epic beatdowns

Sady wins the internet. (with [BONER] jokes!). I’m still trying to figure out how a mansplaining, boner-obsessed, “feminist if it will get me laid” dude came to a site with the word “beatdown” in the title and didn’t think he would get one for patting all the ladies on the head and thanking them for playing “but let me show you how it’s done”-ing the crowd. But thank Grover Cleveland that he did it, because it whipped Sady Doyle into the most hilarious righteous frenzy I’ve ever seen. And he didn’t stop there, either – he proceeded down the list of every item on the Derailing for Dummies list:

“You’re Being Hostile”, “But That Happens To Me Too”, “You’re Being Overemotional”, “Don’t You Have More Important Issues To Think About”, “You’re Not Being Intellectual Enough”, “Your Experience Is Not Representative Of Everyone”, “You’re Not Being A Team Player”, “You’ve Lost Your Temper So I Don’t Have To Listen To You Anymore”, and “You’re Damaging Your Cause By Being Angry” among others (thanks to commenters for assembling that list.)

If you too love the hell out of goofy boner jokes or just want to bring sunshine into your day, please read the whole post but I would be remiss if I didn’t highlight the cherry on top:

And now, Freddie? Now, I’m Sady fucking Doyle. Of Tiger fucking Beatdown. Which gets roughly one hundred fucking thousand pageviews per month. And if you don’t like my jokes, motherfucker, then what you can do is, you can just. Fucking. LIVE WITH IT. Because these jokes, this secret little mode of resistance that I developed because I had no other options, have become the way I pay my rent. And neither you nor your various Serious Theory Friends nor God himself nor ANYTHING short of my own unexpected and sudden death in a car accident can fucking stop me. This is maybe self-aggrandizing, but you know what? I’m fine with that. I made myself who I am today, and she’s a pretty fucking great lady to be. And the thing is, if you can work harder than I have, if you can write better than I can, if you can equal or surpass my accomplishment, I’ll aggrandize you, too. God knows I don’t hesitate to sing the praises of people like, I dunno, Choire Sicha or Jessica Valenti or Jill Filipovic or Josh Fruhlinger or Clay Shirky, all of whom have done way better work than I have. But you can’t do even as well as I have, Freddie. Can you? Which is part of this whole deal. You’re not better than me, and it makes you sad.

When I grow up, I wanna be Sady (fucking) Doyle.

Once you’ve laughed your ass off, check out the two epic follow-ups regarding Freddie and his Boners:
Thank You For Subscribing to the Newsletter for the We Don’t Care About Freddie’s Boners Foundation

[BONERS], For Fun and Profit: The Extent To Which You Don’t Care About [BONERS], Revealed!

And if you just haven’t had enough of funny feminism, you know who else is funny, too? I Blame the Patriarchy. Tasty stuff.

Continue ReadingThey come for her jokes, and stay for her epic beatdowns

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