In a bizarrely ahistorical but otherwise engaging article for the Guardian, Moira Donegan eulogized the now-defunct website Jezebel, which shut down last week.
For Donegan, Jezebel was re-radicalizing: a desperately needed revival of feminism, restyled for the Information Age. In Donegan’s eyes, Jezebel’s sensationalist first-person essays, known at the time as “clickbait,” were tantamount to radical feminist consciousness-raising. Alongside websites such as xoJane and Feministing, Jezebel showed a strong commitment to woman-first politics and ushered in a new age of feminism.
Or so Donegan claims. With its death, she writes, we are witnessing the end of feminist media itself.
It would be compelling if only it were true.
Like its peers, Jezebel wasn’t exactly the beacon of activism Donegan seems to remember it as. Jezebel was the corporatization of something we’d already seen in the blogosphere. Finally, the feminist websites we’d already been following on LiveJournal, Xanga, and Blogspot had enough reach to start a real conversation.
It was also, infamously, one of the first websites to take advantage of accusing people of being “problematic,”…
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