I’ve had a love/hate relationship with you for a long time, Jezebel. You would amuse me with cute things and inform me of interesting goings-on, then you would promote gross gender essentialism, the roasting of celebrities, and the shaming of sluts. Even though you pissed me off on a daily basis for being the worst website to ever brand itself as feminist, I remained torn.
You’ve always been a trashy, pageview-centric jerk, but you really outdid yourself with that post about a video of a woman being raped, which included screenshots from said video. (Anna North was the writer, by the way.) You showed shots of her violated body, which is kind of number 1 on the list of Things Not to Do When Reporting a Rape Story. And when readers protested you simply pixellated the images, added a non-apology, and claimed that to remove the images would be to unreport the story, which was about the video.
First of all, your post was about a woman being raped as much as it was about the video surfacing on YouTube, so: terrible reasoning. And secondly, when did you start thinking of yourself as a source of high-quality journalism? Your MO, for as long as I can remember, has been to scrape news and links from other sites and provide snarky commentary or highlight fucked up things going on in the world or pull out-of-context quotes from stupid studies about sex differences to be all “HEY SEE MEN ARE LIKE THIS AND WOMEN ARE LIKE THIS.” As far as I can tell, you do not hire reporters (and if you do, they’re crappy) and you rarely fact check or conduct interviews. Your business is in causing outrage and getting traffic any way you can—not to inform, educate, or report.
I did recently read a post in which one of your writers interviewed people, seemingly for just to denigrate Xeni Jardin’s experience and refute her breast-cancer diagnosis—or as you worded it, find out if a person can actually be diagnosed in one day. That was real classy, Jezebel. (She does, by the way, actually have breast cancer.)
Again and again I said I’d quit you but I never quite could. But this week you made it easy for me, and for that I thank you. I will never again visit or link to you. You won’t miss me, no—certainly your traffic will remain unaffected by your bullshit, extremely harmful, and antifeminist model—but I’m happy to finally be free of you and that’s what matters. There is enough awfulness in the world and I really don’t need your version of it.
Fuck you very much.