Over at the Huffington Post, Liz Funk is doing so a poor hatchet job at attacking Jessica Valenti that she makes the radical trolls on Majikthise seem respectable. Ann has already noted her selective portrayal of Feministing’s content, which makes it look like an online version of Maxim, but what she doesn’t talk about is the weasel-wording. For example,
One of the hottest sites on the internet is now one of the most contested. Nearly everyday, it is updated with risqué and often sexually implicative content. Its logo is the silhouette of a sexy woman showing off her curves. Last month, the website’s founder was accused of exploiting her femininity by her peers in the industry in a picture taken at a networking luncheon where some feel she flaunts her curves.
To me, the glaring distortion is “some feel she flaunts her curves.” Mentioning Ann Althouse’s bullshit analysis as a valid alternative viewpoint makes as much sense as writing about science and giving equal time to creationists. Quoting Ann Althouse in length for the article makes hers look like a serious take on Feministing, even though it was a bad joke gone awry.
What’s worse, the article then tries to moderate its tone, but ends up only making Feministing look even more fringe.
Erin Matson, the co-chair of that National Organization for Women Young Feminist Task Force, presents a more moderate viewpoint: “This controversy is a rehashing of a very old debate within the feminist community: is public sexuality empowering or harmful to women? It’s a complex issue and it’s good to keep the discussion going… some feminists may disagree with the stance taken by many of Feministing’s writers, but let’s reserve the word ‘anti-feminist’ for our real enemies. To slap the same label on Jessica Valenti and Anne Coulter is completely ridiculous.”
The problem with that is that every person who the major feminist bloggers would call a feminist took Jessica’s side. I wish I could say that there’s no feminist tradition of bullshit analysis or puritanism, but what I can say is that these traditions are and have always been fringe viewpoints, and are weaker now than they used to be.
Apart from that, there’s the fact that there was no public sexuality at the event. Claiming otherwise means you accept Althouse’s flawed premises, which means you’re not moderate at all. All there was was a picture of a young woman not dressed in a burqa.