Category Archives: Reviews

Why I Just Unsubscribed From Jezebel


by Amorina Kingdon

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When someone you love keeps doing stupid shit, how long do you hold on before you cut them loose? I fear I’ve come to that point in my long relationship with the website Jezebel.

I met Jezebel five or six years ago. I clicked on an article about good to-do-list apps. I quickly found Jezebel had a whole series of articles about unsolicited products that were actually good. Then I clicked on some other articles on feminism, and realized they were giving voice to an unspoken rage that had been twisting inside me, that I had long ago learned to squish down. No, Jezebel cried! You are neither wrong nor alone!

 

Alas, it’s been a long, long time since Jezebel gave me any similarly useful information.

So today, I’m going to my Facebook feed right now and will give you the last six Jezebel headlines that have come in. I have not looked at Facebook yet today, yet I feel confident they will prove my point. Then I’m going to unsubscribe. It will be sad. BRB.

1. Woman Who Put Pop Rocks On Genitals Featured on Sex Sent Me to the ER

2. Unsurprisingly, Bullying of LGBT+ Students is Rife in Japan, Too

3. California Mom Spends Mother’s Day Chasing Down Robber

4. Read the First Excerpt From Hillary Clinton’s Book Hard Choices

5. Sandy Hook Truther Steals Memorial Sign, Taunts Victim’s Mother

6. McDonald’s is Catering Nutritionist Conferences Now

 

There. I did it. It’s over.

1. Fucking seriously?

2. Leaving aside the question of feminism appropriating the struggles of other marginalized groups, this is another manufactured-rage story. Do we learn why? No. Do we learn how to stop it? No. Again, without these key points, all you’re doing is reiterating what we already know. You’re getting us dialled up to ten and then…nothing. One article like this is enraging. Ten, twenty in a row? I start to feel like I’m being provoked, like the site is treating my rage as a product.

3. Clickbait fluff (great Bond villain name!)

4. This may actually add some value to your day. Except the exclusive excerpt is over at Vogue.com. Two days ago.

5. This is FOX-News-esque gossip mongering, taking one weird example and extrapolating to significance. This is not important. Jezebel, what are you doing?

6. This is shady, true. But…is it related to feminism? Is it furthering discussion of women? No. When all your good articles need to reach outside feminism to be…well, good, doesn’t that say something?

LGiNJ

I want to be better. I want to make it better, or learn why it was not getting better before. Jezebel no longer does this for me. Instead, all I know when I open the page is that I’m going to hear yet another horror story that neither casts light on the why of misogyny, nor offers solutions. I will just get a snappy closing sentence that amounts to ‘guys! stop being assholes!’

And I have no time, energy, or strength for these sorts of circlejerks. There, I said it. It’s not me. It’s you. I can no longer afford to be made angry for no purpose. If I wanted that, I’d just go to a Red Pill forum.

But the thing that makes me angry, and not just sad? It had the potential. It had the audience. And it had the talent. Lindy West fired me up something fierce, back in the day. It’s a Gawker-affiliated site, so there was even the chance an occasional dude might see an interesting article. And now it’s a punchline. Granted, I could write a whole other article on how unfairly quickly it became a punchline, but still.

I can sum it up in one sentence: none of its content, as written, helps.

And hey! I get it. You’re sick, Jezebel. You have a condition. It’s called ‘being on the Internet’ and the problem you have is far from unique to feminist outlets. You are pressured to produce digestible, entertaining clickbait on ever-shorter deadlines. In many ways, it’s not your fault. Your friend io9 suffers from the same disease. I would have hoped you could escape it, find a way to push past it. But what is annoying on BuzzFeed is painful from you, and I can’t afford to wait around for you to grow up any longer.

So, goodbye, Jezebel. I wish the writers my sincere best in their next gigs – which they will have, I’m sure. Very, very soon.

In the meantime, this is (in my opinion) the last thing of real quality that Jezebel wrote. To close: a rather fascinating portrait of the woman behind Lisa Frank.

 

The Blasfemmers Review: Sister Mary’s A Dyke?!

SMAD_4x6(front-print)-1By Mirra Kardonne, Amorina Kingdon and Amy Medvick

If there’s one thing you can expect from Cahoots Theatre Company, it’s that you have no idea what you’re in for. Sure, a play might have a title, a synopsis—but it’s all a covert scheme to pull the rug out from underneath you once you’ve sat down. Sister Mary’s A Dyke?! is no exception.

This one-woman show, written and performed by Flerida Peña, is a journey through a young woman’s changing relationship with her God and a discovery of her sexuality, the struggle between the dogma of Catholicism and her awakening feelings for her classmate, Elle.

From the moment you sit down, the pious tone is immediately communicated. Peña ‘s character, Abby, is both at home in the setting of her Catholic boarding school and at odds with it—and the audience can feel the discomfort of her youthful confusion over her traditions. But it takes almost no time for the story and for Abby to become fully realized, and take the audience on a seriously hilarious ride.

Photo  by Dahlia Katz

Photo by Dahlia Katz

Abby’s journey is narrated through her conversational prayers to Jesus. Though Abby has been raised in a climate of oppression surrounding women and sexuality, when she is faced with the reality of her convictions, her feelings, and her longing to see happiness and freedom for the women around her, she brings her questions straight to her deity, who guides her transformation from a timid school-girl to a fearless freedom fighter. Her trust in this deeply personal relationship with her spirituality is what allows her to revise and rebuild a new Catholicism that addresses the needs and the reality of the many diverse women she has grown close to. In this way, Sister Mary’s a Dyke?! offers a way to negotiate one’s identity and political convictions with a spiritual commitment to a faith that must once again grow to represent the ethos of it’s flock.

Photo  by Dahlia Katz

Photo by Dahlia Katz

If you’ve got any Catholic in your past, the set will be immediately familiar. A central stage, hung about with cathedral-esque window frames and spot-illuminated to show the passage of time, mimics religious spaces, then transforms into a classroom, a campsite, or locker-lined high-school hallway. The minimal props – a row of small benches, and later, to much laughter, a small tent – are used sparingly, and the space is just big enough for one person to fill. Flerida Peña’s voice is gloriously enjoyable, and her physical presence on stage is energetic and earnest. She’s a pleasure to watch.

We would have liked to see the events of the ending continue on the ground-breaking, boundary-busting-ness that the rest portrays, and see Abby’s newly discovered strength fully carried through into her future. Nonetheless, Sister Mary’s A Dyke?! comes highly recommended, offering compassion, bewilderment and plenty of surprises that will leave you laughing and just slightly wishing that you too were a Catholic lesbian radical activist, fully loaded and en route to Vatican City to deliver some justice.

Sister Mary’s A Dyke?! continues until Junes 16th at the Aki Studio Theatre, 585 Dundas Street East at the Daniels Spectrum. Tickets can be purchased here, or at cahoots.ca.