Maybe you don't notice, but, unlike the female-helmed celebrity rags, we take special care not to criticize the weight, wrinkles or cellulite of the women we feature. (Of course, their fashions, not to mention their actions, are fair game). Thing is, many of our readers don't notice this fact, or, more disturbingly, don't care, peppering many posts (particularly Snap Judgments) with their own offensive commentary about how women age, or gain weight. Some of it is in jest, some of it isn't, and some, well, it's just hard to tell. But one reader who wrote in last night, Erin, says it better than we ever could:
You know what would be great? A 'no negative comments on a woman's appearance' rule, or maybe even 'no negative comments regarding anyone's appearance". I am so sick of reading the comments and seeing "Oh she's put on weight' 'She's looking old', seeing a woman's appearance absolutely torn to pieces on /any /story accompanied by a photo, no matter what it is. It really puts me off wanting to read any comments at all, which is a great pity because there are also some great opinions by intelligent women amid these insults.
Apparently nothing a woman does can ever be more important than the way she looks, and even we woman have been brainwashed into thinking that to be valued and beautiful we must be young, thin, and covered in cosmetics. We get these messages all day every day, think how fantastic it would be if Jezebel was the one media outlet that said 'No, that's not right.'
You know what? Erin's right: This sort of shit is not okay, and we should say it more often. Remember Tina Fey's character in Mean Girls, dismayed by what she called girl-on-girl crime? It's hard enough being a woman in this world, why get swept along in the tidal wave of negativity and misogyny this culture drowns in? Even though we thought our opinion on the matter was implicit, maybe we need to be explicit. So here goes. For those readers who want to rip into other women's appearances, consider yourselves notified: We will happily and quickly call you out on your bullshit if you continue with the superficial shitty comments. For those who don't like this, well, we can think of some other sites that would be happy to indulge you.