The piece “13 Signs Someone Is A F*ckgirl, Because They’re Everywhere And They Need To Be Stopped” was published on the website Bustle on Sunday. On Monday, it was gone.
The post, written by Bustle Senior Editor Jessica Blankenship, was up long enough to be cached. It begins thusly:
At this point, I think we’re all onboard with understanding what a fuckboy is, but in our “very important” discussions of that abhorrent cretin of the male world, I think we’re neglecting to talk about another unsightly type of human plaguing the Western world: the fuckgirl. For the record, I’m not one to point at other women and say, “Your life and your choices are bad for women as a whole and for feminism and your existence is basically undoing the hard work the rest of us are doing to dismantle damaging stereotypes about women and move us forward to a better place.” I don’t usually say that. Even if I disagree with how someone lives, and even if they simply bug the shit out of me, I sincerely respect everyone’s right to ~live their truth~. And when it comes to whether or not someone is a feminist or is conducting themselves in a “feminist way” (whatever the fuck that even means), my opinion is quite simple: There is not one single, all-inclusive feminist code of conduct, nor concrete, universal set of feminist interests. I try to be as inclusive and intersectional in my concept of feminism as possible, and a big part of that means not judging other women’s choices or arrogantly thinking that I can speak to their experiences with any kind of authority. So I just try to let ladies live, even if in doing so, they are annoying or wrong per my own views and standards. It’s cool, you can be wrong. We can still be friends, or at least respectfully choose not to be.
THAT SAID, we need to talk about fuckgirls. Because they are the exception to all of the above: I do not respect their journey, they are bad for feminism, and they are destructive in the cause to eradicate the sexist, disempowering, reductive stereotypes that hold women down by they fully embodying them, and doing so loudly, thereby giving people a tangible example of every horrible idea about women that the rest of us are working to undo. They are the worst and the world is a more exhausting place for their presence.
If you’re unclear about what exactly a fuckgirl is, here is a handy field guide for spotting one in the wild. They’re everywhere.
The intro doesn’t exactly lay out what Blankenship defines as a “fuckgirl”—a word bastardized from the terms “fuckboy,” which originated with rappers like Cam’ron and Othorized F.A.M.; and “fuccboi,” which originated in the black fashion community, and which points to, as Julianne Escobedo Shepherd has noted, someone who is “aspirational, but basic,” someone who possesses “a certain blend of awkwardness and thirst, combined with lots of disposable income.” But the rest of the post does, somewhat. It outlines “fuckgirls” as women who claim to not like other women, women who only like what their boyfriends like, women who bail on their friends as soon as they get a boyfriend, women who can’t live without a boyfriend—there are a lot of points about girls who are shitty friends because of their obsession with their boyfriends.
Though the post is gone, Blankenship’s tweet about it remained up until Tuesday afternoon. When reached for comment about its removal, Bustle Editor-in-Chief Kate Ward wrote, “We felt the article did not align with Bustle’s values and made the editorial decision to take it down.”
“Bustle is for and by women who are moving forward as fast as you are,” explains the About page for the site. “Bustle is written by a diverse team of women and men from various backgrounds with an endless range of interests.”
When it launched in 2013, Bustle was almost immediately met with a large degree of criticism due to CEO Bryan Goldberg’s tone-deaf understanding of the scope of the women’s media world he was planning on operating in. Goldberg’s apparent impact on the day-to-day look and feel of the site has since been downplayed, with emphasis weighted on the work of his predominantly female editorial staff, led by Ward. The site has, according to Quantcast, grown considerably in size, from 11 million monthly uniques exactly a year ago to roughly 23 million uniques now. A large majority of that traffic, one can assume, comes from lists like the “fuckgirl” one, a post style popularized by sites like BuzzFeed. Though Bustle boasts of their coverage of news and entertainment, last year, they were looking specifically to hire someone to write and edit “viral” news posts.
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