Tag Archives: feminism

Pinterest: the Mormon housewife’s image bookmarking service of choice?

3 Oct

Controversy, controversy, controversy! Buzzfeed has declared that Pinterest is killing feminism.

I often argue on this blog that Pinterest can hurt women. I believe in equality and a woman’s right to self-determination, and am therefore a feminist, and like the article’s author  Amy Odell, this often results in me condemning the new social platform. Pinterest normalizes behaviors that undermine female empowerment–thinspo, youth worship, overemphasis on marriage and men, time-sucking beauty routines (braid your hair and paint your nails or else!)–but it is also a place where women congregate to share empowering pins. Todd Akin is stupid! No, your daughter doesn’t have to wear a tutu! Odell does concede on that: “Pinterest might come with airbrushing, but at least it lets you decide just how much of it becomes part of your own user experience.”

Here’s the article’s basic thesis:

“Pinterest — which drives more traffic to marthastewart.com and marthastewartweddings.com than Facebook and Twitter combined — has become impossible to ignore, even as critics deride it as ‘the Mormon housewife’s image bookmarking service of choice.'”

What do you think?

Men only good for elaborate proposals, after that: useless

23 Sep

Pinterest has posited many noble roles for men in the domestic sphere. These include, and are pretty much limited to:

  • Elaborate proposal planners who have booked a secret photographer and a flash mob
  • Unwilling whip-weilding actors in 50 Shades of Grey fantasies
  • Mason jar craft installers and admirers

Note that none of these roles include domestic work–cooking, cleaning, childrearing. That’s for the wimmins! According to the oft-pinned Proverbs 31, men should be off doing a whole lotta nothing, “sitteth-ing among the elders of the land.” The modern version? Grand Theft Auto, obviously.

Screencap of a pin of a dad and his son playing grand theft auto,

Men as equal partners in childcare–hilarious, amirite?

This pin, like Febreeze and laundry and cat litter commercials, normalizes unequal division of household labour.

Screencap of a Pinterest pin of parenting techniques, mom versus dads.

Men, obviously, just aren’t capable of this child rearing stuff. This pin may seem harmless because it makes it seem like housework is beyond men, but really, it come from an ideology that says domesticity is beneath them.

And you know what? It kind of puts pressure on women, too. What woman makes a turkey every night? What woman wouldn’t tie her daughter’s hair with a zip tie in a pinch?

Screencap of a pin of a girl with her hair done with a zip tie, with text superimposed saying dads get the kids ready for school.

Some men, obviously, do think that way, and skimp on domesticity; all those depressing studies about division of labour evince this. The stereotypes, I think, just encourage their lackluster domestic performance, and alienate dads who do “pitch in.”

If you find these pins as dispiriting as I do, you can take comfort in the the ones that promote active, involved fatherhood. Let’s face it: it’s kinda hot.

Screencap of a pin of a very sexy man walking down the street with a baby in a moby wrap sling.

Repin, repin, repin!

When the scent of hairspray and desperation becomes overpowering

29 Aug

A screencap of a Pinterest board--imaginary pinterest wedding. sad.

Ladies, ladies, ladies.

Screencap of a Pinterest board 'for my friends who are getting married'

Seriously? We may as well come right out and say it.

Screencap of a PInterest board titled 'I'm not engaged but if I were'

Let’s be even more direct.

Screencap of a pinterest board entitled 'just insert man here lol'

LOL :-) (*sob*). Oh dear. The awful part? She’s not alone.

Screencap of a plethora of boards for imaginary weddings

There are many better things to do than taking your wedding daydreams (those are okay!) and constructing elaborate fantasies on Pinterest (thatz just kinda sad). We all want to find our soulmate, but will picking your centerpieces now help?

When you’re not only looking for the guy who will propose with a well-planned flashmob, but expending enough energy on the prospect that you’ve planned your wedding to him right down to your underwear (lace boxers, of course), you may be veering into obsession. Let’s recap:

Acceptable obsessions:

  • Attending weddings and the inevitable, enjoyable snarking about the decor; occasionally daydreaming about your own nuptials
  • Ryan Gosling
  • Pugs

Unacceptable obsessions:

  • Wedding planning and pinning when you’re not engaged
  • Stalking Ryan Gosling IRL
  • Borrowing pugs you don’t own, stuffing them into cute outfits, taking photos, and using them as the caller profile pics for contacts on your phone

Screencap of several I need to find a husband Pinterest boards.

Think of what you could do with all the time that would be freed up without imaginary wedding planning. You could master the fine art of crochet! Learn computer coding! Do one nail in each of these elaborate styles (chevron! ombre! hooker gets ahold of a bedazzler!). In other words, things you can do yourself, that you have control over.

Making someone love you? It doesn’t fall into that category.

As a great feminist once said, a woman needs a man like a fish needs one of those fish tank castle things (or something along those lines). Nice to have, but you know. This feminist also said, or would have said: a woman needs an elaborate wedding fantasy like a fish needs water laced with sulfuric acid, which is to say, she’s probably better off without.

At the very least, you don’t have to get all Snow White about it on Pinterest.

Screencap of many one day my prince will come boards.

And some parents say exposing their little girls to princess stories doesn’t warp them for life.

Pinterest reacts to Todd Akin

22 Aug

Sometimes, Pinterest can seem like a glimpse into the Bible Belt’s subconscious; the social platform definitely tilts right politically and socially.  Pro-life, anti-Obama and camo wedding pins abound. With all the abstinence-only education pins, I thought the conservative communities on Pinterest would rejoice at the publicity around one of their own.

However, Todd Akin’s recent remarks on rape–generally in sync with the GOP’s anti-abortion platform–brought out an unexpected burst of anti-Republican vitriol. Yes, vitriol. Clearly, I’ve spent too much time watching election coverage.

Most pinners are aware of the three solid methods of birth control:

Birth control effectiveness: condoms, 99 percent, birth control, 99 percent, crocs, 100 percent.

Todd Akin, Republican Senate nominee and member of the House Science, Space and Technology committee (yes, really), believes all three methods are superfluous. The most effective form of birth control? Women can shut down pregnancies through sheer force of will!

“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” – Todd Akin

As opposed to an illegitimate rape, through which women get pregnant (serve them right!).

The people of Pinterest, like most people who possess even the slightest understanding of human reproduction, disagreed.

Angry Pinterest pins of Todd Akin

You can even purchase a legitimate rape kit inspired by Todd.

Screencap of a pin, Introducing the Todd Akin Legitimate Rape Kit. If you're pregnant, you were not legitimately raped.Under Todd Akin and the GOP’s planned health care cuts, however, this would probably be closer to the actual cost of a rape kit for women without health insurance–up to $4,570. Should bring the number of reported rapes down! Akin: tough on crime.

What happened to the brave few pro-Akin pinners?

Continue reading

Morons of Pinterest

2 Aug

Did you know that 82% of Pinterest users are women? It’s kind of hard to miss; anyone who’s been on the social network can tell that it’s female-dominated.

The other 18% of users are usually as civil as that awkward nice guy who somehow wound up as a guest at a bridal shower. Politely outnumbered.

Some men, however, can be as snarkily stupid as Pinterest’s female trolls. Ryan Marta‘s comments on this pin of a 21 year-old model, whose stomach (GOD FORBID) folds when she sits down, is a prime example.

Rather than commentary, I’m just going to use GIFs of Robert Downey Junior in blackface.

A pin of a woman sitting down, with someone commenting underneath, beautiful.

“Controversial”, eh? Ryan certainly thinks so.

Ryan's comments. It would be easier to visit the original pin to read them, simply click on the link. He says that he thinks all women on here must be fatties.


An animated gif of Robert Downey Junior in Tropic Thunder saying To be a moron.

A screencap of Ryan's comments on the pin. He's being an asshole.

An animated gif of Robert Downey Junior in Tropic Thunder saying An imbicle.

Ryan continues on his crusade.

An animated gif of Robert Downey Junior in Tropic Thunder saying Like the dumbest motherfucker who ever lived.

You reap what you sow, Ryan. Hell hath no fire like a woman body-snarked:

A flotillion of women arrive to defend the photo and attack Ryan.

Justice. Sweet, sweet internet justice. Ryan should repent immediately or, as that seems unlikely, get himself off Pinterest and onto a more “man” friendly platform.

Worst pinner awards: “dont be mad that i have good hair and a tight body” edition

26 Jul

Comment wars like this one remind me why I started this blog.

Pinning an image of a woman’s body on Pinterest? Watch out! If that woman is deemed slightly fat or slightly thin, you’re in for a comment war:

  • Initial reactions: “Eat something/stop eating!”
  • Backlash: “Who are you to tell them to eat something/stop eating?”
  • Inevitable peacemaking: “Let’s all just love each other, okay? We’re all different sizes. Group hug.”

Usually,  these comment wars remain quite civil–like the Cuban Missile Crisis, for example. Differing viewpoints are handled with tense diplomacy, and pinners who disagree can usually (narrowly) avoid nuclear war.

Natalie Gendleman? Not so much. She went atomic on an Adele pin, unintentionally producing more LOLs than tears.

A gif of Adele laughing.

Natalie will demonstrate why she doesn’t deserve the mercy of anonymity in her comments, which I’ve screencapped and posted below.

Hey, Natalie? It doesn’t matter if Adele is fat or not, or whether Marilyn Monroe is fatter (?). The problem is your belief that appearance is linked to what’s underneath. Being fat ≠ being evil and alone, the same way that “good hair and a tight body” ≠ popularity, success and love. No one proves the former better than Adele; could that be the source of your petulant mud-slinging?

A moving gif of Adele waving to a cheering, massive crowd.

The original pin, and Natalie’s skillful starting shot:

A pin of Adele on a scooter, with these words superimposed: Adele, you've just won six grammies, what are you going to do? Ride past my ex's house and thank him. A nasty comment war follows. For the accessible version, its probably best to click this image and go read the original pin.

“Skillful starting shot” meaning an insult hurled with all the grace and accuracy of a drunken squirrel firing a antique musket. World, meet one of the most inelegant trolls on the internet.

The apparent inspiration for Natalie’s attitude? A clue from her Pinterest board My peeps:

A screencap of Natalie's personal pin board, My peeps. It has a picture of Blair Waldorf with the text superimposed: keep calm and put on your bitch face.

Oh, Natalie. Blair Waldorf and the Duchess of Cambridge are way too classy to spend their time being inarticulate fatists on the internet.

Natalie’s insults and the resulting backlash go on for over 50 comments. Some highlights for your Pinfuriating reading pleasure:

Continue reading

A monk in a monastery, with one true appetite, learning the point of pointlessness

24 Jun

Pinterest offers many things. Mindless browsing. A bath in the sparkly sea of consumerism. What does the social platform not offer? Credible life advice.

Pour example: You log into Pinterest feeling sad, lonely and hideous. As you browse life advice and motivational quotes, looking for consolation and ways to lead a more fulfilling life, Pinterest wraps its arms around you:

A funny GIf of a lion placing his arms around someone outside his cage, seeming to pull him into a hug. Over the image, text saying What? Listen to me. You are flawless. Flawless.

The effect of Pinterest’s inspirational quotes on pinners with low self-esteem.

In the site’s swamp of pedantic platitudes cleverly camouflaged as warm, comforting, life advice, your spirits may begin to lift. But, make no mistake: within these nice sayings in pretty fonts you are not discovering the key to a happier, healthier you. You are reading a series of letters, for some reason saved as an image, that bear no meaning in real life.

Take a deep breath:

Continue reading

How to have fun while you’re young

22 Jun

When I first started this blog, I thought, you know what? I’m not going to touch religious pins. I’m just going to stay away.

That didn’t last very long. There’s just too much that’s ripe, ripe for satire. Some of the Godly pinners remind me of my favourite Arrested Development characters; their complete lack of self-awareness is an excellent source of LOLs.

I can’t help myself. To those Bible literalists, I’m sorry if I offend you. And seriously, stop taking the Bible literally. It’s not meant to be read that way. Leviticus? Yeah.

The Bible has tons of advice about how to have fun when you’re young. These include living a loving, meaningful life, in which do unto them as you would have done unto yourself. Or something.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure that limiting yourself to association only with other Christians isn’t what Jesus meant when he went to hang out with lepers and prostitutes.

Pinner Cindy Fredrickson disagrees. Here are her stringent dating tips for young women:

Continue reading

Twilight meets feminism on Pinterest’s popular page

17 Jun

There’s nothing I love more than a good comment war, and stumbling across one on Pinterest’s trending pins page can truly make my day.

When that comment war pops up besides a fitting quote, by pure chance, it makes my week. This Twilight pin intersects perfectly with a quote on the other side of the popular pins page.

A commenter says, 'I think some people read into it too much like Edward being in her room when she's sleeping, it's nothing weird he just feels he needs to protect her because he loves her. Across from the pin on the page, is a quote saying that some people need to be high fived in the face with a chair.

Don’t apologize, Angieloo! I’m sure you were being perfectly logical! Never apologize for deconstructing the anti-feminist diatribe that is the Twilight series! It’s so true that “girls see characters, like Bella, as examples on how to behave.”

Some people believe Edward just watches Bella when she’s sleeping because he loves her, and those people need to be high-fived in the face with a chair. Breaking into someone’s house without their consent? Stalking? Despite what Stephanie Meyers tells you, it’s not true love, Twilight fans; it’s not love at all.

Oh, and those heels are just foul.

Pretend Pioneering: Volume 1

24 May

For me, the term “pioneer cuisine” conjures up images of seasonal, local food that could prepared with simple appliances. Apparently, cooking like Davy Crockett means something else entirely on Pinterest.

Did the King of the Wild Frontier had access to olives? Perhaps.

An image of the olive bread before baking, looking rather like hardened vomit.

“Davy, Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier… and eater of olive bread.”

The Pioneer Woman blog, where the recipe originated, uses its brand pretty loosely. The purpose of the blog, according to Ree Drummond (said Pioneer Woman): “Here, I write daily about my long transition from spoiled city girl to domestic country wife.” I just love it when an entrepreneur, author and TV personality running a million-dollar brand calls herself a “domestic country wife.”

If you want to appeal to that conservative, middle-America “country wife” crowd, I guess you can’t stray too far from conservative gender norms. God forbid you call yourself a business woman, or even a “work at home mom”. You just keep shoehorning yourself into that SAHM audience any way you can.

I guess, as a spoiled city girl who has to buy her olives at the store rather than grow them herself (as I assume this “Pioneer Woman” does), I just don’t understand.


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