Political Flavors

How Forbes Magazine Became A Joke

Posted in Editorials on August 16th, 2011

Fobes published an article last week entitled “How Feminism Became A Joke.” Susannah Breslin writes that Feminism is a joke because:

  • Gloria Steinem approves of Mad Men but not a new television show about the Playboy Club.
  • Her film studies professor explained a phallic symbol in a way that went over her head.
  • Feminists point out ways in which patriarchy harms women. When we don’t believe that Hugh Hefner is a guru of spiritual enlightenment, this makes us “hypocrites.”
  • No one is a feminist anymore.

Her arguments about Steinem and hypocrisy were too convoluted to follow, and I haven’t seen “Working Girl” so I can’t comment on Sigourney Weavers symbolic penis. However, the tired cliches about feminists not having a sense of humor and feminism being dead are so patently false, that I don’t know if anyone who espouses them actually knows what feminism is, or what has been going on in the past 20 years or even the past 5.

In terms of feminists who have a sense of humor, there’s Amanda Marcotte, Twisty Faster, Julie Klausner, Sady Doyle, Greta Christina, Jen McCraight, the entire Jezebel blog… there actually hasn’t been a feminist blog I’ve read since I’ve started reading feminist blogs in 2005 that hasn’t made me laugh at least once. Of course it can’t be all fun and games, there are serious and sometimes tragic issues to discuss. But feminist ladies (and dudes) do know how to crack a joke when appropriate. There’s also a rich history of funny ladies who are also feminists – Sarah Silverman, Maria Bamford, Sarah Haskins, Kristen Schall, just to name a few.

As far as “No one’s buying it anymore,” I’m not sure how anyone with an internet connection could not notice the Slutwalks being planned by people all over the world. Or the thousands who marched across the United States in defense of Planned Parenthood earlier this year.

Whether Breslin is dishonest or clueless doesn’t matter. This kind of dreck is published (and solicited) by Forbes to remind everyone what the rich and powerful think of women. And that’s the cruelest joke of all.

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