The angry ladies of Jezebel

More than thirty years later, and judging by The Book of Jezebel, feminists are so angry that debate with them is no longer possible. To them the only solution to their rage is through politics. There is a steady undercurrent of animus towards conservatives and Republicans in The Book of Jezebel, which is to be expected. But what is revealing is the intensity of the antipathy and its obsessive-compulsive quality (there’s also the heavy juvenile snark which is Jezebel’s calling card).

The Book of Jezebel is an encyclopedia. Under A there is Madeleine Albright and Christiane Amanpour, Allure magazine and Isabel Allende. There’s also Biblical Adam, who represents “male supremacy based on primordial male precedence.” And Adoption, which would be OK – maybe – except “antichoicers would have you believe this is a relatively easy process and a morally superior alternative to abortion.” And as for Antifeminists here’s the entry for them:

People who object to feminism’s goals, i.e. people who often (willfully) misunderstand feminism and/or huge assholes. Notable examples include Phyllis Schlafly, Camille Paglia, Caitlin Flanagan, the entire “men’s rights” movement, proponents of wifey “surrender,” hard-core religious fundamentalists, teenagers who just discovered Andrea Dworkin, Bart Stupak, Mike Pence, and the pope. Not to be confused with thoughtful people who believe in women’s equality but object to the mainstream feminist movement’s tendency to focus on middle-class, white, heterosexual women to the exclusion of everyone else.

A couple items later we have an entry for Antichoice. Antichoice is the term that leftists have for pro-lifers, but to the ladies at Jezebel, the word doesn’t even scratch the surface of conservative iniquity: “antichoice does fail to reflect the breadth and depth of the fear and loathing expressed by antichoice activists when it comes to the subject of women having sex without paying a terrible price, either at the end of a coat hanger or in being forced to march down the aisle to marry a guy who sole husbandly qualification is that he turned you on after a few rounds on a Saturday night.”

If that’s not enough, see the entry for misogynists, where you’ll find Rush Limbaugh, the Republican Party, and God. Or skip to Homosexuals: “What right-wing religious fundamentalists say through gritted teeth when referring to gay people, because these days you never know who might frown disapprovingly at you if you say ‘faggot’ or ‘dyke.’” Or this one, for Mother: “female parent expected to bear the majority of child-rearing duties, from birth to emotional support to professional sacrifice to cooking to cleaning until the identification of a ‘mom’ subsumes a woman’s entire personal identity, all pants she wears become ‘mom jeans,’ her sexual attractiveness is rated on a  MILF scale, and her life is converted into a punch line of ‘your mom’ jokes.”

A legislature is “the branch of government that decides what women can do with their bodies.” A liberal: “Person with dangerous left-wing political opinions, such as ‘women are human.’” And so on.

The writers at Jezebel are angry women. Their pain is beyond the reach of politics to solve. To be fair,  there are many funny entries in The Book of Jezebel, like the one for Hipster: “Identifier claimed by no one but freely subjected on any person more Navajo-printed, leather-jacketed, asymmetrically-hairstyled, unshowered, ironically racist, Pitchfork-reading, warehouse-dwelling, amateur-mandolin-playing, or neon than you.” But the jokes can’t mask the rage. This is why that even as America has progressed and the treatment of women has vastly improved, the anger of the feminists has grown more acute. Nothing short of a matriarchal utopia will suffice. It’s easier than admitting what really ails you.