I wrote something online about the unique pressures and responsibilities of writing online, and how sometimes women-focused blogs like Jezebel, Broadsheet, and XX — the lattermost of which published it — don’t live up to them. As usual some people agreed with me and some people didn’t. Because they were writing online the people who didn’t agree with me mostly resorted to a. misstating my argument based on half-reading the piece while b. calling me names. This is nothing new; what is new is my conviction that most of the people who make a big point of identifying themselves first and foremost online as feminists — in their Twitter bios or the “description” lines of their blogs — are actually about as “feminist” as Tucker Max. Also, that no one will ever let me forget that I worked at Gawker, no matter how many years pass, no matter how much other stuff I do and no matter how different that stuff is from what I did during 2006-7.
I don’t work at Gawker now; I don’t work at Slate now. I don’t work anywhere. The thing I read about myself during my bedtime narci-google yesterday that raised my hackles the most was being called “Slate’s Emily Gould.” I got paid $400 to write the piece I describe above, and that was after wheedling. For $400, I don’t get to be “Slate’s Emily Gould.” I am no one’s Emily Gould but my own, and I have the scary letters from the IRS and the unopened bills for medical specialists to prove it. I had zero incentive to “boost pageviews” or “uniques” with that piece. I wrote it because I felt like someone had to. This is maybe a bad or self-destructive impulse, but at this point it feels like even if I try, I can’t get out of what I’m into.
Oh also, I wrote an advice column about being a writer at The Faster Times, for free. Please click on it so that next month when rent is due I can pay my landlady in attention.
Emily Gould responds to the cat fight accusations. Sadly, in the end, the criticism of her original Slate column is yet another attempt at getting more page views. That pretty much sums it all up.
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