Double X comes out swinging

A new women's Web magazine premieres with an attack on lady-blog Jezebel.

Published May 12, 2009 7:30PM (EDT)

We have some new neighbors on our lady blog block. The women from Slate's XX Factor just made the move to Double X, their brand spanking new sorority house. Well, really, it's more like a house converted into a mansion: They took the foundational blog and built upward, story by story. And, hot damn, they've initiated some fantastic female writers. Now it's a full-blown Web magazine, with reported features, commentary and videos, for women (which men are allowed to "eavesdrop on").

As if we weren't already paying attention, they kicked things off Tuesday by having Linda Hirshman toilet-paper Jezebel, home to the smart-'n'-snarky girls on the block. The article, titled "The Trouble With Jezebel," is amusing for a number of reasons: First, because, honestly, who hasn't wanted to attack the house of Denton? And second because, that said, Double X's managing editor was plucked straight from Jezebel (which, it's worth noting, proved that there was a strong market for such a site). But most of all, because Hirshman leads with the epic dust-up over a drunken Tracie Egan and ex-Jezebel Moe Tkacik, which is really, really old news.

Double X is but a few hours old, but already the Hirshman piece has stirred up controversy, namely because she criticizes a Jezebel writer for not reporting that she was raped. Jill of Feministe writes:

How women deal with surviving sexual assault should not be a deciding factor in evaluating whether or not they qualify as feminist. I will argue that a feminism which requires perfection from all women is not something I can be a part of. And I’ll also just throw it out there that one probably should not pull the "You’re a bad feminist" card when one writes for a feminist website that launches with front-page articles like "Whine, Womyn and Thongs: How feminism has failed" and "How I Got Bored With Feminism."

I'm not a fan of monolithic, "you're either with us or against us" versions of feminism, and I hope Double X brings on the anti-feminists, post-feminists, post-post-feminists -- whatever! -- to write about issues that affect women's lives. But I'm hoping the "who's the better feminist?" competition -- or "pissing match," as Jill calls it -- doesn't become a regular feature. Just the other day, while  chatting with Feministing's Jessica Valenti, I said as much when talking more generally about lady blogs and we both -- jinx, 1-2-3 -- asked the same rhetorical question: Don't we have anything better to talk about?

By Tracy Clark-Flory

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