Thursday, May 29, 2008

First-Person Confession, Female Style

I've been more interested in the response to Gawker blogger Emily Gould's highly confessional 8,000-word cover story in this weekend's NYTimes than in her article itself, which bugged me mostly because I found it not very well written. I was obsessed with the autobiographical as a field of study when in graduate school. I wonder what the scholars are saying 'bout this one.

In the popular realm:

Check out this clever response to the blogger takeover of prime old media real estate by my gal Alissa Quart over at CJR. "Take back the word count," cries Q.

And this one, by Salon's Rebecca Traister, which urges, "So rather than being troubled by the fact that Gould -- or Bushnell, or Bradshaw, or whoever -- has the spotlight, why not question why so few other versions of femininity are allowed to share it?"

What she said.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm. I am a bit torn. I am a blogger primarily right now and I got my start chronicling life as a widow - the rebuilding, the remarriage, the emigrating to another country.

Even now my writing still comes from my own experiences though I am not doing the "teenage diary thing" anymore.

Gould wouldn't have gotten the NYT shot had SATC not been premiering this coming weekend. They used her. And it does help a woman to be young and pretty and still naive enough to believe that when you are posing sexily it isn't exploitation because you are "in control". We all believed at some point that exerting our sexuality was power rather than just another of the Catch-22's of being a woman.

What is sad, and maddening, is not that men still buy into all the feminine myths but that women - who do know better - shop along with them.

Someday alien anthropologists will be thankful for people like Gould and Bushnell.

Patti Binder said...

Well, my concern is not only about the Gould piece but would could be a larger pattern at the NYT Magazine. Last week it was Gould, this week it is a crazy long piece on Tyra Banks...And while the Banks piece is not a confessional, it certainly didn't contain a lot of critism or even objectivity. What's going on over there?