I read the same blogs, over and over. I get bored at work, so bored apparently I’m unable to penetrate the film of boredom that settles over me and find some new blogs to read. One of the blogs I read the most is Jezebel, maybe because I like to make myself depressed, which then further justifies my dwelling in the land of ennui.

Not to say that Jez is bad, per se. I think its writers are mostly clever and savvy women, far more adept than me at wading through the terrifying mass of information we all awake to each morning, and then converting it into something pithy and relevant. I can’t conceive of that level of productivity. But that insane churning out of product is probably what ends up being dissatisfying about the experience of reading that and other blogs, what ultimately makes me feel cheap and lazy rather than fulfilled.

Of course, this is a blog. But then I don’t see too many fora opening for me in the publishing world, so I’ll settle on hypocrisy for now.

Jez (it’s like a sassy girlfriend, see?) and its writers are able to alleviate my boredom with a new post every time I hit the refresh button by pretending there are only two sides to any issue, and that the side it takes is (nearly) unquestionably the correct one. It’s not even that I disagree so much–like so many young aspirational urbanish types, I lean leftward and ladyward.

But I don’t want to continue lazing around the same corners of the net doing what essentially amounts to nodding in emphatic agreement with a girlfriend I kinda like, but kinda find predictable and pious–and who refuses to occasionally delve into subversive nastiness with me about Cameron Diaz’s bad skin or whatever, because that would be a “girl on girl crime.” And the commenters there, whom I find myself more often intentionally provoking than seeing as an e-sisterhood, tend toward shrill victimhood as much as female empowerment.

Tonight I felt inspired by an unlikely source–Helen Gurley Brown, the former editor of Cosmopolitan, the magazine I was appalled to have as my automatic subscription replacement for Jane after it folded. Jennifer Scanlon, a women’s studies professor at Bowdoin College, wrote a biography of her, which apparently contains such HGB bon mots as “I think you may have to have a tiny touch of anorexia nervosa to maintain an ideal weight.”

You can imagine how that went over on the ladyblogs. What troubles me is that the virtual hand-wringing that followed was so unnecessary, so discussed so many times it was already as good as woven into the pixels of the comment section. Of course it’s awful that women are compelled to twist themselves into anorectic knots in order to feel merely passable. But isn’t it also refreshing that someone just came out and said that if one wants to look perfect, bitch is gonna have to starve some?

This is part of what I’m interested in: exploring subversion over revolution. Following a train of thought even though it may be insensitive, offensive, “triggering”–not because it’s those things, but because it’s interesting, and neglected. As Judith Thurman writes in her New Yorker review of Scanlon’s book, “it has never been easy to be both a woman and a person–that femininity (like masculinity) is, to some extent, a performance.” I guess what I’m saying is I’m more inclined to talk about the people performing (and why they are doing it) than about the performance itself.

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