Author Empathy: 9
Sophistication: 6OVERALL: 8
Jezebel effing rocks, man. It's a publication with a pronounced--dare I say screeched? (No, I take it back!)--viewpoint that is admirably tenacious in following up on their coverage when called into question. It's no coincidence that usually the following up marches to the tone of "oh hell yes we were right." The simple truth is that even considering the great volume of their opinionation, Jezebel's angle of approach frequently proves to be dead on.
As the above link indicates, I'm focusing on this article by Jenna@Jezebel detailing the backlash against the talents of a 13 year old fashion blogger. The writing in this article is quite capable, it's more than up to the task. The task, however, is the what really elevates this piece: the clarity and sense of justice in the viewpoint is more exhilarating than the sophistication of the prose itself.
This article is so well positioned: a behemoth of the old fashion writing guard (Elle, via its editor) is spearheading a quite ridiculous attack on a tween blogger and the powers at Jezebel, somewhere in the universe of bloggers and fashion writers themselves, have espied the conflict and brought their authority as established big girls to the defense of the little girl. The form this defense takes is an attack on a pillar the old authority. Glorious!
The most killer fact is the close that Jenna@Jezebel finishes with. In fact, it's THE BEST PART:
THE BEST PART
Jenna@Jezebel in a pseudo-empirical defense of the idea that the 13-year-old writes her own stuff:
A quick survey of the writers for this site revealed a raft of early over-achievers. At 13, Latoya Peterson was writing poetry that people assumed she must have plagiarized. Anna North won an essay contest and met the mayor of Los Angeles. I sent a short story in to New Zealand's oldest literary journal, without mentioning my age — and they published it and sent me a check....then [Dodai Stewart] wrote a screenplay, which she imagined would star Bruce Willis. Is it really that preposterous to think that Tavi Gevinson's talents and interests are her own?BECAUSE: It might only have had a tinge of vicarious desire to have been like Tavi OR it might have only been a casting of Jezebel's lot in with Tavi's OR it might just have pointed out, by sterling example, the quality individuals that the attitude Tavi's detractors are espousing will NOT lead to. OR It might do all of that in one effective sequence. (Yeah, it does it all.) Also, how often are you able to brag so blatantly without looking bad in the slightest!?
I've always thought that a lot of Gevinson's appeal to the fashion crowd relies on the fact that she, with her unapologetic bookishness and self-described intense fashion "fangirling", reminds some of the major players of themselves, at her age. Perhaps this backlash is coming from people who remember how they were at 13, too — and recognize that they weren't at Tavi Gevinson's level of proficiency. Not by a long shot.
One strange feature of reviewing this article is that, because Jezebel is such a dynamic blog, there are extensions to it. The link at the beginning of my post (and here) is the more extensive addendum but I love the brevity of this one:
This second sentence of the two sentence post is abruptly vicious in how it counters the vagary of Slowey's statement with declarative fact. The pace of "Slowey, who had compared..." is more effective than something like Slowey, who definitely is on record having compared.... Some writers would have opted for the more emphatic serving of Slowey but Jenna@Jezebel went the restrained route, underscoring whose side the facts are on."I don't recall ever saying she had a 'Tavi team,'" writes Slowey, who had compared Gevinson to fake author JT Leroy.
In this series of posts, Jenna@Jezebel never oversteps her status as arbiter and reporter but uses stylistic techniques to communicate her sense of what little girl is in the right and what big editor is in the wrong. The result is lucid and unflinchingly accurate.
So, regarding the title of this post: Jezebel Jezebel Jezebel-- is that a rush of womanhood I feel!?
...Aww, nuts. (I know, but I couldn't resist.)