OMG elitist!

  • Jan. 25th, 2010 at 11:28 AM
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
So Jessica Valenti of Feministing is upset at mean-girl-turned-author Nina Power, who had some criticisms of Valenti's writing cited in a brief Guardian review of Power's book One Dimensional Woman. And Sady Doyle of Tiger Beatdown, joined by Amanda Hess, neither of whom apparently have read more than the Guardian review, decides that Valenti's response was right on except it was too polite and proceeds to mock Nina Power, who she seems to assume is a) old, and b) dour, and c) just jealous. As Doyle elaborates in the comments:

And the thing is – the continual thing about the damn book cover, the Feministing logo, the “unseriousness” of that one Guardian article, the need of some commenters here to devalue the fact that Feministing DOES cover issues related to class, disability, race, trans experience: to me, that’s just exactly what Valenti’s blog post was talking about. It’s the need to compensate for someone being more widely known than you are by telling yourself that you are More Serious, more of a Real Feminist, whatever. It’s the need to create a feminist elite, and to tell yourself that whoever is the easiest to like or to know about must be non-elite. It’s some indie hipster record-collector shit, but politicized, and it’s fucking stupid.

Um, right, that's exactly what this is about -- indie hipster record-collector shit, in the guise of an accessible vs. elitist faux debate.

I've been reading Tiger Beatdown for almost a year now, because it's smart and sharp and funny, but I think Doyle's on the wrong side of this one, to the extent that accepting the "Jessica Valenti vs. Nina Power / accessible vs. elitist" framework in the first place is the wrong side.

For me, Power herself comes off best of them all in her own blog post -- her blog infinite thought makes her seem pretty cool in general, even if she is big on Badiou (my lack of thoughts on Badiou) -- and reviews of her book like this one (which, surprise!, doesn't mention Valenti at all) make me think that her book's well worth reading. (See also this interview Power did with taz).