Jillian C. York

Jillian C. York is a writer and activist.

On Buzzfeed and misogyny

It seems like only yesterday that, at least in my friend circles, mocking Buzzfeed was a spectator sport. Then came writers (several of whom I count as friends) like Hayes Brown and Tom Gara, Sara Yasin and Jina Moore and Sheera Frankel, and I could no longer ignore their news section. And many of their pieces were really really good, at times better than the New York Times‘ coverage of a same issue.

As Fast Company makes clear, Buzzfeed is here to stay. The publication is read by 79 million people every month, a number that seems to be constantly growing. So here’s my question: Why does Buzzfeed need to trade in misogyny?

Amidst the investigative pieces and breaking news, the listicles of cats and the reporting on celebrities are countless pieces aimed against women. I don’t mean Buzzfeed “community” pieces, those unedited pieces of drivel written by unpaid writers (let’s question that another day), but rather pieces like this one, written by fully-paid Buzzfeed staffers. And no, I don’t care that the authors are women.

I’m not talking about the articles on picking a wedding dress, or how to do one’s eye makeup, or whatever. I might find articles like that to be unbefitting of a serious news publication, but hey Buzzfeed, you do you. No, I’m talking about pieces like this and this. For a publication that otherwise does an excellent job of covering real women’s issues, and has its own international women’s rights correspondent (Jina Moore) and has some of the best user data of any news publication, this is simply unacceptable. For a news publication that is getting so much else right, it’s amazing that they could get this so wrong.

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