Elizabeth Nolan Brown // Blog

media. music. feminism. food. city-dwelling. story-telling. and other things.

Blogger Crushes, Redux

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A long, long time ago,  in blog years, anyway, I wrote a post about two bloggers I was newly in word-crush with: Phoebe Maltz (now Bovy) of What Would Phoebe Do (at the time one of my fellow bloggers on the ill-fated Culture 11’s regrettably-named “Ladyblog”) and Freddie deBoer, of L’Hote .

Considering I’m now living with Mr. deBoer, one of these turned out to be a little more relevant to my life than the other—but, damn if Ms. Maltz-Bovy doesn’t still continually impress me and makes me laugh to this day. Here’s Phoebe on why she took her husband’s name when she got married recently:

What feminism hasn’t meant, for me, is wheel-reinvention. In other words, I do not lose sleep over the fact that I do not defy gender norms in all areas. I recognize that it’s convenient to say the least to identify as the gender you were born. I don’t think that my relationship with my husband is something so complex and unique and snowflake-ish that the word “marriage” fails to describe it. I’m lucky that the kind of relationship I wanted is the one society wanted me to have. So the fact that wife-takes-husband’s-name is how it generally goes was not in and of itself a reason, for me, to be suspicious of it.

This nicely captures one of my favorite habitual Phoebe peeves: Progressive/feminist/hipster writers who go to all sorts of elaborate rhetorical lengths to justify their utterly normal but—gasp!—utterly bourgeois wants (see: the Jessica Grose paragraph here). You can also always count on Phoebe to cut through the bullshit on media panics, as in here, on some recent controversy about a 10-year-old Vogue fashion model:

Like I’ve said about these scandals before, the issue is not – no matter how many times Jezebel or whichever other site tells us it should be – Think of the Children. (Somehow I doubt that even in France, pedophiles are buying let alone created by French Vogue.) It’s always fundamentally Think of the Grown Women, who will never measure up if an ideal is defined as preadolescent.

Yes yes yes yes yes.


Written by Elizabeth

August 19, 2011 at 7:26 am

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