Another former Jezzie exile here. I feel like it's possible I'm having the same "drifting apart" with the 'pin now post-Edith/Jane I had with Jezebel in 2010 post-Anna H. That shopping addiction article comments section was ROUGH, y'all.
@Queen of Pickles Yeah, I was a bit dismayed when I came back. I think it's a sweet essay and man, I don't see why it's useful to tear someone down who was already being self-critical.
*walks in, and slowly backs out*
@Panda+Attack The domestic sphere has always gotten the short shift, I guess your complaint is nothing new. Personally I could not give less of a fuck about hearing about someone taking a real long walk. I don't resent the existence of The Hairpin's travel coverage though, I just... don't read it. I also disagree with your characterization of her life. As a fairly financially conservative person (in my own spending, not, like, politically), seeing someone take the same materialism I feel the pull of to its extreme makes my heart pound. "Kickass strong woman!!!1" is just as limiting and false category to demand all women conform to as any.
@mirah Yeah, this used to be my internet "safe place" but the comments on this piece are just vicious. Also, 22 is so fucking young. I doubt very much I appreciated the opportunities I had at 22. It's something I can only really appreciate in hindsight.
I am sorry to hear about the above commenter's partner dying. I can't imagine going through something like that at such a young age. But we all have different life experiences and we handle them the best way we can. As someone else pointed out, it's not the suffering olympics.
WOW, feelings about the piece and the writer totally aside, @S. Elizabeth represents everything that is wrong with the internet and, increasingly, the Hairpin. Seriously girl. Check yourself.
@mirah God, thank you for this. I was disheartened by the amount of judgment and anger in the comments. I'm a writer who graduated in '09 and hasn't had half of the opportunities the author had, but after reading this I can see that as a gift in many ways.
I see what you're saying, but at the same time, I don't think any of us are really in a position to judge someone especially harshly because they used the opportunities they were given in a different way from how we may have used them.
I love to read comments along the lines of, "If I had been given opportunities X, Y, and Z, just like the author, I would have done __________."
But here we're getting comments that are so scathing and mean, instead of perhaps speculating on what we might have done differently had we been in her position. I think it's great to talk about our own experiences in the context of this piece, but not if it means we have to completely tear down another person's choices, however misguided, in order to give value to our own decisions.
I honestly don't comment much, but I do enjoy reading others' thoughts on the writing here. But when did comments on The Hairpin become so vitriolic?
The amount of judgement and condescension on this thread is baffling.
I always liked The Hairpin because it seemed like a place to go to read about experiences that were totally foreign to my own. But if people face such needlessly nasty commentary on their work, are others going to want to share their experiences with us?
Despite the wild west mentality of the internet, I think it's still possible to discuss and critique a piece in a reasonably polite manner.
So you find this essay detestable? Well, so did I. But that's not an excuse to feel personally offended by the author's choices on some profound interior level and then attack her just for existing the way she does.
Maybe instead of lambasting the author's life choices, we could talk about what her essay brings up for us, and how our own experiences and decisions have shaped us in similar or in disparate ways.
OK, well, that's all I wanted to add. Also, Jia, I think it's important that the editors of a blog respond to commenters, so it's cool that you wrote back a few times in this thread.
@leonstj I had a fantastic prof in school who had us read a ton of feminist criticism of Hemingway and I'm ever after disappointed by the easy popular dismissal of Hemingway as nothing but macho bullshit. There's lots to dislike about the man personally but so much of his writing is in fact all about the limits and sorrows of the patriarchy for men and women, about the substitution of violence for engagement with life, nature and love. I still find him terribly relevant.