The internet erupted with ire yesterday over a magnificently swift and violent cramming of foot in mouth: tech entrepreneur Bryan Goldberg has apparently ventured to launch a women’s website because there simply aren’t any. Goldberg, who freely admits he doesn’t know anything about our quaint interests, debuted his new baby Bustle.com along with a series of rhetorical questions on the state of ladymedia:
Isn’t it time for a women’s publication that puts world news and politics alongside beauty tips? What about a site that takes an introspective look at the celebrity world, while also having a lot of fun covering it? How about a site that offers career advice and book reviews, while also reporting on fashion trends and popular memes?
You know, like us. And a shitload of other ones.
While we’re ultimately ambivalent about the designation “women’s websites”–treating one half the population’s interests as specific to them seems a bit ghettoizing, eh?–and we use terms like “lady blogger” and “lady blog” with tongue-in-cheek affection, denying that these sites exist is patently absurd. They do. And a lot of them are great.
But! Since people capable of raising $6.5 million to launch one (while offering such bracing condescension as “knowing the difference between mascara, concealer, and eye-liner is not my job,“) are somehow utterly oblivious to the competition, we thought we’d make a little list of helpful recommendations.
Yes, the OG women’s website. Why do we even need to say this? Jezebel has been around long enough to go through several transformations, develop a massive community (as well as an army of detractors) and has even spawned a parody on 30 Rock. Its name is synonymous with ‘women’s websites.’ More importantly, it has employed some of the sharpest writers on the internet (Jenna Sauers, Katie JM Baker).
2. The Hairpin
3. The Toast
The Toast is an absolute dreamboat of a site–an exceptionally intelligent, funny take on culture (and whatever) written by exceptionally intelligent, funny people. Some of the pieces are purely, spectacularly witty, others are wryly hilarious despite their unsettling precision. Founded by Nicole Cliffe and our own beloved former contributor Mallory Ortberg, if you’re not reading this site, you should be.
4. The Cut
Sorry, we still kind of can’t believe this is a post we’re making. Okay. Anyway, New York Magazine’s The Cut offers lockstep fashion and beauty coverage, but also compelling first person essays on sex and dating and meditations on body image by very serious authors.
5. Double X
Less comedy, longer form. For those of you in search of serious takes on the news through the lens of women’s interests, this should be a bookmark. Do people still use bookmarks? Are they men’s interest only?
Yes, there is an entire website effectively dedicated to mocking the commonplace, insidious sexism evident in declarations like Goldberg’s. It’s the Onion for women–already a punchline in and of itself. It’s really funny, too.
Although it scarcely makes sense, “women’s interests” actually include a shit of a lot more than mascara, shoe shopping and abortion cupcakes. Our entire office mostly just reads Cracked, for one.
If there are any we missed that you’re particularly fond of, please share in the comments. Oh, and if you’d like still more recommendations, the great people at Flavorwire have you covered (and were nice enough to include us).