So remember last week when Jezebel offered $10,000 for unretouched photos of Lena Dunham from Vogue, they got the photos, we interviewed a pigeon, and it was made abundantly clear that the team at Jezebel are truly the mean girls at the party who are definitely texting each other about your outfit? It was an example of horrible judgement, and a brand of feminism that prioritizes personal gain over any actual community concern. Well luckily it looks like some good came out of it, since an Indiegogo campaign raising money for women’s empowerment is gaining some traction.
As a response to Jezebel’s offer, Nicolette Mason and Brad Walsh started a campaign to try to raise $10,000 to be donated to Step Up, an excellent non-profit that empowers young women to become independent professionals. This is straight out of Dunham’s own suggestion that the money be donated to charity anyways, instead of a mean spirited, pointless pursuit. Per the Indiegogo page (apologies for the big block quote, but it’s just full of great points and it’s hard to pick any of it out):
We feel that this sort of body-centric “exposé” is distracting from real, positive, productive work and awareness. Sensationalizing bodies distracts from creating change. There is much else that can be done to promote women’s leadership, education, and self esteem. We hope to help re-center the conversation on positive change and away from in-fighting among supporters of feminism.
Rather than contribute page views (and therefore, ad revenue dollars) to a website that admits to spending $10,000 digging up pre-retouched photos of an actress with the purpose of publicly inspecting her body, we hope that you will give directly to Step Up women’s network via this fund.
100% of the money will go to Step Up, and so far they’ve raised over $2,000. I thinks this is awesome, and if you’re inclined to send a little money their way, you can do so right here.
This whole Jezebel dust up was poor judgement on their part and of course, fodder for websites like us to skewer. I get it–I also write for the Internet, and anyone’s mandate is to get clicks. But let’s draw the line somewhere. As the Step Up fundraiser suggested, let’s hope that the whole fiasco reminds everyone to refocus their attention on the brand of feminism that supports and empowers people, instead of the faux-feminism that’s actually masquerading bitchiness.