Go back in time with this pin on Pinterest.
Controversy, controversy, controversy! Buzzfeed has declared that Pinterest is killing feminism.
I often argue on this blog that Pinterest can hurt women. I believe in equality and a woman’s right to self-determination, and am therefore a feminist, and like the article’s author Amy Odell, this often results in me condemning the new social platform. Pinterest normalizes behaviors that undermine female empowerment–thinspo, youth worship, overemphasis on marriage and men, time-sucking beauty routines (braid your hair and paint your nails or else!)–but it is also a place where women congregate to share empowering pins. Todd Akin is stupid! No, your daughter doesn’t have to wear a tutu! Odell does concede on that: “Pinterest might come with airbrushing, but at least it lets you decide just how much of it becomes part of your own user experience.”
Here’s the article’s basic thesis:
“Pinterest — which drives more traffic to marthastewart.com and marthastewartweddings.com than Facebook and Twitter combined — has become impossible to ignore, even as critics deride it as ‘the Mormon housewife’s image bookmarking service of choice.'”
What do you think?
Pinterest has posited many noble roles for men in the domestic sphere. These include, and are pretty much limited to:
- Elaborate proposal planners who have booked a secret photographer and a flash mob
- Unwilling whip-weilding actors in 50 Shades of Grey fantasies
- Mason jar craft installers and admirers
Note that none of these roles include domestic work–cooking, cleaning, childrearing. That’s for the wimmins! According to the oft-pinned Proverbs 31, men should be off doing a whole lotta nothing, “sitteth-ing among the elders of the land.” The modern version? Grand Theft Auto, obviously.
Men as equal partners in childcare–hilarious, amirite?
This pin, like Febreeze and laundry and cat litter commercials, normalizes unequal division of household labour.
Men, obviously, just aren’t capable of this child rearing stuff. This pin may seem harmless because it makes it seem like housework is beyond men, but really, it come from an ideology that says domesticity is beneath them.
And you know what? It kind of puts pressure on women, too. What woman makes a turkey every night? What woman wouldn’t tie her daughter’s hair with a zip tie in a pinch?
Some men, obviously, do think that way, and skimp on domesticity; all those depressing studies about division of labour evince this. The stereotypes, I think, just encourage their lackluster domestic performance, and alienate dads who do “pitch in.”
Repin, repin, repin!
Ladies, ladies, ladies.
Seriously? We may as well come right out and say it.
Let’s be even more direct.
LOL 🙂 (*sob*). Oh dear. The awful part? She’s not alone.
There are many better things to do than taking your wedding daydreams (those are okay!) and constructing elaborate fantasies on Pinterest (thatz just kinda sad). We all want to find our soulmate, but will picking your centerpieces now help?
When you’re not only looking for the guy who will propose with a well-planned flashmob, but expending enough energy on the prospect that you’ve planned your wedding to him right down to your underwear (lace boxers, of course), you may be veering into obsession. Let’s recap:
- Attending weddings and the inevitable, enjoyable snarking about the decor; occasionally daydreaming about your own nuptials
- Ryan Gosling
- Wedding planning and pinning when you’re not engaged
- Stalking Ryan Gosling IRL
- Borrowing pugs you don’t own, stuffing them into cute outfits, taking photos, and using them as the caller profile pics for contacts on your phone
Think of what you could do with all the time that would be freed up without imaginary wedding planning. You could master the fine art of crochet! Learn computer coding! Do one nail in each of these elaborate styles (chevron! ombre! hooker gets ahold of a bedazzler!). In other words, things you can do yourself, that you have control over.
Making someone love you? It doesn’t fall into that category.
As a great feminist once said, a woman needs a man like a fish needs one of those fish tank castle things (or something along those lines). Nice to have, but you know. This feminist also said, or would have said: a woman needs an elaborate wedding fantasy like a fish needs water laced with sulfuric acid, which is to say, she’s probably better off without.
At the very least, you don’t have to get all Snow White about it on Pinterest.
And some parents say exposing their little girls to princess stories doesn’t warp them for life.
Sometimes, Pinterest can seem like a glimpse into the Bible Belt’s subconscious; the social platform definitely tilts right politically and socially. Pro-life, anti-Obama and camo wedding pins abound. With all the abstinence-only education pins, I thought the conservative communities on Pinterest would rejoice at the publicity around one of their own.
However, Todd Akin’s recent remarks on rape–generally in sync with the GOP’s anti-abortion platform–brought out an unexpected burst of anti-Republican vitriol. Yes, vitriol. Clearly, I’ve spent too much time watching election coverage.
Most pinners are aware of the three solid methods of birth control:
Todd Akin, Republican Senate nominee and member of the House Science, Space and Technology committee (yes, really), believes all three methods are superfluous. The most effective form of birth control? Women can shut down pregnancies through sheer force of will!
“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” – Todd Akin
As opposed to an illegitimate rape, through which women get pregnant (serve them right!).
The people of Pinterest, like most people who possess even the slightest understanding of human reproduction, disagreed.
You can even purchase a legitimate rape kit inspired by Todd.
Under Todd Akin and the GOP’s planned health care cuts, however, this would probably be closer to the actual cost of a rape kit for women without health insurance–up to $4,570. Should bring the number of reported rapes down! Akin: tough on crime.
What happened to the brave few pro-Akin pinners?
Did you know that 82% of Pinterest users are women? It’s kind of hard to miss; anyone who’s been on the social network can tell that it’s female-dominated.
The other 18% of users are usually as civil as that awkward nice guy who somehow wound up as a guest at a bridal shower. Politely outnumbered.
Some men, however, can be as snarkily stupid as Pinterest’s female trolls. Ryan Marta‘s comments on this pin of a 21 year-old model, whose stomach (GOD FORBID) folds when she sits down, is a prime example.
Rather than commentary, I’m just going to use GIFs of Robert Downey Junior in blackface.
“Controversial”, eh? Ryan certainly thinks so.
You reap what you sow, Ryan. Hell hath no fire like a woman body-snarked:
Justice. Sweet, sweet internet justice. Ryan should repent immediately or, as that seems unlikely, get himself off Pinterest and onto a more “man” friendly platform.