NYU Alumni 


A Reading From The Book of Jezebel

Embedded in the press release for this two-and-a-half-pound behemoth is the phrase “broad influence”—a copywriter’s sly pun or unconscious double entendre. Either way, it’s true, because the website that spawned this encyclopedia volume, printed by Grand Central Publishing, is inarguably among the most significant platforms for feminist debate of our time.

Anna Holmes wonders why the P in “Patriarchy” shouldn’t be an M.

That has everything to do with founding editor Anna Holmes (CAS ’95), who, from the first posts in 2007, deftly balanced political and pop cultural content, scrutinizing how women are represented in Washington, Hollywood, and beyond. Empirically and subjectively, more than 1,000 XX-friendly topics are covered in this magnum opus, ranging from “legitimate rape” to “Lemon, Liz.”

Singularly encapsulating both the tome’s genius and the blog’s power is the entry “Baio, Scott.” When screen grabs of Chachi’s far right tweets—opining on abortion, welfare, and immigration—appeared on Jezebel.com, it unleashed a blitzkrieg of negative comments that had Baio retorting “adopt another cat or butt lick someone else.” His response seems downright magnanimous compared to his wife’s two cents, which garnered headlines nationwide, elicited a denunciation from GLAAD, and inspired meaningful discourse on the intersection of homophobia, First Amendment rights, celebrity, and social media. The blog, book, and brand prove that what initially seems prosaic can, indeed, result in broad influence.

Here are two more A to Z (or rather, A and Z) entries from The Book of Jezebel: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Lady Things:

Miracle drug used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy that enables users to sit at their desks getting Tiger Mom-approved quantities of work accomplished and losing five to 10 pounds at the same time. (So long as they don’t mind the accompanying hand tremors, dramatic gum erosion, sometime compulsion to masturbate, occasional bloody shits, hopeless addiction, and moderate-to-severe acne eruptions on highly improbable areas of the body, like eyelids.)

Too young to be a slut, so way more entitled to civil rights than you are.

Photo © Anna Wolf