[ED 10/15: See below for Jane Pratt's explanation]
The Skepchick writers are having a bit of an argument behind the scenes at the moment – the topic is whether XOJane’s Health and Beauty Director Cat Marnell is doing some kind of performance art or whether she is in fact willfully, forcefully ignorant. Here’s what she wrote, and the evidence for each theory.
First of all, XOJane is the fairly new site for women that comes from Jane Pratt, the creator of former awesome girl mags Sassy and Jane. I’ve always thought of Pratt as being a strong, cool feminist so I was happy to hear that she was starting her own site.
Cat Marnell is the site’s Health and Beauty Director. She was, according to her bio, formerly the beauty editor for Lucky, a magazine for women who love to be sold things to make themselves pretty. (ED: note that one can read/write for brainless magazines and still have brains . . . I am merely listing her credential here and want it to be clear that nothing about Lucky would require one to know anything other than make-up and clothes. I’ll also take this moment to point out that the image with this post is the only one I have of Cat and comes from her bio on XOJane.)
The article she wrote the other day is difficult to sum up, but apparently it has to do with birth control. Cat doesn’t like it. She hates condoms and thinks the pill will maker her fat, give her pimples, and make her spot (bleed randomly), so she relies on Plan B, apparently oblivious to the fact that Plan B is basically just a heavy dose of birth control pills that costs a lot of money and occasionally causes spotting. Also she’s had, like, millions of abortions or something even though she hates them. She hates living in an “abortion-friendly culture.”
She almost starts to describe how Plan B works, but duh, biology and chemistry are haaaarrrrd so boo hoo the end.
Again: this is the Health and Beauty Director for XOJane. Before we move on to the decision-making (performance art/idiocy), consider the comment section:
OK, time to cast your vote:
- No one is that old, that wealthy, and that ignorant. To be that ignorant, you either have to be very young or from a culture that does not give you access to basic sexual health information.
- The job description for Health and Beauty Director would require she knows basic things about women’s health.
- Jane Pratt is an intelligent person who would never hire someone that stupid and dangerous to women.
- Performance art usually has a point. This doesn’t seem to have any lesson or greater truth to be revealed.
- A performance artist would have to be callous or near-sociopathic to spread misinformation about reproductive health like that.
- Reality TV has shown us that there are people who appear to be older, wealthy, and happily ignorant.
- These people are occasionally given platforms.
COMBINATION OF BOTH
- Maybe it’s just the worst performance art ever?
ED 10/15: Jane Pratt has written a pseudo-explanation without ever actually mentioning Cat’s name or talking about condoms or AIDS or anything. The tl;dr: diversity! xoJane doesn’t want to be just one voice, they want to have a diversity of voices!
It all makes sense now. Remember how Skepchick is looking for another writer, and we want someone who will improve the diversity of the site? We should have mentioned that in addition to having someone from a different race, culture, sexual orientation, or whatever, we should have also specified “stupid.” Someone who is really, really stupid, who refuses to do the least bit of research before posting, and who spreads misinformation about really important topics like women’s health.