Feminist Site Geared Toward Teens Helpful or Hurtful?

Filed under: Media, Opinions, Tween Culture

Julie Zeilinger is a self-described "angry" feminist, which is why she started her own website community for like-minded feminists who "have enough social awareness to be angry and who want to verbalize that anger." The thing is, Julie is not a Women's Study sophomore at Wesleyan; she's teenager from Pepper Pike, Ohio, and her "teen" website, thefbomb.org, is a place where other girls who regularly use terms like objectification, gender identity roles, privileged white girl and homophobia can vent.

In a recent post about Britney Spears' new sexy CD cover, Fbomb contributor Robin S. confesses:

"Despite my passion for music, I doubt I could ever succeed in the music business. My reasons for this are very simple: I am overweight, I don't wear makeup and I don't keep up with current trends, and I wouldn't change these things if I was told that I needed to in order to be marketable."

Good for you, Robin! I'm all for girl power, especially if it means unmasking the fake "sexy" empowerment message so many teenage girls are getting from popular culture.

Unfortunately, too many of the posts and virtually all of the recommended links on "the fbomb" are simply not age-appropriate for teens. Moreover, despite it's good intentions, the overuse of tiring feminist terminology and the writers' annoying reliance on the opinions of decidedly grown-up liberal news sources and opinion-makers deprive "the fbomb" of it's potential to be an authentic, young, fresh voice for empowered girls.

Take, for example, this movie review comparing Judd Apatow's,"Knocked Up" to Lynn Shelton's "Humpday," a film about two guys who make a porno together (not exactly teen girl material, in my humble estimation):

"This is not a rant about Apatow, this is an emphatic welcome to Lynn Shelton, the writer (yes!), producer (yes! yes!) and director (woooohoooo!) of Humpday -- a film Apatow wishes he had made about two heterosexual male friends who decide to make a porno. Together. Two straight guys doing it. Because, as the characters say, "It's not gay; it's beyond gay. It's not porn; it's art." What ensues is a brilliant look at the macho male and masculinity standards -- a closer look at what the bromance is really all about, while still managing Apatow quality hilarity. I know I'm raving about this movie and I haven't even seen it. But I trust the New York Times and the WSJ/NPR/The Observer."

Even if you can forgive the naïveté, not to mention irony, of a "young" feminist writer who doesn't bother to watch the film she is reviewing, and instead takes the word of the Grey "old" Lady (my quotations), I preferred the days when feminists opposed pornography on the grounds that it degraded women (and men). Sadly, today's feminism is sending a demoralizing message that even the most eager, socially aware teenage girls cannot escape. For a whole host of complicated reasons, the movement has decided to celebrate sexual freedom above all else. So long as feminism remains detached from virtue, it will remain as stunted and useless as the dated, feminist terms so loved by "the fbomb's" teenage girl writers.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.