My old blog — the one I used to keep when I could write coherently for more than 40 seconds at a go, and about things that aren’t airplanes — once got a recommendation from someone using that line. So, in a similar spirit, allow me to heartily recommend that you should be reading Tiger Beatdown on a regular basis. I don’t remember what it was that first brought me to Tiger Beatdown, but I’ve stayed for one reason, and one reason alone: It is a staggeringly good blog, maybe one of the best examples of the genre. Sady Doyle, the blogger in chief, is a writer of astonishing power and clarity (I find myself wishing I could write a tenth as well), and if her cohorts seem less inspiring, it’s only because Ms. Doyle sets the bar so spectacularly high. Why read Tiger Beatdown? Because it will make you laugh. Because it will make you angry. Because it will make you sad. Because it will make you smarter. Mostly, though, you should be reading Tiger Beatdown because it will make you a better person. Approach it with an open mind, check your privilege at the door, and think critically — and you’ll become a better human being.
Introduced, for the court’s consideration, as evidence:
- I Went To Your Concert And There Was Nothing Going On: “People are always shocked when they hear this, if they know me, because they have a very specific sense of “women who play in bands” and it is most emphatically not me. In order to be a woman who plays in a band you have to be, first and foremost, hot. Preferably hot in that slightly NOT ONE HUNDRED PERCENT CONVENTIONALLY ATTRACTIVE way, so that dudes can believe that they are the only guy in the world who really, truly understands how hot you are, and can correspondingly believe that by bestowing upon you their belief in your paramount hotness, they are giving you a sweet gift which will make you so ecstatically happy, and can therefore believe that, because all you want in the world is for dudes to think you are hot, you will sleep with them.”
- Mommy’s All Right, Daddy’s All Right: “I finally think I may have pinned down what bothers me about “ironic” racism and sexism and what have you. Here is what bothers me about “ironic” racism and sexism and what have you: it’s just. So. Fucking. Bougie. Yes, that’s right! My crankiness about the young people has turned out to be, in fact, merely another example of my crankiness about the moral codes of the white middle class! Which makes sense, given that the hipster thing is, in and of itself, a pretty white, middle-class phenomenon. This was the entire point of Stuff White People Like, right? This is not a new point that I am making! But, to explain how it ties into hip racism and sexism, I invite you to go on a journey with me. A journey many of you may have taken before. A journey to your white, middle-class parents’ house for Thanksgiving.”
- I HATE I Love The Way You Lie: “A music video came out this week, one that deals with intimate partner violence. It begins with a close up of Rihanna’s face, with her fucking fierce hair and her 500$ dollar eye shadow. It cuts to Megan Fox sleeping with some skeezy dude on a dirty bed, which is EXACTLY what I’d be doing if I were Megan Fox. Then back to Rihanna. She’s singing in that gorgeous voice of hers, and for a moment I think “Maybe this won’t be so bad.” A few seconds later, the recording fails and “I Love The Way You Lie” turns into a rap song. By Eminem. Who is literally the last fucking person I want to hear singing about intimate partner violence.” I came very close to clapping when I read this particular post. The awesome is so thick you’d need a chainsaw it cut through it.
You might, from these posts, be drawing the conclusion that Tiger Beatdown is a blog with a bit of, how shall we say, a moral and philosophical position. You’d be correct. It is an aggressively feminist blog. And a very very smart one at that. I have, more than once, read a post there and thought, “Uh, no,” only to find myself turning it over in my head later the same day, and eventually coming around to, “Well, maybe” and then eventually, “Hell yes.” (This actually happens with most feminist blogs I read periodically, and the ideas eventually seem so reasonable I get angry when other people don’t see the reasonableness inherent in the argument.) If you’re at all concerned about power structures in society, about the way we internalize these dynamics and how they are recapitulated over and over again, and about how the marginalized in society continue to be marginalized — this is a great place to spend time. It makes you think, and that’s a wonderful, precious thing.
I’d normally say there’s just a leeeeetle too much self-congratulating and idol worship going on in the comments section, along with a smattering of epistemic closure, but (a) it’s not my space so what the hell do I care and (b) the comments themselves are often just as informative as the original post. And besides, (c) most of the posts are, in fact, that awesome — so it’s hard to get annoyed when people keep explaining about how they want to marry the particular post when you, in fact, wanted to stand up and cheer too.
Goddamn it’s a good blog. Go read it right now.