Women Writing In The Age Of Britney: Pop Culture & Gossip & Feministy Stuff, Oh My

BlogHer Original Post

How many of us have written posts about Octo-Mom? Sarah Palin? Tina Fey? The Twilight series? Lost? BRITNEY? Even if you don't write for a pop-culture or gossip blog, you've probably, at some point or another, written something that touches on the defining (or disturbing) moments in popular culture. And if you haven't written about it, you've almost certainly read about it. You've probably got at least one pop culture/gossip/entertainment website bookmarked, right? So let's talk about it.

Let's talk about, say... what's the state of pop culture writing among women, and what good is it doing us? Is pop culture writing (writing about TV and movies and magazines and music and gossip) a genre that empowers women as writers and readers, or does it keep us locked in old stereotypes about women as gossips and consumers of soap operas and morning shows? Is celebrity baby blogging a mom-ghetto in the pop-culture blogosphere? Does snarking on the Duggars represent a step backward for women's writing? Or does pop culture writing of any variety represent a move by women to claim/reclaim some territory in defining the discourse of pop culture - the culture that most of us live and breathe daily? Is it bad for us? Good for us? (Can anything this much fun be good for us?)

(Is Tyra Banks evil, or the new incarnation of divalicious awesomeness? Whither Gloria Steinem in the age of Jezebel.com? WHADDUP BRITNEY OMG?)

Seriously: it can be argued that pop-culture blogging suffers from similar biases to those faced by mom-bloggers (it's superficial, it's 'lite', it's not serious), and those biases reflect more systemic biases against women (not least, the pervasive and insidious idea that 'gossip' - like diary-keeping or talking about children - is inherently feminine, and something to be dismissed.) So we'll ask, in this discussion, how pop culture writing - yes, even gossip - can be an empowering genre for feminists (as culture critics and commentators) and for women generally. We'll consider the question of whether pop culture writing online is currently one of the best forums for really intelligent writing and thoughtful writing on the place of women in society - or whether it's a waste of creative energies and we should all maybe just get back LOLcats and sparkles and unicorns.

Tracey of Sweetney (and MamaPop.com) and Amy of Amalah (and MamaPop.com), and Catherine of Her Bad Mother (and - wait for it - MAMAPOP DOT COM) are going to be working this room HARD. Join us, 'kay? You know you want to.