Wednesday, October 3, 2012

on pinterest and feminism

I've seen this article multiple times and it really annoys me so what better way to deal with it than through a hysterical rant on my blog.

Okay, I'll try to steer away from hysteria. 

To sum it up, a woman wrote an article about how Pinterest "isn't where the internet was supposed to take us." How instead, it does a disservice to feminism (the article's title is "How Pinterest Is Killing Feminism" but I won't delve into that because shocking titles gets clicks so it may or may not have been her point). 

How does Pinterest do this? Well, the author explains, by having top pins be about a diet pizza crust, or having a female athlete pinned to an inspirational board to getting fit, and not being about, you know, feminist-y stuff... I guess?

That's the whole thing, I just don't get it. Why is it anti-feminist to pin pictures of whatever you want to pin pictures of? To me, her telling me I am an anti-feminist for pinning work out charts or healthy foods to a weight loss board is the only actual anti-feminist behavior here. 

from HBO's Girls

If I wanted the "Facebook" of Pinterest, I could sit on the front page and see what the most pinned items are that don't reflect my interests and actually make me end up hating the site. (Is that not what Facebook does?)  This is what a lot of authors of these articles think Pinterest is. Sure, some of those things that get pinned a lot are stupid, but guess what? A lot of people are stupid. 

You're supposed to create an account, log in, follow people who share the same interests and aesthetics as you. People who pin things you like. Things you want to see.

Do you know how many times I see pictures of models with comments of "I want to look like this" on my Pinterest? Never. Because I don't follow people who would pin that. 

When men get into fitness magazines and want to get into shape, do we tsk tsk and say, "Guys, you aren't JUST your bodies, you can look however you want and the world will still love you!" No. We don't do that because it would be dumb and the point is, they want to get into shape and it's their body and they can do whatever they want. 

The author, almost comically, points out that along with these diet recipes and "thinspiration" pictures, is board after board of food-porn. Cookies and cakes and pies and savory dinners and amazing side dishes you should try, and any food you can imagine. Because some people like to cook. And some people, like me, like to look at pictures of amazing food and wish they could cook. But I guess if you like to cook you aren't a feminist and you still have the "stay in the kitchen" mentality, or something...

So yes, while it's a shame some women still believe their worth is based on how they look, to believe that Pinterest is only spreading that message is a bit far fetched. The author talks about other feminist approved (???) sites and how their audience is much smaller than that of Pinterest but you are comparing apples to oranges. An image board built on your tastes is very different from Jezebel, where you can read all about how HoneyBooBoo is the downfall of America as we know it. 

So girls, and guys, like whatever you want. If you want to pin pictures for inspiration for your upcoming wedding, info-graphics pertaining to the upcoming elections, or you want to pin gifs of cats climbing into tiny boxes, you have the right to do so without anyone trying to make you feel bad.

The main thing that gets me frustrated when reading about articles on Pinterest is that a lot of authors don't actually know how to use Pinterest. I could have a Pinterest account where the only things I would see are tech gadgets, video game posters, and pictures linking to articles about technology if I so felt like it. If I wanted to only see pictures from New York Fashion Week, I could do that too.

No comments: