There's a website that I love, that I've always been a little embarrassed to love. I primarily read it at night when I'm trying to fall asleep. There's something about the list format that I find soporific - maybe because it's easy to quit? Complete little mental bites and then move right along to either the next one or sleepiness. That website is Cracked, and it has recently, sneakily, become pretty fucking feminist.
I'm not embarrassed to read it anymore. (Please note that I am talking specifically about the articles and quick fixes (essentially shorter articles). The videos and stuff might be terrible, I don't know, I basically don't watch videos on the internet. Get off my damn lawn.)
Oh, you want examples? Let's do it.
Old Cracked: The 6 Most Inappropriate Porn-Character Occupations Sample line:
CHARLES MANSON She who believes in hell, must believe in me! WOMAN Do you believe that I'm sexy?
New Cracked: 4 Ways Gamers Still Suck at Dealing with Women Sample line: There's a baffling disconnect where gamers want to be taken seriously, but they also want to be able to call Quinn (or Anita Sarkeesian, or Brianna Wu, or Jennifer Hepler, or the woman who just chainsawed them in half in Gears of War) insults that the average convicted sex offender would consider over the line. They want to have their asshole cake and eat it too.
Do you think that's cheating? Because the old article was not intentionally anti-woman while the new article was clearly pro-woman? WRT the old article, I'm not saying they used to be anti-woman, I'm just saying they used to casually write whole articles that were jokes about female porn stars. For the new article I could have gone further and used the fact that they published an article by Zoe Quinn. (Quick summary: Zoe Quinn is a gamer/game designer/game maker who had parts of her sexual past revealed online and then was ... I still don't really understand. She was one of the various women who has been attacked lately for daring to be a gamer with a vagina out loud.) I could have gone straight for the anonymous, true story of being a sex slave in modern America. The gamers article seems kind of tame in comparison, but let's go for a more innocuous example.
Old Cracked: 14 Valentine's Day Gifts Guaranteed to Not Get You Laid Sample line: The other problem is that even if a guy appeared in a real wedding magazine, he'd go to the ends of the earth to make sure his friends never found out.
New Cracked: 5 Classic Movies You Didn't Notice Were Completely Insane Sample line: It's parody so I can't really quote it but they call out the statutory rape in Indiana Jones.
I know, it's not groundbreaking. The old one illustrates the 'men don't like girl things' attitude that was prevalent in a lot of articles as well as anything I could find, and the new one takes beloved pop culture to task for an adult man sleeping with a sixteen year old. One more.
Old Cracked: Wives: A Users Guide Sample line: Wives do not have an off switch. They talk constantly. To check that you are listening, they will drop something intelligent amongst the usual inane shit. Respond to that. Or else.
New Cracked: What We Really Mean When We Talk About Leaked Pics Sample line: And, yes, this is an issue specific to women; there likely won't be a public-shaming of men who take naked selfies, because those aren't the pictures that hackers are going to track down and share publicly.
I'm just pleased that a funny website that isn't specifically (or even superficially) geared towards women is starting to read this way. To be clear, they've always had some reasonable content. They used to have a specific writer named Christina H who nailed a lot of body shaming stuff, and most everything else was pretty neutral and also pretty funny (which is why I've been reading off and on for years).
I guess it's just nice that instead of being surprised by a random 'those ladies be cray amirite', I'm now more often surprised by content that treats women as people who are both worth reading about and respecting as readers.
It's sad that I'm so pleased by a website being as it should be that I'm actually writing about it, but, you know. Steps.