#noJezebel: Celebrity, Sex, Forced Re-victimization for Women

wtfox?!Op Ed61 Comments

oped
[Trigger warning: discussion of rape, rape imagery, and victimization.]

On February 8, the (in)famous women’s blog Jezebel ran a story headlined “Did Libyan Video of a Journalist’s Rape Get Posted on YouTube?” (Trigger warning for images and content at the link; the contents are summarized below.) Appropriately, the editors tagged the story as Horrible; however, the horror registered in the post’s comments, as well as on Twitter and elsewhere, is directed toward the editors’ decision to run the story complete with screencaps from the video in question. In response to the outcry among its commentariat, which demanded to know why Editor-in-Chief Jessica Coen and author Anna North thought it was a good idea to post lightly altered images of a woman being sexually assaulted, the blog left the images up, albeit with extra pixelation – pixelation added, according to what I can work out from the timeline, almost a day after the original images ran.

In an explanation prefixed to the article, Coen attempts to explain the rationale for posting the story with its images, and the editors’ decision not to remove them despite the reaction:

We have since added additional pixelation to all of the images, including those of the attackers. This post is ultimately about the existence of a video, thus the images ARE the story – without them, there’s nothing. To remove them would be, in effect, to un-report the story. Which is not going to happen. ““JC

No.

First of all, what story? As we’ll see below, there is no story in the sense of a researched narrative, only a few images buttressed by the scant support of a writer’s hypotheses regarding the origin of the video and the identities of the men participating in it. Sure, the post may “ultimately” be about the existence of a video, but on the way to ultimate, North, Coen, and everyone involved in the conception, writing, and distribution of this article trampled over the one person who actually matters here: the victim herself.

Remember, this is an article posted on the site that was touted for declining to repost or link to leaked photographs of Rihanna following her physical abuse at the hands of Chris Brown. In her explanation for the decision, Anna Holmes wonders about the value of posting images of victimized and beaten women: “Assaults like [Rihanna’s] are perpetrated on thousands of people – many of them women – every single day, the world over. Question: is posting such a photo exploitative or educational? (Is it both?)”

In the case of the article at hand, the answers would be: Yes and no. Yes, it is exploitative. No, it is not educational; and, even if it were (this is where I feel Holmes got it slightly wrong), it isn’t right to use the images of any woman’s suffering for the purposes of “education,” not when the woman isn’t in a position to consent to her images’ distribution, and not when we seem to have no damn idea what “education” means in this context. We’re all reasonably aware people and we know that rape happens, and we know that rape happens in war zones: what valuable new information, then, are these images supposed to provide? Arguments can be made about images of sexual violence serving the public good – for example, the photographs of the victims in Abu Ghraib – but what public good is being served here, precisely? Given Coen’s non-apology, the post’s contents, and the utter failure of the images to do what North hopes they will, not much good is being served at all. Certainly they’re not addressing the victim’s good so much as willfully disregarding it.

To repost images of a victim’s rape without her permission – the last two images in the post are graphic, if blurred-out, screencaps that specifically depict the attack – is to deprive her of her dignity and her right to preserve her privacy. It victimizes her all over again. Her blurred-out body does not get to be sacrificed on the altar of “raising awareness of rape” or even “seeking justice for a rape victim”; to make it bait for pageviews under the guise of awareness-raising and seeking justice is disingenuous at best, a reification of rape culture at its worst – and, I suspect, at its heart. There is a difference between torture-porn and explicitly tying images to narratives detailing systemic abuses of power: the former seeks to shock for its own sake, the latter shocks in the service of exposing institutional corruption and large-scale moral failure. Further, as feminists, we all know how wrong it is to demand that oppressed or victimized people tell their stories in the service of our education; how, then, is it right to demand that a rape victim be victimized all over again for purposes about which neither the Jez author nor editor seem clear?

That the entire post sensationalizes rape for the sake of controversy, rather than for the sake of justice, is fairly clear from its structure and the justifications offered for its existence. Aside from its interpretation of its now-pixelated images, the article is short on fact and long on supposition. North pads out her description of the video stills with a brief hypothesis on the video being a work of Gaddafi loyalists, speculation that should the name of the poster (Ahmed Aldorssi) be real, he “should be easy to find,” and the touchingly naïve expression of hope that “If anything good comes of the recording and posting of this disgusting crime, maybe it will be that the criminals actually get prosecuted.” In the article’s opening, North admits that the video can no longer be found, but its brief online existence still raises the questions “who raped her, who posted it on the internet, and will she ever get justice?”

With the attackers’ faces now pixelated into obscurity, the last question is rather easily answered: No, Coen and North, she will never get justice because no one can see their faces anymore. How are these images useful as a call for justice? How are they useful to anyone who might have the drive and means to arrest these men for what they did? For that matter, how are images of this woman’s rape – specifically a close-up of her body as she is being assaulted – helpful for tracking down the perpetrators? Are the Benghazi police calling Denton for the unpixelated screencaps so they can bring the videographer and his accomplices to justice? Hint: Probably not.

What the images are useful for, however, is driving up pageviews. Even for a site that now cynically trades in sensationalism and provocation for the sake of clicks – witness the Duke sex-rating PowerPoint and Edward “American girls are so uptight about sex” Pasteck – the fact that this story, and its original and now-altered pictures, was posted in the first place is disappointing, if not surprising. One would be forgiven for thinking that Coen would have done better not to issue the apology, and that North would have done better not to attempt to justify herself by making vague noises about truth and justice: the post would still be reprehensible, and unconscionable in its further disregard for a rape victim’s right to privacy, but at least it would be honest about its motives.

Journalistic ethics demand that writers respectfully treat people who figure as characters in the narratives they construct. Of course, it’s easy to argue that Jezebel is not staffed by journalists, or by individuals whose profession demands adherence to certain standards of ethical conduct. For that matter, the structure of the article – bracing the weight of screencaps showing men raping a woman against the unsteady support of speculation – clearly indicates that the standards to which this article was held were something other than professional in nature. But (and here’s the thing) in pixelating the images and clumsily trying to rationalize their use as potential evidence in the name of Obtaining Justice, Coen and North tacitly admit that their choices were, in fact, unethical, insofar as they were aware that ethics (or, hell, human decency) demanded better reasons than sensationalism to post pictures of a brutal rape. As Coen’s note makes clear with its journalistic terminology – her refusal to “un-report the story” – Jezebel’s ethos seems to hold that professional bloggers are journalists when it’s convenient: they will adopt the terminology, but not the ethical freight that come with it when such responsibility becomes burdensome. What Coen and North’s thin justifications make clear is that they decided the story – the proof of a video’s existence – was more important than all other considerations, including the human suffering that made the video’s existence possible.

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wtfox?!#noJezebel: Celebrity, Sex, Forced Re-victimization for Women

61 Comments on “#noJezebel: Celebrity, Sex, Forced Re-victimization for Women”

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  1. Profile photo of
    Kortney Thoma

    To repost images of a victim’s rape without her permission — the last two images in the post are graphic, if blurred-out, screencaps that specifically depict the attack — is to deprive her of her dignity and her right to preserve her privacy. It victimizes her all over again.

    and

    As Coen’s note makes clear with its journalistic terminology — her refusal to “un-report the story” — Jezebel’s ethos seems to hold that professional bloggers are journalists when it’s convenient: they will adopt the terminology, but not the ethical freight that come with it when such responsibility becomes burdensome.

    You’ve hit the nail on the head. I’m shocked and disgusted by this whole story. I’m just… there is no excuse. None at all to put those screenshots on the web. The editor should absolutely ashamed of herself. She should also go sit through a few law classes and learn about journalistic ethics and a was impossible to report the story without the images–what a bunch of shit! If Jezebel wants to refer to it’s writers and content as “journalism” then they need to act like real journalists and actually tell the story without being party to the crime. Reputable newspapers refuse to print the names of rape victims for a reason; how can Jezebel believe it’s okay then to actually post photos?

    This is a great way to lose support, Jez.

    1. Profile photo of wtfox?!
      wtfox?!

      Of course, the thing is they’ll use journalism when it makes them look good, or when they want to think what they’re doing is legitimate. I think Jessica is really, desperately clinging to the fantasy that what they’re doing in any way constitutes legitimate journalism. Why I don’t know, but people cling to the strangest delusions.

  2. Profile photo of [E] Selena MacIntosh*
    [E] Selena MacIntosh*

    Like Ms. Monkeys said below, I’ll always be grateful for Original Flavor Jez, too. I learned a lot from that website, and I met a lot of great people. I was always kind of on the fringes over there as an Old, but I had lots of buddies I enjoyed talking to every day, and I enjoyed the hell out of a lot of the writers.

    When the idea for P*Mag was hatched, it actually had very little to do with Jezebel. Sally J. and I wanted to create a community for Old Broads like us, with longform reads. Jezebel had a stranglehold on the Younglings, we thought that women from our generation would enjoy a space like Jez without being Jez. Well, shortly after we opened, Gawker did their infamous redesign and we became one of several ports in the storm for that particular exodus (we’re two weeks older than Hairpin, I’m just sayin’.), and our Youngling membership exploded. We quickly embraced our new Youngling overlords, and quickly grew to love them when we saw how awesome they are.

    I try to keep all but my most neutral opinions about the Gawkerverse to myself. I respect — a lot — that Nick Denton created it out of nothing, and that he did it on his own terms. He might very well be the human incarnation of Satan and Scrooge McDuck, but I respect his moxie. I absolutely respect how hard it is to put out as much content as Jez does every day. I know how much of my day I spend getting everything out the door here, and they easily publish twice as much as we do.  (As I am biased, I think our stuff is better a lot of the time, YMMV.) I also know how sucky it is to make a major misstep. (I’ve done at least three that I can remember off the top of my head.) For that, I’ve got a little sympathy, or maybe empathy is the better word.

    I know I wouldn’t have run this piece, however.

    We’re not even on Jez’s radar, as far as I know, but I am glad we’ve got a place their former readers can hang out. Denton and Jessica may not appreciate a smart, opinionated, outrageously funny group of members, but we sure do.  Give your clicks to independent online media, we know how valuable you are.  (Insert another plug for Pajiba here. They’re our mentor site, they’re also independent, they’re surprisingly feminist and they will make you pee your pants laughing.)  All of our sister blogs in the sidebar are also independent, as well as bloody brilliant, and they can use your clicks too.

    1. Profile photo of wtfox?!
      wtfox?!

      I’m glad PMag is here too!

      And, obviously, I get that blogs/writers make mistakes, but the thing is, I’d think anyone worth their ethical salt would apologize and make amends and then never do the offending thing again (or try their damndest not to), which is something Jez has never done. At least, I was there for about three and a half years, and I don’t think I ever saw an editor or writer issue an apology for egregious fuckups, and in this instance, if endorsing and participating in rape culture meant unique clicks, well, endorsing and participating in rape culture was what they’d do.

      In a way, Jez’s editorial policy reads as an extension of Denton’s almost hypermasculinist “fuck you and your delicate feelings, I’m right and I’m not going to apologize because I’m always right.” Maybe I just have a hard time respecting people who see being entrepreneurial as excusing terrible behavior, I don’t know, but that sort of ethos has either reached its apex or is nadir (I can’t tell which) in Jessica’s not-apology for the rape article, and yeah, I’m pretty much through with that shit.

    2. Profile photo of amicusdiptus
      amicusdiptus

      Oh, so there is the connection between Persephone and Pajiba! I thought it only existed in my head for some reason.

      I love me some Pajiba – although, quite honestly, more for the editorial content than the commenting section. I read it, and it’s often funny, but I guess I lack the volume of snark required. So, I am just a lurker. A faithful one, though.

      And re: original flavour Jez.  Yes. I remember that in 2008 I was completely floored that something like a feminist space with polite (!) commenters existed. I lapped it up, loved the political coverage of the Obama elections and all. It seems that it’s a long time ago since they ran such long and complicated pieces… Basically, I somehow lost interest around the time when Megan Carpentier left.

  3. Profile photo of [E] Rachel
    [E] Rachel

    I will forever be grateful to Early Jez for a number of reasons: it helped me form a framework for feminist thinking and interacting, at a time when I hadn’t had much exposure to such things; it showed me that random people on the Internet could be funny and awesome and that we had things in common; and it set in motion a series of events leading me to other online communities where I’ve made some of the strongest and most enduring friendships I’ve ever had.

    There was a time when I made hundreds of comments a week there. I scaled way back around the time that there was a widespread series of race fails. I stopped entirely after the Pasteck debacle. As far as I know, I’m still a starred commenter there, but have no interest in going back to check, and can’t remember my login even if I were so inclined.

    I think Jez-that-was served its purpose for me, but there are other spaces where I feel more comfortable, more valued, and more engaged, and I’d much rather give those places my pageviews and comments.

    And word to whoever mentioned Pajiba. They’re awesome over there.

    1. Profile photo of Stephanie
      Stephanie

      Seconded. Jez (or rather, the commentariat) was my introduction to feminism, and honestly the foundation for who I am today. I started commenting at Jez as a die-hard Republican, and I’ve done a total 180. Without Jez, I would not be as open-minded or informed as I am today, and I will be forever grateful for Jez and its commenters opening my eyes and helping me see beyond the privileged life I am lucky to have.

  4. Profile photo of Jamie
    Jamie

    I haven’t been over there for a while, now that I’ve basically begun lurking persephone, so I didn’t see the initial reaction.

    I was a regular there for years.  The sad part for me (I mean, well, the sad part about the article, not about the fact that a woman was raped and then re-victimized, of course) is to see all of the people I had cultivated relationships with over the years at Jezebel getting banned and de-starred for speaking out against this terrible piece.  Sure, they’re just internet commenters, but so am I and so are you guys, and it was our community.

    They’re finally and fully embraced this idea of prioritizing page-views over journalistic integrity or issues, and there’s no hiding that fact anymore.  I knew a lot of really crappy editorial changes had taken place, but this really just illustrates how deep it’s gone.

    1. Profile photo of Susan
      Susan

      Ditto.

      What is frustrating to me is that when I went back to look now, it was the same kind of commentary that was being made a year ago – “what happened, this used to be a site that stood up for what was right, I’m so disappointed, I’m done” – and it seems that there is a cycle of drawing people in and then doing bullshit assholery for pageviews, and then drawing new people in.  And the people that are drawn in are always awesome.  :(.

      1. Profile photo of wtfox?!
        wtfox?!

        That has to be their MO: they know that some people will stay there no matter what, but there will be some whose long-term presence on the site will eventually end due to some shitstorm or other, and those are the people could be replaced one way or another. And the internet is such a huge place that the sort of person who’d be drawn to Jez might, a few months (hell, a few weeks, a few days) might not even have heard about the horrible rape video images they ran.

        It’s just… there are so many people engaged in a race to the bottom right now, and I really hate it because they’re pulling the rest of us along with them, whether we like it or not.

      2. Profile photo of Teri Drake-Floyd
        Teri Drake-Floyd

        I’ve noticed that as well. I don’t ever go on there anymore unless there is something so vile that I have to check it out for myself. So every month or two I’ll check and in the comments I’ll see the same sentiments over and over from new commenters. “I thought this was a safe space.” “I thought you guys were feminists.” “What is this I don’t even.” “I am so gone from here.”

        And it is always new commenters that I don’t recognize saying these things. So yeah, it appears Jez works on a pattern of drawing in new readers of a certain demographic and then shitting on them a few times so they go away, and they can pull in new people again. I guess they realize that it is all about the shitstorms and pageviews rather than keeping loyal readers. They give a fake impression of a safe haven for feminist minded folks to hang out and debate and talk, but in reality it is just a giant, money making experiment.

  5. Profile photo of Tashi
    Tashi

    I’d like a new “rule” put out, if you will.

    On the first day of every month ask all humans to read the definition of “consent”.

    Frack. Maybe we should just give up on humanity.

  6. Profile photo of 14KGold
    14KGold

    “disingenuous at best, a reification of rape culture at its worst — and, I suspect, at its heart”

    EXACTLY. Exactly, exactly, exactly. I posted yesterday that, if the Pasteck article signaled that Jez was now endorsing and participating in rape culture, these screencaps initiated the sites endorsement and participation in rape itself.

    1. Profile photo of wtfox?!
      wtfox?!

      I had thought about not including that line, but then I realized fuck it, endorsing rape culture is exactly what that post did. That they tried to gloss it over with “we hope there’ll be some justice for the victim” and extra-pixelated screencaps just makes it more disgusting.

      1. Profile photo of 14KGold
        14KGold

        Yup. They went into endorsement mode last year, and as far as I’m concerned they aligned themselves with the actual rapists yesterday. Call it what it is; it is the most profound violation, and excused in the manner of concern-trolling.

  7. Profile photo of amicusdiptus
    amicusdiptus

    That is… horrifying, simply horrifying.

    Count me in to the crowd of Ex-Jezzies (if you could call me that). Between late 2008 and until early 2010 I checked them out multiple times a day. Commented maybe once, I always felt intimidated – and the many changes in the commenting system put me off more and more. The star system had me incredibly annoyed.

    But that is beside the point now. I have stopped reading them a long time ago, and no, I did not even go back to check the rape post – pixelated or otherwise. I would give myself nightmares.

    This is not even about Jezebel, their perceived (or dwindling) feminist cred – this is about basic human decency. Hell, I feel I am poisoning my mind by reading body-snarking gossip sites and the random youtube-comment. I would never thought that Jezebel, or any site for that matter, would stoop so low. Failing at journalistic intregrity does not even begin to cover it.

    I’ll stick with Persephone and Pajiba, where the founder and main editor himself is calling out misoginy and foaming at the mouth about exploitative films (to the confusion of his own readership sometimes).

    And I will pretend these are all the sites of the internet. Call me naive and escapist – if this is journalism or blogging for women, I do not want to go there

     

      1. Profile photo of amicusdiptus
        amicusdiptus

        Personally, I am too shy to comment much over on Pajiba, especially the group-speak turns me off a bit. But I just love some of their articles, especially the newish sex column and anything Dustin writes.

        Even here, I spent the first couple months just lurking around. It does not help that your publishing schedule doesn’t mesh with daylight hours in my parts of the world at all. But recently I started devouring everything my rss-reader turned up in the morning – and to be honest, the points-and-friendship system really motivated me to comment!

         

  8. Profile photo of messybessy
    messybessy

    Great read! I stumbled here through the #nojez tag only to find one of my favorite former Jezebel commenters getting all insightful in article form! Jezebel has been slowly selling women down the river for a while now. A day prior to this, Tracie “Slut Machine” Egan Morrissey wrote an expose trying to debunk Taylor Armstrong’s domestic abuse claims. They’ve spent the better part of a year mocking Courtney Stodden for acting like, well, a child who’s sexuality was sold to the highest bidder. Not to mention the fact that they employ Hugo Schwyzer as their resident Man Feminist. They say they don’t claim to be feminists (or journalists?), and now they can add “decent human beings” to the list of things they can’t claim to be.

  9. Profile photo of Elfity
    Elfity

    I could hardly believe what I was seeing when this came up on my Google reader the other day. I didn’t click the link then because I could already see what was happening in the screengrab displayed with the first bit of the article, and I went to read the comments only after the images had been pixelated.

    I have been a Jezebel reader since 2008, and while the elitist commenting policy always scared me and kept me from commenting frequently, I stopped even wanting to comment there a long time ago, despite the commenters being the best part of the site. I think I, like others, came to PM throught the STFU Jezzies blog. It really seems that even in the past month or so, commenters/comments have become increasingly obtuse, tea party-like, slut-shaming, and MRA-like.I think we can all agree that Jez has been going steadily downhill, but this takes the really awful, bad-tasting cake. They took a woman who had her freedom and her right to consent viciously taken from her, and they took that freedom and that right again in posting graphic images of her assault. That woman’s image had no business being used for exploitation and monetary gain, and I am sickened by the actions of a blog with heavy feminist leanings.

    Thanks for writing this (btw, I recognize you as being one of the awesome Jez commenters!), because I certainly could not have contained my rage well enough to type out an article.

     

    1. Profile photo of wtfox?!
      wtfox?!

      Thank you so much! Believe me, there was a LOT of rage and capslocking at various people before anything like coherence happened.

      That woman’s image had no business being used for exploitation and monetary gain, and I am sickened by the actions of a blog with heavy feminist leanings.

      I don’t know that I’d call Jez a feminist site in any sense of the word, or even say that they lean toward feminism, even if it’s just a gentle incline. The editors have always shied away from being labeled feminists (except when it makes them look good, e.g. NYMag designating Jessica as a “new face of feminism” in her role as EIC), even as they’re happy to adopt some of the discourse and attitudes that ping as feminist friendly. I think it’s really just a cop-out, and it’s disgraceful and dishonest to encourage your site’s reputation in one direction while holding beliefs that run in a contrary one.

      [ETA to clarify: editorial/general “you” and not you specifically!]

  10. Profile photo of fun back in sin
    fun back in sin

    I found Persephone via STFU Jezzies (I was a regular reader/lurker on Jezebel from about 2008 until sometime last year). While I still check out Jezebel maybe once a week or so, this post perfectly illustrates why I read Persephone every day, often with impatient refreshing.

  11. Profile photo of Monica
    Monica

    I am full of so much RAGE about this. I’m glad this article was able to describe what I feel succinctly because all that’s in my brain is “RAGE HULK SMASH!”

    1. Profile photo of wtfox?!
      wtfox?!

      Oh, believe me, there was a lot of *RAGE HULK SMASH* on my part when I finally clicked on the link to that post. Then someone mentioned the possibility of a takedown on PMag and I was all MUST CHANNEL RAGE BEFORE I EXPLODE.

      Then I started banging really hard on my keyboard. I don’t think my laptop is going to forgive me any time soon.

  12. Profile photo of Jessica Werner
    Jessica Werner

    Thank you for this.  I find it depressing that a site which put me in touch with so many smart, smart-assed, and feminist-minded people (including a lot of y’all) has decided that this is acceptable.  I mean, we all know Nick Denton thinks he’s King Shit of Fuck Mountain, but it’s dismaying that women who are happy to use “feminist” to forward their personal brands would go along with this bullshit (or, who knows, come up with this post and promote it).

    You guys, I really miss Megan Carpentier.

    1. Profile photo of wtfox?!
      wtfox?!

      It really seems to me that Jez collectively enjoys borrowing feminist and journalistic trappings and dressing up their posts when it suits them, but once someone points out that feminism and journalism come with depressing, heavy shit like responsibility and ethics, they’re all “hey, we never claimed to be feminists or journalists, we can do what we like so THERE!”

      Not surprising, but it’s depressing as hell because you’d like to think that adults would behave a bit better than that. (You’d like to think that, but of course in many cases you’d be damn wrong.)

      1. Profile photo of Cesy
        Cesy

        Stop the planet, I want to get off if these ladies are the “best” that women’s blogging has to offer (and we all know that’s not true, because the best of women’s blogging is at Persephone!

        1. Profile photo of wtfox?!
          wtfox?!

          Okay, I did not realize this because I haven’t been on Tumblr much lately, but I saw on fucknojezebel that NYMag thinks Jessica/Jez is a “new face of feminism”? And that apparently Jessica is cool with that?

          Where is that Stephen Colbert scrabbling desperately at his face .gif when I need it?

  13. Profile photo of cellofmyheart
    cellofmyheart

    citizenkane.gif

    I cannot imagine what was going through North or Coen’s minds when they posted that piece of sensationalist crap. I only saw the post after the editor’s note went up. By that time, the images were pixelated to the point that there was no telling what (or who) was in the picture. Deleting the pictures would have made NO difference to the “story.” The pictures were not the story. North’s words could have sufficed.

    After the Edward Pasteck shitstorm, the redesign, and hacking, I was indifferent to Jezebel. This post moved me from indifferent to disgusted. That was low. Even for Jezebel.

    1. Profile photo of wtfox?!
      wtfox?!

      When I was reading through the comments on the Jez piece last night, I kept wondering if there was anything that might remotely, in the slightest bit ameliorate Anna’s decision to write the piece the way she did, and Jessica’s decision to keep the images up. I couldn’t come up with anything, because it’s like… you just don’t fucking do that to people, you know? It’s common goddamn decency, and that is, or should be, the minimum standard for pretty much any human action.

      It’s interesting how I’m completely unsurprised but also viscerally angry about this.

      1. Profile photo of Susan
        Susan

        Page. Views.  They didn’t take the pictures down because if they took the pictures down, they lost out on all of the people going to look at it for shock value.  I really hope this bites them in the ass and all of the people who said they were done with Jez are sincerely done with them.  This is just so disgusting.

      1. Profile photo of Susan
        Susan

        Yes.  Even though they jump back and say “WE AREN’T A FEMINIST SITE” – they are marketed to women.

        Fuck, even if they were marketed to men, they wouldn’t do this.  The only people that they could, in good conscious, market this to is rapists.

        ASDFJKLASDFJKLJFSDKLA.

  14. Profile photo of wannabemusicologist
    wannabemusicologist

    This is disgusting, and so sad. Jezebel was partly responsible for me becoming a feminist/it significantly expanded and shaped my world view as a young, shy, conservative baptist gal. But there is a big difference between discussing the fact that rape culture exists and profiting off of someone else’s pain and infringing on their privacy.

  15. Profile photo of [E] Liza
    [E] Liza

    To me, the very fact that Jessica said “un-report” means to me that they were trying to make is seem journalistic. Which means that they were violating journalistic ethics, which dictate you should not identify a crime victim without their consent.

    Of course, whether or not it’s journalism, this is still a violating of the ethics of not being a disgusting human being.

    They could very easily have written a post that the video exists without using the screencaps or anything more detailed than a brief description. But that wouldn’t bring in nearly as many of the Almighty Page Views.

    1. Profile photo of Cesy
      Cesy

      Agreed. It seems to me they crave the kudos for being “journalists” and “reporting” on serious issues but they don’t have one brain cell to share between them all that understands what the responsibilities of doing that really are.

      I actually fear a slippery slope type of situation here. If they start posting this, where does it end?  That thought sickens me.

    2. Profile photo of wtfox?!
      wtfox?!

      Absolutely 100% yes. I mentioned to Ipo above that Jez’s attitude towards journalism, like feminism, is very much “we’ll say we are, or let people believe we are, until it becomes inconvenient for us to keep pretending.” And I just want to say, seriously, quit pretending you’re “reporting” or “telling a story” when all you’re doing is offering sensationalism and speculation. There is literally nothing in Anna’s post that could be (legitimately) used even to attempt to explain why images of the victim, and not only the images of the attackers, were included, but Jessica’s trying to pretend there is, and that is just damn sad.

      The last time I checked “we felt it was important to tell the story” without providing any indication of why it’s important did not fly in journalistic ethics. Or common decent human being ethics, for that matter.

  16. Profile photo of Teri Drake-Floyd
    Teri Drake-Floyd

    Offensiveness and utter depravity of the post aside, I still don’t understand the actions of the people at Jez. So you post the video, supposedly in the interest of helping to capture the rapists, but then you pixelate them too, but leave the screencaps up. How does this benefit “catching the rapists”? And it STILL victimizes the woman who was raped.

    Jezebel is horrible and has been for a long time, but this is a new low for them. I’d love to see Jessica and Anna both canned for this; they’ll probably actually ending up getting pay raises, however.

      1. Profile photo of Cesy
        Cesy

        Fuck Denton and his unique page views business plan. I know this will give them a (hopefully) brief rise in  page views, but after this I really truly hope that people stay away. Jez and Gawker Media have lost all credibility and I am not sad about it one bit.

        1. Profile photo of KellsBells
          KellsBells

          Cesy – can I just say that I sincerely enjoy reading your comments for two reasons:

          1) you are obviously very insightful and articulate and have a wonderful wit about you

          2) i hear Patsy saying the words you’ve typed and it makes me smile

          1. Profile photo of Cesy
            Cesy

            Aw thank you! I’ve just got home from the gym so I’m on an adrenalin high which is making me rage all over the place. I am truly disgusted by this, and I am so pleased we have a wonderful place such as Persephone to discuss these matters, because they are so crucial and cannot be ignored.

            Also Patsy is the bomb. Spirit creature if ever there was one.

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