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How “Jezebel” Smashes the Patriarchy, Click by Click

From: Mother Jones

by Tasneem Raja


Jezebel’s founding editor, Anna Holmes. Courtesy Jezebel
Anna Holmes, unlike some of her contemporaries, never considered “feminist” a bad word. As a mixed-race girl growing up in a liberal California college town, she was obsessed with Sassy and Glamour—”back when it was still feminist.” She pursued writing gigs at glossy women’s magazines after college, but quickly tired of their formulas: “Their point,” she says, “is to create insecurities and then solve them.”
In 2006, she was tapped by Gawker Media to create Jezebel, a site for women interested in both fashion and how the models were treated. She built it into a traffic behemoth, with 32 million monthly pageviews and beloved features like Photoshop of Horrors and Crap Email From a Dude. Since leaving Gawker in 2010, Holmes, who recently landed a column in the New York Times Sunday Book Review, has kept busy compiling The Book of Jezebel, an encyclopedia of lady things with more than 1,000 entries, from bell hooks and Bella Abzug to Xena and zits. The book goes on sale October 22.
Mother Jones: When I first opened the book and landed on “Patriarchy,” I laughed, because the full entry read: “Smash it.”
Anna Holmes: Some things you don’t need to spell out.

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