Amanda Marcotte, a writer-blogger best known for her feminism and political activism, visited St. Edward’s University tonight to read excerpts from her new book It’s a Jungle Out There: The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments.
Marcotte was hired on as a blogger for the John Edwards 2008 presidential campaign. Soon after the announcement of the hiring, many began to take notice of blog posts written by Marcotte in which she criticized the Catholic Church’s position on birth control and access to abortion; these quotes were then covered in mainstream news media as anti-Catholic quotes. Soon thereafter, Marcotte resigned from Edwards’ campaign and continued her blog for Pandagon.
Marcotte, an alumna of St. Edward’s University who still resides in Austin, spoke to an intimate crowd of roughly thirty students and professors on her experiences as a writer and blogger, and read excerpts from her new book. Marcotte’s sarcastic wit and acerbic commentary on “post feminism” (to which she rolls her eyes and shakes her head) made for an interesting and blithe presentation.
Standing at the front of the room, Marcotte read a particular chapter of her book where she muses at the inner struggles feminists face when they go into their closets every morning to find a pair of shoes to wear. Birkenstocks essentially reinforce the stereotype that feminists hate fashion and refuse to wear anything with a heel or a spot of color. Walking in a pair of heels automatically makes a feminist a hypocrite, as heels ooze what it is to be woman’s shoe wear. Doc Martin’s–although glorious in their image of austerity when they were popular in the ’90s–now make an feminist look like an obstinate relic. Marcotte also broods over flip-flops, ballet slippers, boots, and flats.
Whether you agree or disagree with Marcotte on her views, one must give credit where credit is due. This successful young woman has become infamous through her satirical and witty blog posts and writing. When I spoke to Marcotte, she glowed with tenacity and spunk and spoke to me about blogging with such chutzpah that I was truly blown away.
I recommend reading It’s a Jungle Out There, if for no other reason, to get a taste of Marcotte’s great wit and sarcasm (while I don’t necessarily agree wholeheartedly with some of her political position, I certainly enjoyed both her and her book).