Saturday, October 22, 2011

OWS and XOJane: a rant

I have spent the last few weeks following the exploits of the Occupy Wall Street protesters (several of the devoted are good friends of mine) and have been down there a few times myself, finding the site and its durability to be quite inspiring. And online, I have read vociferously on the topic, heartened by the protest movements it has inspired all over the country and world. I don't know how this will all end and if it will have the impact that many of us are hoping for--a realignment of our national priorities, a more equitable tax code, compassion for the poor-- but it is nonetheless exciting to see so many involved.

And then I read this over at XOJane, Jane Pratt's online follow-up to the significantly better Jane and Sassy. In it, Cat Marnell discusses her past experience with "drunkorexia," which is not recognized disorder in the DSM but has something to do with college coeds who don't eat but only drink alcohol, do drugs and party.

This blogger, Cat, has already received a lot of flak for a previous post in which she flippantly discussed her idiotic and irresponsible birth control choices (or lack thereof). And while I also found that piece abominable, enough has been said on the topic. I'm more interested in ranting about the drunkorexia post.

The whole time I'm reading her article, I'm wondering-- how did she manage to stay in school, get good jobs and get ahead in her career when so many who have not put a foot wrong (or have barely stepped out of line)-- the ones who have worked hard their entire lives, did exactly what society told them was necessary--have found themselves under piles of student debt, unable to find proper jobs with health coverage? Now, I'm not begrudging Cat her healthcare even if she chooses to practice the stupidest forms of pregnancy and STI prevention imaginable but her steady climb up the career ladder despite being a seemingly irresponsible individual is highly upsetting, given that even she admitted to not making an effort in school and staying out all night partying and pissing away her trust fund.  (I would also add that I don't think she is quite talented as a writer but since that is entirely subjective and Jane Pratt has already commented on trying to develop young voices so perhaps Marnell will become a better thinker and writer. Or not.)

While I understand that acting like a shortsighted fool might seem like a prerequisite for working in the fashion industry, but given the times in which we live and the protests going on in our streets, I find Marnell's flip writing style about abusing her privileges -- whether it's monetary or medical (her choice of Plan B as birth control is predicated upon the fact that she lives in New York where the morning after pill is very accessible)-- to be even more difficult to defend.


Anais Nin said...

Read her BIO, in which she describes getting "bored" at OWS. She is like the girls I went to High School with, in with drugs, graffiti, and crime are upper class cache. It's all accessories to her, she does have great fashion style, and horrid writing BUT, she has one thing: a very unique voice. At least a voice that is being published, as I said this is a breed of urban hipster found in bulk in Philly and NY.

Dvora Meyers said...

It's all voice and no thought. Call me old fashioned, but even when it comes to bloggers, I'd like to detect a real effort made at analysis.