Jezebel, known for its tenacious reporting from the front lines of the war between the sexes, recently published a long e-mail chain between three men discussing their contest to sleep with as many women as possible. The emails contained all the classic elements necessary for some fun, pageview-generating outrage--explicit details, ethnic stereotypes, curious slang for coitus. But the blog post's author, Anna North, added an extra data point that seemed a bit unnecessary to some: the men's names.
Slate's Noreen Malone wonders why the guys, as awful as they come across in their emails, deserved to be outed. When Jezebel published the "Duke fuck list," a Powerpoint slide in which one female undergrad ranked her sexual conquests, the site didn't reveal her name. "It's hard not to see a double standard here: Yes, the Duke list was sort of funny, unlike this one, and didn't have the constant ethnic categorizations throughout," Malone writes. "But both are swaggering sex diaries, shared with a small group of friends."
One of the men in the email exchange has a low-level job with the State Department in London, so perhaps one could argue that his womanizing is news, since he's "representing American interests abroad." But Malone discounts that justification, saying,
Still, though, I really wonder why Jezebel felt publishing the names was worth it. There's no indication the State Department guy is in a position of power, at this point in his career, and his friends aren't U.S. employees. If it was page views Jezebel wanted, it could have gotten them just as well without using the names of the men, and not ruined careers in the process. Instead, this reads like a sort of overly vicious public shaming Jezebel would cry foul about if the men in question were women.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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