Adios, Jezebel

Reading through Anna’s post about commenting (or, commenters) this afternoon, I realized that I need to take a big step back from the site. It became evident to me, while reading through the comments, that I represent something that a lot of people don’t like; comments too often, talks about herself too much, too many “followers,” etc etc. When I stumbled upon a disemvoweled comment that, I believe, may have been in reference to me, I realized that my stomach had dropped. I have no interest in being That Person, or becoming overly-concerned with how Internet strangers may feel about me. So, I will find other ways to entertain myself while I’m bored out of my wits at work. I’m not trying to be over-dramatic; it’s just a website. But, it’s obviously morphed into a bit more for me, and I want to tow that in.

I will miss keeping up with news items and random stories and, of course, reading what others have to say. But, it’ll be worth it in the end, I think.

In the meantime, I can keep in touch with Jezebel friends through the blog and Facebook.


Tags: ,

35 Responses to “Adios, Jezebel”

  1. SarahMC Says:

    Girl, please don’t stop being you. I would really hate it if a cool chick like you abandoned the rest of us, because the vast, vast majority of us love ya.

  2. Shelly Says:

    I agree with Sarah above. I can honestly say that many things you have said on Jezebel affected me in a good way. But I understand where you are coming from…I will always keep up with you here. I like your blog a lot! So don’t stop posting here!

  3. Sukie Says:

    Jeez, that post caused so many problems.

    Please don’t beat yourself up. All the commenters that really ADD something to the site were attacked by those that seem to never comment and suddenly, they pounce.

    Kinda took a scene from Mean Girls for a while there…

    (but hey, Jez got me to your blog, so it can’t be too bad?)

  4. Britni Says:

    That post was a little harsh, and I don’t think that it was meant to be taken the way that it was. I don’t want to see you go, and trust me, I noticed your absence today and it made me sad. I love what you have to say and I know that a lot of other people do, too. But I am glad I have your blog and your Facebook in case you DON’T come back (though that would make me sad).

  5. Claire Says:

    Dear Penny,

    I am not a frequent Jezebel commenter, though I do read the site on a daily basis. I found out that you write a blog by reading your comment and the responses to it on the very post that you are referencing here. I just wanted to express to you that I have always found you to be very insightful and honest in your commenting on Jezebel. I think your willingness to open up and share your stories really allowed many other people who comment on Jezebel posts to do so as well. That whole thread today really displayed the worst side of women, in my opinion–the petty, catty, antagonistic and public shaming side that I had previously thought Jezebel served to fight against. The nature of Anna’s post and the way she specifically called out a commenter (by description if not by name) is what opened the gates for a commenter to do the same to you and it was a damn shame. I too will be breaking from Jezebel, as I feel a really ugly side of that site was made visible to me today. But I wanted you to know that I am thankful for Jezebel for at least leading me to your blog, which I now plan to read with much regularity. Take care of yourself, be well and fuck anyone who would make you feel ashamed of anything you’ve said.

  6. pennyplastic Says:

    That whole thread today really displayed the worst side of women, in my opinion–the petty, catty, antagonistic and public shaming side that I had previously thought Jezebel served to fight against.

    I think that pretty much sums it up. The entire thing made me uncomfortable, which has happened before. I suppose being specifically called out bruised my ego and made me feel badly about myself, which is really unfortunate (both that it happened, that I care and that I have such a thin skin).

    I’ve spent a LOT of time (obviously) on Jez this past year, it’s been better for me than any therapist, and God knows I needed the outlet. However, it’s about time I realize that is not the purpose of the site. I am not blind to my failings, but I also don’t feel the need to feed into complete strangers animosity. And while, like I said, I understand Anna’s greater goal, it really saddened me to see the reaction.

    Anyhow, I AM happy to have the blog and its small readership, so thanks, loves :-)

  7. SerendipitousTrout Says:

    Hi- I too read Jezebel everyday, but dont’ comment as much. At my new job I use google reader and was shocked today to see Jezebel’s post. I agree with those above who said that your fantastic comments on the Jezebel site are what made me look at your blog, which I now check just as often as Jezebel! I love all your comments, and I think that if everyone else didn’t, you would receive soo many replies on Jezebel, because your comments always have a long thread afterwards.
    So, if you do decide to slow down on your Jezebel comments, no worries, I’ll still be on your blog for all the great insight. Keep it up!

  8. Claudia (Bluebears) Says:

    I understand your feelings. The original post was harsh but what was more upsetting were the comments that followed. It was very “mean girls” in that, for some reason, many people felt free to trash several prolific commenters, almost like they had been given some sort of free pass. The pile on mentality was ugly and I am still confused by peoples problem, it was very petty and catty and I hate to go there but thats the truth of it. Anyway, as I told you the other day, I really like your blog and I’ll check back even if you never show up on Jez again.

  9. Blondegrlz Says:

    Isn’t it kind of funny how just a couple weeks ago Jezebel practically handed out awards for the people who commented the most, called them smart, funny and important to the site’s success…and yet those exact same people felt the worst today?

    I’m not quitting but I’m cutting back. As long as you and a few others keep their own blogs updated I shouldn’t have too much trouble finding something to do with my time.

  10. Pilgrim Soul Says:

    Eh, Penny, that person was a fuckhead and probably a sock puppet, and I really doubt Anna meant you. Certain people took the post as an opportunity to bash, and it was stupid.

    Still, like you, I need to cut a lot of Jez out, I’m there too much, it’s an excuse to ignore my actual life by yelling about feminism on the Internet, and I have been aware of this for some time. So we can have us a support group! And I’ll have a new blog soon!

  11. elizabeth Says:

    While I’m sorry to not see you comment as much there, the blow is significantly softened by you not only maintaining a blog, but by providing thought-provoking content on a regular basis right here that encourages thoughtful responses. My slower laptop has prevented me from commenting there as often as I normally would but I did follow some of the comment threads in that post today and didn’t love what I saw–then again, unfortunately, it seems like those threads tend to bring the worst out of some of the commenters, though not neccessarily from the frequent commenters, and most certainly not from you.

  12. funnyface Says:

    I love you, I love this blog, and I hate what happened in that post today. I notice when you’re not commenting, and would hate to see you stop.

  13. Melissa (fabulousrobots) Says:

    I know the site is public, but I really really loved all these smart women (and men) sharing their thoughts about politics and pop culture. While it got personal, I know I didn’t think differently about it because of the online communities I have via livejournal and a message board. It was like a bigger version of those.
    I wonder how/if things will change there. I am talked down at all day at work, I don’t need it by blog commenters.
    I might have had a bit of wine tonight. I hope I make sense.

  14. Linnyt Says:

    I noticed I didn’t see you around Jez today. I didn’t read the comment before it was disemvowled but I read the thread and the commenter was someone who didn’t comment much, doesn’t a contribute to the site as you do. I’m sorry to see you turn away from Jez because normally is it a good site and the commenters are supportive and constructive, usually.
    I totally agree with Blondegrlz’ point about how the most frequent commenters were lauded by the editors a couple weeks ago and then this happened.
    Hoping you come back.

  15. JJ Says:

    Just wanted to echo a lot of what was said here. I rarely comment on Jezebel, mainly because I read it at night and I’d be at the end of pages of comments. However, your comments always stand out and you will be missed if you leave. I really didn’t want to fire up Jezebel tonight as I’d read that post earlier and it left me with the oddest feeling. Like when a friend does a 180 and hurts you, in a way…I’m getting melodramatic. But something felt different and the very reason I avoid so many blogs was dripping down the page of Jez today. The post was not written properly and was demeaning. One of the main reasons I love the comments is the very interaction that takes place among the loyal commenters. I feel that Jezebel stands out, but in some ways if things proceed the way they are, with the loss of the best people on the site, the comments will be indistinguishable from Perez.

    I feel sad! Isn’t that a hoot? No one even knows me there. But if you have this blog, count me in as one of the frequenters. Quality is what I’m looking for and you have it.

    And by the way? The very introspection you’ve felt today is exactly what makes you someone people want to see on that site.

    Thanks for the time. –J

  16. SarahMC Says:

    I also want to add what whilst I made some strongly-worded comments in that thread today, NONE of them were made with you in mind. I was just annoyed by many of the responses to Anna’s post, rather than the “type” of commenters she called out.
    Whenever a post like that is published, certain Jezzies, who’ve allegedly retired from the site, show their faces to shit all over the Jezebel that remains. I would not be surprised if some were using sock-puppets just for an excuse to be mean and nasty. Brush ya shoulders off, Penny.

  17. pennyplastic Says:

    Oh, Sarah, I know that. And, I am glad you brought up the alleged retirees because this is something I have noticed (and that we should take off-line on FB or something, I’m not going there on here!). Love ya.

    I’ve loved reading the kind and intelligent responses to this post. THESE are the kinds of people I want to interact with, so I am glad you all are here. And your words and thoughts and ideas are very meaningful to me.

  18. rlire01 Says:

    Hello Penny!
    I also am a relatively new/infrequent commenter on Jez although I’ve been an avid reader for over a year now; what went down today was wrong and disheartening for so many reasons. I, too, am sad for the loss of not only you but also several other smart, funny, compelling members to that site. I don’t know that I can continue to read it simply because the comments are what truly made it special, and of late with the post content quality declining the comments were the only thing that kept me coming back. I hope that there is another place we all can find to replace the community that will be lost because of today’s events.
    PS: I used my FB account on Jez, so my ‘username’ here won’t match.

  19. BikramRugbyWork Says:

    I have been a lurker on Jezebel for quite a while now and have noticed a downward slide in some aspects, but really have enjoyed many commentators, yourself included. I didn’t read the comments of the post you are referring to, and now I think I won’t.

    I have never interacted much on the internet (bit shy and awkward) but thought I would tell you that I was really glad to find your blog. It has given me many ideas and helped me focus on my budget.

  20. Sassy Says:

    I feel like a random internet creep or something, but I’ve been reading Jezebel for ~1 year now, though only commenting for a few months. I always enjoyed your comments, because you were honest and open without seeming like a giant douche.
    That said, it’s sad to see you leave, but at the same time it makes sense.
    I’ll continue reading your blog, if anything because you have amazing fashion sense and post about food, and those are my top 2 favorite things in this world.

  21. Jess Says:

    One of the main reasons I signed up to comment on Jezebel was because of commenters like you Penny. You have always been insightful and funny and you will defintiely be missed. The way they went about that post today was just mean. I have always tried to keep my initial comments relevant to the story (something I feel majority of people do) and I can’t really help if things get a little off topic or personal on the thread following the comment. I have never encountered anyone being super personal and giving away like their address or full name. I don’t get what is wrong with sharing stories specially if it is contained in a thread.

    Anyways, I really enjoy your personal blog and will definitely continue to check in here

  22. Unpossible Says:

    Just wanted to add my voice to the encouragement. I loved seeing your comments on Jez, and if you continue to comment in the future, I’ll continue to read. If not, I’ll catch you here. You’ve got to do what’s right for you!

    That said, I was away from my computer today and missed the commenting on the Jez post, but like Blondegrlz I find it bizarre and annoying that they set up their system to reward frequent/popular commenters (lists, stars, the new(ish) threading system), and then turn around and put up this kind of post. I know that the stated purpose of it was to a) protect the integrity of their posts and the respective comment threads and b) protect the commenters’ anonymity/privacy from our own overshare tendencies, and I can get behind that. But the tone of the post was so smackdown-ish, so scolding. I really wish that it had been written with more of a perspective of care and concern for their blog and its readers/commenters instead, more “we need people to follow the guidelines to make this a better site for everyone” rather than “you have broken the rules and it pisses me off.” I can be a bit of a Pollyanna sometimes, but I just can’t understand how it was necessary to be so harsh.

    And now here I am threadjacking your blog instead! Not my intention, sorry. I guess I had more to say on this topic than I thought!

  23. rocketship Says:

    Just wanted to add that I lurk on Jez and your blog and how I found it was because I liked you as a commenter! That post on Jezebel was insane. It’s a shame how it has made you want to leave. I almost want to create a Chris Crocker-esque ‘LEAVE PENNY ALONE!’ video now in a show of support. Oh well, I hope you don’t take the random negativity to heart! Keep up the good work, I hope to see you back there again, sticking it to the man.

  24. Eeva Says:

    I agree with everyone here, and disagree strongly – as strongly as a post-spinach Popeye – with that idiot commenter, if it’s you they were talking about. Actually I don’t care who they were talking about, it was still so wrong to call someone out publicly like that. UGH.

    1. I love your comments, always.
    2. I love your blog, particularly the Daily Inspiration posts.
    3. I love your shoes. Probably.

    And I needed to cut down on Jez anyway, so that post was just the catalyst I needed. I’ll be sticking around here though!

  25. Melissa (AthertonMerriweather) Says:

    I will definately miss your comments on Jezebel. I’ve always found you to be someone I could relate to and had a few life experiences in common with (from what I know of from your comments and this blog anyway). Not only were your comments funny, but offered a unique perspective and often some much needed advice. I’m glad I’ll still be able to read your blog, but will miss your opinions on various issues over on Jezebel.
    Jezebel continues to confuse me. Last year, they turned away the most intelligent and funniest comments by banning them and then with the whole rape post thing and the site really hasn’t been the same since.
    Also, many of us have met in real life at the very Jezebel meetups that they promote. We email or talk over Facebook. They’ve made Jezebel more of a community than a blog, so I don’t know why they’re surprised people would get personal.

  26. Maeg Says:

    Wow, trying to catch up with all teh blogs, and this hit me kinda hard, because you – equally your rapier snark and your well-thought enlightening serious posts – are one of the reasons that I keep coming back to read Jez. Sure, the OPs are good, but it’s the stimulating conversations that keep me clicking through the RSS, thinking “I wonder what Penny/Sarah (both MC and Ovumlady)/Braak/Pilgrim/Jessi/tscheese has to say about this?”

    I only skimmed the OT/TMI brouhaha that happened the other day, but I got the distinct impression that most people just didn’t get what Anna was trying to say. Conversation progression from OP = good. Oversharing personal, *identifiable* information or deliberate and intentional threadjacking = bad. I don’t find that unreasonable. It seemed like the ‘regulars’ got that, and everyone else threw a fit.

    The site will be diminished without you, but like everyone else, I am glad you have your own corner of the intarwebs here that you allow us to visit.

  27. Kivrin Says:

    Chiming in late here, but I just wanted to add another bit of Penny love to the chorus. I’ve always enjoyed your comments/insights on Jezebel, and I’m really glad I found your blog — hope you don’t mind if I keep coming around. :)

  28. Susan Says:

    oh boy. as i mentioned before, i’m a jezebel lurker- never commented but i love reading the comments. i read that one comment that someone left before it was disemvowled and i’ve gotta tell you…. i could not figure out who they were talking about. and then i was all like well i can think of one person who fits the description of the NAME but she obviously CAN’T be talking about her because that just doesn’t make any sense! how could someone not find her penny’s comments thoughtful, well written and entertaining?

    so again. i’m totally late to the game in adding my 2 cents but i’m really shocked that someone could be so rude and hurtful to anyone else- still not entirely sure that it’s you that was being discussed- but like the others have said, some ugly ugly stuff came out in the threads that day. i’m sorry you were a victim of it, really sorry. but looks like you’ve got a good community here so thanks for inspiring all of us.

  29. Pilgrim Soul Says:

    I got told last night that my personality is a problem on the site, and I was disproportionately bothered by it so, I too, am out. :( But I think you have my real-life email somewhere (I’m also cutting out FB for the moment to… uh… reset my friend list a little regarding work colleagues) – so leaving this comment to say you can find me there for the immediate future.

  30. pennyplastic Says:

    PG – I don’t think I have your email, so pretty please email me at and I will get you my personal account.

  31. Diziet_Sma Says:

    Hey Penny, late to the game here, but just wanted to say I’m going to miss you on Jez.

    I read Anna’s post and, to be honest, just thought, ‘yeah, whatever’. Didn’t even read more than a couple of the first few comments, so didn’t realize that it got so nasty later on. Sounds like a lot of assholes came out of the woodwork. Well, as my Ma always says to me: ‘Don’t let the bastards grind you down’

    Your comments are (were) always good-natured, intelligent, funny, warm-hearted, and INCLUSIVE, from what I saw – and I always enjoyed reading them.

    Still, I’m glad I found your blog and will come back whenever I need a Penny ‘hit’. In the meantime, thanks for the stir-fry advice and for introducing me to Richard Feynman!

  32. pennyplastic Says:

    Thanks D_S, you’re among my favorite commenters on the site; the ones I will miss the most :-(

    Glad you’ll be visiting the blog, though!!

  33. Khrushchev Says:

    I just found this through Harpyness (is this a Harpyness plug? I guess so), and I wanted to let you know that you are MISSED.

  34. pennyplastic Says:

    Krushchev! One of my very favorites. Glad you stumbled upon the blog, and now I have yours to look at!

  35. Witchtit Says:

    I know this is redundant given all the other folk’s comment but I really, really miss your posts. For that last few weeks, I noticed that there were no Archetype posts. Your comments were so insightful and funny. I am thrilled to have found you again tho.

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