Thought Catalog: they’ve done it again

Thought Catalog posted a real winner again. This article describing one man’s negative, ignorant perspective on vaccinations comes only a month after a writer posted an awful piece on feminism under the pen name “Amy Glass.”
I posted a fierce response to the original feminism, but strangely anti-feminism post, here.

This “Amy Glass,” really one Chrissy Stockton, wrote later claiming that her article about why she’s not sorry for looking down on young women with husbands and children was actually written for the shock factor and to spark conversations.
Well, folks, it looks as though Thought Catalog is at it again. They really want to shock people into being angry. If that’s really their goal then they’re doing a decent job. I’ve yet to see a positive comment on the vaccine post.

Anyway, this is not another angry response to an infuriating post written by an uninformed ignoramus. I would rather talk about the Thought Catalog blog as a whole.

On its “About” page, Thought Catalog explains that it is owned by an “experimental media group based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, The Thought & Expression LLC. I’m guessing they mean “experimental” in that they’re sitting behind their laptop screens at work laughing at all the angry comments flooding their newest, most whiny, ranty posts written by their intentionally offensive writers (if you can call them as such). I hope they’re making spreadsheets, calculating and predicting how many innocent people they can aggravate correlated to the number of impressionable people they can manipulate.

One of the first posts I read on Thought Catalog, I must have agreed with or something because I remember it led me to their “About” page where I discovered the ideals of the blog. I remember wanting to steal them and use them for my own blog so badly. I still think they’re great ideal, but the fact that Thought Catalog shows complete disregard for these ideals lessens their impact on me greatly.

Ideals:

  1. Thought Catalog content should be fun, smart, and creative, i.e., entertaining, journalistic, and literary.

  2. The site should be beautiful and clutter-free.

  3. We believe all thinking is relevant and strive for a value-neutral editorial policy governed by openness. The more worldviews and rhetorical styles on the site, the better. We want to tell all sides of the story.

  4. We’re about today. But our mission is also archival. We want to catalog the times for tomorrow.

  5. We want to help shape culture by empowering you to share your ideas and stories with the world.

They really need to add a disclaimer in their ideals somewhere that says, “Most of these articles are written completely for our entertainment as we watch you mere mortals trip over your words in fury at what we’ve posted. Please don’t take anything we’re writing seriously because we’re blatantly wrong and we are completely aware of it.”

These ideals are what I strive for in my blog and I wish that an organization as reckless as Thought Catalog would not falsely claim these ideals as its own, when it doesn’t fully appreciate their impact or embrace their values.

That’s all I have to say for tonight. I’m really upset about what’s been happening with Thought Catalog lately.

A post in spite of Amy Glass of Thought Catalog

I recently read this post on Thought Catalog and although I thought the things I should be doing right now are important, I have to post about this absurdity. I’ve loved Thought Catalog, but this just really rubbed me the wrong way and so my day is buried in the seeds of rage. I had to reply to her post because Amy Glass’ simple-minded attitude that life for women is based on black and white decisions is seriously flawed. I plan to do “exceptional things” in my life, which INCLUDE having a family. Ms. Glass, I’m sorry that you think getting married and having kids is something that’s “average” or unworthy of celebration. My immediate response to this infuriating blog post is the following:

“Wow. Your thought process is so one-sided. I really hope you get to experience all that life has to offer so that one day when you grow up (yes, this is coming from a 19-year-old college student who’s a lot more mature than you are from the sounds of your post), you’ll see that there are benefits to every lifestyle a woman may choose. Both working and having a family, which you absolutely CAN do at the same time because I watched my beautiful mother do it her whole life (how DARE you say it’s not possible when you’re just too afraid to try), are equally as rewarding and challenging. I do genuinely hope that you find in life what you’re meant to do, whether it be working or raising a family or BOTH, and that you’re extremely happy doing it. Please, in the mean time, try to keep your unsettling, asymmetrical opinions of equality to yourself. You should follow my blog because I plan to accomplish exceptional things in life, INCLUDING raising a family. Maybe you’ll learn something valuable. For now, I feel sorry for you that you feel the range of your life so limited as to only being able to chose one path, work or a family, and do it successfully. https://leakyblather.wordpress.com/”

I do not regret the things I say in the heat of the moment because they’re usually exactly how I feel; however, as a writer, I do wish I had taken the time to speak more eloquently and less emotionally. I’m just going to elaborate a little more on my response now…

Ms. Glass,

You began the post with an ugly sort of attack on women’s freedom to make their own decisions about their lives. You said, “Every time I hear someone say that feminism is about validating every choice a woman makes I have to fight back vomit.”

First, that’s a hideous reaction. It’s melodramatic and really unnecessary. This was my first clue as to your level of maturity.

Then, I unearthed your first mistake even before leaving the first paragraph of your post when you asked, “Do people really think that a stay at home mom is really on equal footing with a woman who works and takes care of herself? There’s no way those two things are the same.”

Referencing the comment I made on your post earlier, this “black and white” approach you have to life’s journey is nauseating. I think your interpretation of feminism is way too radical, bordering on a different sort of oppression, reminiscent of the patriarchy you’ve set out in rebellion against. You think that women can only be acting in a progressive way to benefit women’s rights if their decisions are all toward contributing to the work force and reflecting the priorities of most men. I don’t want your naivety to spread, or the idea of this self-inflicting oppression, parallel to that of the patriarchal oppression we’ve seen in the past, to overtake any impressionable peoples’ views of equality.

There is no such thing as freedom in the society toward which you strive.

You also have a one-sided view of what is exceptional. Although you refuse the idea in your article, women CAN successfully have both a family and a career, which are both “exceptional” accomplishments in life. Like I said, I’ve watched my beautiful mother, as well as all the women I’ve admired throughout my life, balance their careers and families with great poise and strength. There is room for celebration of both birth and marriage, as well as of promotions and embracing life’s adventures.

You say, “as if it’s a huge accomplishment and cause for celebration to be able to get knocked up or find someone to walk down the aisle with. These aren’t accomplishments, they are actually super easy tasks, literally anyone can do them.”

If your lashing out at the traditions of baby showers and wedding showers is your way of having a written temper tantrum, I have no respect for it. Just because “anyone can do them” doesn’t make the institution of marriage or ability to have a family any less remarkable. No one is forcing you to do either of these things and my impression of your character, through your display of negativity, causes me to suggest you don’t pursue either of these paths in life because you won’t be able to fully appreciate them.

In one of the thousands of comments under your article, Ozma asks you who you are to judge what an achievement is. Let me tell you, it usually doesn’t involve any sort of competitive tendency like you suggest in your article.

TheFreeDictionary defines the word “achievement” as “something accomplished successfully, especially by means of exertion, skill, practice, or perseverance.” There’s nothing about what men value versus what women value or what’s achievable by everyone or what’s achievable by few. Ms. Glass, you call the act of marriage and having a family “settling for average.” You call our celebration of these life events “applauding [women] for doing nothing.” How dare you.

I could easily go on for thousands of words, dissecting the atrocity you wrote line by line, but I think everyone should just read your post for themselves and judge accordingly what response it deserves.

So in reply to your post, Ms. Glass, I look down on people who write blog posts about looking down on other people and I’m not sorry. Here’s a Condescending Wonka I made especially for you:

Condescending Wonka on Feminism

Again, wishing you luck and happiness in your life.

Resentfully yours,

Melissa

Thanks to Nikki of lifethroughexpression for posting the original super infuriating Thought Catalog article on Facebook so that I may be inspired to react to it. She’s the bomb!