I really am going to stop talking about the Althouse nonsense soon. I must however address another aspect of the whole debacle, summed up in Althouse's statement that Feministing uses sexuality for promotional purposes.
Maybe this is obvious to most readers of this blog, but: talk about missing the whole point. Sure, everyone knows that Althouse missed the boat when she claimed that Feministing's ironic mudflap girls are an attempt to draw in male viewers with cheesecake sexuality. (Psssst, Ann, the mudflap girls are giving the finger. They are protesting the whole concept of being reduced to only their sex parts. The mudflap girls are saying they are not just a set of boobs but beings with agency and ideas.)
But Ann misses the point of the whole blog and the whole nature of feminism as well. Feministing is a major collection of serious and not-so-serious news stories affecting women around the globe. The bloggers there use a lot of ribald humor and discuss sexual issues with flair. The whole point of their work is that women can and should be able to have and enjoy their sexuality without being reduced to or wholly defined by it -- just as men do.
This concept is apparently incomprehensible to Althouse and her readers. In her world, your breasts ARE who you are. If your breasts appear at an official function, then your whole reason for being there must be your breasts. You see breasts on someone's blog, even in jest on ironic mudflap girls, then it must be a "breastblog" -- a blog only about breasts.
That's exactly the kind of thinking to which real feminists and bloggers like Jessica Valenti are wholly opposed. But Althouse and her supporters can't see it because they don't seem to understand that there is an alternative to "women are their breasts." The alternative of course is (and I can't believe I have to spell this out) that women can let their breasts out of their binding, and be attractive, and be sexual, and even be openly sexual and AT THE SAME TIME be human beings worthy of respect with agency and ideas and dignity and legitimate concerns. This really isn't that hard folks.