I have a Tumblr that I often forget to post my articles on. I’ve just never been a big fan of their service, really, although I do snag some great pictures and gifs from there off Google search, from time to time. As most of you know, there are some really crazy people on Tumblr. It’s also well-known as a bastion on internet feminism. Apparently, they’ve decided to roll with that in a major way recently by explicitly wrapping their brand in the feminist label at SXSW.
The Verge reported on their “Feminist Party” (dubbed 79 Cents, after the “wage gap”) the other day, and it sounded about how you would expect…
Little Tumblr pins and cue cards detailing the event’s message were conspicuously placed on tables and benches around the bar, but it looked like they were being mostly ignored…
So how did Wendy Davis slot into the whole thing? Let’s be clear, this is a curated event put together by someone at Tumblr who had fifteen minutes to name some stuff that had to do with women (“Beyoncé! Broad City! Abortion! Pizza!” — fun game, kind of like Outburst) and then figure out how to turn it into something to bolster their brand’s general relevancy. So whose brand won out in this transaction: Wendy Davis or Tumblr?
If you blinked — or arrived after 10:00PM, the time when many SXSW are just waking from their restorative disco naps — you would’ve missed her. She hopped on stage between goofy punks Tacocat and the brassy British rapper Little Simz, spoke for less than five minutes, and spent a while taking photos with fans and admirers before leaving. Davis invoked the spirit of early feminists who were willing to suffer and fight for their cause, and she implored the crowd to vote every chance they get to affect meaningful change. Had she stopped there, I would’ve awarded her the victory with a clear decision.
Of course, she went on to ask everyone to visit the website promoting her brand new Deeds Not Words initiative, a bit of self-promotion that landed with a resounding thud.
Wow, that sounds thrilling! They even got a failed politician in on the act, although it seems like Ms. Davis didn’t go over that well. Keep in mind, this is an article that ran on The Verge, a notoriously pro-SJW website. Not even they could make this garbage fire of a party sound like anything other than a failure. That’s pretty sad, indeed.
They even had a typical feminist controversy while in the planning stages for the event. Crystal Castles was disinvited after one of the former members of the band accused the producer behind Castles of abuse. At least, I think that’s what she did. If you read the article (also from The Verge), that’s not at all clear. Still, Tumblr nixed their performance anyway. You can’t be too careful when dealing with the delicate sensibilities of special snowflakes.
It’s kind of pathetic when the most exciting thing to happen at your party took place before it even began. I guess it is poetic that they had this sort of scandal, though. It fits in with the feminist theme rather nicely, don’t you think? I wonder what they will do next year for an encore? Maybe they can drag Wendy Davis back to their next shindig, since I’m sure she won’t be busy doing anything productive. They really need to up the planning period stage, though. Perhaps they could take some cues from UVA Jackie? I’m just spitballing some ideas, here. I’m sure the Tumblr professionals can do much better than little ol’ me, so I’m quite eager to see what they have in store. Only time will tell.