Listen,

“See now I’m performing emotional labor.”
– Rachel, Managing Editor

Laneia is the Executive Editor and founding member of Autostraddle, and you're the reason she's here. She's 37, has two kids, two dogs, one cat, one Megan, and some personal essays.

Laneia has written 908 articles for us.

68 Comments

  1. Honestly, I saw these pictures on Facebook, and my VERY first thought was “it’s really unfortunate that Autostraddle is taking the day off today, because it’s really important that our community sees this pictures ASAP.”

    I should have known you would never disappoint, or let something this important fall by the wayside.

  2. i saw an article about kristen stewart’s new hair in a regular evening newspaper and thought to myself, “aurostraddle is going to have a heart attack”

      • Gee someone gives a valid criticism of a post and you have to say someone has an odd idea. That is fairly rude if you ask me.

        Listen Cereal you are very valid for having this criticism. She is an unattainable celeb, and there are many many women who want to sleep with her let’s not pretend she is anything special. I’d rather swoon over a woman that is more attainable, or a qwoc.

    • Cereal Dyke, I wish your comment had more likes [at least as many as shira’s, which, in the interest of comedy, was also a good rejoinder]. As much as Autostraddle calls out others for white nonsense, the result is tepid at best & hypocritical at worst when the lens is directed at the site.

      I think there’s room to be called out & it still be funny, still be lighthearted. If this exchange with Cereal Dyke’s reaction to this article was framed in any other way–imagine it as a punchline on 2 Dope Queens–we’d all be laughing about it in a #NotThisCisWhiteQueerWoman way. Instead of commenters on Autostraddle relishing a line delivered with excellent aim & the sting of self-recognition (I myself was drooling over the pictures before getting Burned-So-Good), it’s met with a pile-on of dismissal & mock-confusion, backed by the anonymous approval of a couple dozen folks who also felt defensive.

      Disappointing.

      • No you misunderstood me – I was being 100% genuine and not trying to be patronizing in the least. To me it is odd to find enjoyment in taking the time to mock other people’s pop culture interests, but I still love this commenter and I’m glad they read Autostraddle. I feel the same for both Frankie and Jenny! Y’all are great and I’m glad you feel comfortable expressing yourself in the world.

        • It isn’t about taking enjoyment to mock others’ interests, though, is it? I suspect you already know that or you’d think it a shittier thing to do. It’s pointing out that AS is yet again promoting a particular white/cis/thin/masc/rich aesthetic as being the queer ideal, to such an extent that its perfection is taken for granted. KStew’s fine enough and all, but there’s a lot to unpack in that collective assumption, and like Frankie alludes, the deeply defensive impulse represented in all the upvotes dismissing any questioning of this is something I find deeply uncomfortable.

          • I think you’re also misunderstanding not only my comments but also this post, and perhaps even our vapid fluff content in general, which is totally ok! You’re making assumptions and coming to conclusions based on your lived experiences – we all are! I just want to state again that I was not being sarcastic or backhanded at all, and I regret that the method of communication we’re employing here doesn’t make that clearer. You have the right to be deeply uncomfortable and to state as much. CD has the right to mock people’s interest. Again, it’s not how I would spend my time but I can see the appeal for some. I’m happy to have published a vapid fluff piece on a queer celebrity’s new haircut, especially in this current news cycle, and I’m happy so many of our readers thought of us when they saw this being reported elsewhere. I hope you found other interesting things to read in AS that don’t focus on white cis slender rich masculine people and are more in your wheelhouse. I truly believe we have a lot of that to offer today, as well as earlier in the week, but of course we always strive for more. There can be a bit of a hivemind in comments, which is the primary reason I made sure to let CerealDyke know that she was welcome here, and that goes for you and Frankie and Jenny, too! I wouldn’t put too much stock in people’s upvotes. Just be proud of yourselves for taking the time to share your opinions with a group! That’s an important part of community and personal expression, and I’m glad you’re all here and that you feel like AS is a safe place to share things. I hope you all have a great rest of the week and that you continue to stay involved in the community here. Thank you!

          • I didn’t and don’t think you’re being sarcastic – I think you’re being dismissive. I don’t think anything’s been communicated unclearly. Again, CD wasn’t mocking, they were pointing out an issue with how this particular kind of vapid fluff unthinkingly normalises a particular privileged aesthetic as ideal – and they were, I think and agree with posters above, patronised in response.

          • Thanks angelica.

            I agree that right now there are problems being discussed that take a lot of willpower to overlook, & the kill-‘em-with-kindness approach is an easy way to ignore the issues presented & appear superior. It’s with an eye roll I feel like I need to assure you, Laneia—of course I adore Autostraddle; of course I enjoy the content that *you* produce; yes there are also other interesting, serious, & intersectional things to read on the site; and thanks, but I don’t need either an invitation or permission to keep enjoying & participating with AS—no one’s threatening to leave.

            This is not a misunderstanding of Vapid Fluff; this is not even saying that this particular VF/Kstew article is inappropriate—it’s VF in its very essence (I laughed aloud at your title “Listen,”, and Rachel’s quote, and “Feminem”, and Cereal Dyke’s comment). It wasn’t even supposed to be this big of a deal. What IS happening here is akin to a friend making a casual, snarky comment about a racist t-shirt, & the group’s response is “how odd it is you care so much about shirts! I love you & I hope you can still go outside!”

            I’ll hesitatingly grant you that, uh, okay, sure, I’m coming to conclusions based on my lived experiences, but this “lived experience” is the experience of reading Autostraddle for years & noticing a particular iciness that often happens in the comments when issues of privilege, when directed at the AS community, are voiced. If anything, one of AS’s sincerest messages towards its audience can be summed up as “better allyship” (you know what I mean, don’[email protected]); to elevate the voices, criticisms, & opinions of those who don’t share your privilege. The fact that Cereal Dyke used language like ‘cis’ and ‘white’ should immediately put the brakes on any cis white person before & if responding—and for the fact that I’ve seen non-white (non-cis, &c; or commenters that can be presumed to be so) getting ignored or steamrolled for speaking up, AS’s message is not getting across [see: comments on the infamous taco apology post; look at the avatars of commenters].

            I’ve seen this happen a few times before, and am commenting now because I am disappointed by *two* cis white AS editors—Reise & Laneia—participating in this subtle atmosphere of dismissal & hostility towards casual criticism. Yes, PUT STOCK in the up votes! As editors, analyze what kind of ambience that gives the site. And I’ll say it again: all of this could’ve been handled with levity & humor, and as I read Vapid Fluff for exactly that, I wish that’d been the case.

          • Frankie I agree with most of everything you said, but I have to correct you on thing. Reise only conditional white privilege. I am like her Jewish, and I’ve learned we are white until the Jewish comes out or is convenient to blame us for something.

            On topic, I see this all the time on this site where people defend a post or idea. Like how this site keeps mention problematic people who many in the community find offensive(like Jack Halberstram as a recent example). I also rarely see autostraddle make a post like this specifically for a qwoc and/or twoc. And why even prop up a shitty celeb who admitted to cheating when we can you know maybe prop up a woman who is actually cool, attractive, & less problematic?

            Laneia your tone sounded condescending and almost dismissive imho. You as a top AS writer and a woman i’d like to have wine and cookies with, could have said I hear what you are saying and we will have a staff discussion about it. But, maybe that’s too hard to say for you, or maybe not. But, this site needs to do better to listen to what people are saying vs acting snarky.

          • I won’t try to defend the value of publishing a very relevant, time-sensitive post about a subject that most people are interested in talking about. If you don’t understand or put value in the strategy involved with google algorithms and social media shares, that’s a conversation you and I simply can’t have, and that’s fine. Part of my job is to decide what we publish and I’m pretty good at my job.

            I replied to CD’s comment sincerely and with the express intention of preventing a pile-on and to thank her for reading AS. In my opinion, based on 8 years of doing my job, “dismissive” would’ve been not replying to her at all and letting a pile-on happen in my absence. Those of you who’ve read my intentions differently have your reasons and are obviously quite free to share your view, but I know what my intentions were and I’m confident in their delivery, and the desired outcome was actually achieved — CD wasn’t piled on.

            I also feel confident in knowing that we do try to focus more and more energy on queer people of color and people with different body types and income levels every day, and I believe it shows just as much as I believe it could show more, which is the 24/7 goal of this website. Publishing this post does not take away from the other work we do and the other posts we publish. We publish at least six items each weekday with the intention of highlighting as much of our vast community as humanly possible and I’m proud of our content and our staff. I don’t need to call a staff discussion to decide whether or not a recently out, popular celebrity’s new buzz cut is worthy of a vapid fluff post. It is, i was, and it will be tomorrow.

            If defending an unregistered commenter with no receipts proving their positive contribution to this or any community, who dropped a single snarky line in the comments of a vapid fluff post, makes more sense to you than believing that I work my ass off to do right by everyone in this community, that’s up to you. If you think your energy is best spent trying to explain something to me that I’ve had my head wrapped around for years and have been visibly acting on ever since, that’s also up to you. It’s confusing to me personally, but I can’t stop you and I’ll no longer be trying to change your mind or explain myself and this job to you.

          • I hear you & sincerely appreciate your job, Laneia. We’re getting into the well-trod territory of Intent vs. Impact. I feel like us two squabbling in a complete disconnect over racial- & cis- privilege tension, in an escalated comment thread on the queer internet, is ripe for another one of Cereal Dyke’s observant newsflashes.

          • I think Frankie’s post above is spot on. I don’t want to write a full-length reply to yr comment above, but I do want to point out three things you’re doing in it:

            1. As Frankie notes, you’re conflating intent and effect. No-one questioned yr intent, but don’t condescend to pretend you’re omniscient about the effect.
            2. You’re claiming working yr ass off as being mutually exclusive with doing anything you could be called up on – again, as though anyone was insinuating anything about how hard you work.
            3. You claim to “[ha]ve had [yr] head wrapped around” issues [presumably of race, transness and representation] “for years”. It really isn’t yr place to make that judgement.

            Basically, you keep responding to straw men in ways that patronise and dismiss the points that others have made without addressing their substance.

      • Right?? I can’t believe multiple people actually found a way to make a fluffy post about Kristen Stewart’s new hair ‘problematic’. If you don’t find her attractive, fine, but, like, who cares? Not every post is going to be for everyone all the time.

      • I couldn’t have gif’ed it better myself, angelica. I guess make that 3 white cis AS editors who look at a comment that jabs whiteness & cisness and intrinsically deems it tiring & not a “positive contribution.” I wish folks who either “sigh”ed or found it “odd” will ask themselves why didn’t interpret Cereal Dyke’s comment as deliciously sardonic, sassy, sharp, on point, or (who even knows:) self-depreciating. Unpack that reaction.

        At least this thread stumbled across a helpful metric: anytime you say to yourself “I can’t believe multiple people find this problematic” is a great time to pay attention & find out why.

        • Right? Incidentally, elsewhere rn Heather is replying to criticisms of AS lauding that “lol fat woman kills sex worker” film with almost the exact same “we all bring our different backgrounds so I guess that’s why you think this is a problem” line that Laneia is taking here – is that the accepted line for dismissing anytime people express discomfort now?

  3. I think that this is a gay rite of passage–if you have never chopped off all your hair and bleached it you’re missing out! (jk–it’s always a bad idea), but I also think she just looks really sad to me and that sucks…I also wish we had more gay role models so this girl can take a damn break!

  4. apparently her haircut is big enough News to appear on the News telly/newsfeed Screen (silent) at german subways today.
    smiling to myself , thinking of the autostraddle community, who would be happy to say the least.
    i wonder… what can she do that would make the community actually explode?? ;-D submit!

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