Being a White Jerk, or How Not to Be a Crap Editor

Have you heard of Pantsuit Nation? It was founded on Facebook, pre-election, when it was expected that Hillary would win and PSN would be where the celebration would happen.
I was already planning this post about how Pantsuit Nation founder Libby Chamberlain is repeating the abuse already heaped on women, LGTBQ people, and POC during the psychic wars of the presidential campaigns when I found out Harry Lewis has covered it well at Huffington Post:

“Around that time, things started to get weird. Chamberlain filed to trademark the name and reportedly told smaller satellite groups around the country that they had to stop using the moniker. A project by two women of color known as the Safety Pin Box was removed from the site under the pretense that it was seeking commercial gain and lambasted by white commenters…What had once been a space of solidarity started to feel like a branding machine.”

Libby failed to be transparent about her goals, except where her transparency was purely unintentional. It was transparent PSN was intended to cash in, if not from the start, soon after. It’s transparent that Libby has no clue how it feels to be appropriated yet a-damn-gain. It’s transparent she operates from a place of privilege. The announcement picture was of a young woman I assume is Libby, sitting cross-legged on a fluffy bed with her laptop. Libby described the presumptive PSN “coffee table book” as “dogear-able” and “snuggleable” It made me want to buy a reclaimed barn wood headboard so I had something appropriate to violently heave her words over while I sipped my dirty soymilk chai.

(When I read “snuggleable” and think about a book, I picture the PSN book being covered in pastel faux fur or “vegan leather” quilted in a heart pattern, with a tiny, sweet lock.)

Pantsuit Nation has 4 million members. A book, a “snuggleable” book is Libby Chamberlain’s distillation of a group four million souls strong, which is 4/5ths the size of the NRA. That’s a lot of political capital, and the activism generated  will be…a book. Unless you can get close enough to aim for the Swamp, a book is a joke.


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