So apparently being female and on Facebook is all about seeking validation

I hope Tracy Clark-Flory was just bored, or something. I hope it was a slow news day.

Because – and I mean this in the spirit of sisterhood and camaraderie – who gives a fuck?! And who sincerely wants to live this way? A Facebook friend gets married and posts a bunch of pictures and you’re “pressured”. A single friend jets off to Brazil for Carnival and posts a bunch of pictures and you’re left “bemoaning your choices” or some crap like that. You know, I never thought I’d get to use this word as an insult, but how… middle-class of you.

Is this actually an article about some sort of disorder people have? The “if there are people in my social network whose lives do not line up my own experiences and choices 100%, I’m going to get all down and confused about it – because my ultimately destiny is to be a herd animal” illness? Or does it come down to having way too much time on your hands? Do many men also agonize like this – and simply fail to mention it because men are never supposed to let on to anyone that they, well, agonize like this?

I also love this whole notion how one can either be a woman with kids or a woman with a career – at least according to the article. The one woman profiled who does have kids and a career comes to us via a secondhand account – and is to be pitied, because she sends people late-night texts or whatever. I mean, I understand that so many of these Salon stories are filler, but come on.

Social anxiety is an interesting subject. We express it in new ways (via FB, for example) but the basic concept has remained the same. For people who can afford to take time out of their day to worry about crap like this (is my carriage fashionable enough? Are my status updates witty?), it can indeed be a burden (and just for the record – I can be very sensitive to this stuff as well, when I have the time). But the way it comes of here is flat, one-dimensional and annoying – I don’t have sympathy for the women Clark-Flory profiles, I merely experience a twinge of mild horror at their preoccupations.

This is why I have liked some of the comments to this article:

There are actually grown adults who feel affirmed by making judgmental assumptions from a photo or two on someone’s FB page?


I find it incredible that sites like Salon need to make women feel like they are ‘un-affirmed’ because they are living the life they want.

Me too, actually.

Yawn. Your women friends are boring

Boring in a horrifying way that’s hopefully at least partially exaggerated for the sake of the article.

I’m a married woman very much in love with my husband and I post pictures of my baby as my profile pic because she’s cute. I also am a VP at a large entertainment company and I work hard to have a family, a career, and a relationship.

But you’re not affirming Katherine and Kelly’s choices, dammit! Come on, at least admit that you secretly sniff glue and masturbate to mainstream torture porn! It’ll make other women feel better about themselves! …

… In other news, I should probably just stop reading Salon.

4 thoughts on “So apparently being female and on Facebook is all about seeking validation

  1. To answer the question at the bottom of the second paragraph: No, not many men agonize like that, Truth be told, most men really dont give a rusty F-word about that sort of thing. We really are too busy loving our phallus worshiping, independant, strong willed, wives and girlfriends, who also bear our children. juggle careers and and love us for being the single minded,dual brained,(the lower one always overrides the upper one!)insensitive creatures that we men are!

  2. “When you think of a successful woman in her 30s clicking through Facebook photos of her high school boyfriend’s wedding or her married friend’s new baby, the assumption is likely that she’s filled with jealousy and regret.”

    Funny, that’s not something I think of at all. And I’m not sure I believe the author does either — my theory is the entire piece is just an experiment in performative femininity, a sort of avant-garde riff on “what would life be like if we conformed to every gender stereotype, no matter how ridiculous.”

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