Anna Holmes’ visit to Syracuse was a laid back stroll down memory lane, strewn with blunt and honest advice regarding her two favorite topics; Journalism and Feminism.
Holmes graduated from NYU and moved on to work at magazines like Entertainment Weekly and Glamour. “Working at Glamour refined my hatred of women’s magazines” Holmes said as the audience giggled.
Holmes was then summoned by Gawker.com to create the “female gawker.” She decided right away that it needed to be more about making fun of women’s magazines, that “created and preyed on insecurities or just always tried to sell you something.”
Holmes is now Editor-in-Chief of Jezebel.com. Her site gets over 20 million monthly views, and has a die-hard fan base. These ‘jezebels’ often get into heated debates in the comments section, as well as share very personal stories relating (and sometimes not) to the article.
When asked about these fans, Holmes theorizes with slight frustration that “a lot of women are being underutilized in their jobs.” Because of Jezebel’s feminist and often snarky content, some companies dislike the site immensely. American Apparel, a common target for their underage-looking models and creepy owner, has not advertised with Jezebel for at least a couple years. To the angry emails Holmes receives, she laughingly says “If someone complains about me making fun of them, I’ll probably run their email on the site.”
While Anna focused more on her journalism experience during her presentation, I got to sit down with her after and talk about Feminism and women’s issues. (Yes, I was incredibly excited, thanks for asking.)
What is Feminism to Anna? “It’s called the F-word for a reason. It’s a bad word now. But I don’t think it’s something ugly or bad. I’m not going to stop using the word because it conjures up… images for some people. It’s just a marker, like anything else.”
But, how can we reach out to the upcoming generation? It seems as though Feminism just becomes a “dirtier” word as time goes on. “You have to draw girls in with stuff they want to hear. You have to hide the spinach in tastier food,” says Anna.
While she’s looking at some new projects, Anna has no idea what the future holds for her. One thing she does know is that she probably won’t be at Jezebel in 5 or 10 years… Which means you should check it out right now to see the greatness that is Anna Holmes, Editor-in-Chief at Jezebel.com.
PS- She thinks the name ‘Medusa Magazine’ is “pretty awesome.” Yes.
by Veronica Ripson