Seven mansplaining pitches for Bustle

Lady in bustleThis week the feminist internet has been fuming about Bustle, a new “website for women” made by Bryan Goldberg, a mansplaining man who didn’t seem to realize that, you know, there are already a couple sites for ladies/feminists out there. His defense? Bustle will set itself apart from the rest of these earnest attempts at significance due to its absurd wealth: the website is launching with $6.5 million in venture capital funding, which is approximately $6.5 million more than Feministing has ever seen, as Jos noted in Wednesday’s DCFS and our recent fundraising appeal.

I could be mad that Goldberg assumes the only measure of a publication – even an expressly feminist enterprise, as he labels Bustle – is its profitability. I could be bitter that neither Goldberg nor his investors thought to fund an existing, woman-led effort rather than start a new own. I could be insulted that, as Goldberg has stated, he thinks what sets a women’s site apart from the default male online destination is inclusion of celebrity gossip about the “Real Housewives of New Jersey.”

But, as I wrote about a few months ago, I am an underemployed 23-year-old trying to make it as a writer in the Real Big Kid World, so I’m looking for bylines wherever I can find them.

Mr. Bryan Goldberg, here are my pitches for Bustle:

Write Your Way to Love

The low wages paid to female writers is a controversial, newsworthy issue – and one on which a Bustle writer like me would have a particularly valuable perspective. As Julie Gillis noted, Bustle’s womanly writers will “make approximately $16 per hour with NO insurance or benefits and that’s not a liveable wage in cities like Austin, NY, SF, LA or hell, smaller towns with writerly types.” Sure, that sounds rough, but ladies, remember that work shouldn’t be about money – it should be about pursuing something you love so much you’d do it for free (so the founding CEO can pursue a $100,000,000 acquisition value). As a writer you are birthing words, and motherhood is the most joyous form of labor, too exquisite to be quantified. As a writer you are an artist, and artists don’t need dental plans.

Naming Things 101

Are you looking for a spot-on name for your next business venture? Consider something edgy, like a clear symbol of the oppressive social conditions your project purports to reject but from which you, personally, benefit daily!  Don’t worry – everyone will know it’s ironic. You are so hip. Ideally, this name should be just a few letters away from the name of a competitor that has been doing similar but better work for two decades. Also, because Bustle is for ladies, and Mr. Goldberg has promised Lady News alongside the Real News, can I also say I really like the name Isobel for a girl and Jonah for a boy, and here’s a pretty sparkly thing to look at, too!

My Little Pony

QUIZ! Do You Need to Know the Difference Between Mascara, Eyeliner, and Concealer?

As the Bustle Patron Saint Mr. Goldberg noted in an interview, “My job, as CEO, is to hire the right people. My job is to know a lot of engineers, editors, venture capitalists, and salespeople — and to bring them together. Knowing the difference between mascara, concealer, and eye-liner is not my job.”

In the world, there are two types of people: the serious thinkers who can hire and manage a team of trained experts, and the insignificant trollops who need to distinguish between types of make-up. I will write a fun, sassy quiz to determine which kind of person you are — and what that means for your sex life!

Sample question:

Are you reading Bustle?

a)    Yes

b)   No

Bustle is for women so if you answered “Yes” then you need to know types of make-up.

Make-up is dangerous

Business woman with moneyStart Your Business NOW!

In this article, I will propose some FREE start-up ideas for lady entrepreneurs that you will not BELIEVE haven’t been claimed yet. Here, just off the top of my head: what if you started a chain of stores that mostly sold coffee, but you also had some pastries and free internet? Or, ok, what if you had like an ice cream store, but instead of ice cream you froze YOGURT? Oh man, you could also take two pieces of bread, and put some other food like cheese and meat inside them, and sell THOSE.

Male FeministCounting by Capitalism! Measuring the Success of Your Radical Action Dollar by Millionth Dollar

Working on this one, argument coming.

A History of Greatness: All Those Times White Men Have Done a Great Job “Pioneering” Feminism on the Internet



Lean In: How to Succeed in Business When You Already Have 6.5 Million Dollars

You know the best way to make it in the harsh, sexist professional world? Already have a boatload of cash. And I mean that literally: you should have a boat, and it should actually be filled with cash.

Scrooge McDuck

New Haven, CT

Alexandra Brodsky is an editor at, student at Yale Law School, and founding co-director of Know Your IX, a national legal education campaign against campus gender-based violence. Alexandra has written for publications including the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Guardian, and the Nation, and she has spoken about violence against women and reproductive justice on MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, and NPR. Through Know Your IX, she has organized with students across the country to build campuses free from discrimination and violence, developed federal policy on Title IX enforcement, and has testified at the Senate. At Yale Law, Alexandra focuses on antidiscrimination law and is a member of the Veterans Legal Services Clinic. Alexandra is committed to developing and strengthening responses to gender-based violence outside the criminal justice system through writing, organizing, and the law. Keep an eye out for The Feminist Utopia Project, co-edited by Alexandra and forthcoming from the Feminist Press (2015).

Alexandra Brodsky is an editor at, student at Yale Law School, and founding co-director of Know Your IX.

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Join the Conversation

  • QuantumInc

    He has published an apology for his horrible PandoDaily article, where he apologizes for ignoring “The Hairpin, xoJane, Rookie, and Jezebel,” making sexist jokes, and generally coming off as an arrogant, overconfident, douche. Though there’s still no mention of the $16/hour the writers get, or the silly name.

    In both articles he emphasizes the idea that he’s assembling the best team of writers he can, and then just let them loose and hope for the best. It still looks like he has a lot of passion for creating a good publication, but ironically no passion for the things it actually publishes. He makes it clear he created this company because while there are similar publications, there is still a vacuum compared to websites aimed at men, which is one thing I could agree with.

    The question in my mind, is where is the female equivalent of Bryan Goldberg? Actually, there’s probably a long list of examples. While there is certainly skill involved, convincing people to give you $6.5million in advertising before you’ve even published sounds like you need to know the language of several different old boys clubs. He seems to exemplify the image of an ambitious, arrogant, smooth talking entrepreneur from what I’ve seen here. That image seems to be male. Of course I’m not the first to point out that most of the economic capital is in the hands of men who usually only trust other men with their money. Something about most stock broker’s being male, even though women outperform men on average.

  • John

    “The question in my mind, is where is the female equivalent of Bryan Goldberg?”

    There is an entrepreneurial gap although I don’t know that I would attribute it to misogyny although there is a gender component to it.

    “Something about most stock broker’s being male, even though women outperform men on average.”

    I remember a woman recounting a conversation with her male friend and it went something like this. She accidentally hit her garage door and got three estimates for it 1k, 2k, and 3k. She was going to go with the 2k offer. Her guy friend asked why the other one is cheaper. She said it sounded too cheap. She started to question her own thinking in the article and considered that women take a middle of the road approach to finance (The sleep well vs eat well approach for you finance majors).

    Here’s the thing. Most start ups don’t make it past 5 years. There is a component of being willing to risk it all to be an entrepreneur. VCs aren’t looking for a safe modest return. They’re looking to get in on the ground floor of Google. They’re looking to turn a $5,000 investment into a $5,000,000 return.