So let’s start off by saying congrats to the Baltimore City Paper on their bouncing new Best of Baltimore issue. We may quibble with them over who really has the right to anthropomorphize a guy named BOB, but there’s clearly room in this town for two Best of Baltimore issues and we’ve always found theirs to be a lively and informative read.
What’s more, we’re stoked that we came in third in their readers poll for “Best Local Publication” behind the Urbanite and the City Paper itself. (Is that even fair?). Please note that The Sun didn’t make the cut.
Of course, the biggest difference between our Best of Baltimore issue and theirs is that we mean “Best of” in a rather earnest and literal way, while they mix a heaping dose of snark in with the hosannas. You pick up a City Paper Best-of issue and you expect sarcasm, criticism, even combativeness.
One thing you don’t expect to see? Sexism. But that’s what a lot of folks felt they were encountering when they came across CP’s category “Best Selection of Yoga Pants. . . to View.” The write-up goes on to extol the virtues of ogling “hot females in yoga pants, running rampant in the aisles” at Canton Safeway.
And folks are pretty darn pissed about it.
“This is stupid and offensive to both women + men. Grow up City Paper,” said one commenter on the CP website, named Fanny McGee.
“I can't believe that this was included in the Best of Baltimore,” wrote a poster named Worst Case. “Way to make a public space in Baltimore even less welcoming to women. . .”
Even the popular alt-feminist website Jezebel got in on the act of condemnation: “And while some ladies may be wearing their Lululemons to the Safeway because they want to look stylish and bootylicious, others are probably wearing them because they just came from working out and now they need to buy some food,” the website noted.
Reached for comment via email, City Paper editor Lee Gardner had this to say: “We didn’t intend to offend anyone.”
Hmmm. What would BOB say about all this?