The outrage over Susan Fowler's account of rampant, unchecked sexual harassment and gender discrimination at Uber is a perfect storm of woke sex crime hysteria and corporate lean-in logic. It plays on liberal feminism's tendency for sensationalizing sexual misconduct at the expense of structural inequality and plays to its newly minted role as the handmaiden of technocratic neoliberalism. The fact that media outlets from The New York Times to USA Today are tripping over their dicks to pick up the story—its built-in viral potential—should be a dead giveaway that you are being duped.
Alberto Moravia’s book The Conformist (1951), which was made into the internationally acclaimed and historically significant Bernardo Bertolucci film of the same name (1970), is often described as a psychological sketch of the fascist personality. Aside from being an excellent (and topical!) primer on the rise and fall of fascism, it is, like everything else Moravia, really about the imperiled identity of modern manhood. Although Moravia’s other novels—Conjugal Love (1949), Contempt (1954), Boredom (1960)—are less ambitious in both their scale and scope, preferring to retread the turf of bourgeois psychodrama, they also take as their subject the existential hysteria of an ambitious but blinkered anti-hero struggling in vain to escape his mediocrity.
Ever since her death yesterday, I’ve been straining to understand the outpouring of almost unequivocal hatred against Phyllis Schlafly. As a useful civilian corrective for the inevitable downplaying of her misdeeds in official media coverage, the avalanche of funny tweets and subversive obits is entertaining for sure. But is it really that redemptive?
One man's feminist is another man's fantasy.
In the film version of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, protagonist Lisbeth Salander endures a brutal anal rape for her allowance then returns for cosmic justice. (In real life, the actress who plays Salander, Rooney Mara, apparently endured a nipple piercing and awkward conversation with director David Fincher to get the role.) Keep in mind that you are being supplied with an alternative American title for your own sanity; the original Swedish title is Män som hatar kvinnor (“Men who Hate Women”), and it hits closer to home than you or Larsson would ever know. Sensing you might figure this out, they’ve given you comforting filler.