The Baffler’s Week That Was
Women and men, feminists and fashionistas, wealthy heirs and high-heel wearers, militant multi-taskers, Camus-carrying intellectuals, and rifle-wielding libertarians, let’s all take a look back at the past week on the Baffler blog:
• “Feminism is going to make it possible for the first time for men to be free . . . It is too much to ask of a man to be brave, when his bravery means taking the food out of the mouth of a woman who cannot get food except from him. The bravest things will not be done in the world until women do not have to look to men for support.”
– from an excerpt of Floyd Dell’s 100-year-old treatise “Feminism for Men,” from our current issue, published online this week with an accompanying introduction by Susan Faludi, entitled, appropriately, “Feminism for Them?”
• A very silly social science survey about how tech toys make people appear “more authoritative” inspired us to resurrect a hilarious, cutting piece from Issue 8, back in 1996, by Jennifer Brostrom. Her salvo “The Time Management Gospel” takes on the absurdly expensive and complicated Franklin Planner organizational system from the 1990s. Our tools may have changed since then, but the aspirational gibberish associated with them sure haven’t.
• Anne Elizabeth Moore’s insightful review of the fashion magazine collection The WORN Archive reveals all the ways in which this supposedly feminist work fails to address the real issues that matter. Fashion isn’t just about pretty clothes; it’s a massive, globalized industry, with equally massive political implications.
• In her piece “What Workplace Intolerance Really Looks Like,” Kathleen Geier pointed out that attention on high-profile dismissals of CEOs and activists can distract from the much more insidious, everyday threats to freedom of expression in the workplace. Mozilla’s Brendan Eich may have been let go for his views on same-sex marriage, but did you know that it’s perfectly legal for an employer to fire a worker for, say, wearing the wrong color tie, or voting the wrong way, or for posting a Dilbert cartoon on the break-room bulletin board?
• Jim Newell was on a roll this week, attacking rich-kid heirs who are convinced they won’t fall into the same philanthropic traps as their parents, left-leaning billionaire donors who are convinced they won’t fall into the same political-donation traps as their right-wing counterparts, and the gun nuts who think they need to loosen state laws so they can have more freedom to travel with their toys.
• Lauren Kirchner wrote the definitive list of the ten best quotes and excerpts of a horrifying New York Times article about women undergoing foot surgery to fit into their tightest, highest heels. Featured: the new term “toebesity” and the (thankfully still fictional) procedure “toe liposuction.”
• Finally, the great George Scialabba took a look back at the long, illustrious run of Partisan Review on the occasion of the digitization of its archives, and wondered, could its writers have started a magazine like that today? Would it have had the same impact? Would anyone have gotten paid?
Have a great weekend, everyone. Sign up for our newsletter, and say hi sometime.