Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Freud, Swift, And The Modern Theory Of Masculinity

Reprinted with permission from Uexpress.


Decades later, I can still recall exactly where I was sitting when I first realized that the prevailing psychological dogma of the day was bunk. As a graduate student taking a course in literary criticism, I’d been assigned Sigmund Freud’s 1928 essay “Dostoyevsky and Parricide.”

Basically, Freud treated the Russian novelist as a patient, his novels as raw material for therapeutic speculation. Dostoyevsky’s lifelong epileptic seizures, he deduced, were a hysterical reaction to his parents: demanding father, shrill, neurotic mother, a classic Oedipal conflict. You know, kill the father, seduce the mother, a bisexual tangle.…

Read More

Don’t Buy Serena’s Self-Pitying Melodrama

Reprinted with permission from Uexpress.

Unless you’re a serious tennis fan, you probably don’t know that exactly one player was expelled from the 2017 U.S. Open: Fabio Fognini, for calling a chair umpire a “whore” and worse in Italian during a losing match. He was also fined $96,000 and threatened with banishment from Grand Slam events if he didn’t quit acting like a punk on the court.

Chastened and apologetic, Fognini returned to Flushing Meadows in 2018 as a No. 14 seed, where he was upset in the third round with no histrionics. Evidently, he’s learned to accept defeat.

So it’s simply not true, as Serena Williams asserted through tears after losing to brilliant, 20-year-old Naomi Osaka — also a “woman of color,” for those of you keeping score at home — that men are never punished for bad behavior in professional tennis.…

Read More

Identity Politics Are A Double-Edged Sword

Reprinted with permission from Creators.


The recent primaries, particularly on the Democratic side, have unleashed a pack of first-ism cliches. If elected in November, Andrew Gillum would become “Florida’s first black governor” (CNN). Stacey Abrams in Georgia could be “America’s first black female governor” (Time).

Jared Polis, the Democratic nominee in Colorado, could become “America’s first openly gay elected governor” (Vox). In Michigan, Rashida Tlaib could be “the first Muslim woman elected to Congress” (Fox News). And Jahana Hayes would be Connecticut’s “first black Democrat to serve in Congress” (The New York Times).

We cannot deny that voters bearing similar racial, gender or sexual attributes can help put certain candidates over the top.…

Read More