Pay No Attention to the Sexism Behind the Curtain


At a relatively slim 3700 words, Moira Weigel’s and Mal Ahern’s essay “Further Materials Toward a Theory of the Man-Child,” sparked by less-than-enlightened political text Preliminary Materials for a Theory of the Young-Girl, manages a comprehensive indictment of misogyny in all the places it’s not supposed to be.

Philosophers, hiring managers, radical leftists, humanities professors, boyfriends—you’re all on notice.

One of many stellar quotes:

Knowingness is the attitude that allows sexism to persist in progressive institutions that you would expect to know better, precisely because you would. When casual sexism pervades leftist theory, one assumes it is ironic; when progressive institutions ignore gender politics, one assumes this is because struggles for equality have already been won, or must be deferred so we can attend to more pressing political needs.

Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →