As we near the one-year mark of the public accusations against Harvey Weinstein—that he serially assaulted women; that he used his power to avoid any consequences for doing so—and the subsequent spread of the nationwide #MeToo movement, we are also facing its backlash. The initial ramifications were widespread and stunning: For the first time in history, it became, ostensibly, the mainstream inclination to believe the victims’ stories about sexual assault and harassment. But this transformation may have been far more incremental than it first seemed, and all the change brought about by the unleashing of pain and anger wrought by centuries of systemic oppression may still not be enough to break through in this moment, in which Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, after two allegations of sexual assault, has not withdrawn. Rather we are all barrelling toward what promises to be a grotesque repeat of the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings of 1991. Accuser Christine … [Read more...] about The Next Step for #MeToo Is Into the Gray Areas
Shitty media men
“It took a really long time for me to validate this as sexual assault,” an anonymous 23-year-old woman going by the name Grace recently told the website Babe.net. By now, Grace’s story is widely known, its excruciating details, including her allegation that she was sexually assaulted by actor and comedian Aziz Ansari, have been analyzed, criticized, and defended from nearly every angle. Depending on who’s talking, Grace’s account is either a referendum on the limits of #MeToo or evidence of its inevitable backlash. It is a crucible for everything from journalistic standards to affirmative consent, power dynamics, and Ansari himself. Grace’s story has become a tabula rasa, inscribed on it a range of questions—both inevitably difficult and absurd—declarations, and, (inevitably) politics. As the news cycle inevitably moves away from Grace entirely, I want to pause for a moment and consider what, to me, despite the lack of clarity offered in … [Read more...] about It’s Time to Map the Wilderness of Bad Sex
Year in Review 2018 We made it through another weird year. Let's look back on how we got over. 2018 was the year that “gossip” became serious news. The film producer rumored for decades to be lecherous was finally reported to be a serial rapist. The comedian everyone was sure was masturbating in front of other women behind closed doors turned out to be just that guy. When I watch these men one by one confirm themselves to be abusers, I think about the women who helped spread knowledge of their abuses, once written off as rumors by those too naïve or distrustful to investigate them legitimately. Finally, all those whispered anecdotes and hushed allegations could be out in the open, validated by investigative journalism that was long overdue. Now, perhaps, the world can be primed to believe women rather than assume they are simply hysterical liars. And yet 2018 was the year I didn’t know where to put my gossip; my inklings of the shitty behavior of men, my … [Read more...] about Getting Through 2018 One Group Chat at a Time
You often hear people say “there aren’t really bad cars any more” because even cheap cars from basic brands are generally decent and safe in 2018. That’s true, to an extent. But that doesn’t mean all cars are good, either. And we found plenty to bag on this year anyway. In previous years we did a list of worst cars we drove to supplement our best list. But we’re taking a slightly different tack this year. We didn’t test as many truly abysmal vehicles in 2018 as we have in the past, and perhaps even more damning than the generic “bad” is just “disappointing.” Additionally, some of the cars—as you’ll see below—were in fact just plain bad. A couple belonged to David Tracy, which is understandable and fair. Here are the cars that didn’t live up to their true potential or otherwise came up way short from what we expected of them. Do better in 2019, cars! David Tracy’s 1995 Jeep Cherokee Once … [Read more...] about The Biggest Letdowns We Drove in 2018
In peacetime, the MLB Commissioner’s job is hard to see. There is of course the chance that the work is heavy and harrowing, endless stressful executive demands and the sort of hardcore deal-making that would buckle the spines of lesser humans. But there is also the chance that it’s just a series of sprawling steakhouse lunches with various owner types, lunches as far as the eye can see with men in blazers and pale blue dress shirts who are convinced that they should have even more money than they already do, and who hector the commissioner for not making it happen more quickly. Neither sounds pleasant. The commissioner becomes more visible, and his job duties more legible, during times of crisis. That has generally meant labor crises like the strikes and lockouts of the 1980s and ‘90s, at which the commissioner’s job comes into focus as chopping away at whatever the owners tell him to chop away at. Bud Selig was both the Brewers’ owner and MLB’s … [Read more...] about How Bad Does It Have To Get Before Rob Manfred Does Something About The Mets?