Calm Reasoning in NYT Sunday Review: ‘Burn the Frat House of America to the Ground’

September 24th, 2018 9:14 AM

The front page of the New York Times Sunday Review confirms its abandonment of any attempt at a balance ideological presentation, and turning the section into a bulletin board for the revolution-minded angry left.

Michelle Alexander’s debut column used the accusation against Brett Kavanaugh as a hook for a loosely formatted shout-out to a hodge-podge of left-wing causes loosely lied to the anti-Trump “resistance.” “We Are Not the Resistance -- A new nation is being born. Trump is the one who’s fighting it.”

Since the beginning of the Trump administration, it seems there has been a new crisis roiling our nation nearly every day -- a new jaw-dropping allegation of corruption, a new wave of repression at the border, another nod to white nationalism or blatant misogyny, another attack on basic civil rights, freedom of the press or truth itself. Invariably, these disturbing events are punctuated by Trump’s predictable yet repugnant Twitter rants.

She sees a better world dawning.

The disorienting nature of Trump’s presidency has already managed to obscure what should be an obvious fact: Viewed from the broad sweep of history, Donald Trump is the resistance. We are not.

Viva la revolution! Alexander called the roll for every left-wing issue out there:

....A new nation is struggling to be born, a multiracial, multiethnic, multifaith, egalitarian democracy in which every life and every voice truly matters. In recent years, we’ve seen glimpses of this new nation at Standing Rock, in the streets of Ferguson, in the eyes of the Dreamers, in the voices of teenagers from Parkland and Chicago, as well as at L.G.B.T. pride celebrations, the Women’s March and the camps of Occupy Wall Street. Confederate statues are coming down as new memorials and statutes are going up in Montgomery, Ala., and beyond....

Jennifer Weiner focused her ire solely at the patriarchy in “The Patriarchy Will Always Have Its Revenge.” The text box was eyebrow-raising: “I want to burn the frat house of America to the ground.”

Guess how her awakening started:

I was 21 years old in 1991, six weeks into my first full-time job, when Anita Hill testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and I saw the way that things were going to be.


In my newsroom, I was riveted by the hearings, and Professor Hill’s testimony about how her old boss, the Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, behaved -- the references to pornographic movies, to his own sexual prowess, the way he would ask her out, again and again, and not take no for an answer.

Notice how Bill Clinton’s sexual history is elided.

....The joke’s on us....Clarence Thomas sits on the Supreme Court, and in the White House sits a man who confessed on tape to how he was “automatically” attracted to pretty women and just starts to kiss them when he sees them, and how “when you’re a star, they let you do it.” Now that president has picked his own Supreme Court nominee, a man who, as a young lawyer, worked with Ken Starr to expose President Bill Clinton’s affair with an intern. A man who has now been accused of assaulting a young girl at a party when they were both in high school....

As a woman, as a loving parent myself, I am angry. I’m beyond angry. As the spectacle of Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination unfolds, I find myself caught in the undertow of bad memories, stuck in a simmer of rage. My hands furl into fists. My jaw clenches. My teeth grind in the night....

Weiner is clearly still traumatized by the Thomas nomination and clearly assumes his guilt, just as she does with Kavanaugh. 

When Clarence Thomas won his seat, I felt like someone had taken an eraser to the core of my being, and had rubbed a bit of me away. I felt diminished, a little less real, and, certainly, a lot less likely to be believed if I had anything to say about male colleagues.

After lamenting what people like Hill “stand to lose” (Book contracts? Honorary degrees? Glowing press coverage, including a recent op-ed in the New York Times?), Weiner concluded with a full-blown revenge fantasy:

.... I’m thinking about narrative, the power of fiction.

I hope they’ll love “Little Women,” but I’ll also give them “Dietland,” a brilliantly subversive dark fantasy where feminist vigilantes toss rapists out of helicopters, where -- when college boys march around chanting, “No means yes and yes means anal” -- women burn their frat house to the ground....