Sex And The City sold its Manolos to Beacon’s Closet more than a decade ago at this point, which means that a generation of writers who grew up worshipping Carrie Bradshaw has come of age and are now writing navel-gazing essays of their own. How else—well, beyond a general lack of diverse perspectives in the media industry as a whole, not to mention young, desperate writers being pressured to write confessional essays just to get their first real byline—to explain the incredible week it’s been for bad takes in the world of what are referred to in magazine journalism classes as “women’s interest publications?”
It started over the weekend, with the fun, flirty anti-Semitism featured in The Washington Post’s dating-focused “Solo-ish” section in an essay entitled, “I Am Tired Of Being a Jewish Man’s Rebellion.” In it, writer Carey Purcell, a self-proclaimed WASP who is “blond, often wear[s] pearls, and can mix an excellent, and very strong, martini” says that she is sick and tired of being the shiksa that Jewish men use to rebel against their “extremely overbearing” (her words, not ours) Jewish mothers. This is based upon Purcell’s sample size of—wait for it—two. Yes, two different relationships with Jewish men in this young woman’s life ended, which means that interfaith relationships in general are doomed to fail. Purcell ends her essay with a joke about bacon, because, you see, Jewish people (at least those who keep kosher) don’t eat swine. How charmingly other!
Purcell has since apologized for the column, saying on her website, “I realize now that I touched upon serious issues for Jewish people in America and worldwide.” That statement has its own set of issues to unpack, but at least Purcell actually faced her critics (and there have been plenty, some quite hilarious). Not so for the anonymous woman interviewed by New York magazine’s The Cut, for another sizzling fajita platter of opinion called “What It’s Like To Be A Really Beautiful Woman” published on Monday. Spoiler alert: It’s really hard, because other women hate you for your looks! To wit:
One of the worst things about being beautiful is that other women absolutely despise you. Women have made me cry my whole life ... It’s kind of like being born rich, people don’t believe that you feel the same pain. It’s a bias that people can’t shake.
Throughout my life, competitive, attractive, wealthy, entitled women really hated me. At my first job after college, my female colleagues conspired against me. They planted bottles of half-drunk booze on my desk so that it looked like I was drinking on the job. Two women were obsessed with me. They told my boss lies to get me fired. I talked to some of my superiors about it and they put it to me straight: Look, it’s pure unmitigated jealousy. They really do hate you because of the way you look.
The interviewee’s personality, including the defensiveness and hostility she almost certainly radiates when interacting with other women given her assumption that they are jealous of her, never comes into play as a potential factor. But, in the words of Jack Donaghy, “In the bubble, no one ever tells you the truth.”
Speaking of, there are some harsh, if completely wrongheaded, truths on display in yesterday’s contribution to this week of bad takes: An essay on the Medium-esque self-publishing site Odyssey called, “You May Have Worn The Prom Dress With Him, But I Get To Wear The Wedding Dress.” Written by an undergraduate student at Missouri State University named Victoria Higgins, this one actually makes us feel a little sorry for this poor girl. Not only is she so insecure that she’s jealous of the relationships her fiancé had before she met him, she also thinks that marrying your college boyfriend is a ticket to eternal bliss:
I hate that you got to go to all of the school dances with him. He got to see you all dressed up and probably told you how great you looked. I’m sure you did look great. Prom dresses were always fun to pick out and so colorful. It was exciting to match colors with your date. I am sure you had fun choosing his matching tux to your dress.
I find myself getting jealous, but then I stop. I am getting to match his tux with our wedding colors. I got to go dress shopping in a sea of white, and he doesn’t get to know one detail about that dress yet. He will get to see me walk down the aisle and then every day forever. I get to love him forever.
Coming from a divorced person: Bless your heart. The memes coming out of that last essay have been especially harsh/hilarious, but before the digital ink even had a chance to dry on that mockery, along came this, on the Marie Claire website:
And it’s only Thursday. With a little over 24 hours to go, what Carolina Ghost Pepper takes are already out there on some editor’s laptop, just waiting for Twitter to bite into them and immediately barf? “I’m Tired Of Talking To Men About Politics, So Let’s Repeal The 19th Amendment,” perhaps? “The Pay Gap Is Fine, Because My Dates Pay For My Drinks Anyway?” “Why I Make My Boyfriend Wear A Blindfold In Public?” Actually, never mind—that last one’s already been done, albeit from the male point of view.