Nope. These Aren’t Trump Trolls. They’re The Internet’s Most Popular Feminists
• Feminists who write about the cruelty of disparaging women for their appearance…regularly disparage men for their appearance.
• GOP men referred to as “piece of shit,” “fat bastard,” “festering sore,” “hemorrhoid,” among many others, by liberal “Mean Girls.”
LIBERAL MEAN GIRLS: Two of the internet’s most popular feminists have a problem. They’re both political analysts and cultural observers; one, with a high-profile column at Teen Vogue, the other with a high-profile column at Vice. Between their personal Twitter feeds and their corporate ones, their words reach at least 6 million followers. They have each written extensively, powerfully and empathetically about empowering women, sexual abuse in the workplace, the #metoo movement, the degradation of women, and female suffering.
Because they’ve covered the topic with such breadth, Lauren Duca (TeenVogue) and Eve Peyser (Wired) know the deep harm that comes from being disdainful or demeaning of a woman based on her physical appearance, as well as the lasting psychological damage done through on-line harassment. Duca, you may recall, in December 2016, was involved in a nasty confrontation that went viral with FOX News’ Tucker Carlson, who disparaged her political writings because of what he perceived; her youth, inexperience and perhaps her appearance, by suggesting that in her writing, she “stick to thigh-high boots.”
It was also Duca who recently wrote:
“The forces fueling harassment are only emboldened as we collectively find excuses for this shameful phenomenon.” (Lauren Duca, Teen Vogue August 11, 2017)
And, it was Peyser, who recently wrote:
“Obviously, it’s sexist to use a woman’s appearance or outfit choice to disparage her.” (Eve Peyser, Vice, July 12, 2017)
And yet, between August 2017 and January 2018, Duca and Peyser have specifically attacked and disparaged the physical appearance of men – several of them, in fact – and even a few women, describing them as “a human carbuncle,” “hemorrhoid,” “cold sore,” “festering sore,” “fat bastard,” “disgusting,” “gross,” “piece of shit,” and “fat.”
With an eye towards curtailing a shameful phenomenon, here are the facts.
In an August 18th, 2017 tweet, Lauren Duca referring to Steve Bannon’s appearance, called him a “festering sore.”
On August 19, 2017, implying again about his appearance, Lauren Duca wrote “My favorite torn-down racism monument is probably Steve Bannon.”
On November 13, 2017 Lauren Duca wrote “It is so unnerving to watch Steve Bannon attempt to take down Mitch McConnell. As the saying goes, “the enemy of my enemy is also an evil piece of shit best described as an anthropomorphic cold sore.”
That Mr. Bannon, who has ruddy, cherubic, reddish, scruffy and freckled facial features – kind of a cross between Fatty Arbuckle and a leaky radiator or, more precisely, looks like a cold sore, to Ms. Duca, has no material bearing on his cruel and offensive political views. That said, let me share with you a quote from Claire Warner, writing on body shaming in Bustle:
“It’s no secret that our culture prizes beauty according to whatever the current definition is at the time. Unfortunately, this obsession with appearance can have a hugely negative impact on someone’s mental health. When you make a comment about someone else’s body, you’re just perpetuating a culture that equates physical attractiveness with their worth as a person;”
On November 25th, 2017 Lauren Duca commented on a photo of Seb Gorka, who is wearing what appears to be a leather vest and holding a rifle or shotgun: “It’s like a hemorrhoid came to life and won a shopping spree at Sears.”
Surely, the woman who wrote on Twitter on November 17th, 2017: “Someone sent me a picture in which they digitally removed all my makeup in a gratuitous effort to call me “disgusting” knows that efforts to disparage her looks or appearance do little to undermine the soundness of her sometimes snarky sometimes prescient feminist screeds. Similarly, calling Seb Gorka “a hemorrhoid” does little to contest or undermine his horrible political ideology. On the upside for Duca, her tweet was liked 5 thousand times.
Twice in December of 2017, Ms. Duca also disparaged Steve Bannon’s looks, calling him “a human carbuncle.” For those unfamiliar with various dermatological conditions, a “carbuncle” is a severe abscess or boil in the skin typically infected with staphylococcus bacteria and a small collection of pus. And, on November 8th, 2017, Ms. Duca wrote she saw an old Mitch McConnell looking man on the subway lick his finger while reading the paper, and her sexuality was cancelled.”
For someone who has written so extensively about the lasting hurt inflicted by disparaging remarks, Ms. Duca’s blindness to her own failings is surprising. That the objects of her disparagement and derision are strong and can take it, is immaterial. Perhaps Ms. Duca should read her own words from August 11th, 2017 in Teen Vogue:
“I am tough, and scrappy, and angry, and loud, but what about the people who aren’t? … I’m proud of being absurdly resilient, but I shouldn’t have to be.”
Oh, and Lauren Duca hasn’t just saved her disparaging comments about people’s looks just for conservative men. She has also used her Twitter feed to attack the appearance of women whose political opinions differ from hers. On October 11, 2017 Ms. Duca wrote on Twitter: “The demon wearing Kellyanne Conway’s rotting corpse as its skin is really getting out of control.”
Four days later, on October 15th, 2017, Ms. Duca tweeted this to her 350k followers: “Lord, grant me the serenity to avoid commenting on Kim Davis’s forehead.” Kim Davis is the conservative county clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, who defied a US Federal court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Ms. Davis, as Ms. Duca cleverly points out, has a large forehead. However, it remains unclear how the size of Ms. Davis’ forehead has anything to do with her vial, grotesque and antiquated political opinions or what knowledge anyone could gather from recognizing that Ms. Conway is getting older.
Eve Peyser, of Vice, has also written disparagingly about men whose political ideas differ from hers. On Twitter, she recently wrote about Steve Bannon, whose face is red and puffy in the picture that accompanies her text, “idk why ppl circulated that fake pic of Bannon looking especially disgusting when there are real pictures of Bannon looking just as gross.”
On January 3rd, 2018 Ms. Peyser wrote “Can a White House reporter please find out how much Donald Trump weighs? I’m very curious.” Replace Trump’s name with Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ name, and the man who wrote that tweet would well deserve the Twitter firestorm he’d be subjected to.
On January 3rd, 2018 Ms. Peyser wrote “literally every time I joke about the president’s giant fat diaper ass I get at least one weirdo resistance account telling me not to fat shame the president.” Were I to have written that tweet about Melissa McCarthy, or Sarah Palin or Maxine Waters, I would rightly deserve the doxing that would not doubt occur thanks to Reddit or 4Chan.
And recently, Ms. Peyser retweeted a photo and caption written by Cher while adding her own comment: “I love Cher so much.” In Cher’s tweet, there’s a photo of President Trump on the golf course, with a fake movie title: “Austin Powers: Fat Bastard.”
Ms. Peyser and Ms. Duca are not alone in their disparaging of conservative men.
Brandy Jensen, who has 66K followers, shared this bon-mot on September 30th, 2017: “It’s important to spend a few moments each day imagining the joy you’ll feel when Trump eventually strokes out on the toilet.”
On December 22nd, 2017, Ms. Jensen shared: “there’s a man on this train I can only describe as “hot Steve Bannon” so I presume I’m having a stroke. It’s been real y’all.”
On September 11, 2017 Ms. Jensen wrote over a picture of Joey from “Friends” whose wearing several sweaters or shirts, “personally, I think Bannon could get away with up to six shirts, you’re so distracted by everything else, you hardly notice.”
Another popular Twitter feminist is Melissa Stetten, who has 59K followers.
On March 11, 2017 Ms. Stetten wrote: “I’m pretty sure Steve Bannon has the same disease on his face that John Turturro had on his feet in The Night Of.”
On April 5th, 2017 Ms. Stetten wrote: “I’m 99% sure Steve Bannon sleeps in a tent outside the White House.”
On September 10th, 2017, Ms. Stetten added: “Steve Bannon has never drank water.”
Disparaging men for their weight and appearance isn’t the sole domain of Twitter’s millennials. Bette Midler, who has struggled with her own weight, and told ArizonaCentral “When I had my baby I gained 60 pounds…It took me 10 years to lose the extra weight,” does it, too. On December 28th, 2016, The Divine Miss M commented on a photo of President Trump waving from inside his motorcade: “Trump says Russia inquiry makes US “look very bad.” AND THIS PHOTO MAKES YOU LOOK VERY BAD, PORKY.” (caps by Midler).
On December 17th, 2017 Ms. Midler tweeted, referring to President Trump: “THINK! How did that fat fuck get 2 the highest office in the land? A man who glues his hair to his head? Government is not entertainment.” This tweet was liked 45 thousand times and shared nearly 10 thousand times.
Ms. Duca and Ms. Peyser didn’t respond to emails Wednesday or Thursday seeking comment.
You might be wondering why I – a liberal who hates President Trump (here, here and here) — chose to shine a spotlight on these mostly admirable professional and successful women’s disparaging remarks about the appearance and looks of President Trump, Steve Bannon, Mitch McConnell, Seb Gorka, Kellyanne Conway and Kim Davis? Well, it’s because, well, some of it has to do with my hatred of hypocrisy in politics. As for the rest, well, I also hate seeing liberals stoop to the ad-hominem attacks, cruel language and disparaging behavior so endemic among Trump’s ever increasing and worst internet trolls including the worst troll of all, the President, himself.
How can liberal ideas be better for the country… when some of our most vocal and widely read emissaries use the same vitriol in their Twitter posts as the President? How different is calling African nations a “shithole” from calling Seb Gorka a hemorrhoid? Steve Bannon “a piece of shit?” And President Trump “a fat fuck?”
We’re better than that.
Author’s Note: You can leave your hateful comments below. And please, be more clever than pointing out the difference in power and reach between the President of the United States and an individual verified Twitter user.
YOU CAN ALSO WATCH THIS EPISODE OF BE LESS STUPID IN WHICH WE ARE REVEALING EVERY LIE TOLD BY TEAM TRUMP ABOUT RUSSIA… CHRONOLOGICALLY AS WELL AS ADDING CONTEXT AND REVEALING WHAT THE LIARS REALLY KNIEW WHEN THEY TOLD THEIR LIES.
Correction: This article has been corrected. In a previous version, Eve Peyser’s employer was noted incorrectly. It is now correct. (6pm 1/18/18)