Jia Tolentino:

Of course, this being a polemic, there’s not much space given to how, exactly, the total disengagement with our individualist and capitalist society might be achieved.

“Of course.” I like the implicit admission here. You weren’t expecting something more than the impotent flailing of tiny fists, were you? Tsk.

Here, we have a former Jezebel editor in the New Yorker reviewing the ever-ridiculous Jessa Crispin’s new book about how feminism has been co-opted by the system and rendered toothless, harmless, and far too friendly to bourgeois capitalist social norms. In other words, the same problem radicals have been fruitlessly complaining about for decades: despite being endlessly challenged, interrogated, deconstructed, and reimagined, the “system” of leaving people free to make piecemeal improvements to their own lives at their own pace via their own discretion has continued to blossom in popularity like Audrey II, leaving mystified radicals to wonder what in the unholy name of Adam Smith happened. I like to think of it as the infinity mirror problem of radicalism: an endless line of identical poses reflecting an illusory substance. “Of course” nothing is going to change, but at least writing an angry feminist book, or reviewing it in a prestigious outlet, gives you a vantage point from which to look down and sneer at the “shallow” sorts of feminists who don’t realize that emblazoning car bumpers, tote bags and coffee mugs with clichéd quotations about girl power is simply gauche. Decorating your actual politics with chimerical yearning, however, is apparently the height of sophistication.