The Sunday Times profiled each member of Generation Identity with a picture that made them look like members of a boyband. This dangerous tendency of humanising radicals must stop
Fascism is all the rage these days. Hate is haute, white nationalism is the new black and neo-nazism never looked so good. So the Sunday Times– which recently published a piece about the white nationalist movement Generation Identity( GI)- would have you believe, anyway.
You may have heard about GI before. They’re the radicals who physically tried to stop refugee rescue barges from coming to Europe last year. The correct term to describe those who actively seek to oppress suffering people is “monsters”. Actually,” incompetent monsters” may be more appropriate- GI’s vessel got into difficulty off the shores of the Libya during one of its anti-migrant missions and an NGO’s rescue ship aimed up helping out. Sometimes karma is a boat. The Sunday Times had another way of describing GI, though. Its headline called our own member” hipster fascists “. As if that wasn’t vomit-inducing enough, the title of the publish version was: ” Heil hipsters .”
The dubious headline might have been forgivable if the Sunday Times had gone on to unequivocally call a racist a racist and profiled the people GI’s ” activism ” has had an impact on; if they had talked about the families on the rescue barges fleeing unspeakable horrors or the rise in hate crime in the UK.
But , no, what it seemed most interested in was GI’s clothes.” Middle-class and well-spoken, dressed in skinny jeans and New Balance trainers rather than bomber coats and boots, each member of Generation Identity are accused of using slick branding and coded language to’ normalise’ extremist opinions ,” said the much-maligned piece. It crowned the article with a picture of the GI leaders that attained them look like each member of a boyband.
Guess what? It’s not New Balance trainers or skinny jeans that are normalising extremist positions, it’s the media. The Sunday Times piece is the latest in a series of problematically chatty articles about fringe figures that have been published in mainstream outlets. It’s only the most recent example of a dangerous trend of the media humanising and legitimising white extremists.
Profiles of fascists tend to come in different flavours. Some, like this one, are packaged as quirky tendency stories. While they may make a halfhearted nod to the fact that these rightwing groups are, ya know, sort of bad, these tales also trivialise them. They garmented neo-nazism up like it’s just a bit of youthful, swashbuckling fun. In 2016, for example, the Evening Standard wrote a piece headlined:” Meet the’ fascie’ pack .” This “re coming out” soon after Mother Jones had profiled Richard Spencer in an article headlined:” Meet the dapper White Nationalist .”( After much internet outrage Mother Jones removed the “dapper.”) Please simply pause for a moment and imagine if outlets like these had run pieces on dapper jihadists or how Isis members look truly dashing in black? Yeah, it wouldn’t happen.
Not every darling of the “alt-right” is a fascist or racist, of course, but neither are they simply intellectual retrogrades crusading for free speech, as some coverage suggests. The most recent example of this is the New York Times’s story about the” intellectual darknes web“, which profiled rightwing favourites such as Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro. Such articles had the audacity to present Peterson et al not as incredibly problematic reactionaries, who have been given high-profile platforms, but as” iconoclastic thinkers, academic renegades and media personalities … largely locked out of legacy outlets “.
It shouldn’t need to be said, but there is nothing trendy about being a racist; nothing quirky about being a misogynist; and nothing fashionable about being a fascist. Please, please can the media put an end to tales that suggest anything otherwise?
Half of women who have frozen their eggs regret it
A couple of years ago, I got served an online ad for an” egg-freezing party in NYC “. Apparently, there would be free cocktails and presentations from fertility-clinic executives about the benefits of putting your ageing eggs on ice. I didn’t go to the party, but it piqued my interest. At the time, it seemed everyone was extolling the virtues of elective oocyte cryopreservation, as it is called. A lot of my friends in their late-2 0s and 30 s were talking about freezing their eggs or had already done so. And celebrities were also dedicating it the seal of approval. Indeed, in 2016, the actor Olivia Munn said in a podcast that she supposed” every girl should do it “.
It seems, however, that the egg-freezing bubble has started to explode. Last Friday, a study published in the publication Fertility and Sterility found egg freezing may not be quite the empowering procedure it has been marketed as. Indeed, the study found that half of the women who had undertaken the pricey procedure regretted it. A third had mild regret, and 16% had moderate to severe regret.
While the researchers weren’t sure why some females regretted their decision, a possible contributing factor cited was that egg-freezing” was emotionally more complex than people may have assumed initially “. Another possible factor, mentioned in a commentary published alongside the study, was that females overestimated how effective it was.
The egg-freezing research came out around the same time it was announced that birthrates in the US have fallen to a 30 -year low. Together, such studies paint a depressing picture of the commodification of childbirth in the US. In a country with some of the worst maternity statutes and priciest childcare in the world, children have become luxury items.
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