The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

In Which @LaurenDuca Gets Cancelled

Posted on | September 19, 2019 | 1 Comment


The first time I took notice of Lauren Duca was in June 2016, when she wrote a Teen Vogue article about herpes that was simply false. Teen Vogue subsequently ceased print publication after publishing an article about anal sex, and I wrote in November 2017:

In the months leading up to the 2016 election, Teen Vogue (at least in its online version) was taken over by left-wing political operatives.  . . .
So why did the editors of Teen Vogue wish to tutor young girls about anal sex? Perhaps because the magazine’s digital director is a young gay man, Phillip Picardi and, beginning in 2015, the magazine deliberately decided to shift its focus to “activism” and identity politics:

“I am an activist [said the magazine’s editor Elaine Welteroth]. And I think the readers that we reach would all consider themselves activists, too.”
What issues are most important to their young readers? “Identity is big. We want to help make them feel better about themselves, whether that’s giving beauty tips, or empowering them with political information to have smarter conversations and feel they can stand up for themselves.”

That identity-politics activist mentality worked out about as well for Teen Vogue as it did for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

It was a perfect example of the “Get Woke, “Go Broke” syndrome, where companies wreck their brand by pandering to the social-justice mobs.

Of course, because advocates of “social justice” do not believe in personal responsibility, they will never admit error. Those who destroyed Teen Vogue for the sake of “activism” would have us imagine that it was their critics, and not themselves, who are to blame for this destruction. And when people who were insulted by Lauren Duca’s obnoxious “activist” journalism complained, she claimed to be a victim of “harassment.”

In 2016, the same year she became notorious as Teen Vogue‘s designated attack dog, Lauren Duca married Kristopher Fleming, but this was (rather predictably) an ill-fated union.




There was a time when such behavior would be considered scandalous, but among liberals today it is a cause for celebration, and so the newly divorced (and newly “queer”) Lauren Duca was still a member in good standing of the “progressive” community. Thus, she got a book deal from Simon & Schuster and was hired to teach at New York University:

Duca . . . spent this past summer teaching “The Feminist Journalist,” a six-week New York University journalism course for both high school and college students. After Duca agreed to our interview, she also acquiesced to letting me sit in on the final day of the class. She asked her students to come prepared with questions for her for what would be an AMA-style session in Washington Square Park. Her students sat in a circle around her in the wet grass. It was, I imagine, exactly what Tucker Carlson would envision a liberal journalism class might be: a bunch of kids from varied backgrounds, ethnicities, orientations, and gender identities, who could each afford a $6,500 class, wearing T-shirts that said “GenderQueer” or “Kill Patriarchy.”
In the park, Duca praised her students for their ideas and pitches: “You so totally learned what I was trying to teach you.” Nearly four weeks after the course ended, however, her students sent a collective formal complaint to the heads of the NYU journalism school about Duca’s conduct. “We are disappointed at the department and NYU for hiring a professor with more interest in promoting her book than teaching a group of students eager to learn,” they wrote. In the days after the course ended, several of the students also reached out to me to share more of their concerns. “Her ability to exploit the movement is really frustrating,” one former student said. . . .
Out of 10 students, five spoke to me on the record, under the condition of anonymity, specifically due to fear of reprisals from Duca or any of her professional connections. All of them had similar allegations against Duca and the class’s structure: that Duca didn’t follow her own syllabus, that she spoke often and inappropriately about her personal life, that she would belittle and yell at students, and, most pressingly, that she targeted one student in particular. All the students wrote a formal letter of complaint to NYU and signed it, “Sincerely, ‘The Feminist Journalist’ Class – Summer 2019.” When I reached out to Duca for her comment on the complaint, she started by saying, “I guess I’m not a teacher.”
The complaint, filed to NYU journalism school’s institute director, Ted Conover, and associate director, Meredith Broussard, on Sept. 11, details many of the same things the five students told me. “There was a consistent lack of professionalism that persisted throughout every aspect of the course,” the complaint reads. . . .
All five students alleged that Duca’s class was disorganized and “a master class in Lauren Duca’s personal life.” (“The point of it is that I’m oversharing all the time. And I think that, yeah, some people like it, some people don’t. Apparently you fucking hate it, but that’s fine,” Duca told me.) They said that she would vanish for 30 to 45 minutes per class to “meditate.” (“It was a three-hour class and we took a break and I would meditate for 15 minutes and they would be gone getting snacks and stuff,” Duca responded.) And that the class was a “waste of six weeks for all of us, and we don’t want anyone else to make this mistake again.” They claim Duca would snap at them for small problems, accuse them of not having done the readings, and never actually read any of the assignments they submitted to her.
Duca responded that she did read all the assignments, though she added: “It’s okay if I’m not a great teacher because I’m great at lots of other things.”
But most galling is that all the students — both in interviews and in the formal complaint to the college — claim that Duca went out of her way to target one student in particular: an exchange student who was visiting New York for school. “Her English wasn’t perfect but that’s hard,” one student told me. “She came from another country. She was very courageous for taking this class.”
The students claimed that Duca would unfairly admonish this particular individual in class. “We all clocked it two or three classes in,” said a classmate. They claimed that Duca said the student “won’t have a lot to say” during class presentations, that she refused to accept assignments from this student while accepting them from others, that she called her work “basic” and “vague,” and that during one class Duca made the student cry during a one-on-one meeting. To this Duca responded, “I said, ‘You need to do the work’; she cried. Like, come on. Is that targeting? What am I supposed to do? ‘You didn’t do the work; here’s a trophy’?”
“That day was the day that I decided that there’s no way we’re going to let this person teach students again. It was awful. It was absolutely awful,” one of the students told me. “She definitely picked favorites, and she picked people she blatantly didn’t like,” said another. (In the complaint the students wrote to NYU, it says that Duca “consistently targeted this student on the basis of a communication difficulty the student cannot change.”)

You can read the whole thing. The main point seems to be, Lauren Duca is a narcissistic egomaniac who considers “feminism” to be whatever serves her personal interest. Of course, this is true of feminists in general, but perhaps Ms. Duca is just too blatant about her selfishness.

So Lauren Duca is now #cancelled, as the kids say, although her cancellation is probably not going to be permanent. Simon & Schuster invested big money in her book, and is therefore invested in maintaining Ms. Duca’s “brand” value. By the way, have we forgotten this?


Notice that Ms. Duca doesn’t make any actual argument here. She just assumes that everyone agrees with her, and thus no argument is necessary to refute the quotes from Billy Graham. Her attitude is astonishingly common among young progressives, as the current culture is so dominated by enthusiastic advocates of homosexuality that they are shocked to encounter anyone who doesn’t share their enthusiasm.



One Response to “In Which @LaurenDuca Gets Cancelled”

  1. Sunday Linkage « Bacon Time !!!!!!
    September 22nd, 2019 @ 2:00 am

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