The Year’s Worst Cultural Criticism

A couple of days back, we reviewed the best cultural criticism of 2014, which really was a rather edifying and pleasurable exercise. But for every yin, there’s a yang, and in this case, the yang involves snobbery, asinine arguments about everything from marriage to Brooklyn DIY, another page for the “Gavin McInnes is the worst” annual, and the ongoing misogynist temper tantrum of #Gamergate. As well as, yes, of course, Lena Dunham. Welcome to the year’s worst cultural criticism! (And don’t worry, we’ve DoNotLinked the most egregious articles, so click with a clear conscience.)

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Transphobia Is Perfectly Natural,” Gavin McInnes, Thought Catalog, August 2014

Honestly, if this had been written by some random internet bigot, it wouldn’t be worth including here. But as co-founder of VICE, Gavin McInnes still enjoys some sort of cultural cachet, and as such it’s worth saying: this is awful, hateful bullshit.

Worst bit: “We see there are no old trannies. They die of drug overdoses and suicide way before they’re 40 and nobody notices because nobody knows them. They are mentally ill gays who need help, and that help doesn’t include being maimed by physicians. These aren’t women trapped in a man’s body. They are nuts trapped in a crazy person’s body. I see them on the streets of New York. They are guys with tits and a sweatshirt. They wear jeans and New Balance. ‘What’s the matter with simply being a fag who wears makeup?’ I think when I see them. You’re not a woman. You’re a tomboy at best. Get fucked in the ass.”