Left-wing infighting is always pretty tasty, but a gloriously catty post from feminist blog “Jezebel” calling out famed feminist Lauren Duca for allegedly harassing her former coworkers over at HuffPost via an anonymous account really hits the spot.
Buckle up for this overdose of all-around awfulness.
Duca — who obtained overnight Feminist Cred from an off-the-rails segment on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” in December 2016 — was apparently caught sending nasty harassing emails to her then-coworkers at HuffPost from an anonymous account. With all of Duca’s super important journalisming surrounding the harassment of women in media, the alleged scandal is fair game to highlight, and that’s exactly what Anna Merlan does in the exceedingly lengthy diatribe titled “We Should Probably Talk About Lauren Duca.” Of course, there’s also a layer of potent jealousy and cattiness in the post, too, because everything concerning modern feminism is a toxic mess.
According to ten former coworkers speaking to Merlan under the condition of anonymity, Duca sent nasty emails referring to co-workers as an “overweight fake blonde” and a “bald freak” after a drunken tiff sparked at a company Halloween party back in October of 2015. There was also an email referencing Duca as a “feminazi” — the theory is that the feminist sent that email to herself as a deception, once the company began suspecting Duca was the author of the emails.
But Duca “outed” herself because the emails she was allegedly sending were done so via a HuffPost “correction” system that sometimes shows the email address they are sent from. “There’s an area on the website where people can leave corrections,” explained a former HuffPost employee. “It’s not public, but you can enter your correction and the note you write gets sent to everybody on a certain listserv.”
“As Duca’s coworkers were still mingling at the party, minus her, they got an email on a story written by the woman she’d just argued with, referring to the woman as an ‘overweight fake blonde.’ The address it was sent from showed as an iCloud account in Duca’s name,” Merlan explained.
The woman Duca apparently referred to as an “overweight fake blonde” (not very feminist-like language) was the same woman witnesses say she confronted at the Halloween party for the grave sin of unfollowing her on Twitter. Duca demanded an explanation for the unfollow, naturally.
Adding to the comedy of the ridiculous feud, Duca took to Twitter to claim that she’s officially “made it” because someone created a spoof email account of her to make nasty HuffPost corrections.
The not-so-scandalous scandal was apparently an open secret in left-wing media before Merlan’s post.
“Several of Duca’s former coworkers have come to see her newfound stardom as a referendum on the nature of viral fame itself,” wrote Merlan, “as well as how someone aligning themselves with the movements du jour — mainstream, marketable feminism; the more salient parts of the Resistance — can escape any real scrutiny, even as many people in media have been aware of the allegations concerning her time at [HuffPost].”
One former coworker said of Duca: “It’s infuriating, is the best way to say it. She’s such a hypocrite. I think that’s the biggest thing. She’s a huge hypocrite.”
“The whole thing has actually been very revealing for me,” another said. “In terms of what traits are valorized and rewarded in the media, and the mainstream liberal resistance.”
Merlan takes veiled swipes at Duca throughout the post, such as noting the writer’s “capable eye for self-promotion,” but she really takes a hammer to the fellow feminist writer in the closing of her piece — wherein she calls Duca an unsophisticated #Resistance-era grifter.
“At 28, Duca is fairly young, and like many young people, still figuring it all out. But due to a viral essay and the ability it gave her to project a certain moral authority, she’s been able to position herself as wiser, more ethically coherent, and more professionally skilled than she is,” said Merlan. “It’s a nice bit of sleight of hand. It’s an opportunity many people would take. It’s also a disservice to her readers, her followers, and the NYU students taking her course, all of whom deserve more candor. But it is the perfect #Resistance grift for this moment.”