Is a full quarter of 2017 already behind us? It’s hard to believe. Over the past couple of months, I’ve been on a bit of a writing tear, fueled both by my own inspiration as well as some exciting commissions by various editors. Here’s what I’ve been working on:
At Jacobin, where I am proud to be a contributing editor, I have two recent articles. The first is an affirmation of the pedagogical and civic virtues of lecturing, a mode of communication that draws lots of ire because…it’s old? Yes, there are many ways to screw up lecturing, but, I argue:
The type of labor demanded in the lecture hall — and the type of community it builds — still matters. Under an economic system that works to accelerate and divide us, institutions that carve out time and space to facilitate collectivity and reflection are needed more than ever.
Then, in the wake of Susan Fowler’s whistle-blowing about rampant sexism at Uber, I wrote another article in which I discuss how the conditions she endured are really shouldered by all of us:
She did what most of us probably would do in her situation: she endured. Fowler focused on aspects of the work she enjoyed despite her employer’s failure to respond appropriately to the reported misconduct. Even an accomplished worker with highly marketable skills like Fowler has little choice. Most people require a stable income to survive, and quitters forego the right to unemployment benefits.
Finally, at The New York Times, I offered similar thoughts about the allegedly toxic workplace culture at Thinx. While erratic managers and demeaning conditions are unfortunately common, these practices were scandalous at Thinx due to the company’s feminist, body-positive branding:
If Ms. Agrawal had paid her staff higher salaries, or had taken the more radically feminist step of making Thinx’s majority-female staff cooperative owners, she might have lost business to more ruthless competitors. Instead, she was able to pay her staff what she did because of a socially entrenched gender wage gap, a weak job market for young workers and her employees’ willingness to work long hours and sacrifice pay for a cause.
Thanks for reading…there a some more articles in the pipeline; I expect they’ll be coming out in the next weeks and months.