Brooklyn-Based Author Obsessed With Hating Elizabeth Wurtzel

Last night I finally got around to Elizabeth Wurtzel’s personal essay in this week’s issue of New York. I saw on Monday, while driving a U-Haul with a friend from the East Coast to Chicago, that it ran online and people—at least on Twitter—were talking about it, mostly in a negative way. I haven’t read much of Wurtzel beyond her first memoir, Prozac Nation, and she fell off my radar, perhaps on purpose. So I read it a day later, which feels like weeks in Internet Time, out loud to my boyfriend, just a few feet from Wurtzel’s other books, Bitch and More, Now, Again, which sit on his bookshelf. Both of us liked it quite a bit.

I tweeted my reaction to the essay, mostly to joke about how "finally reading the Elizabeth Wurtzel piece" one day after it is published is inherently (and hilariously) ridiculous, and I received one response from someone I don’t know:

I didn’t respond because I don’t know what the hell that means. But then I looked at this guy’s Twitter and found that a great deal of his tweets are about Elizabeth Wurtzel. To wit:

And so on! The weirdest thing is that this dude (who, perhaps unsurprisingly, is a Brooklyn-based writer with a Kindle single readily available for purchase) takes his obsession with hating Elizabeth Wurtzel (and by the way, EVERYONE, don’t you sometimes get bored picking such low-hanging fruit? Isn’t there a less popular, very smart woman you can shit upon?) to a level that borders on laziness, as he just copies and pastes the same nonsensical digs on Wurtzel and directs them to anyone on Twitter who mentions her name. (And yes, there are over a dozen or so more tweets not embeded above.)

Isn’t it fun how Twitter allows us, perhaps even more so than well-written personal essays, to take a glimpse into the madness of other human beings?

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Kanye Ruminates About The Words “Bitch,” “N***a” On Twitter

Kanye West has spent his Sunday afternoon tweeting about acceptability of the words "bitch" and "n***a" — not surprisingly coming out on the side of artists who want the use of those words to be destigmatized in their art. I suppose he’s finally addressing, on some level, the controversy over his new song about Kim Kardashian, Perfect Bitch?

West, who appeared at last night’s Budweiser Made In America festival in Philly with Jay-Z, tweeted:

I usually never tweet questions but I struggle with this so here goes… Is the word BITCH acceptable? To be more specific, is it acceptable for a man to call a woman a bitch even if it’s endearing? Even typing it in question form it’s still feels harsh? Has hip hop conditioned us to accept this word? Do we love this word as much as we love the word NIGGA in an endearing way? correction, Here’s the age old question, would we refer to our mothers as bitches? Would’ we call our fathers niggers or better yet NIGGAS? If nigga is such a positive word, why do we feel so uncomfortable for white people to say it, even with a hall pass? Is it ok to use bitch as long as we put BAD in front of it? Like you a BAD BITCH Perhaps the words BITCH and NIGGA are now neither positive or negative. They are just potent and it depends on how the are used and by whom? #FREETHOUGHT … What is there was no profanity… What if we decided to legalise profanity in a sense? In France they play songs with cursing on the radio. I was recently questioned about the use of the word BITCH in my music and initially was offended by anyone questioning anything in my music. Stevie Wonder never had to use the word bitch to get his point across. I will admit that I sometimes go back an omit cursing from my records. I like to use profanity as a tool and not a crutch.

These tweets are a rare, real-time look into Kanye West’s artistic process and, at least to a feminist like me, a welcome sign that he’s thinking about his use of language that can be derogatory towards women in other contexts.

To be sure, West still has an extremely problematic relationship with women: he has famously "made over" Kim Kardashian’s clothes and restocked her closet; his ex-fiancé Alexis Pfeifer claims he was physically violent against her; his music video for Monster was filled with highly sexualized images of dead women. All that being said, though, I think it’s great that Kanye West is asking these questions about profligate use of "bitch" and the N-word regarding his own music — and posing those questions to his 8.4 million followers as well. Ultimately he brings up a good point that the more profanity is stigmatized, the more potent it has the ability to become.