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Ari M. Brostoff

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August 4, 2023

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Lisa Borst, Ari M. Brostoff, Cecilia Corrigan, Jon Dieringer, A. S. Hamrah, Arielle Isack, Mark Krotov, Jasmine Sanders, Christine Smallwood

Who Was Barbie?

A symposium

My mind was racing with questions like, Why is there a transfemme Barbie but no transmasc Ken? Did I just pay $17.50 to witness the spectacle of capital subsuming dissent? Have the filmmakers deliberately cast “Weird Barbie” with an actress who dated Bari Weiss and played “Hallelujah” on the piano while dressed as Hillary Clinton after the 2016 election in order to politically center “weirdness”? Why is there no mention of doll materials designer Jack Ryan and his past employment engineering missiles for Raytheon?

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April 18, 2016

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Ari M. Brostoff

Where the Boys Are

When we look at Bernie Sanders, what do we see?

I Still Love Hillary Clinton. I Still Don’t Want to Vote for Her. My own profile in political emotion, all but impossible in the eyes of the Clinton campaign, is not a march toward reason but a deepening of continued convolution. It’s not just that, having enthusiastically cast my first ballot for Bill Clinton in my second-grade class mock election in 1992, I have a lifelong affinity bordering on Camelot-style adoration for both Clintons. It’s also that, having hit puberty at exactly the right time to learn everything I know about sex from news coverage of the Starr report, their collective role in my constitution as a sexual subject is second perhaps only to that other pair of baby boomers who gave birth to me. Hillary’s incredible pathos, her depths of ambition, the abuse she has borne, her inability to keep her feelings off her face—all the supposedly unlikeable personal qualities that Hillary-lovers love about Hillary, I love too. I challenge you to watch her Oscar lifetime achievement award-ish montage from the 2008 Democratic National Convention—the one where she talks about writing to NASA to find out how a girl can become a lady astronaut—and not cry. I could look at her all day, would love to crack open a campaign-trail Bud together (she is supposedly very funny in person), if I were in therapy right now I’m sure it would not take long to concur that I still want her to fuck me. Yet for all the reasons of policy and ideology that leftists who don’t want to vote for Hillary don’t want to vote for Hillary, I don’t want to vote for her either. I will grant that in its details, this profile may be idiosyncratic. But in its general contours, I don’t think what I am saying is unrepresentative so much as, within our current discourse, simply unrepresentable.

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