The Return of the Pig: The revival of blatant sexism in American culture has many progressive thinkers flummoxed
“Considering that for at least a generation polite opinion has been unanimous in the view that women should not be objectified, this chauvinist revival is astonishing. What caused it?”

“In the 1970s and 1980s men’s magazines were notably defensive in the face of the feminist critique. In the newest men’s magazines feminism simply doesn’t exist.”

“Participants in these bits of public theater are somehow simultaneously engaged in both play and not-play. Readers of Maxim may put invisible quotation marks around their leering at women, but they are still leering at women. In fact, the quotation marks constitute an easy escape hatch in the event that anyone ever challenges these men.”

“The most interesting thing about the surge of retro-sexism is how unprepared feminists and other enlightened thinkers are to deal with it. The ironic tone of the material defeats them.”

“It is the least privileged parts of society that are often the most sexist, reactionary, and even materialistic. We have a dynamic urban culture that treats women like whores and that regards owning a Mercedes as the highest possible human aspiration, and the leading articulators of progressive opinion have almost nothing to say about it.”

“All of this raises a set of hard-to-answer questions. How do you react when people further down the social pecking order—whether they are disenfranchised whites or underclass urban minorities—are creating a culture you find degrading? How do you criticize that culture without seeming square, elitist, or even racist?”