There are some rules of thumb to follow when being profiled.
- Unless the writer is a known sociopath, do the interview. You want at least some words in a piece about you to be your own.
- Don’t act like a self-obsessed freak. Don’t assume the writer should a) know much about you or b) be enthralled with you or c) follow you on social media.
- When the news surfaces that your New York University students mostly can’t stand you, try to be introspective, not antagonistic. The latter won’t end well.
- Don’t tell the writer what to write. It’s pointless, annoying and will make the writer write about you telling her what to write about you.
- Don’t be so full of yourself. This is a tough one for many in the “ME ME ME” era. It’ll come across as disgusting — as well it should.
So-called feminist Lauren Duca broke most of these suggestions in a BuzzFeed profile of her by Scaachi Koul that was published Tuesday.
And it shows.
Duca initially found it off-putting that Koul didn’t follow her on Twitter. She later explained that it was because she thought Koul didn’t follow her because she was “one of her haters.”
Some other weird parts of the interview involve Duca’s questionable ability to deal with difficult life events such as falling off a cliff or say, appearing on Fox News’s Tucker Carson Tonight. Is she OK? The story explains that during the interview with Tucker Carlson, he said, “You should stick to the thigh-high boots, you’re better at that.” The crude reference was from Teen Vogue, where Duca wrote a column called “Thigh-High Politics.” In return, Duca called him “a sexist pig.” She mouthed it at him at the close of the segment.
Duca really enjoys seeing white men “face consequences.” For instance, when Anthony Weiner went to prison for sexting with a 15-year-old girl, she was delighted. (RELATED: Lauren Duca Is Happy To See White People Get Punished)
The fallout from the Carlson interview left her immobile. The story doesn’t clarify the time frame, but Duca has said she received multiple rape and death threats. After appearing on Carlson’s show, Duca received backlash. But the hatred coming her way easily also involved the piece she wrote for Teen Vogue called “Donald Trump Is Gaslighting America.” The story went viral. Two weeks later, she appeared on the Fox News primetime show.
“It was super bad after Tucker,” she told Scaachi. “I got really sick. I had a panic attack and could not move for a couple of days,” Duca said. “That was one of the most pivotal moments of my life because I was like, what am I doing? What is all of this for? What am I enduring?”
It’s not as if guests don’t know Carlson’s interview style before appearing on his program (here’s looking at you Washington Post‘s Erik Wemple, who is now featured on a spectacular deer in headlights coffee mug handed out by the show).
Over the summer, Duca taught “The Feminist Journalist” at NYU. The experience didn’t go well. Students recently filed a complaint against her to the journalism department. Complaints ranged from “targeting” a student who couldn’t speak English well, too much self-promoting, disclosing too many personal details about herself, and meditating like a monk during class. (RELATED: Lauren Duca’s NYU Journalism Syllabus Is Really Bad)
One student, according to the profile, called Duca’s class a “masterclass in Lauren Duca’s personal life.”
Duca maintains she meditated for 15 minutes, not 45, as she was accused. She had arguments for the other accusations. Yeah, she likes to overshare. “Apparently you fucking hate it,” she tells the writer.
Her go-to argument when confronted with past behavior — tweets against fat people, strange complaints of her allegedly sending ugly emails to coworkers while working at HuffPost — almost always elicits one point: You wouldn’t say this to a man, would you? There’s also the matter of jealousy. In Duca World, people who complain about her are just jealous, which may be the dumbest of all her Duca-isms.
“I think jealousy doesn’t always look like what you think it looks like, and I think it’s funny that it’s directed at me in a way it’s not directed at my male counterparts. I wonder if they find it as excruciatingly obvious as I do,” she told Scaachi.
Here’s where things really fall apart with the BuzzFeed writer.
Scaachi rightfully questions her about the students’ complaint to NYU. Duca really, really, really, really wonders if the writer would question a man in this way.
“As I continued asking Duca for comment about the specifics of the complaint, she became more and more agitated. ‘You should put in there that my tone was expressly pissed off and frustrated,’ Duca told me. “You’re being so fucking hard on me, Scaachi, and I really, really, really, really would ask you if you would be grilling a man in this same way. It’s amazing. The shit that I have endured to continue to sustain a voice where I’m just fighting every inch for the same thing that I think that you want, which is public power and equality, and I’m trying my goddamn best, okay?'”
She’s trying her goddamn best.
Sounds like it. Doesn’t it?
Duca begins questioning Scaachi’s motives.
“Congratulations, you thrillingly, thrillingly adept journalist, you have discovered that Lauren Duca is not perfect,” she eventually told the writer. “Put it in the headline, baby.”
Not only does Duca cast doubt her profiler’s brain capacity, she uses the one phrase that is lamest when a person is confronted with criticism. In cringey third person, Duca says Duca is “not perfect.”
Which at this point should be obvious.