It's easy to forget there was a time when Naomi Wolf was one of the country's most fascinating and celebrated feminist writers. Back in 1990, Wolf wrote The Beauty Myth, which argued that women were being forced to adhere to a rising standard of physical beauty that directly correlated to their increasing social and cultural preeminence. It was a controversial book and one that secured Wolf's name among some of the most prominent feminist thinkers of the time. But that was a long time ago. That was before she completely lost her mind.
The Naomi Wolf of today is someone who says with a straight face that the rape case against Julian Assange was nothing more than two angry women fighting over him; who describes the female vagina as a comically new-agey “gateway to, and medium of, female self-knowledge and consciousness"; and who claims that America is a fascist rogue state akin to Nazi Germany. She's basically Alex Jones without the extra Y chromosome and with a lot more flowery language.
Now comes Wolf's latest step toward absolute self-marginalization. Vox captured a series of posts from her Facebook page which show her wondering aloud whether the videos of ISIS beheading Western journalists and aid workers are staged. She not only questions the authenticity of the clips, she draws a neat little picture of what it would actually take to fake them, including hiring actors to portray not only the victims -- James Foley, Steven Sotloff, David Haines and Alan Henning -- but their grieving families as well.
Here's what Wolf had to say:
The post above, as it was based on nothing more than paranoia and a healthy imagination, was eventually taken down by Wolf when she was contacted by New York Times foreign correspondent Rukmini Callimachi. She told her that the reason no one knew about the kidnappings was that they had been under a media blackout.
Wolf went on, however, to write another Facebook post standing by her statement that the ISIS videos require independent confirmation, which is reasonable enough until you consider that after reiterating that point she spends a lengthy run-on paragraph spinning a conspiratorial yarn about how ISIS is secretly funded by the Saudis, Israel and the U.S. Her "independently confirmed" source for this? Some guy she was talking to during an evening out with a group of Pakistani lawyers a few days ago.
By the way, on Saturday she also wrote at length on Facebook about how U.S. troops weren't being dispatched to Africa to help with the Ebola outbreak but instead -- all evil Weyland-Yutani company from Alien-like -- to bring back a sample of the virus to use in justifying the military takeover of the United States. So there's that.
Maybe it's unfair to pick on Naomi Wolf given that she's been cementing her reputation as a quack for quite a while now, but it really is sad to see someone who at one time had -- at the very least -- something interesting to say now self-relegated to saying absolutely nothing that isn't completely fucking crazy.
(h/t Talking Points Memo)