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The Case Of The Trotskyite Trollop

This is a real letter to the advice columnist of The Nation: [1]

Dear Liza,

I’m a 32-year-old woman who would like to have kids and a life partner in the not-so-distant future. And lucky me! I’ve recently started dating an excellent candidate. But I can’t even pretend to think it’s possible (or desirable) to have sex with just one person for the rest of my life or even, frankly, for a few years.

Monogamy feels antithetical to the type of feminism and anticapitalism I subscribe to. I am repulsed by the idea of being a man’s property. Also, monogamy—like capitalism—requires us to believe in a false scarcity: that we have to struggle for every little bit and that everything we gain comes at someone else’s expense. The kind of liberatory future I’d like to see is one of abundance and generosity and sharing. One of the few places we can experiment with that now is in our love lives.

But ALL the decent men I’ve dated are really opposed to open relationships, while the men I’ve slept with who say they fancy the idea don’t ever stick around long enough for the “relationship” part of an open relationship.

This leaves me feeling like once I find a partner, the options are: 1) cheating (crummy and unethical, also a big anxiety-inducing headache); 2) waiting for the mythical “one” who will magically make me never attracted to anyone else (I’m fairly certain this is a hoax); or 3) retire from my glorious days as a loud, proud slut and gradually wither away inside as I suffocate one of the parts of my life, personality, and politics I cherish most. Please tell me there is another option out there.

—A Marxist-Feminist Slut

Read the whole thing for the agony aunt’s answer.  [1]


My answer: “Repent — and read Houellebecq!”

But my real answer is: Oh, the cultural Left, the gift that keeps on giving. 

I do like this thread too.  [2]


74 Comments (Open | Close)

74 Comments To "The Case Of The Trotskyite Trollop"

#1 Comment By Hound of Ulster On September 22, 2017 @ 8:48 pm

In short, self-absorbed not-very-revolutionary idiot wonders why people won’t date self-absorbed not-very-revolutionary idiot.

Almost a mirror image of the PUA/MRA crowd…

#2 Comment By Corwin On September 22, 2017 @ 9:05 pm

This article is tongue in cheek. Look at her other articles [3], and, while not as out there as this one, have a similar tone. Until a few months ago, they started the title of the article with “Asking for a Friend”.

Some of the earlier articles are:

Asking for a Friend: I’m Very Privileged—Can I Still Apply for Fellowships Meant to Help People of Color?

Asking For A Friend: How Do I Express My New Gender Presentation Without Buying Into Consumerism?

and Asking for a Friend: I Have a Fancy Law Degree, but No One Will Hire Me to Do Good!

Either she is writing the full article herself, or others are coming up with truly absurd premises and she’s responding in kind.

#3 Comment By TR On September 22, 2017 @ 9:10 pm

She’s promiscuous. Some women are. More men are. Nothing new in that. What’s different is the need to explain the condition in political/sociological/psychological terms.

Calling her names, however, is as old as the hills and doesn’t reflect well on the commenters who do. I wonder how they know “skanks” so well.

[NFR: Dude, she calls HERSELF a “slut”. — RD]

#4 Comment By Joan from Michigan On September 22, 2017 @ 10:00 pm

I clicked through and read the whole thing and now the ad in this magazine is trying to persuade me to subscribe to The Nation.

[NFR: Ha! — RD]

#5 Comment By Bob Sberry On September 22, 2017 @ 11:30 pm

I actually agree with her assessment of herself. She states that she doesn’t want to cheat, which is correct, thinks its unrealistic that 1 person will eliminate all future attraction, which is true, and she says that she fears sacrificing and limiting her sexiness, which is a true part of marriage. But what she doesn’t seem to get is that yes, people have to make sacrifices. And the fact that she cherishes her sexuality so much is actually a sign that she needs to let it go, if she is, as she says, serious about having children. Which I doubt. She just wants to check more things off the “experiences” list. And I think this is what should bother us conservatives most: that people are treating childrearing as a consumer experience.

#6 Comment By mZ On September 23, 2017 @ 12:55 am

I agree with Corwin. I suspect the letter to be facetious in its intent.

I guess people write like this for shock value, i.e., as a form of entertainment. Furthermore, I suspect this insincerity (as I suspect it is) and other forms like it is proliferating throughout the media- including “liberal” and “conservative” publications. Thus, I’m finding it more challenging to discern what is credible and what is not.

#7 Comment By John_M On September 23, 2017 @ 1:18 am

If she is what she claims, she appears rather a novelty seeking casual extrovert. Lots of relatively interchangeable ‘friendships’. Children need and want a stable environment and are VERY jealous of attention. She wants a ‘quality’ man to have a family with. She is going to want a lot of intensive child support with her children from him, something she can only reasonably ask if they are his children too. And speaking of a parent of a number of children, they are going to take a LOT of time and energy. Playing around like she seems to think is important, can not be the primary focus of a mother focused upon her children.

#8 Comment By Walter Sobchak On September 23, 2017 @ 3:07 am

50/50 The letter is trolling, or the writer is in the grip of real deep mental problems.

#9 Comment By B On September 23, 2017 @ 4:06 am

Kate is that you? Call me ok? I am ready for that open relationship we talked about. You can bring as many friends as you want and date around to your hearts content when I am not in town. Hope you don’t mind that I got married since we last dated. -Dave

#10 Comment By Giuseppe Scalas On September 23, 2017 @ 5:26 am

When I use a word, it means exactly what I need it to alliterate with.

Marxist Minx?
(with two x’s as a boon 🙂 )

#11 Comment By MH – Secular Misanthropist On September 23, 2017 @ 7:21 am

I’m suspicious about the authenticity of the letters sent to these advice columns. I understand the law of large numbers, and they’re certainly possibly. But when I read the reply it always seems like that was written first, and the letter second.

#12 Comment By John Blade Wiederspan On September 23, 2017 @ 7:27 am

It’s a JOKE!! It is poking fun at an absurd mind-set. Read her work in The Nation. You will enjoy the satire.

#13 Comment By kgasmart On September 23, 2017 @ 8:57 am

But what she doesn’t seem to get is that yes, people have to make sacrifices.

This is a defining feature of modernity, isn’t it? No one wants to sacrifice their “happiness.” And yet, assuming this letter is real – it makes the writer “happy” to be sexually free, yet her entire missive is about how unhappy she is.

#14 Comment By kgasmart On September 23, 2017 @ 9:06 am

Like having a telephone, or having an internet connection, its almost a necessity today. Ergo, it needs to be made universally available.

And this is paid for how, exactly?

If it’s free and “the government” foots the bill – i.e. taxpayers – how’s that supposed to work, exactly?

Lefty answer: Well look how much we spend on the military, and if only…

Yeah, “if only” doesn’t fly. We do spend way too much on the military. And how, exactly, do you suppose we’re going to pry those dollars from the Pentagon’s hands?

Moreover, isn’t is possible that even if we were able to find the money to make college free or greatly reduce the price, perhaps with major new taxes (on constituencies that, don’t kid yourself, will push back unbelievably hard against any such proposals), might this not lead to even greater inflation in the cost of a college education?

It would rapidly become a new entitlement, and we can’t afford the entitlements we already have. Yes yes, if only we spent less on our military, I know.

#15 Comment By connecticut farmer On September 23, 2017 @ 10:52 am

This woman is a walking, talking cliche’.

#16 Comment By Peter H On September 23, 2017 @ 2:31 pm

I think the left/right lens is inadequate when discussing marriage and relationships. Instead, I think the divide is between a consumerist view of marriage and a citizenship view of marriage.

As for the argument that capitalism somehow promotes the monogamy model, I would counter that capitalism promotes the model of serial monogamy. Our culture teaches us that we are consumers or all things, and when a marriage partner ceases to satisfy our preferences, we are supposed to pack out bags and find a newer, more satisfying partner.

#17 Comment By Freddi Brown-Carter On September 23, 2017 @ 3:14 pm

As a feminist and a leftist I am confused…I thought I was the one without a sense of humor.

#18 Comment By Sam On September 23, 2017 @ 3:44 pm

I find myself in agreement with the commenters who say that it’s a troll article- the phrase “starting an Engels reading group will bring the boys to the yard” is a dead giveaway.

Also, who reads Engels over Marx?

#19 Comment By theMann On September 23, 2017 @ 7:01 pm

BTW “The Case of the Trotskyite Trollop” would be a terrific Perry Mason episode.

#20 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On September 23, 2017 @ 10:57 pm

Also, who reads Engels over Marx?

Who reads either one at all?

Its time to recognize that the working class would still be the working class if Marx and Engels had never existed, and their tentative analyses are not necessarily the way forward to the cooperative commonwealth.

And this is paid for how, exactly?

If it’s free and “the government” foots the bill – i.e. taxpayers – how’s that supposed to work, exactly?

Fair question. I’ve declared myself to be a TANSTAAFL socialist more than once — albeit Robert Heinlein would have insisted that is an oxymoronic concept.

Let’s briefly go back to primitive hunter and gathering communities. There were people who excelled at hunting, and one of their responsibilities, if they wanted to advance in rank and position, if they wanted glory and the respect of their tribe, was to generously share out large portions of the kill with the elderly, the widowed, the orphans, the families that just hadn’t done quite as well.

That worked well on a small communal level. In a large, complex, capitalist, economy, things are quite different. There are real prices paid when families have no phones, children literally have no access to basic medical care, hospital emergency rooms are crowded with people who want an earache examined. It is true that everything needs to be paid for. But its not all that hard.

Every electric bill I pay has a small surcharge for a fund that provides subsidies to those who cannot pay their full bill. Its almost painless, and quite small. It could be graduated in some way or another.

I have no problem funding a good deal of this with a graduated income tax. True, its more relaxed if the mighty warrior hands out choice cuts of meat voluntarily to the grateful applause of his fellow tribesmen. But the mighty warrior had no way to “invest” the excess meat. It would be distributed, or it would rot. In the modern economy, surplus can be invested in buying out competitors — which does nothing for employment or production — or in bond funds, or savings accounts or speculation in old stock shares which also does nothing for new production or employment. So a modest amount of coercion is very much in order.

One of the understated benefits of the Affordable Care Act is that the volume and cost of uncompensated care is way down. This should mean that the prices charged by care providers should be sharply reduced, and therefore insurance premiums should be going down rapidly. But, instead, these “non-profit” behemoths are reporting “record profits” and spending it to buy each other out and build new facilities to compete with each other for a finite patient pool.

I’ve already stated why I and skeptical about “free college for all.” I’m not sure its a valid priority. I think the money it would cost might be put to better uses, which would do MORE to assure equality, opportunity, prosperity, and productive work skills. But as Ross Perot pointed out, you can send a young man to Harvard for less than it costs to incarcerate him. People who have worked with convicted drug dealers in prison report that many have excellent business sense, and with access to capital might have done very well in some more legitimate field.

We SHOULD always look at how, exactly, X will be paid for, and, are the benefits real, and worth the cost. I’ve been raising hackles among infatuated liberals questioning the slogan “Medicare for All.” Medicare is funding by a tax people pay all their working lives before they ever draw any benefit. How IS “Medicare for All” going to be paid for? I do want to see some cold hard numbers. Also, Medicare has some problems, and we should look at how to do much better than Medicare. I do favor single payer — but only in a framework for multiple providers competing with each other to earn the single payer dollars. I also want primary care physicians in a network of small offices in the neighborhoods — which given the proclivities of the dominant hospital chains, might require some, er, coercion.

#21 Comment By Jones On September 24, 2017 @ 1:35 am

Lol @ the people who think this is satire or anything but earnest. One of the other headlines that you cited as proof of it being satirical? I have personal knowledge of someone being judged based on the moral viewpoint expressed in one of those headlines. And it was not the person himself being morally neurotic and worrying too much; this judgment was expressed by someone else, an authority figure, to him.

And the content of this piece is totally legit. I personally have interacted with someone who expressed essentially the same views about sex and capitalism expressed there — in a context that made it clear she was deadly serious. (Ahem, at some point I was accused of being complicit in neoliberal capitalism.)

In a way it is depressing that people think this is satire. Because it shows just how profoundly far apart we now live from one another. In a way I wish I lived in a world where people could honestly not believe this was real. Ohh, if only that were true.

#22 Comment By kgasmart On September 24, 2017 @ 9:42 am

I have no problem funding a good deal of this with a graduated income tax.

But that’s you. Have we asked the country?

My working theory here is that everyone except liberals, and even many of them, are fed up with taxes. In my neck of the woods voters just shot down a projected 1 percent sales tax that would have sunsetted after 10 years; this despite the fact that the county is facing a $250 million infrastructrure backlog. The primary reason many voted against it? They don’t trust the people running the local government to spend it wisely. They want to see them “cut waste” first.

Now consider asking that question of the country as a whole – Would you agree to pay more in taxes to make college free for all?

The first question would be – who would bear this burden. And you yourself said it – a “graduated” tax, i.e. higher rates on people of means.

Who, frankly, can afford their own college education and will fight back against this proposal both overtly and fiercely and under-the-radar and subtly.

Those who oppose higher taxes in general will also resist – particularly after they’re called troglodytes/”despicables” by those in favor.

And of course the specifics of the proposal will be dicey, ultra-complex and it won’t be at all clear to the CBO that the numbers will work the way supporters claim.

It will, of course, lead to inflation on college campuses – with all sorts of free money being thrown at the campus, what incentive is there to keep costs to a minimum? Heck, let’s hire yet another “diversity officer” – the taxpayer’s picking up the tab!

Again, the mere idea that college can be free for all is the abundance mentality – the belief that whatever we want, it exists in abundance, and we merely have to figure out a way to tap into the raging river. For whatever consequences there may be – and by the way, we deny there’ll be any consequences – they’ll be inconsequential. Small. And then, when we find in reality the program doesn’t work as advertised, rather than saying “OK, this didn’t really work” and scrapping it, there will be calls to “fix the program,” a la Obamacare.

It’s a train wreck waiting to happen.

#23 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On September 24, 2017 @ 7:55 pm

The primary reason many voted against it? They don’t trust the people running the local government to spend it wisely.

True that. What I have observed works better is putting DEDICATED sales taxes on the ballot, e.g., one half percent to fund mass transit, expanding total transit revenue, while taking a substantial sum OFF the property tax, also putting some of the tax burden on people who come to enjoy the local amenities who don’t pay property taxes to subsidize them.

Liberals are indeed capable of doing stupid things that alienate a majority of the citizenry. But when have I said that liberals are the leadership we need? Socialism and liberalism are enemies — anyone who doesn’t understand that is a right-wing social-democrat.

Again, the mere idea that college can be free for all is the abundance mentality – the belief that whatever we want, it exists in abundance, and we merely have to figure out a way to tap into the raging river.

Abundance mentality is indeed something to beware of. E.g., a society with less abundance would HAVE to make more use of the death penalty, simply because it couldn’t afford to release sufficient numbers from food production to work as prison guards. But, as we know, injustices in administration would have been (and were) rampant.

The Affordable Care Act is indeed a step forward, and worth fixing. It could have been fixed a good deal by now, if not for the GOP’s rapid “repeal” chorus. As they learned when they finally had a practical chance to repeal, the voters aren’t at all supportive.

My favorite fixes:

Employer mandate should apply to any employer hiring workers for a total of 40x52x50 hours a year, not 50 full time employees. That will remove the incentive to hire more workers and keep their hours below 30.

Any employed person receiving tax credits, their employer(s) should be taxed an amount equal to the number of hours worked per year, divided by 40×52, multiplied by the total tax credit. (Note that paying employees more money reduces employer liability to pay such a tax).

Massive increase in use of health savings accounts, with higher deductibles. I’d also like the option to pay my own doctor bills, while being fully covered for hospitalization. (Cf. Franklin Evans on the overlooked distinction between health insurance, and pre-paid health care.)

#24 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On September 26, 2017 @ 7:50 pm

I’m puzzled why some people feel need for an ideology to justify romping like rabbits.

Almost as good a question: why do some people feel the need for an ideology to justify their sexual jealousy?

(And yes that’s a crack at marital monogamy).