Helen Lewis
Helen Lewis
Staff writer, @theatlantic | contact me: hlewis@theatlantic.comSource
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King Charles’s Absurd, Awe-Inspiring Coronation

King Charles’s Absurd, Awe-Inspiring Coronation

Sometimes the scriptwriters of reality are a little too on the nose. The British throne, the centerpiece of today’s coronation of Charles III, not only houses a sacred artifact forcibly removed from its owners—the Stone of Destiny, taken from the Scots by Edward I in 1296—but is covered in schoolboy graffiti. According to one scrawl from 1800, someone named “P. Abbott” once slept in it. The Coronation Chair, as it’s officially known, also has damage from a 1914 bomb attack attributed to militant suffragettes. It’s almost too much, isn’t it? The British monarchy is at once a symbol of...

May 6
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The Identity Hoaxers

The Identity Hoaxers

T, when it came, did not hold back. “For the better part of my adult life, every move I’ve made, every relationship I’ve formed, has been rooted in the napalm toxic soil of lies,” read the . It was published in September under the name of Jessica A. Krug, a George Washington University professor specializing in Black history. Krug had, she said, variously assumed the identities of “North African Blackness, then US rooted Blackness, then Caribbean rooted Bronx Blackness.” She was actually a white Jewish woman from Kansas. “You absolutely should cancel me,” Krug wrote in her self-dramatizing...

March 16, 2021
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What Happened to Jordan Peterson?

What Happened to Jordan Peterson?

This article was published online on March 2, 2021.O, Jordan B. Peterson rose from the dead. The Canadian academic, then 57, had been placed in a nine-day coma by doctors in a Russian clinic, after becoming addicted to benzodiazepines, a class of drug that includes Xanax and Valium. The coma kept him unconscious as his body went through the terrible effects of withdrawal; he awoke strapped to the bed, having tried to rip out the catheters in his arms and leave the intensive-care unit.When the story of his detox became public, in February 2020, it provided an answer to a mystery: Whatever...

March 2, 2021
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When Discrimination Targets the Privileged

When Discrimination Targets the Privileged

Updated at 1:05 p.m. ETI gave birth to her first child, a daughter she named Jemima. Having her was “a bit of a struggle,” she told me, with some understatement. Carew Pole had been through miscarriages and IVF before Jemima arrived, tiny and blonde and—to her mother—utterly perfect.“We were absolutely delighted,” she said, over coffee and biscuits at her family’s home in Cornwall, southwest England, “but I was surprised by some people’s reactions. Even if it was tongue-in-cheek, people said, ‘What a shame’ … ‘You must try again,’ and ‘Don’t worry, it can go to your nephew.’”Ah, it....

November 14, 2020
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The Joke’s on Us

The Joke’s on Us

Updated at 4:00 a.m. ET on Oct. 4, 2020.R used to be fun? Whitney Phillips does. The digital anthropologist was recently looking through a huge set of images from the late 2000s that had been posted to Reddit. The first comment described the era as “a more simple time,” and sure enough, the pictures were weird, silly, and creative. Talking cows. Cats playing video games. A bear on a golf course. A guy Photoshopped to have mouths for eyes.Then she noticed something else. Something disturbing. The thread began, , “with a lighthearted meme about Hitler.” After that was “dehumanizing mockery of...

September 30, 2020
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The Mainstream Media Won’t Tell You This

The Mainstream Media Won’t Tell You This

Photo Illustration by Adam MaidaI the creation of a new culture-war meme in real time. Talking directly to the camera from a fishing trawler, Nigel Farage takes a concerned and somber tone. The pro-Brexit politician he has uncovered a huge scandal—migrant boats traveling from France to England, escorted into British waters by the French navy. He is worried for those on board: Once in Britain, they risk becoming “modern-day slave labor.” Gesturing offscreen, Farage adds: “You might as well have a big sign on the White Cliffs of Dover, over there, that says ‘Anyone that comes to Britain...

June 12, 2020
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Why I’ve Never Believed in ‘Believe Women’

Why I’ve Never Believed in ‘Believe Women’

Imagine that a friend tells you they have been sexually assaulted. What do you do? Your first reaction would, I hope, be sympathy. You would not pepper them with questions: what were they wearing, what were they drinking, what were they thinking? You’d believe them.Now imagine being a human-resources manager. In front of you is an employee making a claim of sexual harassment against a colleague. Your duty is to ensure the employee’s well-being—but also to decide whether to conduct a formal investigation. You might point them toward counseling resources, but also ask if there is evidence to...

May 14, 2020
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