A 22-year-old man is failing his feminist studies class at UCLA, and, lucky for him, both his mother and Jezebel are here to help. Here we are, helping.
Three days ago, a Bel Air woman posted an ad to Craigslist, beseeching aid for her adult son, who cannot pass feminism due to thinking it’s lame.
A few ideas here:
This is a Setup for a Romantic Comedy
In which a nubile young feminist tutor is lured into lunching with a “sophisticated young man who enjoys elegant restaurants!” At first they can’t stand each other. She’s so humorless! He smells like mildewed sweat socks and breathes noisily through his mouth and conversates solely with her tits! But soon, over moist caprese salads, hearts begin to flutter.
This is a Setup for a Horror Film
A nubile young feminist tutor is lured into lunching with a “sophisticated young man who enjoys elegant restaurants!” and then everything goes horribly wrong.
This is a Setup for a Mom Who Wants Her Son to Meet a Smarter Kind of Lady
You’re going about it the wrong way.
This is a Setup For Los Angeles-based Jezebel Writer Kara Brown to Meet and Lecture This Young Man Within an Inch of His Life
Kara’s busy, and for that Nate should be grateful.
This is a Sign You Raised Your Son Wrong
If you think it’s “typical” for a 22-year-old man to be so bored and disengaged by his studies he’s at risk of failing out, if you think it’s normal to place an ad on his behalf asking someone to explain his studies to him, and if you think “typical” men are so bored by feminism they can’t scrape through an intro-level college course on it... maybe... you’re the problem?
This is a Secondhand Application to Intern at Jezebel
We’ll find something for Nate to do, I’m sure. C’mon over, Nate.
Breathe (slightly) easier, because it appears this ad is fake, the work of a guy calling himself Nader M. Kashani, whose real last name is Modgeddi, a 27-year-old L.A. resident (here’s an old Twitter profile of his, used to petition for a Black Lives Matter petition that may have also been intended as a joke of sorts). He emailed this morning to take responsibility for it:
We asked Nader what the intent was here, besides, you know, pissing people off, and will update when we hear back.
Further insights from Nader, who gets up early:
It was a joke that went bad. I didn’t think anyone would suddenly write an article about, of all things, a craigslist ad. It wasn’t until someone shared it on Facebook that it went viral. I would hate to think anyone would be so daft as “Nate” but then again, I did write that ad in a way that would tap into the “anger” of the people who follow your journalism.
If there is anything else I may answer, let me know. It’s 4:00 am here but it’s fine. Thank you.
Slate’s Ruth Graham notes that Mogeddi is named on a site called Male Violence, accusing him of a variety of nasty, misogynistic online harassment. He’s not enrolled at UCLA, obviously, and she finds the whole thing a bit more chilling than a stupid prank:
This casts the ad posted by “Nate’s” “mother” in a scarier light: A guy accused of serial harassment of women places an ad seeking an expert in feminism to meet with him in person. When we first spoke about his need for a tutor, “Nate” said his class focused on “modern feminism,” after the year 2000, “more of a younger, more intersectional feminism.” He would have preferred Gloria Steinem–era readings, he said, which more closely align with his own views. “I find the whole younger, more modern approach to feminism more problematic,” he said. When I asked him which writers were assigned in the class, the only person he named — and complained about — was Guardian columnist Jessica Valenti.
The Governess, engraving, 1855. Image via Getty