Neo-liberal Gender Logics

Well, it can’t be culottes all the time.

During a recent episode of Start Up in which Tim Ferriss (evil author of the 4 hour work week) advertised his podcast, and a tech billionaire deconstructed what makes men like the founder of Uber successful, I felt a strange empathetic despair for young men. I for once did not want to drink their tears for breakfast.

How heavy the burden of EXCELLENCE must be. Not okay, pretty good, but Market-disrupting-Life-hacking-Paradigm-shifting EXCELLENCE. In some ways Casey Neistat embodies the “slacker” version of this ideal.

Which is even worse, because not only is he Ted-talking his way around the world, he’s also totally chill about it.

What is particularly pernicious about this ideal is that modern male excellence is not even a work-hard ethic. It doesn’t have that mid-century inclusive vibe where all the men get to buy a Chevy and thus they all can be successful. No, you have to be a genius. And there can only be so many geniuses or else they wouldn’t be geniuses, duh.

In solidarity,


3 thoughts on “Neo-liberal Gender Logics

  1. AAAAAHHHH! I listened to that episode this morning and wanted to throw my phone against the wall. Because: that “weirdness”/genius/excellence paradigm is still really only available to middle/upper class white guys. In other words, dudes who probably don’t have a family, and feel no pressure whatsoever to start a family because they will have more than enough social and economic capital to woo a fertile younger lady by the time their startup becomes successful. If you do have a family like Alex Blumberg, you will often have a very supportive partner or other family member (or money to hire a caregiver) to take care of your kids while you’re off being a genius because that’s the way society still works. Further, say you’re not a white dude, and you don’t care about ever having a family or any kind of a social life. All of your role models are genius middle/upper-class white dudes who know how to behave or at least are welcomed into this really insular genius white business guy culture. How do you even begin to fit in? Who’s going to invest in your company? Because what that investor Chris Sacca on the podcast labels as “weird” (being willing to drop everything in your life and work single-mindedly towards your brilliant idea) would probably be labeled crazy (not the good kind) or unstable if it were anyone but a certain kind of white guy. I’m still drinking their tears for breakfast. The rich dude startup ones taste the best.

  2. I don’t see why you are obsessed with that guy C.N .. I think he is a self-serving boring a..hole. Get over him and all the tech start up upper middle class white dudes, don’t even pour coffee in their mugs. mother of D

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