Author: Linda Charnes

Jeffrey Epstein and the Death Rattle of the Playboy Generation

I grew up during the height of “the Playboy generation”—the late 60s and 70s, when the “free love” counterculture movement was co-opted by the 1950s “Mad Men” society that still peddled jokes and cartoons about secretaries being chased around desks. When I was a teenager in the 70s, Playboy magazine was delivered monthly to our house for my father’s subscription. There were three daughters in our household, two of us teenagers. We absorbed, by watching our parents’ behavior, the default message that we lived in a both a man’s house and a man’s world, and that his pleasures and...

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ARE WE BEING CLASSY YET? LINDA CHARNES Point of historical consciousness: In the Renaissance, the idea of class was entirely ligamented into heritable large land estates, titles, and access to the royal ear. In other words, “class” (or prestige) was automatic and a part of the birth and death calendars of the landed gentry (cf my book, Hamlet’s Heirs). It was about land enclosures and not about persons or even money. Chaucer, French troubadours and Shakespeare started challenging that paradigm with the concept of “gentilesse,” which applied to conduct and courtesy (a word derived from a la mode behavior...

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No Substitute for Professional Boundaries

As an academic preparing for the start of the school year, I have only just caught up on the Nimrod Reitman v Avital Ronell story. Dr. Ronell’s position is that the playfully intimate queer language she used was about mentorly endearment, support, and self-expression. Dr. Reitman’s position is that he increasingly felt pressured to keep up with her discursive game, as she had power over his job prospects. I do not personally know Avital Ronell, and therefore cannot attest to the veracity of either position. All I can do is state my own, after nearly thirty years experience as...

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