I once looked at Quillette. I immediately broke out in hives and started retching. It was obvious from the get-go that this was a haven alt-right hacks, racists, genetic determinists, and apologists for the status quo, so I stopped reading it and haven’t gone back since.
Now Slate has published a review of sorts of the site. I don’t read Slate all that much either, but at least it isn’t all aggrieved white people complaining about the Left. It’s not a great review — the author seems more concerned about comparing Quillette to Slate than actually discussing the flaws in Quillette — but it does make a few good points.
In November, Politico Magazine published what was billed as “the first serious profile” of Quillette.com, and of the website’s founder, Claire Lehmann. The crowdfunded online journal, which Lehmann launched from her home in Sydney in 2015, has gained a major following among aggrieved rationalists, oppressed contrarians, and sundry other stifled surfers of the Intellectual Dark Web. As of this year, 1 million unique visitors are said to visit the site each month, and its output of politically incorrect, freethinker-y essays on identity politics, campus protests, and evolutionary psychology has been cheered by IDW celebrities such as Jordan Peterson, Steven Pinker, and Sam Harris.
You can just stop there. That’s enough. Now you know why I don’t read it — it’s more conservative garbage and unscientific bullshit. But I thought this next paragraph was amusing.
Lehmann describes her online magazine as “a space for unusual viewpoints” that is free of “puritanical partisan hysteria” and protects “the freedom of expression and conscience that allows imagination and fearless creativity to thrive.” Here’s another slogan for the site, which Lehmann shares with pride: Back in 2016, before Quillette attained its present notoriety, the A-list atheist Jerry Coyne instructed his readers to “think of it as Slate, but more serious, more intellectual, and without any Regressive Leftism.”
Apparently, freedom from “partisan hysteria” means that you call the Left “regressive” and don’t allow their views to be expressed. Allrighty then. No irony here, no sir.
Also, “A-list atheist” has long since stopped being a term of praise. I think I might have been a B-list atheist once upon a time, I’m still trying to live it down.