Staff Rants: West Elm Caleb

Our staff’s takes on TikTok’s latest villain.

WSN Staff

On fallacious axioms

Manasa Gudavalli — Multimedia Editor

They say all publicity is good publicity… [un]fortunately, this was not the case for West Elm or for West Elm Caleb :{

On missing an easy jump shot

Srishti Bungle — Deputy Opinion Editor

I don’t know much of the details, but what I do know is that it takes a special kind of idiot to screw up dating in New York City as a single, straight, white man.

On infamy

Michelle Han — Opinion Editor

I honestly can’t tell whether to cheer or roll my eyes that he managed to become notorious in the already most notorious city for dating.

On the moral of the story 

Alexandra Cohen — Staff Writer

All we’re doing is inflating West Elm Caleb’s ego. This man is getting exactly what he knowingly or unknowingly wanted: The attention of New York City’s twenty-something women. He has also proved that social media algorithms only unify women when the drama can grow the influence and capital of the app. Rather than wasting our time doxxing a problematic West Elm employee, the women of TikTok and of New York should use West Elm Caleb’s 15 minutes of fame to recognize that we can use the increased connectivity that TikTok provides to fight against the very patriarchy that West Elm Caleb is furthering.

On Biden’s America

Kevin Kurian — Opinion Editor

I think it’s weird how the brands jumped all over this. See: Hellmann’s tweeting “West Elm Caleb thinks mayo is spicy.” President Biden needs to take action now to prevent brands from posting cringe. 

On living in a society

Alex Tey — Editor-in-Chief

I’m gatekeeping the term “ghosting” until you’ve all shown that you know how to properly use it. Same with “lovebombing.” And, yes, same with “gaslighting.” A guy being kinda shitty is not the same as abuse.

Apparently, though, we’ve collectively decided that it’s Doing Feminism to destroy someone’s life if we use the fancy psychology words we learned from social media to vilify them for some vaguely bad behavior.

Blame it on TikTok, neoliberal feminism, the #MeToo movement going wrong somewhere along the way, whatever. But there is nothing constructive being accomplished here. We’re just building a culture of self-righteous surveillance, a sort of feminist panopticon where it doesn’t matter how deserving the victim is, only how well you can mobilize hate against them.

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