He's the poster boy for frat-house misogyny. But is the "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell" author worth protesting?
Tucker Max is an easy source of outrage. He writes beer-soaked bad-boy stories about treating women like crap and treating crap like a plot point. In one of his most notorious pieces, he convinces a girl to have anal sex and tapes it without her consent. (Spoiler alert: There will be poop.) He spouts bon mots like “all women are whores.” His name is shorthand for frat-house misogyny. But is he really worth a protest?
A recent New York Times profile of Max finds him promoting the upcoming, sure-to-be-controversial film version of his bestseller, “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell,” and contemplating recent protests of his work by campus feminist groups. There have been two in the last year; the first in May, at Ohio State University, and the second in August, at North Carolina State University. At both, demonstrators alleged that Max promoted rape culture.
“It’s like they’re accusing me of a crime, but not really,” Max muses. He goes on to allege that the protesters are the real sexists. Then, he proves his sensitivity by telling female fans, “I’m trying to get you drunk so you can’t consent to sex.”
Meanwhile, he’s threatened to sue anyone who “calls him a rapist” and said that protesting him demeans actual rape victims (“What the fuck does promoting a ‘Rape Culture’ even mean? Is that like if I talk up Boy George’s prison band?”). Yes, the thought that some men admire him is depressing. But the protests may benefit him more than anything else.
Max is a showman. Being hated is a part of his act. He’s a self-described asshole who succeeds by getting people to agree with him. His fans think he’s saying what they can’t; his critics think he’s saying what no one should. But if you’re offended, you’ve noticed him. And for his fans, knowing that he’s picketed by feminists — feminists! Dreaded nemeses of parties and good time! – isn’t cause for concern, but a ringing endorsement.
Giving Max his very own protest makes him seem far important than he actually is. It gives him the enemies he needs. And although Max is getting testier about the protesters, his most telling statement is in his blog post about the OSU incident.
“This was one of the coolest things that has ever happened to me,” he wrote. “This is the type of shit that only happens to famous people.”