Naomi Wolf was once one of the guiding lights of third wave feminism. She was a close advisor to the Clinton administration. She’s written about the rise of fascism, warning that the U.S. could be next in 2008’s The End of America. But in recent years she’s gone over to the dark side. During the pandemic she pivoted into a peddler of conspiracy theories and misinformation; recently she’s been floating bizarre nonsense about vaccines. So on Friday night, when people noticed she’d joined Donald Trump by having her Twitter account suddenly and finally suspended, there was much rejoicing.
oh look we’ve been vaccinated against the unhinged ratings of naomi wolf pic.twitter.com/d1JibWXMz5
— shauna (@goldengateblond) June 5, 2021
The news arrived soon before a big piece about her was published by Insider, detailing how she went from a respected author of numerous best sellers to a fringe wacko. The turning point, it argues, was her 2019 book Outrages: Sex, Censorship & The Criminalization of Love, which was based on her 2015 doctoral thesis concerning the purported link between social repression of homosexuality and the censorship of books. The scholarship, experts said, was so deeply flawed that the book was pulped by its publisher. Insider claims that at some universities, “the book has become a case study in how not to do historical research.”
The next year she was doing public appearances with Tucker Carlson and Steve Bannon. She was against pandemic lockdowns and masks and vaccines, and would regularly parrot surreal claims about them. One commentator summed up her intellectual flip-flop like so:
“I find her transition horrifying,” says [Rosie] Boycott, a founding editor of ground-breaking feminist magazine Spare Rib and former editor of British Esquire and several national newspapers. “The moment she lost her grip on the intelligentsia because of a lazy error she had to find a new world to fit into where facts don’t matter and that’s the world she has gone to. Of course, she would become a superstar within it.”
It hasn’t been revealed what, exactly, caused Twitter to finally shut down her account. But people had ideas. Some thought it was just them finally getting sick of her spreading lies.
Anti-vaxxer Naomi Wolf has been suspended from Twitter after spending the afternoon fear-mongering about mRNA vaccines getting into the sewage system. pic.twitter.com/20NeNg8q1G
— Caroline Orr Bueno, Ph.D (@RVAwonk) June 5, 2021
Dr. Naomi Wolf has been suspended by Twitter for multiple violations of the platform’s rules.
The anti-vaxxer has spread misinformation about COVID and vaccines on multiple occasions. pic.twitter.com/mS72T8ZWgO
— Travis Akers (@travisakers) June 5, 2021
Or maybe she was just banned for being “stupid.”
congratulations to naomi wolf who is i think the first person to be banned from here for being too stupid
— Law Boy, Esq. (@The_Law_Boy) June 5, 2021
Amazing Naomi Wolf is the first recorded person to be banned from Twitter for being too stupid after giving us such gems as “the vaccines let you time travel”, crying that a teddy bear might get a jab, and worrying there might be vaccinated people’s urine in the sewage she drinks pic.twitter.com/paOybVDlBt
— Rishi Sunak’s No 1 Fan (@DawnHFoster) June 5, 2021
Some jokingly poured one out for her loss.
RIP Naomi Wolf's account. Perhaps without the twitter hostility she will finally know the peace of [rubs eyes in the manner of Elmer Fudd realising the sexy lady he's been talking to is a big bomb in a dress] 1970S BELFAST- pic.twitter.com/OKVodpseBR
— James Felton (@JimMFelton) June 5, 2021
Sad that we lost Naomi Wolf before she even got into crypto 😞
— pixelatedboat aka “mr tweets” (@pixelatedboat) June 5, 2021
Others were absolutely not sad she was gone.
Naomi Wolf of The American Institute for Economic Research, the Koch-funded conservative think tank that sponsored the dystopian, unethical Great Barrington Declaration, has finally been suspended.
I am pleased.
Dr Wolf peddles horrific, dangerous anti-vaxx nonsense.
— Prof. Gavin Yamey MD MPH (@GYamey) June 5, 2021
Some reflected on the tragedy of how far she’s fallen.
imagining someone listening to naomi wolf having her phd thesis eviscerated live on the bbc and telling them this isn't even close to the low point of her career
— halvorz ¯_(ツ)_/¯ (@halvorz) June 5, 2021
I want my money back for buying The Beauty Myth in 1990. Naomi Wolf is clearly a deranged narcissist and I resent having taken her seriously all those years ago.
— Jess Lilley 💾 (@lilleyjuice) May 28, 2021
But at least she went out in a blaze of glory.