In case you’re out of the Netflix loop, one of the streaming service’s most popular new shows is “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” in which the Japanese organizing consultant helps people get their clutter under control.
Critics recently piled on Kondo for suggesting a book hoarder get rid of volumes that don’t “spark joy” — book collectors can be a defensive bunch.
But as AEI resident scholar Christina Sommers recently pointed out, one feminist got herself in trouble with a tweet about Kondo, leading to backup efforts by other feminists and ratios within ratios.
Trouble on progressive Twitter! Famous leftist feminist makes misstep discussing Marie Kondo. Her friends—Katha Pollitt & Elaine Showalter—chime in, but make things worse. All 3 now being denounced as racist “white feminists.” Don’t miss the ratio within a ratio within a ratio. https://t.co/mUUJgwT01c
— Christina Sommers (@CHSommers) February 4, 2019
We’d never miss a ratio within a ratio within a ratio! Barbara Ehrenreich, who was recently fantasizing about shooting whoever cut down a tree in the Joshua Tree National Park, tweeted this about Kondo:
I confess: I hate Marie Kondo because, aesthetically speaking, I’m on the side of clutter.
As for her language: It’s OK with me that she doesn’t speak English to her huge American audience but it does suggest that America is in decline as a superpower.
— Barbara Ehrenreich (@B_Ehrenreich) February 4, 2019
Actually, that was Take 2. Here’s the original tweet that did not spark joy.
Yeah maybe you should’ve kept your original tweet. Better to be succinct with your racism and save everyone the time pic.twitter.com/AugJSDMC4n
— Dan Nguyen (@dancow) February 4, 2019
So you thought this was a better take… pic.twitter.com/N6JYuo42up
— Jessica Ellis (@baddestmamajama) February 4, 2019
The ratio sparks joy, at least
— Jennifer Thomas-Bryant (@LadyCorax) February 4, 2019
This ratio sparks joy.
— Beth the Elder One (@BethElderkin) February 4, 2019
Your skull is remarkably uncluttered yet it sparks no joy.
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) February 4, 2019
was this supposed to be an improvement over the first racist tweet?
— maya kosoff (@mekosoff) February 4, 2019
I like how you deleted the first racist tweet and followed up with another racist tweet but this time with imperialism.
— Danie Durst (@daniecal) February 4, 2019
plus a pivot to… imperialism? the hell is this noise barbara
— Sam (@namesamvirzi) February 4, 2019
Americans enthusiastically learning from a kind Asian woman whose first language isn’t English is one of the things that gives me hope in this time of rising xenophobia tbh.
Let’s by all means decline if it means learning from others for a change. Can we also not have wars?
— Captain Awkward (@CAwkward) February 4, 2019
Thank you for your horrible opinion that literally no one asked for.
— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) February 4, 2019
— Magneto Rex (@MagnetoRex4Life) February 5, 2019
are you the cranky lady from the greeting cards
— hey there mister! (@crushingbort) February 4, 2019
What superpower can’t read subtitles?
— Danforth France (@danforthfrance) February 4, 2019
— A Tribe Called Stressed (@samchriskombo) February 4, 2019
Yeah, nothing like the slightest shift away from English being the monolithic mode of presentation in a country where people speak 350 languages to demonstrate the country is in some sort of decline.
— Max Sparber (@maxsparber) February 4, 2019
To clarify; you *hate* a person who's done you no harm, because she organizes people's homes differently than you would? *Hate* her?
— Nalo Hopkinson (@Nalo_Hopkinson) February 4, 2019
I'll be over here, with the people who don't hate a successful woman of colour for de-cluttering while speaking Japanese to a multicultural, multilinguistic nation.
— Nalo Hopkinson (@Nalo_Hopkinson) February 4, 2019
WHY ARE THERE PEOPLE FOREIGNING ON MY TELEVISION THIS IS THE END OF OUR CIVILIZATION
— Dr. Jens Foell (@fMRI_guy) February 4, 2019
I am truly saddened this xenophobic tweet is coming from you whose work I’ve always admired.
— cathy park hong (@cathyparkhong) February 4, 2019
Truly appalling. I had to reread the @B_Ehrenreich tweet several times. And I’m seething because I’m now fighting with myself about the once-again confirmed realities of whiteness that I keep having to “look past” in order not to lose my mind.
— Lena Khalaf Tuffaha (@LKTuffaha) February 4, 2019
— Juggalocialism (@UweBollocks) February 4, 2019
Holy shit. BTW her audience is international
— Dan Nguyen (@dancow) February 4, 2019
And how many non-English languages do you speak fluently enough to use in professional, business capacity?
— Diana Gill (@dianagill) February 4, 2019
Well, so long as it's "OK" with you that she doesn't speak English.
Because women of East Asian decent definitely need your approval to exist in the public eye.
— M.M. Schill (@mm_schill) February 4, 2019
Barbara, delete this. And then do some thinking about why it’s getting the (deserved) reaction it is.
— Monica Byrne (@monicabyrne13) February 4, 2019
Did you consider….you know….not tweeting this?
— Amanda D. (@librarianbug) February 4, 2019
Actually I think that the real sign of America's decline is that we expect everyone to speak our language instead of–like other countries–teaching our children that other languages matter, other cultures are important, and other words are worth listening to. Yikes!
— jones & bennett (@jonesandbennett) February 4, 2019
I thought your books from the last 20 years showed America was in decline. And Marie Kondo speaks English perfectly fine for her work. Got her an entire Netflix series. She made the effort. Which I rarely see from Westerners who travel to Asia.
— Saima Huq (@byetoallfelicia) February 4, 2019
America declining as a superpower is not a bad thing if it rids us of xenophobic ideas like yours. If declining as a superpower is what makes us more open to the world and less closed off, I am all for it.
— Wakanda Shit Is That? (@unemployedfatty) February 4, 2019
Your thinking is a mess that even Marie Kondo can't cleanhttps://t.co/bmbmuuOJXQ
— Darwin (@darwinism) February 4, 2019
Not understanding the correlation between the English language and the decline of the USA. We have much more important things to be proud of than a language that we took with us from another country, our diversity being one of them.
— odinsbitch (@clasiestmiracle) February 4, 2019
She. Is. Japanese.
Does everybody in the world have to do things your way?
— egregious (@trulyegregious) February 4, 2019
I'm really not getting how you connect these two ideas.
— Geekysteven does what Nintendon't (@geekysteven) February 4, 2019
— ?no candy hearts no love? (@eye_brarian) February 4, 2019
Oh my god, if you're so frustrated that you don't understand her, learn Japanese, rather than letting it make you afraid enough to warp it into a symbol of cultural and political weakness.
— ????? ????? (@EPASketch) February 5, 2019
BARBARA WHAT IS HAPPENING. Do you need help? I thought you couldn’t do worse than last week, and now this. ?
— The Future Is Female ??? (@JNMezzo) February 4, 2019
This is so xenophobic, come on. And no, it’s not “subtle humor” either.
— Porg Fury (@therealpotter) February 4, 2019
Perhaps you should try hosting a hit show in your third language.
— Richardus Maximus (@iamrichiek) February 5, 2019
— Haddayr Copley-Woods (@haddayr) February 4, 2019
Maybe Twitter is not for you.
— Holly Bemiss (@BeMissH) February 5, 2019
I used to be an admirer of your work but you are currently making that impossible
— Melanie Morel-Ensminger (@RevMelanieNOLA) February 4, 2019
I gather from the responses this is a revision of a previous ugly tweet.
So you said something bad, deleted it, and then sat and thought about how to rephrase…so you went straight to saying you hate her specifically. After giving it some thought.
And then the rest of this.
— Elliott Kay (@ElliottKaybooks) February 4, 2019
Too little damage control done too late.
— Professor* Harbinger (@profharbinger) February 5, 2019
Thing is, Barbara, as symptoms of "American decline" go, you're a far more worrying indicator than a (checks notes) TV show featuring a Japanese home organizing expert.
— (((David Avallone))) (@DAvallone) February 5, 2019
Epic fail, Barbara.
— susan (@lastbestwoman) February 4, 2019
— Tessa ? (@tess_amo) February 5, 2019
“Hate” is a really strong word and you should be ashamed to use it to describe another woman. Also, Americans should learn how to read subtitles—they’re in English.
— Jasmine Bager (@JasmineBager) February 5, 2019
I'm sure she's super relieved that you're OK with it. You should probably drop the whole "social justice" thing if you've only ever meant "for people who look and sound like me."
— Chelsea Biondolillo (@c_biondolillo) February 4, 2019
I guess her whole social justice was for whites only. Disappointed to say the least.
— Protest Pup (@politicalpup20) February 5, 2019
I cannot fathom why you have not deleted this.
— Daniel Summers (@WFKARS) February 5, 2019
Holy terrible analysis. It means that Netflix the distributor distributes to a global audience who can ignore what language people are speaking as an impediment to enjoying the content of the show.
— Russell Muth (@crmuth) February 5, 2019
Marie Kondo’s audience is international. Her book was translated into at least nine languages other than English. Her show is on Netflix, which delivers international content to 150 million subscribers worldwide. Less than half are from the US.
— FullyIntegratedApothecaryOfSarah (@seran72) February 4, 2019
How do you say “I’m here for the ratio” in Japanese?
— Dr. Caroline Madden, MFT (@cmaddenmft) February 5, 2019
Damage to trees at Joshua Tree National Park inspires some gun violence fantasies https://t.co/SQlzrrQAlu
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) January 13, 2019