That’s Dr. Donna Zuckerberg, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg’s sister, declaring this week that her online classics magazine Eidolon won’t tolerate dissenting opinions anymore.
Silicon Valley-based Classics scholar. Editor of Eidolon.
Today, as the moon temporarily blots out the sun, marks the beginning of Eidolon’s second chapter. …
First, we’ve completely rewritten our mission statement to reflect how we feel Eidolon’s mission has changed since we first launched. …
Part of our revamped mission is an open confirmation of something that will already have been obvious to regular readers: Eidolon is now a space for unapologetic progressive and inclusive approaches to Classics. Our goal is to model a Classics that is ethical, diverse, intersectional, and especially feminist. Before I explain what that means, I want to confront what it absolutely does not mean: rebranding as an explicitly feminist publication does not mean that Eidolon will now only publish content about gender, abortion, and lipstick in the ancient world. Not everything we publish will be, specifically, about feminism.
Some of it will be about racism.
Several people have expressed concerns to me that being explicit about Eidolon’s feminist politics will lead to a narrowing of our content. I don’t believe that it will, unless potential writers and readers choose to understand what “feminism” means in extremely bad faith. Progressive feminism is a capacious enough category that it can include content about reproductive rights and fashion but also philology and military history and textual criticism and many, many other topics.
What does it mean to me that Eidolon is a progressive, feminist publication with a commitment to social justice? … There are plenty of venues where it might be appropriate to explain why you don’t personally feel that feminism is for you, but Eidolon’s articles and comment sections aren’t those venues. …
Will this shift lead to a less diverse Eidolon? Our writers always have been, and will continue to be, a diverse group. Our writer pool has excellent diversity of race, age, gender, professional status, and sexuality. We work hard to keep it that way. But we’ve been accused of not being “ideologically diverse.” This charge is a common one, but I think it is misguided, in addition to being morally bankrupt. Making ideological diversity a primary objective is fundamentally incompatible with fighting against racism, sexism, and other forms of structural oppression, and we choose to prioritize the latter.
Everyone may deserve a platform, but not everyone deserves a place on this platform.
I wonder if Donna’s brother Mark will eventually be making a similar announcement about his platform?
But Eidolon isn’t going to publish articles arguing that identity politics are ruining Classics. I don’t feel any obligation to represent that view here. I don’t believe that political neutrality is either achievable or desirable. Classics as a discipline has deep roots in fascism and reactionary politics and white supremacy, and those ideologies exert a powerful gravitational pull on the discipline’s practitioners.
If we want to fight those forces, we need to actively work against them.
… But we’ve come to realize that, if we want that kind of discussion, we’re going to need a new commenting policy. …
In the past we only deleted comments that were openly bigoted or hateful. But from now on, we’ll be monitoring and moderating comments on Medium and Facebook much more heavily. You can read our new guidelines here.
Donna Zuckerberg is the Editor-in-Chief of Eidolon. She received her PhD in Classics from Princeton, and her writing has appeared in Jezebel , The Establishment , and Avidly . Her book Not All Dead White Men , a study of the reception of Classics in Red Pill communities, is under contract with Harvard University Press.