Feminist writer Barbara Ehrenreich faced criticism online Monday after tweeting that America is “in decline” because Marie Kondo doesn’t speak English on her show.
Tidying Up with Marie Kondo immediately gripped the attention of viewers when it was released on Netflix last month. Since then, Kondo has sparked a fair bit of discourse, and not all of it has been as heartwarming as the show itself, which follows Kondo as she visits American families and teaches them the merits of organization.
Ehrenreich, best known for her 2001 book Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, is the latest with a bad take. She came in hot Monday with a series of worse-than-questionable tweets about Kondo.
In her first now-deleted tweet, Ehrenreich tried to connect America’s decline in power as an imperialist state with the fact that Kondo predominantly speaks Japanese rather than English on her own show.
Next, Ehrenreich continued to dig herself into the Twitter ratio hole with a statement that revealed that she didn’t fully comprehend why what she said was wrong.
I confess: I hate Marie Kondo because, aesthetically speaking, I’m on the side of clutter.— Barbara Ehrenreich (@B_Ehrenreich) February 4, 2019
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.
Finally, Ehrenreich tried to put an end to the situation with an apology to “anyone offended.”
Sorry to anyone offended by my tweet about Marie Kondo! Sometimes my attempts at subtle humor just don’t work.— Barbara Ehrenreich (@B_Ehrenreich) February 4, 2019
Worse still, replies to Ehrenreich’s tweets made racist, infantilizing statements about Kondo.
“I think her speaking Japanese adds to her fairy-like delicacy and charm,” one user wrote. “She is certainly a pretty little pixie, and I am keen on decluttering but I am immune to Tinkerbell teaching me how to fold my socks,” another added.
As many others pointed out on Twitter, the white feminism speaks volumes.
Given your politics, I think it's obvious that you were attempting a joke. It's just a joke that falls extremely flat in 2019, when ppl are being harassed + worse for not speaking English in public, and when actual fascists are trying to pin the "decline of empire" on immigrants.— Emily Pothast (@emilypothast) February 4, 2019