4 Columns


This week at 4 Columns, the arts criticism website, M Milks has a review of Sarah Schulman’s Conflict is not Abuse. Conversation about writing at Lang is often about the place for personal writing in our arguments, and here M shows us one way to approach this question: How does my own experience offer a way in to my criticism?  “About a year ago,” M writes,

I was at a queer dance party with a group of friends. A woman we didn’t know joined us on the floor, and seemed particularly attracted to my friend K. The next day, K expressed regret at not asking for her number, and I suggested they go through the invite list on Facebook to find her and ask her out.

K followed my advice and sent a friendly Facebook message saying (I paraphrase) hey, you’re supercute, want to get together sometime? In response, the woman called K a stalker, claimed K had violated the dance party’s safe-space policy, and told them never to contact her again.

K was hurt. I was sheepish: sorry, friend.


Sorry, friend. What a line! Go read the full review.

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