Ellen Willis is not a household name, but in a just world she would be. A leftist cultural critic and feminist, Willis was a defining figure of the New York cultural scene in the 1960s and 1970s. She was probably best known to the public as the first pop music critic the New Yorker ever had, a gig she held from the late 1960s into the 1970s. Music was not her only passion, though. She was an outspoken feminist commentator, and one of the early members of the New York Radical Women's collective, the effective cradle of the women's movement in New York. (Check out Susan Faludi's piece on the collective from the New Yorker last year for more details.) Willis died in 2006, but her writing has been experiencing a revival of late among younger pop culture critics, who are attracted by the energy and intelligence of Willis' work.
Critic Marshall Fine saw The Dark Knight Rises and didn't care for it much. That's bad enough, but then he had to go and post his opinion on the internet, thereby ruining the film's then-perfect Rotten Tomatoes rating. (Since then, it's dropped down to 85 percent, with eight "rotten" reviews overall. Sorry, fanboys and girls.)
Katie Roiphe, one of the leading sex-opinion-havers of American letters, is the upper crust version of crazy cat woman Andrea Peyser. While Andrea only broadcasts her psychologically-fraught Victorian sexual shame to tabloid readers, Katie Roiphe gets to publish hers in all the favorite news outlets of East Coast Ivy Leaguers. She calls male novelists fey pussies in the NYT Book Review! She told women how to do divorce right in the pages of New York magazine! She pooh-poohed the notion of date rape all over the place! And now, she's taken to Slate—the Gawker of bored academics—to reveal how jokey children's book "Go The Fuck to Sleep" reveals that "yuppie" parents (unlike Katie Roiphe) are doing sex wrong.