3 Brilliant Authors You Forgot Were Tremendous Douchebags
Around this time last year I discovered some pretty abhorrent things about some of my favorite authors. I found out that Orson Scott Card advocated armed revolt to keep gays from getting married, that Ayn Rand had praised a man that had kidnapped a little girl, killed her, then sawn her in half, and that Michael Crichton had responded to a critic's negative review by using his name for a particularly sick child molester in a later book. In total, eight of my literary heroes revealed deep pockets of asshattedness.
I didn't stop reading their books, because all the ones I mentioned were fantastically brilliant at writing. I just started buying their books secondhand because they were terrible at being human beings and I didn't want to fund their shenanigans through royalties.
I thought I got it out of my system, but the Internet is always around to remind you that Slayer was right and God hates us all. Here's four more geniuses that failed the nice guy test.
Simone de Beauvoir
Why You Should Read Her: De Beauvoir is known mostly for the impact she had on philosophy, with her treatise The Second Sex being one of the central texts in modern feminism and in feminist existentialism. It's She Came to Stay, though, that is the book you should pick up. It's a semi-autobiographical novel about her close sexual relationships with some of the greatest writers of the '30s and '40s, and is basically the Bible of open relationships and unfettered intellectualism.
Why She Was a Douchebag: In addition to being a writer, de Beauvoir was also a teacher at the Lycée Pierre Corneille in Rouen. What is pretty much the most important thing you should not do with your underage students if you are a teacher? C'mon, you obviously read the Houston Press, and we cover this a lot. Right, you don't touch their fun parts or make them touch yours. De Beauvoir found this rule to be silly.
This tends to get glossed over as a crime. I'll let glbtq.com tell it...
Several of these relationships occurred during Beauvoir's career as a philosophy teacher during the 1930s and 1940s, and involved her students (who seemed to be the initiators, able to resist neither Beauvoir's physical nor her intellectual magnetism).
So remember, teachers, it is apparently okay to bone your students as long as they ask your impossible-to-resist self first. Oh wait, no it's not. Which is probably why a student named Nathalie Sorokine's parents got Beauvoir's ass fired for it... because horny teenagers are not legally allowed to decide whether they want to have sex with their teachers for this exact reason.