man about town wearing glasses, a tie and vest, a white shirt, and a chain, with hands in pockets, looking very cool and confident

There’s someone in your life you can rely upon to give you sound advice.

This person knows exactly what’s missing, or over the top, in your outfit. This person knows just how you should respond to that tricky situation at work. This person has impeccable artistic taste, a comprehensive knowledge of wines and mixed drinks, and a strange and rare insight into why your back hurts and how precisely you can fix it.

This person is very opinionated. But that’s okay, because this person is always right. This person is your friend and confidant, and a major part of your support system. You are happy this person is in your life!

However. This person also practices microaggression. It’s humorous when a microaggression is inflicted on someone else, at someone else’s expense. You can’t help but laugh! Oh, it’s oh, so funny, . . . until a microaggression is inflicted on you.

This person is a social genius. But that brilliance has induced in this person a larger-than-life ego and a hapless lust for power.

Friendship with this person has great benefits, . . . but they come with great drawbacks.

You know someone like this, don’t you?

In any case, this is the opening situation of the slim and powerful book This Is Pleasure by Mary Gaitskill. As you read, you will experience all the pros and cons of being associated with this person, as well as all the pros and cons of being this person yourself. As you read further, you will experience how the situation plays out in the context of the #MeToo movement.

I paid over $15 for this book. When it arrived at my house, I was pissed. Fifteen dollars for this tiny little microbook?! It’s a mere 83 smaller-than-usual pages long!

But, I’m telling you, it is worth every penny. Every other page made me pause and think.

Would you like to be friends with a person like this? Is frequent and dependable good advice, moral support, and friendship worth the occasional microaggression?

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