Meet Lauren Duca — Former 'Teen Vogue' Columnist Whose Entire NYU Class Filed Complaint Against Her

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Who Is Lauren Duca? New Details On Influencer And 'Teen Vogue' Columnist And The Backlash Against Her

When Donald Trump was elected President, it divided a nation that was already divided even further. For much of the younger generations, it was the first time they experienced such a massive political loss. It also incited many people to move to educate themselves further about our country's politics and to usher them into the world of advocacy. One Twitter personality and journalist stood out from the pack during this time. Who is Lauren Duca? She's a millenial writer and reporter who broke down the Trump administration in terms everyone could understand. But now, she's under fire. Here's what you need to know. 

1. Meet Lauren Duca

When Lauren Duca first broke through, it was as a journalist, a writer and a feminist with a clear way of addressing difficult issues. It garned her a massive Twitter following, and helped in part to launch her career. Lauren became well-known for the columns she wrote while at Teen Vogue, contributing to their rebrand as a magazine that addressed important issues. She also made headlines when she went head to head with Tucker Carlson. He ended their interview by telling her she should stick to wearing thigh high boots and before she was cut off she clearly called him a sexist pig, which, no matter what else you might want to say about her, is pretty effin' rad. 

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2. Her Reporting Background 

Lauren's back in the news because BuzzFeed News published a feature about her that wasn't entirely positive. Prior to being written up in BuzzFeed, Lauren worked full-time as a freelance journalist and writer, including a tenure at The Huffington Post where she was accused of sending harassing and cruel emails to members of the team there using a fake email account. While she was 25 and working at Teen Vogue, Lauren officially became a well-known entity when she wrote a story about Donald Trump that quickly went viral. It was called Donald Trump Is Gaslighting America. It was this article that led to her appearance on Tucker Carlson. 

3. Lauren Coming Out

Lauren's personal life has been lived as publicly as every other aspect of her life, which makes sense when Twitter is your main form of impact. From 2016 to 2019 Lauren was married to a man named Kris Fleming. After the couple went their separate ways, Lauren came out as queer and has been open on Twitter and elsewhere about her experiences with dating women. But of course, however she identifies, none of that means that her relationship with Kris wasn't real. The couple spoke of their love in an interview with The Observer. “We talked before meeting so it was nice to already have a sense of familiarity, but the connection from meeting in person was something else. I knew I wanted to keep seeing her, even when she told me she was going to Scotland for five months to study abroad," said Kris. 

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4. Scandal At NYU

After her rapid rise to celebrity, NYU decided to hire Duca to teach a course entitled "The Feminist Journalist." The course took place during the summer months and was offered to both high school students and college students. Before the class began it was already causing controversy when her leaked syllabus revealed that 20% of the final grade in the course would be given based on the student's presence on Twitter. When the class was over, all of the students in Lauren's class wrote a letter of complaint to the school that read in part: "There was a consistent lack of professionalism that persisted throughout every aspect of the course. We are disappointed at the department and NYU as an institution for hiring a professor without a syllabus and classroom management skills. We are disappointed at the department and NYU for hiring a professor without a clear course objective.”

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5. Feminism As A Weapon

In the feature about Lauren published by BuzzFeed News, Lauren was defensive and frequently used feminism as a shield as if it was meant to render her completely impossible to criticize. When asked questions about her class at NYU by another female reporter, Lauren said: You’re being so f*cking hard on me, Scaachi, and I really, really, really, really would ask you if you would be grilling a man in this same way. It’s amazing. The sh*t that I have endured to continue to sustain a voice where I’m just fighting every inch for the same thing that I think that you want, which is public power and equality, and I’m trying my g*dd*mn best, okay?" It's this kind of use of feminism as a weapon against criticism that give her detractors' points merit. 

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6. Her Two Books

Whatever the criticism of her may be, Lauren Duca has no plans of going away. Her first book, How to Start a Revolution: Young People and the Future of American Politics, comes out at the end of September, and according to the BuzzFeed profile, she is already hard at work on her second book which will be focused, interestingly, on her relationship with God and the divine. While that may seem like a drastic shift in subject matter for a woman whose career has been defined by her political takes, perhaps it indicates growth. Duca may be trying to figure out who she is, which makes sense for a person who was thrust into the spotlight likely well-before they expected. 

Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cats, Batman and Margot. She's an experienced generalist with a passion for lifestyle, geek news, pop culture, and true crime.