Bari Weiss is an American opinion writer and a key figure in promoting and platforming gender-critical and anti-transgender views.

While at the New York Times, Weiss popularized the intellectual dark web, described as a gateway to the far right. She has platformed, appeared with, promoted, and logrolled for other activists in the gender critical movement, including Alice Dreger, Jesse Singal, Katie Herzog, Abigail Shrier, Ana Valens, Sue Evans, Suzy Weiss, Julie Bindel, Carole Hooven, Maud Maron, Andrew Sullivan, Lisa Selin Davis, and Helen Lewis.

Background

Bari M. Weiss (born March 25, 1984) grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and graduated from Columbia University in 2007.

Weiss served as a senior editor at Tablet, then worked at the Wall Street Journal from 2013-2017. From 2017 until 2020, Weiss was a staff writer and editor for the opinion section of The New York Times. She resigned in 2020.

Weiss was married to Jason Kass from 2013 to 2016 and married Nellie Bowles in 2021.

Weiss is the founder and editor of The Free Press (formerly Common Sense) and the host of the podcast Honestly. Weiss has been active in pro-Israel causes, lived in Israel for a time, and authored the 2019 book How to Fight Anti-Semitism.

Anti-transgender efforts

In January 2021, Weiss launched a Substack. It was originally called Common Sense, then changed its name in 2022 to The Free Press. Notable gender critical moments include:

Podcast

Weiss began a podcast in 2021 titled Honestly with Bari Weiss and frequently has guests on to discuss their gender critical views. including:

References

Urquhart, Evan (December 9, 2002). The Anti-Trans Hate Account That Bari Weiss Says Is Yet Another Right-Wing Voice Censored by Twitter. Slate https://slate.com/technology/2022/12/twitter-files-bari-weiss-libsoftik-elon-musk.html

Weiss cites the platform’s treatment of Libs of TikTok, a Twitter account that remains active despite its connection to multiple acts of terror and intimidation from far-right extremists, including multiple bomb threats against a children’s hospital. This portrayal of Libs of TikTok as representative of accounts posting conservative views is alarming. […]

Weiss may be best known for a column introducing “the intellectual dark web,” a group of anti-progressive types fixated on the concept of cancel culture and the idea that liberals routinely censor conservative ideas. With the Twitter Files, she describes herself leading a team that has been given “broad and expanding access” to Twitter’s internal documents and communications. This group includes opinion writer Abigail Shrier, who is best known for writing Irreversible Damage, a book opposing transition for female-assigned people on the grounds that an unproven social contagion is the root cause of transmasculine identities.

It is unsurprising that this team highlighted the treatment of an account notorious for its anti-trans activity. But Libs of TikTok goes far beyond expressing political opinions about transgender issues. That would certainly be allowed under Twitter’s policies, which exist to curb harassment, violence, and hate speech, not opinions. In fact, Libs of TikTok has repeatedly highlighted specific individuals, events, and institutions with inflammatory language, often falsely suggesting they are guilty of heinous acts against young children. The account’s spotlight has repeatedly resulted in harassment and violent threats toward the individuals involved, in a process typically referred to as stochastic terrorism. Those targeted include doctors and hospitals that provide gender-affirming care for youth, teachers and schools with inclusive policies, and all-ages or youth-focused drag events.

Contrary to the extremist rhetoric, gender-affirming care is supported by all mainstream medical organizations as potentially lifesaving for young people with gender dysphoria. It is also perfectly possible to speak with children about the existence of transgender people and about families headed by same-sex parents in an age-appropriate, nonsexual way.

Weiss, Bari (September 12, 2017). Opinion: A Political Conservative Goes to Berkeley. New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/12/opinion/conservative-berkeley-ben-shapiro.html

There’s no question that Ben Shapiro loves to provoke college students. He once brought a diaper to a campus speech to offer to “self-indulgent pathetic children who can’t handle anyone with an opposing point of view.” In another, while entertaining a question from a young woman who called for greater sensitivity toward transgender people, he shot back: “If I call you a moose are you suddenly a moose?”

Yet this sharp-tongued Never Trumper was also, according to the Anti-Defamation League, by far the most bullied Jewish journalist of 2016

Weiss, Bari (August 1, 2017). When Progressives Embrace Hate. New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/opinion/womens-march-progressives-hate.html

We just saw what happens to legitimate political parties when they fall prey to movements that are, at base, anti-American. That is true of the populist, racist alt-right that helped deliver Mr. Trump the White House and are now hollowing out the Republican Party. And it can be true of the progressive “resistance” — regardless of how chic, Instagrammable and celebrity-laden the movement may seem. 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/opinion/womens-march-progressives-hate.html

Herzog, Katie (July 27, 2021). Med Schools Are Now Denying Biological Sex. Common Sense https://www.commonsense.news/p/med-schools-are-now-denying-biological

Weiss, Suzy (February 21, 2022) Watching Lia Thomas Win. Common Sense https://www.commonsense.news/p/watching-lia-thomas-win

Woodhouse, Leighton (June 23, 2022). They Questioned Gender-Affirming Care. Then Their Kids Were Kicked Out of School. Common Sense https://www.commonsense.news/p/they-questioned-gender-affirming

Evans, Sue (August 4, 2022). How Tavistock Came Tumbling Down. Common Sense https://www.commonsense.news/p/how-tavistock-came-tumbling-down

Weiss, Suzy (April 19, 2022). The Testosterone Hangover. Common Sense https://www.commonsense.news/p/the-testosterone-hangover

Valens, Ana (November 13, 2020). Conservatives freak out after Target pulls transphobic book. Daily Dot https://www.dailydot.com/irl/bari-weiss-transphobic-book-target/

Shrier, Abigail (June 21, 2021). The Books Are Already Burning. Common Sense https://www.commonsense.news/p/the-books-are-already-burning

Shrier, Abigail (October 4, 2021). Top Trans Doctors Blow the Whistle on ‘Sloppy’ Care. Common Sense https://www.commonsense.news/p/top-trans-doctors-blow-the-whistle

Sibarium, Aaron (December 7, 2022). The Hijacking of Pediatric Medicine The Free Press https://www.thefp.com/p/the-hijacking-of-pediatric-medicine

Resources

Bari Weiss (bariweiss.com)

Substack (substack.com)

Honestly (honestlypod.com)

Media

Inaya Folarin Iman (May 22, 2021). Can truth survive the new journalism? Feat. Bari Weiss, Helen Lewis, Katie Herzog & Mick Hume Free Speech Champions https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2wz6SuQSuY