‘The Toast is a Business That Makes Money’

toastWe are Toast aficionados around here, as is well-established. We respect their off-kilter genius for producing actual, much needed, novel #content like this, Unhappy Mothers in Western Art History, which makes me break down and cry in a coffee shop for reasons inscrutable to everyone but my therapist, and maybe even her, though I pay her out of pocket to be the most insightful woman alive.

As you have probably heard, the Toast announced this week that it has merged with / acquired another off-kilter genius and Billfold favorite, novelist, essayist, and Public Intellectual Worth Listening To Roxane Gay, for its new vertical, the Butter. This is a marriage worth celebrating with elephants and dancing.

But although this latest successful development has been celebrated by some mainstream outlets like Fast Company, it remains curiously overlooked, or not quite taken seriously, in other arenas. Mallory has noticed, and is a little spiky about it:

Were you aware that the Toast is in fact, a business? A business that is in the habit of making money? That Nicole and I are not just a pair of gals who decided to start a fun, free club in our spare time, but in fact Women of Business who self-funded our own media network?

Although I can’t explain this phenomenon, I can offer some corroboration. Back in the day — read: not that long ago — I pitched a couple of magazines a profile of Mallory Ortberg, Misandrist Disruptor and Bright Young Thing, 2014 Edition. The alt-world acknowledges, marvels, that she is an Internet savant sprung fully grown from the head of, well, probably not Zeus, and not Hera either. Maybe the head of the misbegotten child of Loki and Mary Wollstonecraft. Anyway. Where are the profiles of her? I hadn’t seen one, so I set out the right the wrong. Frankly I thought it would be a no-brainer.

Reaction? Total radio silence. No one even replied to say “no thanks.” You would think I had pitched them a profile of the sparrow that keeps knocking itself against the window because it mistakes its reflection for another stupid bird.

Right now if you do a News Google search for Mallory’s name, you get 2 pages of results. 1 1/2, really. Not bad, sure, but kind of absurd considering how influential she has become in such a short time. Maybe now that bona fide literary celeb Roxane Gay — 10+ pages of Google News results — has joined the team, she and the site will get more respect?

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