A 30-year-old dog walker who advocates for the ‘anti-work movement’ went viral following her car-crash interview with Fox News host Jesse Watters after she called laziness a ‘virtue’ and said she aspired to move on from dog walking to teaching philosophy.
Doreen Ford, of Boston, who serves as a moderator for the r/Anti-Work subreddit message board, fumbled to explain the group’s ideology as Watters mocked the movement and its 1.7 million followers.
‘It sounds like maybe people are just being lazy,’ Watters says during the Tuesday interview. ‘Are you encouraging people to be lazy?’
To which Ford responded: ‘I think laziness is a virtue in a society where people constantly want you to be productive 24/7, and it’s good to have rest.
‘That doesn’t mean you should be resting all the time or not putting effort into the things that you care about.’
The subreddit gained followers in 2020 when the pandemic began but erupted in popularity in 2021 as users posted text and e-mail screenshots of them quitting their jobs to pursue their passions.
It also gained backlash as it was blamed for fueling the Great Resignation, when roughly 33 million Americans quit their job since the spring of 2021.
Aside from dog walking and moderating on Reddit, Ford, who quit a retail job five years ago, also runs the AbolishWork.com website, where she spreads the philosophy of Bob Black, an American anarchist who advocated for the abolition of work.
She also has a Patreon page where she hopes to get enough followers to run an ‘anti-work podcast.’
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Doreen Ford, 30, a dog walker from Boston who serves as a moderator for the r/Anti-Work subreddit, went on Fox and fumbled to explain the group’s ideology to host Jesse Watters
Watters, pictured, called laziness a virtue and said she aspired to teach philosophy, prompting Watters to laugh. The r/Anti-Work subreddit had erupted in popularity in 2020 as users posted text and e-mail screenshots of them quitting their jobs to pursue their passions
Watters asked Ford on Tuesday what a solid work day would look like in an ‘ideal society,’ with the dog walker using her own job as an example.
‘I have a 20-25 hour work week, which I think is fairly good,’ she says.
Watters than asks, ‘Do you aspire to do more than dog walking? Or is this your peak?’
Ford responds: ‘If I had to do this for the rest of my life I wouldn’t be super complaining. Dogs are wonderful animals, but I would love to teach.’
Watters chuckles at the response and laughs even more when Ford says she would want to teach philosophy and critical thinking.
‘I would love to take your class, Doreen. I would just be taking notes the whole time,’ Watters says.
‘I think this might not be the greatest idea, but who am I to judge? It’s a free country… but we got to pay the bills,’ he adds, ending the interview.
Ford’s train wreck interview stirred up the r/Anti-Work subreddit and adjacent Reddit boards that criticized Ford for failing to explain the group’s ideals and coming ill-prepared to an interview with Fox News.
The r/Anti-Work subreddit gained popularity in 2020 and had a massive boom the following year during the Great Resignation.
A recent study commissioned by the software and business strategy firm Wisetail found that 34 percent of Americans had quit their job in the past two years, with six in 10 millennials and Gen Xers believing that leaving their jobs was the best decision they’ve made.
The most common reason they quit was because they found new jobs with better pay, working conditions and better work-life balance, according to the study, which surveyed 2,000 Americans.
The biggest industries impacted by the Great Resignation included the health care industry, which saw 48 percent of its workforce quit; real estate, which saw 46 percent leave, and hospitality, which lost 39 percent of its workforce.
A recent study found that 34 percent of Americans had quit their job in the past two years, with six in 10 millennials and Gen Xers believing that leaving their jobs was the best decision they’ve made
Ford had previously told the New York Post that the r/Anti-Work subreddit’s popularity and the Great Resignation were fueled by the effects of the pandemic and a disillusionment with capitalism.
‘Everyone has hit their limit with COVID, overwork, their mortgages, rent payments and so many things with capitalism. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to take a break from that and do less of it,’ Ford told the Post.
The r/Anti-Work subreddit has been going online and offline ever since the interview, and the r/Workreform community, which advocates for better labor practices, has seen an uptick of 150,000 followers and comments on the interview.
One Reddit user in the community with the handle SeaOfTroubles wrote, ‘It’s so embarrassing. I had hope that things would change, but she just erased that in a span of hours.’
Another user with the name DarkKerrigor wrote, ‘Hopefully this ends up being a good thing. The name of ‘antiwork’ was itself damaging. Calling it the ‘work reform’ movement can gain a lot more traction in the end!’
Another user with the name The EliteBagel said they couldn’t bring themselves to watch the Fox interview, writing: I’ve read a lot of secondhand accounts of the interview but I cannot bring myself to watch it. Your description reaffirms that not watching it will be best for my blood pressure!’
Many on r/Anti-Work post about overworking and unfair treatment of minimum wage workers
Another user with the name Minniemum wrote, ‘I believed too. I don’t have much to contribute to the movement but my voice, and I used it.
‘I told my friends and family, and made good talking points they could relate to in order to lead them towards. Now I’m just mortified and hoping they completely tuned me out.’
A user with the handle SamSepiol also lamented the interview and its impact, writing, ‘That interview was so awful and fulfilled so many stereotypes that it’s hard not to wonder if it was deliberate sabotage.’
Another reddit user with the handle Puffy_Ghost also criticized Ford’s performance.
‘They fell right into the trap Fox News wanted them to. The only acceptable things go do there would be to decline the interview, or hire a media professional to represent you,’ they wrote.
‘If you agree to an interview representing nearly 2 million people you better look and act like you know what you’re doing.’
Many migrated from the r/Anti-Work to r/Workreform after the first board went offline to discuss the Fox interview and its effects on the movement
The moderators of the r/Workreform, who say they believe people should not be ‘worked to death by their employers,’ said that the movement could go on despite Ford’s interview.
‘The response we got from the [antiwork] situation is unrivaled,’ the moderators wrote in a message to the forum.
‘This is a clear message that no matter the name, this movement is alive, this movement is needed, and this movement will not die.’