Recently the New Statesman recruited extreme feminist Labour supporter Laurie Penny to write a blog on their website.
In her latest piece Penny writes of how her demeanour often means men sometimes suggest to her that she might perhaps smile. Now of course any reasonable person knows smiling to be a positive thing which has health benefits for the wearer and for those around them, something that should clearly be encouraged. However, Penny takes great exception to such a recommendation and somehow links it to "men's indisputable right to pass public judgement on absolutely any woman’s appearance and demeanour". She seems willing for one man to make such a suggestion as long as it is early in the day, but be warned if you make such a comment in the evening because as Penny states "that sort of thing makes even the gentlest soul long to execute the scumbags with a great big gun." Yes - that's right - if you are a man who suggests a woman should smile then your are deserving of execution for committing such a heinous act.
This brings us on the the main content of the article which a a violent feminist computer game, allowing the man-haters such as Penny to fulfil their sick fantasies and execute men who they deem to be sexist in some way. Penny quotes Ellie Levenson author of The Noughtie Girl’s Guide to Feminism, who states "it’s definitely not feminist to fantasise about shooting men, although I can imagine it might be quite satisfying sometimes" Just imagine if the comments of these two women were about how satisfying it is to fanatise about killing black people, or Jews or gays or how they are scumbags in need of executing? The authors would be out of a job instantly and be facing an investigation by the authorities at the very least. The comments are a million times worse than anytihng written by Jan Moir, yet her article provoked an outcry the likes of which we've not seen in years. Admittedly the New Statesman have done the decent thing and removed the hate speech but we really need to see a full apology and some wider condemnation.
Penny's sexist doesn't stop there either. She goes on to further apologise for the game by asking a series of questions, such as "What if we wanted to take bloody revenge on our oppressors?", "What if we wanted to create fear and havoc?" and "What if we wanted to rule the world?" It really is very troubling stuff.
I discovered this story though Iain Dale's quite excellent blog, though some of the concern there appears to be in the timing of the article as much as the content itself. To be honest I find such an argument quite offensive and timing merely compounds the issue rather than being of much significance. The fact is that the piece is sexist hate speech against men encouraging genocide against them. It isn't suitable for publication just after a gun massacre, but neither is it suitable for publication at any other time either.
It really disturbs me that that it's still socially acceptable in some circles to discuss the genocide of men as something that might be appropriate or at best some sort of slightly regrettable "final solution". Harriet Harman spoke about men fleeing the country if she got into power and Penny's piece comes from the very same mindset (albeit one far, far more extreme than even Harman).
Ironically, Penny's previous article consisted of a rant about violence against women where she condemns filmmakers as apologists for "thoughtless sexualised violence". She mentions Danny Dyer's "joke" of advising a reader to cut his girlfriends face and quotes Laurie Olivia who complains about how the media dehumanises female victims of violence. Now I'm sure some of these points are valid, but Penny's antics are immeasurably worse. She's excusing thoughtless violence, dehumanising men and urging far more extreme actions than Dyer all in a couple of sentences, and she's done so just several days after complaining about how violence against women is encouraged by the media. It's a classic case feminist double standards at their very finest.
Unsurprisingly, Penny's sexism has also gained her employment at the Guardian in addition to her role at New Statesman. I'd urge readers to write to these publications airing your concerns about this hate speech by their employee. Obviously it's the New Statesman who bear the most responsibility here and lets hope they do the decent thing an write full apology explaining why such an article is so sickening and harmful to the 40% of domestic violence victims who these publications continue to belittle and ignore (and worse).
by John Kimble