David Thompson
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September 10, 2013

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Squires

No, but my masculinity certainly does know how to bring about quite a crisis, when the mood is right.

Dr Cromarty

Laurie - put the kettle on, love. There's a good girl.

svh

Basically, there's something wrong with you

We can't all be as mentally well-adjusted as Laurie Penny.

Ross

When she says "I'd argue that..." does she actually go on to argue it or does the assertion stand alone with no supporting argument?

Having said that my masculinity is in crisis- I mean I watched a soap opera yesterday!

David

We can’t all be as mentally well-adjusted as Laurie Penny.

She is indeed the yardstick of not-at-all-bonkersness. But a belief that there’s something terribly wrong with you, by virtue of (a) being male and (b) being male and not agreeing with Laurie, is pretty much her view. If you don’t agree with her, you’re a faulty, inferior being. I mean, it isn’t hard to see that some of the men in Laurie’s orbit might be experiencing some kind of masculinity crisis, but that’s largely because they’re the kind of men who end up in Laurie’s orbit. Men who fret about their straightness oppressing people on twitter, for instance.

It reminds me of the legendary barbecue patriarchy announced in the Guardian, where sexism crushes the soul and cooking for friends is apparently joyless, “ugly” and “oppressively penetrating.”

Torquil Macneil

I loved the barbecue thing because it is so easy to imagine the Guardian outrage article if the cooking roles were reversed and women were expected to tend the sausages instead of mixing the Pimms: Oppression! Hegemony! Patriarchy! Colonisation! Shame!

David

does she actually go on to argue it or does the assertion stand alone with no supporting argument?

Blasphemers will report to the correction booth. Three hours, maximum setting.

Laurie just knows what men “really, really want to talk about.” And apparently we, all of us, want to talk about what she wants us to talk about. In “a safe way,” no less. Uncanny, isn’t it?

Torquil Macneil

I think it it is pretty obvious that Laurie knows a lot of very young, sexually unconfident men. Some of these will have discovered that flattering a certain kind of feminist by really, really wanting to talk about gender and the crisis of masculinity results in sex. Some things never change. It will be a few years before Laurie spots it, on current evidence, but there will be plenty of copy in it when she does.

David

It’s also worth noting that leftist psychology is often antithetical to stoicism – at one time considered a chiefly male virtue. Certainly an adult one. Dramas and grievances must be inflated or conjured from nothing, even if that means becoming flimsy, dishonest and pathetic.

Anna

It reminds me of the legendary barbecue patriarchy announced in the Guardian,

But straight cis male barbecuing takes up so much space…

Jonathan

Extreme Left-Wing Feminist declares: "Masculinity In Crises". All the Worlds Men just carry on as usual.

Karen M

With Penny Dreadful it's always a crisis. She's outraged by everything -even stuff that didn't happen.

R. Sherman

I suppose her Twitter followers are lining up to praise her brilliance. As for me, I have no idea what the F that tweet is supposed to mean. I thought I knew the definition of "crisis" until this moment, but now, I'm not sure.

David

With Penny Dreadful it’s always a crisis.

Oh yes. It’s all a bit manic. According to Laurie, the game of football is “commodified nationalism” - practically fascism - played by “misogynist jocks” indulging in “organised sadism.” And the World Cup is a “month of corporate-sponsored quasi-xenophobia,” one that “violently excludes more than half the people.” How so, you ask? She doesn’t say. But she does say that vajazzling is all about self-hatred and political passivity: it’s “corporate pornography,” a “species of surveillance” in which a lady’s nether parts “are forcibly reshaped into a smile.” Yes, pubic glitter is a socio-political issue and a basis for operatic umbrage. And on and on it goes. For Laurie, life must be one unending OMFG!

But aside from the relentless, self-induced breathlessness, I suppose the idea is that a crisis can justify extreme measures, extreme retaliation, which Ms Penny likes the sound of. What with her fondness for ‘occupying’ this and that, and her stated desire for a “radical youth movement” – “a movement for revolution” – one that “requires direct action” and “upsetting… our parents, our future employers… and quite possibly the police.” Hers, she says, is “a world that’s increasingly on fire.”

Karen M

Hers is a brain that's increasingly on fire.

Nigel

But straight cis male barbecuing takes up so much space…

Please help, what is this cis thing? Google won't give me a straight answer. From the context, I don't believe it's Christians in Science or Cattle Information Service.

David

what is this cis thing?

It’s short for cisgender, as opposed to transgender, i.e., a person whose subjective experience matches their anatomy and appearance. It’s a term that’s often used by people who dislike the idea of normal as an assumed default.

Nigel

Please help, what is this cis thing?

I found the answer, cis = normal = oppressor

David

Hers is a brain that’s increasingly on fire.

Well, she doesn’t so much argue as declare. Reasoning and facts are quite thin on the ground and her claims are often ludicrous and perverse. Laurie says she “can’t help getting [her] rage on” about “how hard it is for a woman to be taken seriously in the British press these days.” Setting aside her fans at the BBC and Channel 4, who seem to have her on speed dial, it doesn’t seem to have occurred to Laurie that any laughter and scepticism might be due, not to her gender, but to what she actually says.

pst314

A spectre is haunting Laurie Penny: The spectre of confident manly men.

pst314

Laurie writes "crisis" as if that's a bad thing, but at other times she is in favor of permanent revolution.

WTP

According to Wiki, Tatler magazine described her as one of top 100 'people who matter'. I think that should be "natter". I'll fix it shortly.

R. Sherman

her fondness for “occupying” this and that

Does occupying her ass with her head count?

Gunga

She seems to live somewhere between the constant hope of one day stumbling upon an original thought and the crushing reality that any measure of success she enjoys is due entirely to her modestly good looks...

rxc

Very interesting explanation of the cis-trans terminology. It is used in organic chemistry to refer to the physical orientation of atomes in certain molecules, and I bet that the progressives appropriated it for their own nefarious purposes. Another example of corruption of the language.

JuliaM

"I mean, it isn’t hard to see that some of the men in Laurie’s orbit might be experiencing some kind of masculinity crisis, but that’s largely because they’re the kind of men who end up in Laurie’s orbit."

Ouch! He shoots, he scores... ;)

dicentra

Is your masculinity in crisis?

Every time I read Penny Dreadful's hand-wringing about masculinity, MY masculinity goes into crisis, and I haven't even got a Y chromosome.

Same old weapons-grade narcissism, I reckon…

rabbit

I kind of like the thought of being a walking crisis.

Only the dead are beyond crisis. Laurie aspires to the peace and predictability of the grave yard. But entropy hasn't caught up to me just yet.

Charlie Suet

In the sense that Capitalism is based around creative destruction and masculinity is an abstract in a state of flux, she's almost right...

Not for the reasons she intends though.

AC1

One thing Penny never seems to want a revolution in is trust funds...

David

AC1,

Laurie claims not to have one. It’s one of the few details of her riot-grrrl persona that isn’t an unwitting caricature. She did, however, spend a year living on “a small inheritance.” I presume this was around the time she was writing and subbing for the Morning Star communist newspaper.

Joan

around the time she was writing and subbing for the Morning Star communist newspaper.

Perfect.

Jake Haye

Feminism always seems to be 'in crisis'. I'd argue that, like socialism, feminism isn't IN crisis, feminism IS crisis.

Makes a lot more sense.

Col. Milquetoast

I recall Penny vs David Starkey where Penny declared "I want to say that there's a violence inherent in this discussion" There are quite a few rhetorical crutches that after slight modification, can and will be used in practically any situation.

Andy,
surely, you can manage a better critique than that.

[ I’ve deleted Andy’s “critique.” DT ]

Jeff Guinn

What kind of crisis is it when Penny walks into her flat and is confronted by a big, hairy, spider?

watcher

Only socialism can cure the crisis.

Except, of course, the endless crises brought about by state interference, socialist over-spending, ill-considered policies, failure to regard working people as anything other than drones, weak and ineffectual leadership, war-mongering in the cause of 'justice,' slavish adherence to unions and restrictive practices, encouragement of feeble-minded intellectuals, screwed-up education, unfettered immigration of people who only want to come for free money, endless pontificating and the subsequent badly-planned lawmaking, along with all the rest of the hatreds and negativity spawned by those who yearn for a world run by people who know nothing about life.

Those things may safely be ignored.

blackmamba

Are you 100% sure that Laurie Penny is a real person?

Rich Rostrom

As I often do, I will be contrarian here.

To begin with, masculinity is in crisis. There are books (not hysterical books) with titles like Men On Strike and The War on Boys. A large proportion of men seem to have lost interest in work and marriage. Cultural critics note that many young men seem to have no idea how to be masculine other than boorishness.

This is not a new thing: The War on Boys came out in 2001, and the discussions go back further.

Ms. Penny is relatively young (27 in a few days). She was 15 in 2001. So the idea of "masculinity in crisis" has been a prominent meme since she's been old enough to think about public issues.

Of course she doesn't really understand the issue; thus her idiotic response.

Chris_navin

You make that little penny shine.

Anon

This is not a new thing

What is really not a new thing is the idea of claiming something is in crisis in order to either sell a few books or get a few votes.

It doesn't actually mean anything.

Ten

Imagine my shock that our Ms Penny has therein fulfilled her own philosophy. Er, prophecy.

Runcie Balspune

You have to appreciate the irony of claiming capitalism is in crisis - on Twitter, the wholly privately owned and venture capitalist funded social media.

Perhaps she should stick to using Royal Mail, whilst it is still state owned.

David Gillies

It must be exhausting being Laurie Penny. Generally people who are in a perpetual state of grievance at the world are not the happiest of souls. Of course we don't know to what extent this is just an act: for all we know she could be a little ray of sunshine when she's not firing off gnomic Sixth Form Student Rebel tweets. I somehow doubt it, though.

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