Free speech. A note to Laurie Penny

Your recent missive about free speech being abused to suppress young radicals. It deserves a comment, because you need abit of education. First of all, lets look at misogyny. When women are expected to deny their biology because it is upsetting to people, when the female sex is supposed to pretend that their gender roles are not imposed on their sexed bodies, that being at the root of gender oppression, that is misogyny. Your dislike of women and your gender, and your need to erase female sex from feminism is not ‘radical’. That is patriarchy. When you condemn hate speech you do not include your very small social circle abusing, threatenig, and putting at risk women and children. In fact you openly support your friends when they do this. We remember Weev, many female journalists and women sufffering inequality have had to deal with the consequences of actions by Helen Lewis. Roz Kaveney, and Stavvers and the rest of your deeply abusive elite culture.

When you and your friends exploit austerity which specifically targeted mothers, to leverage careers, so you can then claim that you have abandoned your gender because feminism shouldn’t include the women you exploited you do harm.

When you and your friends believe you have the right to inherit the power media have to shape discourse and use it to such toxic ends, where a safe space is one where discussing female biology is something that will put your kids at risk, and end your career, but threatening and demanding someone die in a fire, is not attempting to drive women out of the public sphere, that is misogyny. Misogyny is bad. Its not a gender. Its hatred of women. In your case hatred of women who suffer the inequality that you leverage your career off because you werent’ qualified to write about anything else. Free speech means a lesbian can decide who she is attracted to, without being abused or her knickers being seen as a civil rights barrier to be overcome. Free speech means a lot. And it’s freedom from the tyranny that you and your useless friends would impose, if you had the power you so clearly think you are going to inherit. Free speech objects to power inherited through elite institutions, even when that power appropriates the voices of those they marginalise to do so.

When you and your friends use violence and threats and the power of national media organisations to marginalise those who seek to address inequality you actively perpetuate it at a cost to millions of women.

You and your friends demanding the right to control the thoughts, actions, and opinions of women, is not radical. Its not fighting misogyny. It by definition is not fighting elitism. And it does not make you radical.

Free speech means we can say actually we do not need to audition to a group of very posh overgrown children to discuss inequality and it means we can object to tyhe role you expect to play in our political economy. The nepotism, elitism, violence and misogyny you use to maintain your position.

I would get to grips with free speech Laurie. Because free speech involves ignoring you and your little friends, and saying you are as radical as the plot of Downton Abbey. A generation of radical brats expecting to inherit power via media cultures, and use it to control and coerce women.

Free speech is required, as is equality under law, so that the violence and abuse you sanction regularly in the name of this glorious new world where you decide what people think, because Oxford, private school and Harvard gave you that right, can be challenged. When we have people like Jane Fae arguing that rape is a civil rights issue and female bodily autonomy is no longer important because gender fluidity, we have the right to say actually no. Because speech is free, even if the walls of the media world you expect to inherit are closed to those outside your toxic social circle. In a world where education is available to all we do not need to go through you to discuss this or contribute to the new world where you dont inherit that power, free speech means the power to bypass you and tell you to shut the fuck up.

Noone is suppressing you. Any rational adult can see that what you sell is toxic and about as radical as butter on bread.

You can cast off your gender because of women like us and the women before us who fought for the right of women not to have gender roles imposed on sexed bodies, and your desire to write women out of feminism because you are privileged enough to translate your dislike of your own gender, is not enough to decide that women should be forced to deny their biology, refuse to name their own oppression, and abandon the fight to be allowed to be who they are regardless of the gender roles imposed on their sexed bodies.

Free speech means telling you and your friends to go fuck yourselves and stop being violent, abusive and elitist to silence women who challenge you.


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