Anybody who follows or reads the work of the left wing commentator and writer Laurie Penny will often fall into two camps. Those who are her sycophants and go ‘oh yes Laurie’ or ‘oh no Laurie’ and those like myself, who believe that her views of the world, although she is entitled to hold them, need to be challenged.
Laurie Penny is very vocal about women’s rights, and I don’t have a problem with that position, my view of feminism is very similar that of the American commentator Tammy Bruce, which is that men and women should work together for the common good. We should accept the choices of individual women just as we accept the choices of individual men. Others may disagree with me and that is their right. I’m not sure that Ms Penny would share my view, bearing in mind that her feminism is very much a left wing rather than a libertarian or classical liberal view.
Ms Penny has written widely on a plethora of different subjects ranging from her disappointment at the recent British general election result, transgenderism, the allegations of a sex abuse cover-up in government, right through to Dr Who, and that’s just her New Statesman output. Like any published writer, she turns her hand to a multitude of different subjects. However there is one subject where her approach shows that she is more concerned with defending Leftist nostrums rather than any expression of authentic feminism, and that subject is the Islamic Rape Gangs that have been terrorising many areas of the UK.
Laurie Penny is extremely vehement about ‘dismantling the patriarchy’ but fails to grasp that it is Islamic patriarchy and the extreme misogyny and racism of Islam that gives religious and cultural permission to the members of the Islamic Rape Gangs to carry out their crimes. To attack the ‘patriarchy’ of non-Muslim men for oppressing women and LGBT people but to shout ‘racist’ at a Gay man who is honest enough to mention the very real problem of Islamic misogyny shows that her feminism may be nothing more than a pose. By doing this she proved to the world that her concerns and sympathy were not with the victims of these Islamic Rape Gangs but rather with defending the Leftist doctrine of multiculturalism. One question I’d like to ask Ms Penny is this: Is the price that is being paid by the thousands of girls and young women victimised by Islamic Rape Gangs worth it to bring about the ‘Kumbayah’ Nirvana of multiculturalism? Personally I don’t think that it is a price worth paying.
It is instructive to look at her responses, as reported by The Week magazine, to the Gay man in question, Dr David Starkey, when he brought up the subject of Islamic Rape Gangs.
In June 2012, Dr Starkey and Ms Penny were at the Times Festival of Education event as speakers. During a debate which covered the then recently revealed problems in Rochdale with Islamic Rape Gangs, Dr Starkey said in reference to the culture of the rapists stated that the rapists were:
“Entrenched in the foothills of the Punjab or wherever it is” and that they needed to be “inculcated in the British ways of doing things”.
A reasonable comment many may think. Dr Starkey is not saying that Muslims should be exterminated or expelled or attacked in the street, only that he recognised that many come fro backwards places with different mores and cultures to ours and that Muslims need to be told what is and what is not acceptable in the United Kingdom.
However, Ms Penny’s response was anything but reasonable and must surely show that she’s not on the side of the ordinary working class women and girls who make up the bulk of the victims of Islamic Rape Gangs. It’s plain to my eyes anyway that her leftist ideology has blinded her to the truth about the situation on the ground. Rather than politely debate the issue or accept that all is not right with the ideology of multiculturalism Ms Penny screamed at, insulted and attempted to smear Dr Starkey.
Here’s The Week magazine again on the subject of Dr Starkey’s words and Ms Penny’s response to them:
“Penny accused Starkey of “playing xenophobia and national prejudice for laughs”. To shouts from the audience of “Keep going! Keep going!” she made an argument about Starkey’s tax status.
As the paper reports, Starkey walked over to Penny and “jabbed his finger at her face”, telling her: “I will not be lectured by a jumped-up public schoolgirl like you!”
Dr Starkey was correct, Ms Penny is a public schoolgirl, a child of priviledge like too many of the multiculturalist socialists I have come across in my life.
He said he objected to being compared to a “mean and grasping runt comedian”, suggesting perhaps that Jimmy Carr’s name has been so traduced by recent revelations about his perfectly legal tax avoidance that comparison to the stand-up comic is now the worst imaginable insult.
Note the smear about tax avoidance and the use of the technique of ‘guilt by association’ by Ms Penny. I don’t really give a monkey’s chuff about Dr Starkey’s tax arrangements, there are much bigger and more relevant problems in the world to be concerned about than that.
After the event, Penny said: “David Starkey is a troll and that’s what trolls do. He’s a bigot and that’s what bigots do. When you call a racist a racist, you get attacked.”
Pay attention as well to the use of ‘snarl’ words, that are not intended to advance the debate or inform but are only intended to shut down debate, especially about a subject, that of Islamic Rape Gangs and Islamic misogyny, which Ms Penny’s Leftist ideology has difficulty either dealing with or explaining properly. You can’t explain Islamic Rape Gangs by referring to misogyny and patriarchy in general and neither can it be explained away by blaming it on ‘poverty’ or ‘racism’ or ‘capitalism’. There is a root cause for the Islamic Rape Gang phenomenon and that root cause is called Islam. Although many religions have elements of misogyny within it, it’s only really Islam that takes misogyny and makes a virtual idol out of it. Judaism may have the odd bunch of meshuganahs (crazy people) who ban women from driving cars, and the issue of women priests and a women’s right to control her fertility may be live issues for some Christians but neither of these religious paths have anything like the murderous misogyny that we see emanating from Islam.
I disagree with Laurie Penny on many things, on the economy, social structure, social justice to name but a few, but I would have some measure of respect for her if she took the time to honestly inform herself about the problems of Islamic Rape Gangs and where the problems are coming from. I used to be a man of the Left, who realised that many Leftist nostrums were either wrong, destructive or unrealistic. I also realised that Leftism, although superficially attractive, in the long run damages the very freedoms that Leftism purports to defend and promote.
It’s not too late for Laurie Penny to show some honesty and open mindedness about many things, specifically the Islamic Grooming Gang phenomenon. Maybe she does not because if she asks one awkward question about Leftism and its policies then maybe she will ask another, and then another until the political castle she has built for herself crumbles back into the intellectual sand.
It’s not nice realising, as I did, that the ideology that you have followed and promoted isn’t bringing about equality and freedom, but instead promotes inequality of opinion, racism, misogyny and the sort of prosecutions for ‘thought crime’ that we should have considered to be the stuff of dystopian novels. It’s not nice but it’s a part of learning and of growing up.
Come into the light Laurie, find out what’s going on and be a proper feminist for a change, not just a poseur. If you, Ms Penny, cannot see Islamic misogyny for what it is or discern its source, then you are a poor excuse for a feminist.
‘The Week’ article on the Penny vs Starkey spat