Thursday, March 31, 2016

Laurie Penny's feminist love

As I wrote in the last post, English feminist Laurie Penny is, for some unknown reason, popular in Germany. She has given an interview to a leading German newspaper in which she lamented that babies could not be developed in laboratories. The second part of the interview has appeared and it concerns the issue of love between men and women.
Interviewer: Emotions often run high on the issue of equality between men and women. Why is that?

Laurie Penny: The gender question has not only a social dimension, it also has a very private quality. Many women - also many feminists - fall in love with men, many men fall in love with women, and so all the political gender questions land in the private sphere. The old saying, that the personal is the political is especially relevant to this issue. We can't talk about equality without talking about family, sexuality, love and romance.

Interviewer: Does feminism ruin love?

Laurie Penny: Feminism does certainly place in question our ideal of romantic love. But this ideal is the most unromantic that there is. There are countless studies that have discovered that sex in equal partnerships can be better. That the women is an autonomous partner who can say yes or no shouldn't be a problem for the sex life. Apart from that it is constantly suggested to us that a monogamous relationship between a man and a woman is the only possibility in order to be happy. I am a hopeless romantic and believe in love. I just don't believe that every love fits into the same box - mine doesn't.

Interviewer: What does your love look like?

Laurie Penny: At the moment I have a male partner, but I am polyamorous. That means I'm not able, and don't want to, tie myself down to just one person and that I distinguish between primary and secondary relationships. But at the moment I have the most intensive relationship anyway with my work.

So her work is the primary relationship in her life. Then she has a main relationship with a man. Then she has secondary relationships with other men. But she is also a hopeless romantic.

I suppose if your aim is to maximise autonomy, then this is what the result might look like. You attempt to fulfil yourself through something that is self-determined (your career) and you don't tie yourself down to just one other person.

Little wonder, though, that she earlier demanded that the state pay for women to be mothers. In her model there are personal relationships, but not much resembling a family life. In a way it's a "women going their own way" model, albeit one that would have to financially underwritten by the taxpayer.


  1. Underwritten by the taxpayer = theft of other people's resources.

  2. Laurie Penny has now written at her Twitter site:

    "I also consider 'woman' a political class that has little to do with felt gender."

    She really believes the ideology that "man" and "woman" are political constructs.

  3. Emotionally and mentally unstable - she has little grasp of reality and appears to project her personal world of inadequacies through media outlets afforded through what I can only assume to be pity.

  4. She seems to have, at about age 30, a clear understanding of her emotional preferences, as informed by her politics. She's also a fine journalist who is consistent -- and persuasive -- in her socialist and feminist beliefs.

    Her writing is known in Germany. This is from a Facebook post March 11, 2016:

    "my publisher contacted me to let me know that certain people on the German left were calling me Anti-Semitic. This is because I support people's right to boycott Israeli products and services as a protest against the ongoing occupation of Gaza and the West Bank. It is, I would say, an unnerving experience for a foreigner of Jewish descent like myself to open up Twitter and find German people comparing you to Hitler.
    " I have come to understand that the German left is unique in Europe for its pro-Zionist stance, for its insistence on supporting the military actions of the Israeli state no matter what.
    "I deeply resent the implication that simply because my books are published in Germany I should be required to behave as if my ancestors might have been implicated in anti-Semitic genocide. In fact, my ancestors were the victims of anti-Semitic genocide several times over.
    "when Israel carries out military assaults on the open prison of Gaza in the name of Jewish people worldwide, and of our families who fled oppression, that gives me an extra reason to oppose those attacks.
    "I remain proud of my Jewish ancestry, and I will continue to stand against Anti-Semitism. It is possible to do so whilst thinking critically about the military actions of the Israeli state and pushing for ceasefire, as many Jews and Israelis are doing all all over the world today.
    "My politics are international, intersectional, feminist, anti-racist and anti-capitalist."

    1. Hal, I wish she were more protective of the society she lives in. Easy to wreck, difficult to put together.