Pop culture, politics and feminism


Rihanna during the 2012 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show
Laurie Penny on Rihanna: Can watching videos turn a girl into a knicker-dropping strumpet?
By Laurie Penny - 05 February 6:17

We're experiencing a sexual counterrevolution that encompasses a backlash against women’s sexual and reproductive freedom.

Trolls - the cute kind. Flickr/Cali4Beach, used under Creative Commons
Laurie Penny on web misogyny: It's time to end the culture of online misogyny
By Laurie Penny - 27 January 17:02

It would be nice to think that the rot of rank misogyny was confined to fringe sites populated by lunatics. But it is found all over the web - and it's silencing its victims. Fighting it is not the same as censorship.

New Statesman
Laurie Penny on the worth of our representatives and the cost of democracy
By Laurie Penny - 21 January 7:31

How hard a person works is not and never has been proportional to a person’s salary.

Laurie Penny on phone hacking: the British press must not be allowed to be unchanged by the hacking scandal
By Laurie Penny - 17 January 8:30

In the aftermath of the Leveson report, journalism has changed forever - but it's not because of the inquiry.

Laurie Penny on sexism on the left: What does the SWP's way of dealing with sexual assault allegations tell us about the left?
By Laurie Penny - 11 January 16:28

When it comes to sexual violence, progressive organisations should not be held to different standards.

A woman holds a placard during a SlutWalk protest in Melbourne in 2011
Laurie Penny on rape culture and apologists
By Laurie Penny - 03 January 6:06

We must fight the voice that says: stay home, keep your legs closed and your eyes lowered. In 2013, we face a choice.

A good guy meme image.
Laurie Penny: sexism and misogyny on online dating
By Laurie Penny - 23 December 0:19

A note on the Nice Guys of OkCupid

You are not a scrounger: a letter to a disabled reader
By Laurie Penny - 14 December 17:51

A letter to a reader in crisis.

German women protesting in favour of human rights for women
Laurie Penny: the most harfmul effects of prostitution are caused by its criminality
By Laurie Penny - 13 December 6:41

Sex work isn’t stigmatised because it is dangerous. Sex work is dangerous because it is stigmatised.

Laurie Penny: Why should we pretend to be delighted by Kate Middelton's pregnancy?
By Laurie Penny - 04 December 11:36

I don't know the Duke or Duchess of Cambridge, but I do know too many couples who can't afford to have children.

Disabled protestors demonstrate at Parliament in May 2011.
Laurie Penny on the coalition’s war on the disabled and destitute
By Laurie Penny - 29 November 7:40

Being sick and tired is no reason not to keep fighting - a growing number of people are refusing to accept this new, cruel reality.

A man holds a poster with a picture of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange
Laurie Penny: Facebook and Google know that we value conformity more than privacy
By Laurie Penny - 22 November 6:41

Julian Assange's new book "Cypherpunks" has failed to understand something fundamental about the internet.

Sex, death and nature: Laurie Penny interviews Terry Pratchett
By Laurie Penny - 21 November 15:09

For more than 40 years, Terry Pratchett used science fiction and fantasy to craft subtle satires. But the onset of Alzheimer’s forced him to confront a stark question – what happens when he is no longer able to write?

A view of Lower Manhattan from the Staten Island Ferry
Blood and thunder: New York after Hurricane Sandy
By Laurie Penny - 05 November 15:23

It’s no accident that the original Occupy Wall Street organisers were among the first to set up and co-ordinate volunteering efforts.

Laurie during a stop on her book tour
Laurie Penny on her book "Meat Market" and privilege in the modern age
By Laurie Penny - 31 October 14:35

Somewhere along the line women seem to have forgotten how far we’ve got to go.

Lena Dunham, Caitlin Moran and the problem of unexamined privilege
By Laurie Penny - 09 October 18:02

There are many ways “to be a woman”, and we should try to show more of them, says Laurie Penny.

The problem with Naomi Wolf's vagina
By Laurie Penny - 10 September 9:56

This sort of ‘feminism’ has nothing to do with changing women’s lives.

Fifty Shades of Grey's cover
In defence of Fifty Shades of Grey
By Laurie Penny - 08 July 11:09

Critics' main problem with these books seems simply to be that they are porn for women.

Lara Croft and rape stories: breaking down the bitch
By Laurie Penny - 18 June 8:13

Why is rape seen as a reasonable way to "strengthen" female characters?

Game of Thrones and the Good Ruler complex
By Laurie Penny - 04 June 9:49

There are many problems with this series, but subtlety isn’t one of them.

How protest is being outlawed
By Laurie Penny - 24 March 9:37

The message from the Alfie Meadows case is clear: if you protest, the police can do what they like t

Human wifi, not just part of the furniture
By Laurie Penny - 15 March 17:14

The normalisation of exploitation is the real scandal here.

Rush Limbaugh: a vicious clown
By Laurie Penny - 09 March 16:20

When somebody is paid to say the worst possible thing, it allows someone else to say the next worst

Youthful rebellion turning inward with deadly consequences
By Laurie Penny - 04 March 8:15

There is plenty of "awareness" of eating disorders in the media but just as much complicity in the idea that starvation is a legitimate expression of female distress, says Laurie Penny.

So, it turns out feminism is a CIA plot to undermine the left
By Laurie Penny - 29 February 19:36

My eyebrow-raising encounter with a media studies professor at Occupy Wall Street.

Workfare’s unfair blame game
By Laurie Penny - 27 February 10:05

Caught between Twitter and the Daily Mail.

Rick Santorum and the sexual counter-revolution
By Laurie Penny - 25 February 10:19

To call this a culture war would be to imply that more than one side is fighting.

Can’t take a joke? Too right
By Laurie Penny - 19 February 11:19

Racist, sexist or homophobic banter draws its lazy humour from exclusion.

Compassion, a subversive idea
By Laurie Penny - 08 February 10:53

Britain is being refashioned into a nation which believes that helping the needy is morally and fisc