My public challenge of Laurie Penny – a sexist, racist, feminist journalist

Life doesn’t get much better for me than when I’m demonstrably misrepresented by prominent gender feminists. I was (erroneously) branded a liar – twice – by Julie Bindel in the course of my talk in the Durham University debate. It’s a memory I’ll treasure to the end of my days. A supporter has just drawn my attention to a piece written by Laurie Penny for the New Statesman, published online three days ago:

http://www.newstatesman.com/laurie-penny/2014/03/laurie-penny-what-drives-men-who-think-feminists-are-plotting-%E2%80%9Cwhite-genocide%E2%80%9D

The article appeared originally in the print edition, published 21 March.

I met Ms Penny sometime around Xmas. She’d contacted me while I was staying with friends in London, requesting an interview. When we met, I proffered my hand to shake hers, as is my custom. She visibly flinched but shook it anyway, as she had on the only previous occasion I’d met her, when she’d sat next to me on a bench at Covent Garden tube station. Initially I’d mistaken her for Kat Banyard, another gender feminist ray of sunshine, to whom J4MB presented the following award today:

140329 Inaugural Lying Woman of the Month award certificate – Kat Banyard

We had a coffee – she paid, I didn’t want to be accused in her article of ‘benevolent sexism’ – at a coffee shop of her choosing in London. I’d politely declined her earlier suggestion of meeting in a public house in Soho.

I was carrying a suitcase because I’d stayed the previous evening at a friend’s place in London, and was due to spend that evening at another friend’s place in London, before returning home the next day. My only reason for relating these mind-numbingly boring details is that they relate to areas in which Laurie Penny misrepresented me in her article, in the first of the following paragraphs:

Some months ago, in a nondescript London coffee shop, I met Mike Buchanan, a “men’s rights” activist and the leader of the small, single-issue party Justice for Men and Boys. The former procurement worker, in his mid-fifties, was dragging a suitcase – he described himself as between homes and without a stable job and was moving from one friend’s sofa to another’s that day. It was only a few years ago, when he was looking for work and “a huge woman” turned him down for a job in public-sector procurement, that Buchanan realised that women had too much power.

“I think men are trashed, as you go down the social scale,” was one of the first things he told me. “As you go down the social scale, men are totally disposable. A man on the minimum wage – what chance does he have?”

Now, what’s inaccurate in just one paragraph?

Far from being a ‘single issue’ party, we’re making proposals in 20 areas. Our public consultation document detailing those areas is downloadable from the menu.

The ‘job in public-sector procurement’ was a consulting assignment, as I explained to Ms. Penny.

‘… he described himself as between homes…’. No, I didn’t. I explained I’d stayed overnight with a friend in London (where I don’t live).

‘… he described himself as… moving from one friend’s sofa to another’s that day…’. I said I was staying overnight with another London-based friend that evening.

‘…he described himself as… without a stable job…’. No, I didn’t. I retired about four years ago from business consulting, and haven’t sought work since. I’ve been offered a number of well-paid consulting assignments over that period, and turned them all down.

Far more important than matters relating to me, however, is Laurie Penny’s conflation of men’s human rights with issues of race. Not once have I ever spoken or written about race during my advocacy of men’s and boys’ human rights. Penny appears to be presenting advocates of men’s human rights as racist, when they’re decidedly not. ‘A Voice for Men’ http://avoiceformen.com has published plenty of articles, videos etc. from non-white men, and continues to do so. A recent example is SparkyFister’s series on ‘I need feminism because…’. The eighth piece in the series:

http://www.avoiceformen.com/updates/i-need-feminism-mansplained-part-8/

Penny is using a favourite tactic of hate-driven gender feminists, in a bid to pit men against one another along race lines. The tactic is both cynical and racist, and it’s rapidly becoming ineffective. But then all feminist tactics are rapidly become ineffective, pleasingly. Does she know how utterly ridiculous her analyses appear to people capable of thinking for themselves?

Shortly after I post this piece, I’ll be emailing Ms Penny a link to it. My public challenge to her:

Your recent New Statesman piece appears to suggest I’m homeless – is that what you meant by ‘between homes’? – and jobless, while I’m neither. I have a home, I’m living off my company pensions, and I haven’t once sought employment for the past four years. I challenge you to substantiate your assertions by 5pm next Thursday, 3 April, or publicly retract them, and apologise accordingly. Feel free to retract them and apologise by sending me an email mike@j4mb.org.uk and I’ll make the apology public on your behalf. If I don’t receive a retraction and an apology by the deadline – which is surely a racing certainty – I’ll add this to our long list of unanswered public challenges of prominent feminists.

I shall also be considering legal action on the grounds of defamation, and possibly other grounds.

Have a nice weekend.

About Mike Buchanan

I'm a men's human rights advocate, writer, and publisher. My primary focus is leading the political party I launched in 2013, Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them). I still work actively on two campaigns I launched in early 2012, Campaign for Merit in Business and the Anti-Feminism League. In 2014 I launched The Alternative Sexism Project, aiming to raise public understanding that the sexism faced by men and boys has far more grievous consequences than the sexism faced by women and girls.
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  • New Statesman? You mean New Stateswoman? I stopped reading that rag sometime last year after reading one or two of Glosswitch’s articles. It’s typical extreme left wing nonsense – it refuses to even consider the possibility that everything that was done in the name of liberty and progress with all the best intentions in the world may in fact have caused as many problems as it solved.

  • Mike, please sue this ‘woman’. Make a public example of her and show that Men’s Human Rights activists won’t put up with lies, defamation and inciting hate against us on false (racist) grounds.

  • “As long as the frothingly prejudiced continue to dominate all discussion of what it means to be a man…,” she says. As usual, hateful fanatics reveal their own true colors by their own words. Naturally, comments have now been disabled on the piece so that she and her ilk can “continue to dominate” that discussion as well, complete with “frothingly prejudiced” comments allowed to remain while many other comments are deleted.

  • Caprizchka, you’re right, the irony is almost unbearable!

  • In her facile article Laurie Penny said this, ‘Feminism, for instance, is not in reality a strategy cooked up by left-wing women so we can take all of men’s power and money for ourselves and turn them into sex slaves.’ Err. Actually it is – just precisely that. It is a left-wing strategy cooked up by left-wing women – and it is a reality. Perhaps the only bit of truth this feminist bigot says (bigotry being blind, unreasoning belief – you know the sort of stuff women do?) is that feminism is not overtly about men as sex slaves (in their dreams, eh?), but it is indisputably a strategy of left-wing women – Marxist women to be precise, The entire ‘Woman Question’ underpins Marxist political philosophy. Marx himself called for an, ‘openly legalised’ community of women’ in his 1848 Communist Manifesto (it is there for all to see, Google it and see for yourself), as is his openly stated intention to destroy the marriages of the bourgeois, and which job feminists have completed. In 1912, Ernest Belfort Bax, a prominent Marxist philosopher said, ”We may trace the origin of modern Feminism in a fairly continuous line back to the eighteenth century – to protagonists in revolutionary and pre-revolutionary literature…’ and that Women’s Suffrage first made its appearance in the 1860s in the modern Socialist movement and was accepted by the ‘Marx party’. Germaine Greer, that sad, dried up, wizened old dear now, self-identified as ‘an old anarchist’ as recently as 2008 in an Australian community radio station 3CR, publicly reaffirming her opposition to ‘hierarchy and capitalism’, saying this was at the centre of her politics. In 1970, when she might have been worth a go if you could put up with the communist clap trap (know what I mean?) said, ‘Women’s revolution is necessarily situationist: we cannot argue that all will be well when the socialists have succeeded in abolishing private property and restoring public ownership of the means of production. We cannot wait that long. Women’s liberation, if it abolishes the patriarchal family, will abolish a necessary substructure of the authoritarian state, and once that withers away Marx will have come true, willy nilly, so let’s get on with it! (Page 329 1981 edition The Female Eunuch). So, don’t tell me feminism isn’t Marxist communism, intent on changing the role of women to a modern matriarchy argued for by Engels, Fourier, Bachofen, Lewis Henry Morgan, and Erich Fromm of the Marxist Frankfurt School, because anyone with any scholarship will shoot that one down in flames. So, Ms Penny, you need to start reading your history (it makes better reading than your ‘Gender Studies’, I promise). You need to stop handing down this vacuous journalistic garbage. God, what an unread airhead! Is this all that feminism has to offer these days?

    • And of course their tactics are direct from Herbert Marcuse. Admittedly Feminism is a heresy of Marxism in that identifying women and men as classes cuts across Marxist ideas of class being economic rather than biological.

      • Interesting comment. Thanks. However, feminism isn’t a heresy of Marxism, it IS Marxism in action. Prof Alfred Meyer, an acknowledged expert on Marx and Engels says Engels saw the primeval sexual couplings of men and women as each doing a different job in the production of children, and that this led to a source of inequality between them in the allocation of work and enjoyments. Meyer comments: ‘One must marvel at the nonchalance with which he [Engels] makes this statement. For all their lives, he and Marx had argued, with considerable heat, that society must be understood as a mechanism for production, and that the determinant driving force of all historic change was to be found in the development of the means of production. Suddenly, now, the production of means for survival and the production of children are mentioned as equally basic activities. Suddenly the sex act is on a par with productive work, and that relations between male and female are as significant as those between capitalists and proletarians.’

        There can be no doubt that Engels forged the conceptual link between natural procreation and economic production that has never been broken in communist/feminist thinking since. When the women’s libbers of the 1970s were burning their bras and screaming, ‘Equality, the time is now: don’t be a clown, take women seriously’, little did America (or the rest of the developed world) realise that a Marxist revolution was being fomented within it. The communists had been rooted out of America by McCarthy, but it crept back in, like a Trojan Horse, to devastate its society: wrecking marriage, the family, relationships, causing children to become the property of the community, not of the nuclear family, and so on. It was all intended to undermine capitalism under the specious cry of ‘Equality’.

        Whilst everyone pretty well knows feminism is left-wing/Marxist, IMHO very few people realise what it is really about amongst us. Laurie Penny, as I understand it, is a self-identified Marxist. Germain Greer is definitely one, and if you check the backgrounds of pretty well all the other movers and shapers of modern feminist, so too were they. This is what we are fighting.

      • funkymunkyluvn

        “It was all intended to undermine capitalism…” –Herbert Purdy

        Please. Capitalism does this all by itself. It doesn’t need the help of Marxists. Capitalism has done more to undermine the family than Marxism. It is capitalism that has alienated fathers from their families…and then later alienated mothers from their families–all for the sake of economic production, all for the sake of profits.

      • @ funkymunkyluvn

        Interesting point of view. However, surely it is feminism that has undermined the family? Isn’t it feminism that has ejected fathers from families, and feminism that has alienated mothers from their children by encouraging them to become part of the workforce, rather than stay at home as mothers in the capitalist nuclear family: that building block of capitalism? All this is the fundamental ethos of communism isn’t it? It was all Marx’s plan from the outset. It was he who called for the openly legalised community of women under the communist system, which is what we now have, and it was he who openly stated his intention of destroying bourgeois marriage as the means by which capitalist society would be overturned and a new socialist order put in its place. (it’s all in the Communist Manifesto.) These ills have not been caused by capitalism, they have been caused by the Marxist/communist/feminist attempts to overturn capitalism, destroy the nuclear family, change the role of women, and bring down our society, which is predicated on capitalism (if it were not, it would be communism wouldn’t it?). I can see that you are observing the same things as I am, but politely suggest you maybe do not take the argument far enough so the full historical picture emerges? Our way of life in the west has been under attack by communism since the 19th century, and for the last 40 years from feminism, which promotes Marx’s ideas, pure and simple. Feminism IS militant Marxism. There really isn’t any doubt about it, I’m afraid.

      • funkymunkyluvn

        @Purdy

        “…the capitalist nuclear family…”
        Realize that this idea of the nuclear family being a mother and father and 2.2 kids is a relatively new ideal (primarily post WWII) that makes the family a unit of economic production–like a soulless trinket of capitalist production to be placed on some store shelf and thrown away when new advertising suggest the false need for something else.

        Prior to this fantasy, most families were extended and large. It wasn’t until the industrial revolution that we started shipping off men to labor in factories for 12+ hours per day, alienating them from their families, cutting them off from deep and meaningful relationships with their children…all for the sake of economic production, all for the sake of capitalism’s “profit.”

        If you think it’s good for a mother to be home with “her” children, then surely it follows that it would be even better for fathers AND mothers to be home with their children as well, as was the case for most families throughout history. When you try to defend the idea that it’s a good thing for fathers to be away from the family and alienated from them because…potato…economic production, you are, as a capitalist, arguing in favor of father alienation. As such, you are the feminism that you hate–reducing family to nothing other than an economic unit of production.

        I highly recommend you do your history on the family and that you understand how your beloved “traditionalism” is the other feminism and that capitalism is the primary beneficiary of both, not Marxism, not family, and certainly not fathers. Bar bar expands of this distinction in his video here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ah2rh-fKifQ)

        Dean Esmay of AVfM wrote this (http://www.avoiceformen.com/gynocentrism/breaking-the-pendulum-tradcons-vs-feminists/) brilliant piece the other day and I ask you check it out. It covers much of what we’ve been talking about in regards to the differences between “traditionalism” (which is actually a relatively new idea) and various manifestations of feminism. For a better understanding of the relatively contradictory forms of feminism that exist between the older humanist-feminism and the newer gynocentric-feminism (which actually does place an emphasis on the importance of motherhood and femininity), check out my article about The Patriarchy™ fetish: (http://funkymunkyluvn.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/the-patriarchy-fetish-and-marble-cake/)

        I also recommend you check out this article that explores the idea of marriage being obsolete technology. (http://www.avoiceformen.com/sexual-politics/marriage/marriage-is-an-obsolete-technology-and-so-are-women/)

        And for a better understanding of gynocentrism in-general, I highly recommend Peter Wright’s http://www.gynocentrism.com where you can explore the origins of gynocentrism, chivalry, and how traditionalism and various forms of feminism exploits the chivalrous heritage of men.

        Gynocentrism and the precursors of modern feminism was around long before Gloria Steinem or any of your “women’s libbers” started burning their bras. It was around long before the relatively new invention of a “nuclear family.” And it was around looooong before Marx, Engels, or any of the Frankfurt School guys.

        When you try to frame all the problems faced by men today as nothing other than some silly secret commie plot to destroy family, you’re showing that you really don’t understand history, the family, capitalism, Marxism… It comes across as nothing more than a sort of fetish for blaming Marxism–kind of like how pretty much all feminists blame The Patriarchy™.

        I recommend you try to take into consideration the larger historical context of gender roles, gender dynamics, power structures, and who are the primary beneficiaries of economic stratification that alienates men from their families. All of it functions to make men atomized and isolated individuals that exist primarily as some unit of economic production, reducing men to soulless capitalist trinkets to be sold in the “free market.” Who are the primary beneficiaries? It certainly isn’t the alienated men.

      • @funkymunkyluvn
        I really appreciate your engagement with this issue, and it is clear you have enormous passion for the subject, which is to your credit. I also appreciate your seeking to expand my education. I suppose I don’t really appreciate the ad hominems based on wrong assumptions. As you say, maybe I “don’t understand history, the family, capitalism, Marxism… OK. It’s your opinion. I’ve no doubt you will have the last word here, but this is mine. Have a nice day.

  • She said quote “The new bigots believe that “foreigners” and “feminazis” are stripping poor, defenceless white men of the privilege they were raised to expect and therefore obviously deserve” and later she said “some prefer to kick down – at women or minorities “.
    This is one extremely insecure individual.

    • Indeed she is. Not only that, she’s a dinosaur, blissfully unaware that she and her like are dinosaurs. She can screech at the approaching meteor which will wipe out professional feminists like her, but that’s all she can do. I look forward to her working as a checkout assistant at Aldi in her later years. I’d travel a long way to support her employment rather than use the ‘self checkout’ facility. Now that thought’s brought a smile to my face!

  • Becoming quite a trend for feminists to publicly lie about Mike, either in print or at debates.

    I think you’ll have to insist on record all interviews from now on. As you’ve already proved, the chances are that they’ll lie about what was said later.

    • Thanks. Good point. I would usually have a voice recorder, but Laurie Penny caught me away from home. Lesson learned though.

  • great work Mike ! I can’t wait for her response (or lack of it) Either way, she’s in trouble!!

  • The hoot is that the feminists are beginning to worry. They realize they’ve been caught lying by Mike and then try to say that he’s the one lying or that they didn’t say this or that. It makes me feel happy and vindicated seeing them frightened! What a great job Mike and the many supporters have been doing!! The meteor is getting closer and closer…
    M.

  • i wouldnt consider, if she doesnt retract it i would push the legal road, id also be sending a correspondence to the new statesman and force them to retract in print/

  • Mike, you need to fight this head on. Insist on a retraction and apology from the NS and if they don’t follow *immediately* sue. What she has said is clearly libellous and providing you can prove your statements, she doesn’t have a leg to stand on. I’d also consider writing a piece for The Telegraph or Independent, similar to this one, calling her out.

    Why is feminism so successful, because its proponents fight hard and fight loud on every available front. It’s the one thing we need to borrow from them.

    • Thanks Jenny, good points. I’ll give what you say serious consideration in the coming days. Let’s see what emerges from Ms Penny or the NS (which I’ve contacted) by 5pm next Thursday.

  • funkymunkyluvn

    Notice how Ms. Penny, a self-described Marxist who should despise various sorts of economic stratification hierarchies, tries to defame you as being a man of low economic status. I love how these feminists bitch all day about male economic dominance hierarchies, but completely fail to see how these things that they bitch so much about are nothing but the flipside of female hypergamy.

    • Thanks – a few people have commented that she tried to make me look like a hobo.

      • funkymunkyluvn

        Well, it’s not uncommon for these entitled and privileged white girls to go slumming and she was probably projecting just her hobosexual fantasy onto you. 🙂

  • Mike,
    You were called a racist by Penny Red?
    Congratulations – you are in great company. In company of Mr Starkey, no less!
    Listen to Ms Red play the bully, the victim, and the race card… and STILL get owned!
    Did you say she called you a liar too …..Mr Starkey appears to have some experience of her ways also.
    This is an excellent insight to this vile little upstart.