A Failure and a Fraud

This is probably going to be my last post on Laurie Penny for a while because I think I’ve made my point already and this is just hammering it home. Take a look at these tweets from yesterday:

The book she is referring to is most likely her latest one, Bitch Doctrine. I haven’t been able to find the review in question, which is a shame because it would probably be a hoot.

For an avid attention-seeker who likes to get in people’s faces and make them feel uncomfortable, she appears to have rather thin skin. Crying over a bad book review? I mean nobody likes criticism and I can imagine a bad review does smart a little, but that comes with the territory – especially if you’ve set out to piss people off with your works. But it’s not the thinness of her skin that annoys me so much as the hypocrisy. Here’s Laurie reviewing Ivanka Trump’s book:

In Women Who Work,  Ivanka unequivocally depicts herself as the embodiment of everything aspirational and desirable in contemporary womanhood. The answer to any and every problem faced by a “woman who works” is simply “be more like Ivanka.” Be white, wealthy, and blonde; be rich, thin, and expensively coiffed; be late-stage kamikaze capitalist femininity made silicon-sculpted flesh. Be the Grifters’ Madonna. This is a woman who wants to sell you designer bootstraps made by foreign sweatshop workers and for you to call yourself a free bitch.

It’s true that anyone can be a dead-eyed Instagram husk of a human being frantically photoshopping themselves in the down-hours between soul-crushing corporate drudgery and unpaid emotional labour for some ungrateful lantern-jawed jock if they really want to, but it takes a special type of person to do all that whilst also being a decoy for a global backlash against women’s rights. Ivanka Trump is that special type of person, the Stepfordian Night-Ghast of neo-capitalist auto-Taylorism.

This is what the Trumps do. Like a ballistic set of spoilt toddlers having a tantrum in an upscale department store, they see something they want, they grab it, and they force themselves into it, stretching and tearing it out of shape, then they scream to be told how great they look in whatever it is while you take it to the till and pay, whether it’s the West Wing or the history of women’s liberation. Ivanka saw the trend for empowerment-flavoured pseudo-feminist punditry and wanted it, so she got her father to buy it for her, But the rest of us will be the ones to pay.

Yes, the person who wrote that is now crying and trawling the internet for sympathy because someone gave her own book a bad review.

A failure and a fraud, indeed.

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11 thoughts on “A Failure and a Fraud

  1. Being thin skinned is a consistent hallmark of these people. We saw it with GamerGate where the feminists were hurling abuse towards gamers and couldn’t handle the response in kind. We saw it with the female Ghostbusters: racial slurs flying both ways but the lefties could not handle what came their way. Of course the media only publish the slurs against their own side to make their darlings look like victims rather than the active participants or even instigators that they actually are.

  2. “I’ve made my point already and this is just hammering it home.”

    Yeah, but it’s fun though…

  3. “I’ve made my point already and this is just hammering it home.”

    But you do it so well, and she deserves it.

  4. “…I just feel like a failure and a fraud.”

    This could be one time when Laurie’s feelings are correctly aligned with reality — except that she doesn’t feel a failure and a fraud at all. It’s an attention-seeking pose. She wants her followers to rally round with virtual hugs and tweets praising her insight, courage and radicalism. ‘Bitch Doctrine’ has received fawning reviews in the FT, the Sydney Morning Herald and elsewhere.

  5. I’m not entirely convinced that a) any major paper gave it a suuuuper mean review, or b) she blubbed at all.

  6. This could be one time when Laurie’s feelings are correctly aligned with reality — except that she doesn’t feel a failure and a fraud at all. It’s an attention-seeking pose. She wants her followers to rally round with virtual hugs and tweets praising her insight, courage and radicalism

    And that’s exactly what happened.

  7. I’m not entirely convinced that a) any major paper gave it a suuuuper mean review, or b) she blubbed at all.

    With her track record, nor am I.

  8. It’s all Trump’s fault. Apparently.

    I believe there was once a review of a play called something like “A Good Time” and the critic simply said: “It isn’t.” Thank goodness the sainted Penny didn’t entitle her book “Intelligent advice for human beings” as a similar short review would hurt a lot.

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