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Laurie Penny

Unspeakable Things

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Shortlisted for The Green Carnation Prize 2014

'This is not a fairytale. This is a story about how sex and money and power police our dreams.'
Clear-eyed, witty and irreverent, Laurie Penny is as ruthless in her dissection of modern feminism and class politics as she is in discussing her own experiences in journalism, activism and underground culture.
This is a book about poverty and prejudice, online dating and eating disorders, riots in the streets and lies on the television. The backlash is on against sexual freedom for men and women and social justice ­— and feminism needs to get braver.
Penny speaks for a new feminism that takes no prisoners, a feminism that is about justice and equality, but also about freedom for all. It's about the freedom to be who we are, to love who we choose, to invent new gender roles, and to speak out fiercely against those who would deny us those rights. It is a book that gives the silenced a voice ­— a voice that speaks of unspeakable things.
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267 printed pages
Publication year
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  • dannynicolinishared an impression5 years ago
    👍Worth reading


  • dannynicolinihas quoted5 years ago
    It’s about saying no and expecting that no to be respected. It’s is about owning your own capacity to consent, and exercising it actively, again and again – not just in sexual terms but in political terms, too.
    Because when we are done hating ourselves and hurting each other, we can get on with asking for what should be ours by right.
    Neoliberal patriarchy gives us choice, but not freedom. No choice in an unfree society can be a truly free choice. The choice between this boss and that, the choice between marriage and penury, the choice between shame and self-denial, the choice between degrading work and debilitating poverty, all of these choices are meaningful, but they are not the same as liberty. Feminism and radical politics are about demanding more than a choice between one type of servitude and another. They are about insisting on our right to live with dignity, our right to shelter and sustenance and learning and the means to take care of one another.
  • dannynicolinihas quoted5 years ago
    cope with the intimate terrorism of neoliberal patriarchy we’ve got to work on giving fewer fucks. We’ve got to work on having no shame because we need no shame, because none of us do, unless we have hurt another person. We must be comfortable with knowing too much, but never knowing our place.
  • dannynicolinihas quoted5 years ago
    Here are the worst things you can call a woman: ugly. Slutty. Fat. Bitter. Bitch. Cunt. The worst thing anyone can say to a woman, in short, is that she doesn’t please you. We must get used to giving the answer: is that all you’ve got?

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