Unspeakable Things, Laurie Penny
Laurie Penny

Unspeakable Things

267 printed pages
  • 👍1
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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dannynicolini
dannynicolinishared an impression3 months ago
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Women, like any oppressed class, learn to fear our own rage. Our anger is legitimately terrifying. We know that if it ever gets out, we might get hurt, or worse, abandoned. One sure test of social privilege is how much anger you get to express without the threat of expulsion, arrest, or social exclusion, and so we force down our rage like rotten food until it festers and sickens us.
This is a feminist book. It is not a cheery instruction manual for how to negotiate modern patriarchy, with a sassy wink and a thumbs-up. It is not a charming, comforting book about sex and shopping and shoes. I am unable to write any such thing. I cannot force a smile for you. As a handbook for happiness in a fucked-up world, this book cannot be trusted.
Nor is this an academic study – it’s a polemic grounded in research, experience and years of writing and campaigning on the queer and feminist scenes in Britain and America and online. I have seen enough women shamed for speaking of rape
Of all the female sins, hunger is the least forgivable; hunger for anything, for food, sex, power, education, even love. If we have desires, we are expected to conceal them, to control them, to keep ourselves in check. We are supposed to be objects of desire, not desiring beings.
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