16 reasons why you, a man, should hate the patriarchy


This is a slightly longer version of the blog first published on HuffingtonPostUK on 15/01/2014.

This piece was prompted by Emer O’Toole’s excellent article, Men –if you’re not a feminist, it’s fine, just move on. I loved it, I found it very convincing. Hopefully this list complements it. O’Toole’s point is that men who interact with feminism but care more about male issues can be ‘allies’ but shouldn’t claim to be ‘feminists’. This then isn’t a feminist article per se, but certainly an anti-patriarchy one.

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Liberal Metropolitan Elite Manifesto

What would the LIME Party really look like?

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Love the Machine – Review of Spike Jonze’s ‘Her’

Last week I wrote a review of Transcendence and concluded that, although better than the general critical consensus, it was certainly pretty meh and missed more goals than it set up. This review, of Spike Jonze’s Her, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson, is intended to be read as part II, since both films touch upon identity, artificial intelligence (AI), and love. As before, there will be spoilers aplenty, so if you just want my recommendation: watch this film. Continue reading

Reaping the innocent – government’s terror DRIP law

On Tuesday 15 July, the House of Commons will debate ‘DRIP’, the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill. They will pass it.

On Wednesday, the House of Lords will debate ‘DRIP’. They will pass it.

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Pandora’s Excellent Box: AI in Film

Film Review of (I)Transcendence and (II) Her

After enjoying a whimsical recollection of a recent Glitch Mob gig, my mind’s been all critic-like. So I thought I’d turn it to two superficially similar films which are both about AI and love, with my usualy witty blend of philsophy, feminism and literary snobbery. Spoilers follow, but I’ll try to signpost the worst in situ so you can skip paragraphs if you really care. Continue reading

Feminists won’t “banish men from power” and Penny’s not Stalin

“The Rise of Ideological Feminism” by A Free Left Blog: A Response

Ben Cobley’s original argument “The rise of ideological feminism (Part III on Karl Popper and contemporary ideologies)” can be found here on his Free Left Blog. It is a strong critique, focusing particularly on the views of Laurie Penny and parts of the British Labour Party, but applies to the wider modern feminist movement. Continue reading

Baring Royal Bodies

Longtime readers will recall my monograph of 2012, which discussed the episodes in which compromising photos were taken of Harry Windsor and Catherine Windsor. In that, I argued that paparazzi in general was a bad thing because it undermined consent, and because resorts to the ‘public interest’ defence were pathetic. I further argued that Britain (or the elusive ‘Middle Britain’) had a peculiar double-standard regarding gender differences (printing Harry photos fine, Kate photos TANTAMOUNT TO TREASON) and class differences (printing paparazzi photos of Sienna Miller, unremarkable or deserved, printing paparazzi photos of Kate EQUIVALENT TO MURDER). Continue reading

The Terrifying Familiarity of Elliot Rodger

It isn’t the conclusion of Elliot Rodger’s video that terrifies me – not the ‘day of retribution’ content, the killing intentions, the insistence that it could all have been averted if one of the ‘pretty girls’ had slept with him. It isn’t the discussion of Alpha Maledom or punishing women or revenge against humanity. Continue reading

On Moshing; or, Why Glitch Mob Are Truly International Gentlemen

[A gig review in which I am not hyperbolic at all…]

I woke up on Saturday in pain. Continue reading

Girls Who Write


This is my first (and possibly only) foray into spoken word, in a response to Mark Grist’s excellent ‘Girls Who Read’ poem, here. It obviously owes much of its structure and content to Grist.

Text reads:
‘So, what do you go for in a girl?’
He grins
On his fourth tonic and gin
Nods to where his mate waits,
“He’s all about a tight waist,
full lips and long legs.
Me, I beg for a slit that’s trimmed,
A dirty mind and a firm behind.’
He glances down, the gin swirls
‘What do you like in a girl?’
My collar’s a little tight,
it’s not that I like
to bait and mock
to flirt with a fight
but this man
is. a. cock.

“Well, if you must know
I like a girl who writes.
Yeah, writes.
I won’t say you’re misogynist
I guess you’re just a bit too pissed
“I want a girl who writes.
Who devoured the poems and essays
The classics, the mags and the plays,
Who knows a literate life doesn’t pay,
Who’s read more than enough to quote, rough or smooth
In debates and in flirting, in making her move.
To show she’s as bright as far stars
Knows football’s best strikers and prototype cars.
Reading novels she always delights
But still has this urge to write.
I want a girl who stresses
Every word, every comma, on each noun she obsesses.
She’s gone through mum’s bookcase and wants more,
Exhausted the second hand store
Still she needs to create something all on her own,
multiple universes she can call home,

Her mind just can’t find a place to rest
in plush armchairs,
she needs that desk,
the papers strewn, the ancient runes
that dimming lamp and weird music from her amp,
a coffee mug to break the fug,
she writes.
She’s bored with the library,
tried every genre
cried at the romances, baulked at the horror
she’s angered by Orwell and challenged by Marx,
bored of tired metaphors tied to sky larks.
The common touch is there,
she cares
for haircuts and dresses
said she might try out Heat’s latest caresses

She’s constrained by the brains of all authors before her
Terrified she’ll try and the world will ignore her
With all of her talents she knows she impresses
but she’s sure she wants more
the reader’s the lesser
and she wants better.
I’d like a girl who writes.
Crafts verse from written word
Dives headfirst through oblique and absurd
Makes you care for the man in the hearse,
the strife on the street and the army’s retreat,
the midnight tryst and the doomed final kiss
I want a girl who writes
Not a forgotten hobby but an ongoing strife
Notes on receipts and lyrics on envelopes
Word dot docs of rambling prose.
She just flows with her passion for creation, her lust
trusts in those aphorisms scribbled in margins
Because next week, she’ll try again.
I want a girl to fantasise
To forge new plots with smiling eyes
And explore her mind and mine her thoughts
For farewells cried at distant ports
Even for questions of morals and ethics
To meet fire with fire and stones with sticks?
What to do ’bout the pox, the occupation, climate change
A girl who writes can have such a range
as wide and long as any page.
She can stir up lust, tears or rage,
Yes, a girl who writes is the kind
with whom I wouldn’t mind
To reach a ripe old age.

Honk! First personal street harassment


[My privileges are checked here, and you could read this blog as one more extended check]

I have long hair for a man. Right now it comes to my collar, and previously it’s been way down past my shoulders. My dress sense is unremarkable, usually smartish and a tad colourful. Occasionally red trousers brigade (!) Essentially, I do not intentionally cross-dress.

“Muuuuuuuuum! Is that a man or a woman?” Continue reading