This is not my generation, Laurie Penny

Earlier today, a memorial to the women of World War II was daubed with graffiti reading “Fuck Tory Scum”.

Laurie Penny, who’s about my age, decided to express the opinion that:

“I don’t have a problem with this. The bravery of past generations does not oblige us to be cowed today.”

I mention Penny’s age because I get the impression she thinks she’s part of a brave new generation, a generation not obliged to be ‘cowed’, a generation who are too pigshit thick to find anywhere to write graffiti other than one of the (very, very, very few) existing memorials to women. I am two years older than Penny, and (like her, I imagine), I grew up knowing women who lived through WWII. I met women who survived the Holocaust; I met women who drove ambulances during the Blitz; I met women who cracked the Enigma code, and I knew my lovely granny, who did tell me about the war (when I asked), but whose expression if I’d mentioned her ‘bravery’ would have suggested a cat sucking a lemon in the rain.

Penny, clearly, fondly imagines she’s captured the rhetoric of Churchill with her anachronistic ‘cowed’. But she hasn’t. She’s defended people defacing a memorial that has nothing whatsoever to do with the Tories, and an awful lot to do with what people who stand against the Tories want to support.

It’s sad she’s been attacked by Katie Hopkins, who never fails to put the boot in. But I am more than a bit sad for my generation, if this is our representative.

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8 thoughts on “This is not my generation, Laurie Penny

  1. I wonder if the “pigshit thick”person who wrote Fuck Tory Scum actually bothered to vote. And whether, as I sadly imagine he did, he chose to deface a women’s monument which presumably took some effort to find.

    • I don’t know … I just feel completely bemused that this is being described as if the choice is a binary one between protesting the Tories, and avoiding defacing a women’s memorial.

  2. I imagine it’s a case of somebody blindly seeing all monuments as emblems of the Establishment, and not really understanding it’s particular significance. A real shame though- being disconnected from your own history is never going to end well…

    • Yes, I think that’s it. I’ve seen several people refer to it without seeming to know it was a memorial to women. Not that I think it’s particularly ok to deface memorials in general, but the implication has been it’s a memorial to the ‘haves’ and therefore it’s ok.

  3. There is some doubt as to which particular gang of male thugs the graffiti-ier belongs to. Some are saying it was an agent provacteur rather than a protestor.

    Either way don’t really agree with ” [women’s achievements are ] what people who stand against the Tories want to support.” Sadly most left wing men are perfectly happy to walk all over women, their history and their achievments.

    But, do agree that Laurie “too cool for school” Penny is completely clueless as usual.

    • Yes, I’d seen several people suggesting the graffiti might well have been put there by someone trying to make protesters look bad.

      And I take your point that plenty of left-wing men are not particularly feminist (sadly). I wasn’t thinking solely of women’s achievements, but more widely about respecting diverse histories, which is something I do think most left-wingers would want to do – even if they are not good, in practice, at including women’s histories.

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