Gender, class and culture: new writing

As you may have noticed, I’ve been busy writing until my eyes sting and my fingers cramp. I’ve got lots of exciting projects in the works- but for now I’m back at my desk working on columns and features. This week, three pieces I’m really proud of came out.

Women Can’t Have It All: Because The Game Is Rigged

‘Life’, for women, is simply another word for work, a route-march through child-rearing and domestic labour which is assumed to be the ultimate destination of every woman’s passions. ‘Life’, for men, is meant to be bigger than that.

For New Statesman. A review of Ann Marie Slaughter’s ‘Unfinished Business’ asking why we’re still exhausting ourselves over the myth of work-life balance. This piece was featured at Velamag.

The Tragedy of James Bond

It is possible to watch the films ironically but it is hard to sustain a rigorous internal critique when the scenery is blowing up and Dr No must be stopped at all costs. Ultimately, it is terribly difficult to sustain an ironic erection. To do so involves a kind of anxiety that the men and boys of the 21st century know very well.

For New Statesman. This reading of James Bond as a tragic anti-hero got me a stupendous amount of hate-mail from people whose masculinity is so fragile that they can’t grasp that James Bond is not just a dangerous sociopath but, crucially, *fictional*.

How To Be A Genderqueer Feminist

Looking back, though, that militant insistence on womanhood before everything is part of the reason it’s taken me a decade to admit that, in addition to being a feminist, I’m genderqueer. That I’m here to fight for women’s rights, that I play for the girls’ team, but I have never felt like much of a woman at all.

A personal and political piece for Buzzfeed which took a lot of soul-scouring. In which I tackle the tension between second-wave feminism and transgender politics- and officially come out as genderqueer.

I’m hoping to gather more of my columns on gender, power and culture into a dedicated collection soon- but more news on that later!

-Laurie Penny