For those of you who simply love a dose of tartness in their reading material, Bitch Doctrine will fit the bill very nicely. Laurie Penny pulls no punches when she selected a number of her essays and columns to create this seriously astringent look at the world we live in, through the eyes of a seasoned journalist and political thinker.
Lauded as a bright new voice that needs to be heard, Penny has been around for a number of years, writing her insightful words for those who cared enough to read them. In this selection she has chosen pieces new and not so new, beginning with Bitch Logic, explaining her perspective on life, love and politics, moving on to viewing the madness of the recently held US elections which saw Donald Trump take the role of President of the United States of America, despite a series of indicators to the contrary. Her words on this topic sadly are proving to be prophetic.
Culture is placed under the spotlight from a very different aspect beginning with Star Wars, JK Rowling’s and moving on to stating that James Bond, the hero of many, is a tragedy. Now up to a point many readers may take exception to this, but perhaps in the context of this tale, Penny may, and I say may, have a point. A sad tale is related in The View From Somewhere where she talks about sharing a bus with a load of young activists of to the G20 conference and a young man, a school drop-out living on the streets, and why he chose to burn his last dollar.
Gender makes for interesting reading and what ‘gender’ actually means and to whom. Girls, verses feminism, versus women and transsexuals: what is it that modern day society finds in the struggle for acceptance by so many that may prove to be considered threatening? Gender has become a red hot topic of late with gay rights, same sex marriage and transgender issues strutting across the world headlines on a weekly basis. Perhaps it is a ‘tipping point’ in time where old stereotypes need resigning to the past and a new look at the current situation of ‘gender’ must be undertaken. By the end of this section you may certainly concur with Penny’s viewpoint.
As you would expect the Future is the final section where she looks at a ‘dystopian’ vision of the things to come and wonders where the road will eventually lead; to a more feminist future, one dreaded by the typical male viewpoint, across the areas of business, religion and politics or more of the same style of female repression. That is the question that is still out there waiting to be answered. Only time will hold the answer
Brilliant, witty, flamboyant and divisive, she tackles the hard issue of a society which appears to have lost its way, a place societal norms no longer exist and nothing has been created to fill the gap.
Not to be read in a madcap charge into femineity but savoured, piece by piece.