Comment: British media was abuzz last week over this actor's outspoken comments on 'woke culture'. If you don't know before who Laurence Fox is, you will soon!


Feminist protesters and Laurence Fox
© Getty Images / Karwai Tang
Feminist protesters and Laurence Fox
Not into purple hair? Don't think a lecture on your own toxic masculinity sounds like good pillow talk? Won't go to see Little Women on a date? Well that means you are probably a white supremacist, if not a mass murderer.

That's according to pundit Vicky Spratt, who recently penned an angry response to British singer and actor Laurence Fox's declaration that he won't date "woke" women. Fox has become something of an iconoclast of late, first for ridiculing the notion of 'white privilege' on a BBC panel, and then for expounding on his dating preferences in a Sunday Times feature.

"There's nothing funny about the things Fox...is saying," Spratt wrote. "It's dangerous." These beliefs, she continued, feed into "other far-right ideas," which can then spill "out dangerously into the offline world," as was the case when a right-wing extremist murdered Labour MP Jo Cox in 2016, or when a white supremacist gunned down 51 people in Christchurch last year.

That's quite the jump. And quite the accusation to make, considering Fox's statements aren't controversial.

Less than a third of British men define themselves as "feminist," according to one 2019 survey. That's the same amount who feel that "giving women equal rights to men has gone far enough," by the way. And that's on top of a 2018 poll - carried out by Spratt's publication, Refinery29, no less - that found that more than half of millennial women surveyed don't consider themselves feminists.

Yet, the fact that Fox's interview generated such a media backlash - the Guardian has taken to rubbishing his music career, his acting and his political beliefs in three separate columns, and calling BBC's Question Time a "festival of bile" for even hosting him - is indicative of the disconnect between media liberals and the real world.

Spratt lambasted Fox for "legitimizing hatred and division," and encouraging a "bigger backlash against diversity and progress." Note that "progress" here means 'progress toward a left-wing utopia' and "diversity" clearly does not include 'diversity of thought'. Fox was similarly shunned by actors' union Equity, which issued a missive commanding all British thespians to "unequivocally denounce" him, and brand him a "disgrace to our industry." The actor himself claims he's receiving death threats from some violently woke viewers.

But back in the real world, refusing to date woke women is not "dangerous." It's just a preference. I wouldn't date a committed astrologer, a Green Party activist, or a born again Christian for the same reason. Their world views simply wouldn't mesh with mine.

Spratt and the Guardian's legions of female readers are free to be as 'woke' as they like, and proclaim their beliefs as loudly and proudly as they see fit. But no man can be compelled to date them. To call a man's choice of partners "dangerous" is an argument as ridiculous as the ramblings of the basement-dwelling incels who believe a state-supplied virgin wife is their birthright.

To borrow a phrase from the lexicon of 'the woke', berating someone into finding you attractive is a very "toxically masculine" thing to do, isn't it?

Feminist writer Carol Hanisch declared in 1969 that "the personal is political," and the imbroglio over Fox's dating preferences is the fruit of that particular strand of feminist thought. When the personal is political, personal choice is grounds for political attack. According to Spratt and her ilk, by refusing to date the radical left, men are openly siding with fascists and murderers. They are political enemies.

One might think that the end result of making such personal, private choices subject to ideology is intrusion, even totalitarianism.

But the proponents of this ideology are oblivious to these implications, as they are blind to their own hypocrisy.

These same commentators who consider un-woke men a step away from mass shooters also regularly pen columns advising their (mostly female) readers to filter out conservative voters on dating apps and avoid potential suitors who read right-wing newspapers. They're the same opinion writers who call straight men's refusal to date transgender women "ridiculous," "prejudiced," and "transphobic."

Fox is a public figure, and has thus become a lightning rod for woke anger. But what can a regular Joe do? A man who doesn't want his relationships to feature endless discussions about internalized misogyny or the power dynamics of his sex life analyzed through an intersectional feminist lens?

The answer is simple. Date whoever you want and don't let media lunatics shame you into anything, you lovely fascist pig you.
About the author

Graham Dockery is an Irish journalist, commentator, and writer at RT. Previously based in Amsterdam, he wrote for DutchNews and a scatter of local and national newspapers.