Laurie Penny

Laurie Penny (born Laura Barnett, 28 September 1986) is a British journalist and writer. Penny has written articles for publications including The Guardian, The New York Times and Salon. Penny is a contributing editor at the New Statesman and the author of several books on feminism, and they have also written for American television shows including The Haunting of Bly Manor and The Nevers.[1][2]

Laurie Penny
Penny in 2016
Penny in 2016
BornLaura Barnett
(1986-09-28) 28 September 1986 (age 36)
Westminster, London, England
OccupationJournalist, author, screenwriter
EducationBrighton College
Alma materWadham College, Oxford

Early life and educationEdit

Penny was born in London to two lawyers of Irish, Jewish and Maltese descent,[3] and grew up in Lewes[4] and Brighton.[5] Penny suffered from anorexia as a teenager and was hospitalised with the condition aged 17. They later recovered from the illness and wrote about the experience from a feminist perspective in their book Unspeakable Things.[6]

Penny attended the independent school Brighton College before studying English at Wadham College, Oxford.[7]


Penny's blog "Penny Red" was launched in 2007[8] and was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for blogging in 2010.[9] Penny went on to become a columnist at The Independent in 2012[10] and then a columnist and contributing editor for the New Statesman.[11] They are a regular contributor to The Guardian.[12]

In April 2011, they presented the Channel 4 Dispatches programme "Cashing in on Degrees".[13] and also appeared on Channel 4's satirical current affairs programme 10 O'Clock Live[14] and on BBC Two's Newsnight.[15]

In 2012, Tatler magazine described Penny as one of the top 100 "people who matter".[16] In October 2012, The Daily Telegraph ranked Penny as the 55th most influential left-winger in Britain, describing them as "without doubt the loudest and most controversial female voice on the radical left",[17] and the knowledge networking company Editorial Intelligence awarded Penny its "Twitter Public Personality" award.[18] In 2015 Penny was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.[19]

Several of Penny's articles have provoked criticism, including a 2014 article for the New Statesman that argued short hair on women was a "political statement"[20] and a 2015 article defending vandalism of the Monument to the Women of World War II.[21]


Penny is the author of seven books including Bitch Doctrine, Unspeakable Things and Everything Belongs to the Future.[22] Penny's book Penny Red: Notes from the New Age of Dissent was shortlisted for the first Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing in 2012.[23] Their seventh book, Bitch Doctrine: Essays for Dissenting Adults, was longlisted for the 2018 Orwell Prize.[24]


Penny has also written for streaming TV, contributing to episodes of the Netflix show The Haunting of Bly Manor and HBO's The Nevers, and acted as a story editor on Carnival Row.[25]

Personal lifeEdit

Penny came out as genderqueer, pansexual and polyamorous in 2015.[26][27] In 2020, Penny stated a preference for the pronouns they/them; but also uses she/her pronouns, although they consider them to be "less accurate".[28]

In December 2020 Penny married in Los Angeles, California.[29]

Penny has stated they have complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD).[30]



  • Meat Market: Female Flesh Under Capitalism (Zero Books, 2011)
  • Penny Red: Notes from the New Age of Dissent (Pluto Press, 2011)
  • Discordia: Six Nights in Crisis Athens (Random House, 2012)
  • Cybersexism: Sex, Gender and Power on the Internet (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2013)
  • Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014)
  • Everything Belongs to the Future (, 2016)
  • Bitch Doctrine: Essays for Dissenting Adults (Bloomsbury USA, 2017)
  • Sexual Revolution : Modern Fascism and the Feminist Fightback (Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, 2022) ISBN 978-1526602213


  1. ^ "Laurie Penny". IMDb. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  2. ^ Johnston, Rich (12 July 2019). "Talking to Laurie Penny About the Switch From British Politics to Hollywood". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  3. ^ "Laurie Penny on the politics of the personal (From Herald Scotland)". The Herald. Glasgow. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  4. ^ "So they burned Alex Salmond in my hometown". New Statesman. London. 6 November 2014. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  5. ^ "Laurie Penny". Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  6. ^ Laurie Penny (30 June 2014). "Being a perfect girl can kill you". The Guardian. London.
  7. ^ "Laurie Penny". Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  8. ^ "We have achieved preambulation. Bring me a sweetie-bag of amphetamines and the head of Margaret Thatcher". Laurie Penny – via Penny Red blogspot. 23 September 2007. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  9. ^ "Orwell Prize 2010 Longlists Announced". 24 March 2010. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  10. ^ "Laurie Penny leaves The Independent after nine months to rejoin New Statesman".
  11. ^ "Laurie Penny". Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  12. ^ "Laurie Penny profile at The Guardian online". The Guardian. London. 7 August 2009. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  13. ^ "Cashing in on Degrees- Channel 4 Dispatches".
  14. ^ "10 O'Clock Live". IMDb. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  15. ^ "Newsnight". IMDb. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  16. ^ "The Future of Humanity". Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  17. ^ "Top 100 most influential figures from the Left 2012". The Daily Telegraph. 3 October 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  18. ^ "The late Marie Colvin among seven Times and Sunday Times winners at Comment Awards". Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  19. ^ Nieman Fellowship Class of 2015, Harvard University, 30 April 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  20. ^ "Sorry Laurie Penny, but the patriarchy likes short hair | Coffee House". The Spectator. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  21. ^ "Laurie Penny defends war memorial vandalism at anti-Tory march | Coffee House". The Spectator. 9 May 2015. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  22. ^ "Laurie Penny".
  23. ^ "New prize for radical writing announces shortlist".
  24. ^ Onwuemezi, Natasha (10 April 2018). "The Bookseller". The Bookseller.
  25. ^ "Talking to Laurie Penny About the Switch from British Politics to Hollywood". 12 July 2019.
  26. ^ Penny, Laurie (31 October 2015). "How To Be A Genderqueer Feminist". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  27. ^ Laurie Penny [@PennyRed] (11 October 2015). "Hi. I'm pansexual, polyamorous and a genderqueer woman. I prefer the pronouns 'she' or 'they' and sometimes 'oi, you!' #NationalComingOutDay" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  28. ^ Laurie Penny [@PennyRed] (9 August 2020). "TLDR my preferred pronouns are they/them. She/her is also fine, just less accurate. I'm not out to threaten anyone else's identity here, I've got no time for bullies, and if you're going to be a wanker about it I'd prefer you not address me at all" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  29. ^ Penny, Laurie (13 December 2020). "My Highly Unexpected Heterosexual Pandemic Zoom Wedding". Wired.
  30. ^ Penny, Laurie. Twitter Retrieved 8 March 2022. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  31. ^ "Laurie Penny". The Orwell Prize. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  32. ^ Flood, Alison (6 March 2012). "New prize for radical writing announces shortlist". Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  33. ^ "Laurie Penny shortlisted for the Red Women of the Year awards 2014". Blake Friedmann. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  34. ^ "Nieman announces named fellowships for the class of 2015". Nieman Reports. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  35. ^ "Berkman Center Announces 2015-2016 Community". Berkman Klein Center. 19 October 2015. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  36. ^ "2017 Hugo Awards". The Hugo Awards. 31 December 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  37. ^ "Ellies 2018 Finalists Announced". American Society of Magazine Editors. 2018. Retrieved 12 April 2021.

External linksEdit