Stephen Fry – Posing as a Misogynist?

National Treasure Stephen Fry has got himself into hot water, which will be Quite Interesting to watch. Not least to hear him tested with a real issue, which is always a pleasure. 

 In a gob-fest with something called ‘Attitude’ magazine, he says:
“If women liked sex as much as men, there would be straight cruising areas in the way there are gay cruising areas. Women would go and hang around in churchyards thinking: ‘God, I’ve got to get my fucking rocks off’, or they’d go to Hampstead Heath and meet strangers to shag behind a bush. It doesn’t happen. Why? Because the only women you can have sex with like that wish to be paid for it.”
Or ‘Women don’t really like sex, they’re only in it for the money’.  A bit like premiership footballers. This is how it has been taken, and everyone’s favourite uncle and nephew is now not quite so cuddly or graceful. Coming from the man who runs screaming from female nudity, and who once complained of the mechanics of sex that ‘to reach the pleasure, first one has to wade through all this poison’ it sounds like he’s talking complete bollox about something he knows nothing about, and doesn’t want to thank you very much, at best. It does also sound eerily Swiftian. But we won’t go there. 
It’s a shame he has hit the nail on the thumb so hard. Because there is a serious point to be made about the way consumerist-era relationships are cast and graded and packaged and marketed and used and recycled (or discarded) which might have strained his mighty bonce. But apparently he bottled it.

“I feel sorry for straight men. The only reason women will have sex with them is that sex is the price they are willing to pay for a relationship with a man, which is what they want,” …”Of course, a lot of women will deny this and say, ‘Oh no, but I love sex, I love it!’ But do they go around having it the way that gay men do?”
He might have addressed the origins of modern gay culture in its criminalised past for answers to that question. Just as he might have addressed the origins of all modern sexuality in its charter’d, manacled history. That would have been Very Interesting. I’m sure that the likes of Rosie Boycott and Susan Orbach are better placed to advise him on the right books to read than me, only I can’t imagine he hasn’t already read them.
It will be interesting to see the entire context, and whether there are any mis-quotes or other finagling. If so, what was the agenda in this case? What aspect of sexual politics and the Showbiz industry does this unveil? As the ultimate modern Celeb, Fry is definitely the man to  chronicle and dissect the workings of the game. It might even be possible that in Fry, the media demolition crew have chosen the wrong sucker. Wayne Rooney he isn’t.
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