Journalist Mona Eltahaway Labels Me A ‘Misogynist Prick’


My patience is wearing thin with those who assume to tell people which causes they can’t support or have an opinion on due to their location, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender.

It seems a form of identity politics where it’s more important to be seen ‘fighting the good fight’ than it is to actually win the war. It’s going to take more than every woman on this planet to achieve gender equality for instance. Excluding men is counterproductive because if men are the problem they need to be part of the solution too.

There will be many valuable voices in any movement, some with relevant, direct experiences and some without – but it’s going to take more than one particular clique, or a singular political persuasion to make progress on the big issues of our day. This is why sensible allies are vital.

Regardless of whether they have a personal link to the issue, sensible allies can also serve to support, promote and amplify good ideas and challenge the bad ones. And that’s a vital component of influencing changes to attitudes and behaviour. There’s nothing about this view in my mind that prevents one from listening to people directly affected also.

Now, I’m happy to have my mind changed on this view, but there’s one thing I’m certain of: arguing in favour of it a ‘misogynist prick’ does not make.

This brings me to Journalist Mona Eltahawy. Mona has taken to Twitter over the last few days to tell men, ex-Muslims, white people, Western Feminists and non-Muslims to ‘shut up’ on issues of equality and human rights.





This is particularly odd given she’s previously bemoaned the ‘global’ silence on FGM. ‘Shut up but speak up’ is a confusing message to ‘lead’ a movement with.

Below are my interactions with Mona before being blocked and defamed to her 200,000 followers as a ‘misogynist prick’. Can anyone spot the hatred of women in my tweets?





It’s especially disconcerting that she explains away the dissenters to her obnoxious views as ‘fuckboys’ whilst also ignoring the swathes of feminists and women disagreeing with her too. So much for ‘listening’. I suppose it’s harder to dismiss the leader of FEMEN, Inna Shevchenko as a ’misogynist prick’ or ‘fuckboy’.


Mona’s behaviour here is simply a case of someone reaching for the most incendiary label available to them because their arguments alone cannot withstand the meekest of scrutiny. Not only is it unjust, it blunts the terms involved and contributes to their dilution.

Mona seems to think she is some fearsome feminist warrior, slaying the male ogres that dare to disagree. To everyone else she is a divisive ideologue – losing the support of valuable allies, male and female. Muslim or not. No battle for equality has ever been won by alienating good people.

UPDATE –22 April 2016 – Mona throws Ex-Muslims under the bus

Given Mona spends her time fighting for the rights of women within Islam, I’d imagine a large portion of her supporters are ex-Muslims. They know more than most the struggle faced by women under Islamic rule or conservatism. It’s such a shame Mona feels she must alienate this minority within a minority too:


I think Ali A Rizvi and Sarah Haider, both tireless ex-Muslim campaigners for a equality hit the nail on the head here:







Stephen Knight is host of The #GSPodcast. You can listen to The Godless Spellchecker Podcast here, and support it by becoming a patron here.


  • If a British male Headteacher suspects a case of FGM in his school, should he not report it on the basis that he is male? Should Muhammad Syed take his name off the piece he co-authored with Sarah Haider when they took down Reza Aslan for his misrepresentation of the link between Islamic doctrine and FGM? Should Heather Hastie delete her piece on the same topic on the basis that she is not a Muslim? QTWTAIN.

  • This kind of attitude from Mona is already plaguing the internet comics community. It’s maddening to see and frustrating to get dismissed constantly whenever you say (politely) that you disagree.

  • Amazingly rude

  • That is one angry, hardheaded, aggressive and frankly downright rude lady.

    Unfortunately this sort of thing seems to be becoming more common on social media, and especially on Twitter. The idea that if you don’t have this physical characteristic or that physical characteristic, you are not entitled to hold an opinion on issues that affect people with this physical characteristic or that physical characteristic; even a helpful or progressive one. You’re essentially at the mercy of circumstance and genetics when it comes to holding an valid opinion. It’s like the last 100 years never happened, and it’s sad and frustrating in equal measure. Thank god for sensible voices like Inna Shevchenko.

    I’m still trying to fathom why the original tweet referred to skin colour though, as this implies that Islam has something to do with race…

    • But if convert to Islam tomorrow my race instantly changes from Caucasian/white male/whatever to Muslim, didn’t you know?

      I’m still trying to work out what my race will turn into once I convert to Scientology though…

  • Reminds me of this scene. Malcolm X being a dick.

  • It’s astonishing the cognitive dissonance induced by shouting “you’re a man, shut up” when she would scream loudily at being told “you’re a woman, shut up” doesn’t make her head explode

  • I agree with you here Stephen. The important thing is the argument, not who’s making it. For example, the reason we women have made the strides towards equality we have is because of those men who supported us when they were the only ones able to do things like get laws changed. Some advances literally wouldn’t have happened without their help. We can all learn from one another whatever our race, culture, ethnicity, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation etc.

    Ms Eltahawy makes it sound like her example is analogous to the ridiculous one of the annual women’s rights conference in Saudi Arabia to which not a single women has ever been invited, let alone been asked to speak.

    An argument is won by making the best argument, not by abusing and blocking the other person. If you have to resort to that, it’s a signal you need to do some more thinking.

  • You found the (ex) muslim Randy Harper.

  • Perhaps we should just accept that she is right & everyone else is wrong. I think that is the gist of her message?

  • And I suppose Abraham Lincoln should never have stuck his nose into the whole slavery thing?

  • So bored of identity politics. Why don’t people realise that you don’t just get authority over an entire issue? Your solutions have to actually work for society at large, or they’re not going to be used.

  • Hey Stephen,
    I agree–almost entirely–with you in this issue, but I also think that Mona, no matter how poorly she argued it and no matter how wrong she was in being exclusionary from the issue, does make one singular point that’s important to remember: women do need to lead the charge in feminism, because men cannot fully understand the experience of being female in a world with systemic sexism. It is understandable (but not justifiable) that some feminists would take the line of “shut up, non-women, and let women lead” because, at least from a view of many feminists and women I’ve talked to, there’s a long history of men silencing women, just like Black Lives Matter disrupts speeches because systemic racism has often taken away the voice of Black people. In other words, feminism must be led by women because it is the manifestation of women taking back their collective voice and making themselves known as equals.

    I partially disagree with you when you say that “shouldn’t we judge an argument on its strength and not its genitals” because the world we live in does not play by those rules. As a result, although considering an argument in a vacuum is by far the most important thing you can do, you nonetheless cannot detach it from the gender/race/religion/background of its speaker. Experience as a person of a marginalized community gives an inherent advantage in speaking about gender/race relations because a person from a dominant group cannot experience first-hand the forces leading to marginalization. Of course, if your argument is terrible, it doesn’t matter if you are from a marginalized community or not. But my point is that you cannot take arguments in a vacuum.

    Of course, I wildly disagree with Mona on everything else. Men must be allies of this movement and must help it along, even if they shouldn’t take the leading role. Feminism won’t achieve anything without men “on the inside”, so to speak, of systemic sexism helping to right the imbalance.

    Throwing ex-Muslims under the bus, on the other hand, was simply an absurd thing for her to do.

  • Mona & Mango & Maryam are all kind of the same person personality wise. I’d include Aki in that list as well but she’s not Muslim & she genuinely funny (although not often enough these days). None of them can get along with anyone. They can all get on a train to nowhere & probably wouldn’t be missed,
    again except Aki.

  • Yes, women must lead the vanguard on women’s issues. Excluding any manner of ally on any exclusive, elitist excuse is puerile, irrational and self destructive. No matter, No matter how she dresses it up or whichever labels she chooses to shield herself from critique she cannot overcome by any standard, she believes in magic. Yet, she entitles herself to lecture ANYBODY on the nature of reality? How ridiculously absurd this defending the patently impossible, not to mention unprovable.

  • It’s worth mentioning that Mona Eltahawy has been called a ‘native informant’ and all the other nasty things hurled at secular, liberal Muslims by other Muslims (and even Regressives.) I’m not sure how she’ll fair in this fight by alienating her “Western” allies – but we should have some sympathy with the enormous burden that people from Islamic cultures face when criticising their native customs and beliefs. The Regressive Left & Islamist Right have perfected the art of policing what can be said about Islam and who can say it. To maintain so called ‘legitimacy’ in this debate is to walk a tight rope, and that’s exactly how they like it. If Mona Eltahawy has to be rude about white male atheists in the west to have more authenticity when criticising the disgusting practices of forced veiling, forced marriage and FGM, well so be it. In the words of Christopher Hitchens “It takes a lot to make me cry.” It’s a shame, and possibly misguided, but I wish her all the best in defeating this Islamic savagery.

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