Martin Luther King Jr. Rosa Parks. Gandhi. That nun on Orange Is the New Black. Standing up in noble protest for a righteous cause, even at the cost of getting arrested, is known worldwide as a hard but honorable thing to do. Now we have one more person to add to the pile, the anonymous Manchester, England, resident who was arrested after gallantly taking to Twitter to threaten a feminist activist with rape in retaliation for her successful campaign to have Jane Austen’s face grace the 10-pound note. While this anonymous man will have a rough time of it in the legal system, he has earned the gratitude of generations of misogynists who would rather not be reminded that women are, in fact, capable of writing great novels every time they simply want to buy a candy bar and a soda at the local magazine rack. Anonymous Englishman, we salute you.
The Bank of England periodically switches out the face on the back of banknotes (the queen is always on the front) in order to prevent counterfeiting and, with the proposed removal of Elizabeth Fry from the five-pound note, there was a strong possibility that there would be no women on English currency at all. Caroline Criado-Perez, founder of The Women’s Room, started a petition to demand that there be at least one nonroyal lady in the mix and was successful when the Bank of England announced Jane Austen would be replacing Charles Darwin on the 10-pound note.
While most people reacted to this news somewhere on the scale between “sounds good” and “cool, Jane Austen is great,” misogynists were the only brave heroes to recognize the threat afoot. After all, feminists had already managed to get a woman onto every bill in circulation through their gynocratic innovation of the hereditary monarchy. Now they’re trying to convince everyone that women can write, too. It cannot stand. They deluged Criado-Perez online, publishing her personal information and overwhelming her Twitter account with “50 abusive tweets an hour” for about 12 hours. And now the Manchester police, who are wholly owned by the forces of matriarchy, have decided to intervene.
But there is no doubt in my mind that misogynists will not be thwarted, as long experience shows that their dedication to their noble cause is ever stalwart and true. While it seems that the choice to acknowledge a great female novelist—one who flagrantly died without marrying and having children, no less!—is going forward, perhaps the brave harassment campaign will send a message to anyone who starts getting ideas about putting more women on the money. There are legions of female activists, scientists, and yes, even writers who fall at that dangerous intersection of “notable” and “British” that could get them on the money, and for those who want to hide this history, harassment may be their only hope.