In Morrissey’s 2013 Autobiography he recalled his discomfort with the expectation in the 1970s that all boys were interested in girls.
In mid-70s Manchester there must be obsessive love of vagina, otherwise your life dooms itself forever.
And he called journalist Julie Burchill fat.
Julie Burchill is, of course, not loveable, and has pitifully late-middle-aged legs, but her aim is to lead the way for the rest of us, and this she does…
Despite Julie being famous for her contrarian invective (I ask her why she wrote Patti Doesn’t Wash Here Anymore, a dreadful executioner’s piece… ), his underlying affection for her (I shall be honoured to attend her funeral, and I might even jump into the grave), and his honesty about his own struggles with body image (I feel fat and ugly), he was condemned in the press as a sexist.
Particularly nasty treatment is reserved for the feminist prodigy Julie Burchill… The tribune of adolescent sensitivity and longing has suddenly transformed into a macho bully. (Michael Weiss, the Daily Beast, December 2013)
[Morrissey] “I’d like jasmine tea…” [Burchill] “Oh-ho! We’ve got a girl on board!” [Morrissey] “No, I’d like a beer.” Morrissey glares at me... [Burchill] “So, you’re gay”... [ Morrissey] “I haven’t made up my mind yet”, he says softly. (Julie Burchill, the Times, 1994)
In 2015 he was accused of misogyny and homophobia for writing a novel.
Morrissey was once one of rock music’s most notable lyricists. But his writing talents curdled some time ago… Time, construed as a tireless agent of degradation, is a constant preoccupation… The “human race is anything but humane,” he quips misanthropically,… But such a generous interpretation can’t survive the awful prose and unkind worldview… Equally muddled is the book’s obsession with sex, at once portrayed as crucial (“It is sex that binds us to life”) and nauseating (“how easy to kill, how queasy to kiss”). A nasty streak of misogyny is matched by the unpleasant decision to make the villain a gay paedophile (Ludovic Hunter-Tilney, Financial Times, October 2015)
In 2018 – in an unusual addition to his list of word crimes – his comments on being a man, from an interview with Details in 1992, are used to imply he’s a Men’s Rights Activist.
On gender: “It’s hard to be a man. It’s made to be hard and I don’t know why. I think it’s easier to be a woman. The women’s movement has been so successful; the men’s movement has never been accepted. I think it’s not wanted.” (Finlay Greig, iNews, April 2018)
The men’s movement Morrissey was referring to was 1970s men’s liberation, a movement that wanted men to be more emotional, less macho, and to share paid work and domestic chores equally with women.
More recently he’s been linked to the violently misogynist, heterosexual, Incel movement for writing songs about loneliness that rarely used pronouns.
the evergreen incel anthem How Soon is Now? (Stephen Dalton, the Times, October 2021)