Misogynist, Homophobe, Incel

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)

Bad Writer

Morrissey’s jokes can be cutting and unwise – but they’re nowhere near as spiteful or as unfunny, as The Quietus.


It reads as if their avowed anti-racism is sitting on a powder keg of repression because given half a chance to take a pot shot at the singer they’ve labeled a Nazi, they come out with horrors like this by David Stubbs, in January 2014:

However, these were the 1980s and an unspoken racism meant that it was hard for those whose skin was not disco-coloured to get booked on the programme. So, Norrissey hatched a plan. He and the band turned up at the BBC studios one Thursday evening in Afro wigs, their skins applied with burnt cork, minstrel-style. “Hi!” they said, jively, to the man at the door, waving their hands in the sort of way that makes some wonder if Britain is Britain any more. “The name of this here group of ours is The Blackfaces and we’re here to play our new single ‘Strut Your Superficial Stuff’.” Naturally, they were immediately allowed on the show.

To remind you – it was Simon Reynolds and Frank Owen, journalists at the Melody Maker, who divided pop music into white indie (which was intellectual) and black music (escapist, showbiz, works through the body on the dancefloor). Morrissey answered questions based on their escapist v. intelligent binary and (rightly) thought that escapist would get more airplay because it’s escapist.

“Pop has never been this divided,” wrote Simon Reynolds in his much-lauded, recent piece on the indie scene, referring to the chasm that now exists between indie-pop and black pop… It’s a bit like the late Sixties all over again with a burgeoning Head culture insisting that theirs’ is the “real” radical music, an intelligent and subversive music that provides an alternative to the crude showbiz values of black pop… What (black music) says can’t necessarily be verbalised easily. It doesn’t seek to change the world like rock music by speaking grand truths about politics, sex and the human condition. It works at a much more subtle level – at the level of the body and the shared abandon of the dancefloor. It won’t change the world, but it’s been said it may well change the way you walk through the world. (Frank Owen, Melody Maker, Steptember, 1986)

Not content with racist jokes based on a faulty memory or no research, he went on to make homophobic jibes…

Stephan Partick Norrissey looked at himself longingly and bashfully in the bedroom mirror. He was 12, and in the throes of a shy infatuation with the boy who stared back at him… In the thrill of the moment, he wondered what his own genitals looked like – he averted his eyes when at the lavatory… He relished the warmth of his own backside…  In 2013, in a ceremony that broke down new barriers in terms of civil partnership, Norrissey married the one man who had kept faith in him, adored him quietly from afar, been his companion in times of loneliness, his only true friend – himself… some were sordid enough to wonder how they would manage to consummate the relationship. They need not have feared – for if anyone was able to insert himself up his own rectum, it was Norrissey.

He also jokes about fat women, because, satire…

An outsider, engulfed by modern superficiality yet destined to be adored by everyone except bitter, fat female journalists

And implies that if Morrissey wanted Jimmy Savile arrested, he should have gone to the police himself, as if it’s unreasonable to think that people who knew about Savile should have done something.

Now, rumours were rife about Jimmy Savile – the things he got up to – evil, disgusting things – but which no one dared to inform the authorities about. Norrissey, however, wasn’t intimidated by Jimmy Savile’s showbiz status – his image as a cigar-toting, yodelling big shot cut no ice with him. He would inform the police.

David Stubbs’ era of music journalism was racist, sexist, homophobic, and turned a blind eye to Savile – the fact that they tired to make it sound ‘positive’ and ‘fun’ doesn’t make it less bigoted.

Their excuse for the venom was Morrissey’s anticipated novel, List of The Lost.

When it arrived there was a glut of bad reviews and a bad sex award.

As soon as it was published last week, the internet erupted with the sound of a thousand contemptuous guffaws. (The Guardian, October 2015)

Even his autobiography, published in 2013, had been denounced, his memories questioned, and his left-wing crimes listed.

This kind of pretentiousness has been taken at face value for so long by the more credulous members of the pop media that it’s no surprise that Morrissey regards himself as an artist… Sixties Manchester was not heaven on earth. Nor was it the Dickensian dump Morrissey would have us believe. Whores did not tout for business in leafy Stretford and as for his memories of miserable schooldays, and teachers who liked to punish miscreants, these are overgrazed pastures. But this is the picture he wants people to see, of how the forces of repression turned him into the mardy little pup who never grew up, and there was nothing he could do about it… In three decades of unloading his misery on a world he finds too cold to take part in, few people have escaped his wrath. The royal family exists as a kind of dictatorship, judges are bent, patriotism is a joke, last year’s Olympic Games was barely a step away from a Nuremberg rally (didn’t you see those jackboots?), and the Krays, being working class, were misunderstood. And don’t forget, boys and girls: ‘meat is murder’... Shamefully Penguin fell for this ruse, and lent a spurious respectability to a mucky exercise. They must know they will never be allowed to forget it. (The Spectator, October 2013)

Not just a bad person, he was now a bad writer.