Last year, feminist writer Clementine Ford published her book Fight Like A Girl. Judging from the note she left a fan, that title isn’t so metaphorical.
“Have you killed any men today?” Ford wrote inside the cover of a fan’s hardcover during a book signing. “And if not, why not?”
The note, which surfaced in a photo in the Daily Mail, included a heart, Ford’s name, and two X’s for hugs.
The Daily Mail sent Ford an email asking for clarification about the message she’d left inside the book. In response, Ford tweeted the reporter’s email in its entirety, along with his phone number.
“Hi Josh – Lauren Ingram isn’t a ‘fan,’ she is one of the women I am training to operate the sun cannon. BUT NOW YOU HAVE UNCOVERED OUR PLAN!” Ford wrote.
(Ingram is the editor of Adventuress Magazine, a soon-to-be-launched publication for female travelers that is “underpinned by intersectional feminism and diversity.”)
Ford’s bizarre man-killing message emerged on Monday, just one day after she announced she had signed a contract with Allen & Unwin to publish another book, Boys Will Be Boys.
Due out in 2018, the book will be “an exploration of [male] power, patriarchy, and the toxic bonds of brotherhood,” Ford said in a Facebook post. She promised to write it with “uncompromising fury and compassion,” also saying her book on toxic masculinity will be “above all, a love letter to my son.”
Ford’s announcement prompted a Change.org petition calling on Allen & Unwin to drop her book, which it called “vile hate speech.”
“The fact that she is teaching her son that masculinity is toxic and men are evil could even be considered child abuse,” said the petition, which has garnered about 500 signatures.
A Brisbane book store, Avid Reader Bookshop and Café, shared Ford’s book announcement—and promptly found itself caught in an online tug-of-war between her supporters and those who have accused her of misandry.
Ford’s foes left more than 200 one-star reviews and a slew of negative comments, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. Avid enlisted its longtime bookshop devotees to launch a counter campaign.
“Please spare a thought for your friendly local bookshop social manager who has had to ignore his wife and son all night,” Avid posted, prompting more than 2,000 positive reviews.
One supporter even brought the bookshop an “anti-troll sour cream and walnut cake,” according to Avid’s Facebook page.
— Jillian Kay Melchior writes for Heat Street and is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum.