Saturday, 24 October 2015

Feminist Current: The no platforming of radical feminists: A talk by Julie Bindel

Feminist Current: The no platforming of radical feminists: A talk by Julie Bindel

So the pile-on began and it has never ended — it never will end. So that’s just something that I accept. But what happened after that was kind of a beginning of a response to feminist politics, with me as a conduit. So everywhere I went to speak about sexual violence there was a crowd outside screaming and shouting “she’s a transphobe.” And very, very quickly it started to be combined with the pro-sex work lobby.

Almost immediately transwomen (never transmen) would turn up screaming “transphobe,” but also “whorephobe.”

There were two issues there — one is that some transwomen said that because they had been involved in survival sex work, I was being doubly oppressive to them by saying prostitution is an abusive, oppressive industry. But there were also pro-sex workers’ rights activists who saw an opportunity to give me a good kick in the gut and turned up in order to shout alongside them.

And these two issues became completely indivisible. So if I was put up for an award (which I never asked to be) they would bully and email the sponsors, trying to get the venue to shut it down. This was as early as 2006.

I would turn up at conferences outside of the UK and this very small lobby of transpeople who, as far as I’m concerned, do not represent transpeople at all, would organize the picket and would organize the screaming and shouting and banging on the windows. And this was when my colleagues and I were trying to discuss how to reduce sexual violence towards women and children, not because I was speaking about this issue.

I have spoken about transgenderism when I have been invited, and there’s always been transgender people with me on the panel and it’s often been at the invitation of transpeople, but others will try and get that debate shut down and the transpeople who wish to have that discussion and debate with me are screamed at and called “transphobe” themselves.

Julie Bindel is one of a number of Feminists who have been vilified and 'no-platformed' because of their refusal to accept the demands of Transgender activists. It is fascinating the way that Feminists have been forced to take an almost conservative stance against the shrill cries of postmodern identity politics.

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