Lesbian Feminist Julie Bindel [photo from twitter]

Lesbian Feminist Julie Bindel [photo from twitter]

The definition of “unsafe” speech is that which emanates from a woman, according to the University of Manchester Student Union, which banned lesbian feminist Julie Bindel from speaking at an October 15 event called ‘From liberation to censorship: Does modern feminism have a problem with free speech?’

The University determined that Julie’s feminist view -that gender is a social construct which is harmful to women- makes her an “unsafe” person whose speech “could harm” transgender students. The other speaker scheduled for the event, “men’s rights activist” Milo Yiannopoulos, author of, among other things “Transgenderism is a psychiatric disorder: Its sufferers need therapy, not surgery” was given the go-ahead to appear.

Milo Yiannopoulos [photo from twitter]

Milo Yiannopoulos [photo from twitter]

When asked to explain the mind-boggling hypocrisy of their decision to censor, Student Union Women’s Officer Jess Lishak clarified that it was Julie Bindel’s status as a woman and a feminist that made her views dangerous. You can read her statement here:

https://www.facebook.com/notes/womens-officer-jess-lishak/why-radical-feminist-julie-bindel-wont-be-coming-to-speak-on-our-campus/959053550833222

“Our safe space policy clearly states that we will not allow visiting speakers or members to “say things that are likely to incite hatred against any individual or group based on age, disability, marital or maternity/paternity status, race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or sexual activity, gender identity, trans status, socio-economic status, or ideology or culture”, Jess Lishak points out in her statement. The policy provides no provision against sex-based discrimination, as sex is not a protected category. Lishak stated that the decision to ban Julie Bindel and allow Milo Yiannopoulos to speak was unanimous among the Executive officers:

Harriet Pugh

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Naa Acquah

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Hannah McCarthy

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Joel Smith

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Jess Lishak

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Natasha Brooks

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Lucy Hallam

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Michael Spence

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Exec 201516

Sample of a male threat, described by authorities as “typical”, that Sarkeesian receives.

Sample of a male threat, described by authorities as “typical”, that Sarkeesian receives.

After weeks of silence, the mainstream media is finally reporting on the deluge of violent threats made by men towards feminist media and pop culture commenter Anita Sarkeesian, which caused her to flee her home on advice of the FBI, and cancel a scheduled university appearance. 

While it is good that the violent male campaign against Sarkeesian is finally, belatedly, receiving widespread attention, any feminist who has ever written or spoke in public on the subject of “Gender” will note that what is unusual is not the threats themselves, but the fact that they are being reported by male-stream media.

The New Statesman posts a piece today by GlossWitch, in the shadow of the Sarkeesian fiasco, which specifically addresses the ongoing campaign of censorship against the Women’s Rights movement by the male Transgender Rights movement, whose goals are in opposition.

Read the rest of this entry »

femifest2014

This is such a great photo of Julie

This is such a great photo of Julie

From the Independent:

The lesbian writer and co-founder of the Justice For Women campaign says she has been sent 30 unsavoury messages, some including death and rape threats, with three so severe that she reported them to the police.

Bindel was invited to speak at the Manchester Debating Union event against the motion that porn empowers women, but her role in the lineup alongside No More Page 3 founder Lucy Holmes and former porn actress Renee Richards was met with fierce criticism from students and transgender activists.

The opposition is thought to stem from an article on transgender issues that Bindel wrote for The Guardian in 2004, in which she described gender reassignment clinics as places where lesbians can go to ‘have their breasts sliced off and a penis made out of their beer bellies”.

Further controversial comments included the apparently dismissive conclusion, “I don’t have a problem with men disposing of their genitals, but it does not make them women, in the same way that shoving a big of vacuum hose down your 501s does not make you a man”.

Following the announcement of the speakers, a demonstration was organised by Loz Webb, trans representative for the university’s LGBTQ Society. Webb felt that it was wrong to give a platform to someone with “a track record of transphobia” during Welcome Week, when making all students feel safe and included is particularly important.

However, after hearing that Bindel had received violent threats over her attendance, Webb sent his “deepest sympathies” to her, insisting that the “unacceptable” hate messages had nothing to do with him or those he represents.

Explaining her decision to withdraw from the debate, Bindel told student newspaper The Mancunion: “I apologised for the tone in that article because I made really inappropriate jokes. I apologised but obviously that wasn’t good enough as I’ve been made a scapegoat.”

Bindel said that she chose to back down because her presence risked shutting down debate of an issue she feels is highly worthy of discussion. “I was coming to debate pornography. I was censored from speaking about something that has nothing to do with ‘transgenderism’, nothing at all,” she said.

A statement from Manchester students’ union called the threats “utterly unjustified”.

It went on: “We respect, support and celebrate the right of our students to protest and to feel safe on campus. The union has seen no evidence that any University of Manchester students were complicit in sending Julie Bindel rape or death threats but we wholly condemn anybody who has done so.”

Bindel reacted to claims on social media that her appearance would make trans people feel unsafe, calling the suggestions ‘ludicrous’. Yet she insisted that ‘silly, stupid, idiotic, we’re too cool for school so we’ll kick up a fuss students’ will not put her off returning to the university in the future.

“I would love to come back and do something again,” Bindel confirmed.

"JackieTS": Hunting Lesbian Witches

“JackieTS”: Hunting Lesbian Witches

Posting this as an update to this post.

Well contrary to what is stated at the end of Paris Lees’ dubiously edited teaser video of Julie Bindel, the complete interview is NOT posted in the current issue of Lees’ transgender rag META which was published today.

What we get instead is the following attempt at a hit piece. Screencapped under Fair Use:

Lees’ critique of the ideas expressed here by Bindel :

She is “full of nonsense”.  Why? Lees does not say.

“Enjoying Male privilege does not make it a motive for transition. But this is Julie’s way: making factual points followed by seemingly commonsense conclusions which are, in fact, wild and illogical” What is wild and illogical about Bindel’s assertion? Lees does not say.

Lees’ critique here:

“Such roles, she rather lazily points out, benefit men and not women” What was lazy about the manner in which Julie made this observation? Lees does not say.

“It’s garbled, binary thinking- without the slightest hint of irony” What is Lees’ critique here? He does not say. It’s becoming apparent that he simply is unable to engage with the material: He does not understand it.

Well, you can see where this is going. Lees’ critique of radical feminism “anything but radical”, “increasingly out of touch with mainstream”. Lees characterizes Bindel’s concerns about medicalizing gender in children as “her latest gripe”, but again, offers no real counterpoint. Lees does appeal to the authority of the medical establishment, citing “several strict criteria” applied to children who are approved for gender sterilization (puberty blockers followed by sterilizing cross-hormone treatments prior to sexual maturity). In actuality the practice of medically transgendering children is highly controversial in the medical community. Lees then interestingly characterizes “transgender” children as “a child who makes themselves ill because they’re clearly unhappy with their assigned gender”[ bolding mine-GM]. Lees also falsely states that transgender surgeries are not performed on minors. That is simply incorrect as many of the teen trans trender videos featured on this site will attest. Surgeries are being performed on minors with parental consent.

Lees goes on in this last heavily edited segment (example: he cuts Bindel’s thoughts about transgender regret down to a sentence fragment, substituting his paraphrased re-interpretation of the statements she presumably made, which he censored.) to complain that he cannot imagine the “ideal world” where we would not ascribe a gender to children. Where is the evidence? The world has always been this way! He goes on to characterize Julie as “paranoid” and “sensationalistic” for de-crying the McCarthyism of “LGBTTQQI” identity politics, but he never engages with her critique or explains his characterization. Jesus. Well, you can read the rest for yourself. He apparently cannot allow her uncensored speech, and he has enormous difficulty understanding and engaging with the material. (I’m being very polite here folks!)

I chuckle remembering what Lees tweeted after I covered his “Julie Bindel’s Genitals” post (subsequently scrubbed by him) last year on GenderTrender. He said “It scares me how intelligent they sound sometimes… it’s like they can actually think in quite sophistacated terms… just odd” [sic]

I’m not trying to pick on Lees or anyone who has trouble understanding or engaging with challenging new (to them) ideas. Lord knows I’m not the sharpest tack in the box. But I think Lees’ piece points to a dynamic that informs the increasingly violent rhetoric of the trans activist community. When he can’t understand the critique, he uses misogynist put-downs.  “nonsense” “illogical” “wild” “bizarre” “paranoid” etc. I fancy a bit of snark as much as anyone, but it has to be actually attached to a point of view. All nicely summed up with the final line of his commentary about radical feminism: “History is not on their side”. HAHAHAHAHA! “HISTORY IS NOT ON THEIR SIDE!” LMAO!

NO SHIT! THAT’S THE FUCKING PROBLEM. HISTORY IS ON THE SIDE OF MALE SUPREMACY! Hahaha. Jesus.

But back to the title of this commentary: “It doesn’t make a damn bit of difference what you say or do: Trans Activists want to kill you”

It doesn’t matter whether you try to dialogue with trans activists or not.

It doesn’t matter whether you use the fake pronouns or not.

It doesn’t matter whether you call them women or not.

It doesn’t matter whether you pretend you think men can be lesbians or not.

It doesn’t matter if you are super polite and deferential to the gender faithful or not.

It doesn’t matter if you explain yourself ten times or one.

It doesn’t matter whether you are argumentative or conciliatory.

It doesn’t matter how many times you explain that you support trans to be free from discrimination.

These people just can’t fucking hear you.

They don’t WANT to hear you.

They want you to shut the fuck up regardless of what you are saying.

They can’t even understand what you are saying.

And if they can, they are terrified. Because there is no counterpoint to radical feminist critique of gender. None.

All genderists can do is what males always do when male supremacy is challenged: silence, censor, threaten. Confine the insurgence. Suppress.

Trans Activist Suzan Cooke, (also featured in this issue of Lees’ META magazine) responded on his blog to Julie Bindel’s interview by comparing radfems to Nazis and stated “I’m Polish-American and I know the only compromise with Nazism grows out of the barrel of one gun or the other.”

 And it doesn’t matter whether you author a trans-critical blog, protest the infringement on sex-based protections for females caused by “gender identity” laws, support clinics that offer reproductive services for females, state that homosexuality exists and that lesbians don’t like penis (whether surgically altered or not), or whether you once said the word “tranny” three years ago, when you were eighteen, before you found out some trans activists decided to disavow it, and you apologized like hell when it was brought to your attention…. Trans Activists are still going to target you for suppression. They are going to want to kill you. It doesn’t make a damn bit of difference what you say or do.

 So go on ahead. Be as trans critical as you want. Until trans come to terms with the inherent anti-female platform of the transgender movement there will be no peace for women.