Julie Bindel is not a woman

Content Warning: Virulent TERFy trans-antagonism

I imagine I would be rightly discredited if I spent my entire career honing in on Julie Bindel and publishing defamatory essays justifying my frankly bizarre obsession with whether or not Bindel counts as “a woman.” Yet antagonizing trans folk is still so politically palatable that you can do exactly that and still achieve success. On no other topic can I imagine it is possible to have columns on both The otherwise-queer-friendly Guardian and the misogynistic half-fake conservative rag The Daily Mail.

Yes, that’s right, an essay comparing trans women to serial killers and rapists was published on The Guardian, a supposedly progressive news site. Somehow Bindel has mastered the art of making transphobia look simultaneously progressive and reactionary. It’s Schrodinger’s Bigotry, if you will.

Nonetheless, there are vast tracts of Bindel’s career dedicated to obfuscation and false equivalency. In her wake virtually no productive conversation on trans issues will prevail, because she kicks up enough dust that all you can do is cough. And the Working Class Movement Library in Salford, UK, decided this was who they wanted to represent their “LGBT” History month.

I’m not going to try and appeal to Bindel or her supporters–their “feminism” is little more than a gangrenous limb that refuses to fall off. Nor is this post meant to be a direct response to Bindel’s work–a quick search for “criticisms of Julie Bindel” produces hundreds of posts responding to Bindel’s nonsense.

Instead, I’m going to issue a very straightforward question for the WCML:

Do you have the integrity to be honest and rename your event the AFAB, Lesbian Separatist, Cisgender Supremacist History month? Because not even lesbian separatists want anything to do with Bindel’s particularly virulent strain of bile-spewing done in the name of “feminism.” Certainly bi folk and trans folk–you know, the “B” and “T” in your initialism–do not in general support their own defamation through bigoted talking piece Julie Bindel. So why on Earth is Bindel your “LGBT” speaker if she represents a highly specific, extremely hostile iteration of lesbian separatism that aggressively alienates the other letters?

Oh, right. “Freeze peach.” Just not for the B and T, apparently.

I’m starting to feel at this point that the only argument anti-rights advocates can muster on this topic is that it isn’t literally illegal for them to state their position. Somehow it doesn’t occur to anyone that this is the flimsiest, saddest defence one can imagine for a position. But Julie Bindel will carry on doing the patriarchy’s work and calling it feminism, and there’ll be no shortage of venues simply handwaving away criticism as “sensitivity.” More dust, less talk, and a lot of trans people struggling to cope with the stress knowing that the wrong conservative crusader could pick up these ideas and try to legislate us out of existence.




  1. =8)-DX says

    I’m failing to understand the title as anything but antifeminist/trans antagonistic… gotta go read up the links it might make more sense then (right now I’m hazarding a guess that the title is a sarcastic jab at Bindel’s own positions defining people’s gender for them).

    Interesting piece.

  2. =8)-DX says

    Wow that article is horribly demeaning and very very sad to read from someone who was and is presumably on the receiving end of similar bile herself. People are obviously only allowed to subvert gender expectations in strictly Bindel-approved ways!

  3. Siobhan says

    People are obviously only allowed to subvert gender expectations in strictly Bindel-approved ways!

    This is a defining feature of TERF arguments. They’ll expand manhood such that it encompasses trans women, and they’ll expand endosex maleness such that it encompasses trans women, but pointing out that they just demonstrated the malleable nature of these properties doesn’t actually induce cognitive dissonance with their “these properties are fixed” premises. “My way or the highway” can be justifiable, but I have yet to encounter an ethical case for “their way.” So they’re not only often factually incorrect, but they also seldom take time to actually justify their proposed policies. They seem so used to having their position implicitly accepted, I guess, and mainstream media seems more than happy to aid and abet in this respect.