On the 19th of November 2022, the right-wing (some would say far-right) Spectator published an article by Julie Bindel – titled Why is Eventbrite Censoring Feminists?
Julie apparently has claimed she is a socialist. Several journalists also claim they have left- wing views but increasingly write for far-right publications, often stating that left-wing ones refuse their work. In her article, Julie praises the work of Karen Ingala Smith, who has written the book ‘Defending Women’s Spaces’, and in her piece uses the phrases ‘transgender ideology’ and ‘trans ideology.’
The truth is trans people are not an ideology – we are simply a tiny minority of people who were unlucky in that our gender did not match our birth sex. Being born ‘in the wrong body’ is a fact of life – just as some people are tall and some are short.
Julie’s article also said,
what an enormous threat trans ideology is to the safety of women and girls
– which I take as meaning other trans people and myself are a danger to females.
She ended her article with the words:
Gender ideologyGender Ideology A made-up term used by Gender Critical and Anti-Trans organisations. is a misogynistic men’s rights movement
a statement I find extraordinary because trans women want to participate in society as women. The only misogyny I see published is transmisogyny written in right-wing newspapers like The Spectator and broadcast in right-wing media outlets such as GB News.
I suspect a neutral reader of Julie’s article would pick up that Julie appears not to like trans people much. That, of course, would be her right. I don’t like some people, either – transphobic people, and in particular, transphobic politicians.
Julie also wrote this in her article referring to the work Karen Ingala Smith does:
Karen has clung on for dear life to keep the Nia Project, of which she is CEO, female only. The Nia Project is one of only two such charities in the country that put the safety of women over the hurt feelings of trans activists. They openly apply the exceptions permitted under the Equality Act to provide women-only refuge and other single-sex support.
Some would see me as a ‘trans activist’, although I refer to myself as a human rights activist – for sure, I also fight for women.
And here is the issue. What Karen is doing is practising discrimination, and yes, in the right circumstances, that is legal. But it’s not my ‘hurt feelings’ I am concerned about. I am concerned about a fellow human being suffering violence, rape, and possibly being in a life-threatening situation.
And what Karen and Julie appear to be saying is it’s OK for a domestic abuse provider to turn their back on this human being if they are a trans woman.
My reading of Julie’s article is that Karen should be proud of her work. And while I applaud everyone who fights for oppressed people, and sure cisgender women are oppressed, so too are trans women.
And in truth, all human beings should have access to local domestic abuse providers, and no one should be turned away without a valid reason – and birth sex should not be one of them.
Gone are the days when all refuges were big houses, housing women in dire domestic abuse situations. Yes, some big houses still exist, but some providers with foresight have taken the route of single occupancy or family occupancy spaces in flats, apartments or even small houses.
The birth sex of the occupant in these spaces is irrelevant.
While some women may need the help of other women in close support, that is not always the case. The definition of transphobia, according to Oxford Languages, is :
the dislike of or prejudice against transsexual or transgender people
So personally, I don’t believe transphobic people have anything to crow about.
I don’t think disliking someone is unreasonable – but prejudice?
Well, that stinks!
Julie Bindel was contacted for comment but to date has not replied.