On the few occasions I have given a talk with Julie Bindel she has announced “I’m a feminist . Not the fun kind”. One of those things is not true.
Whatever she says , she is spectacularly feminist , not in the going on Twitter and saying “intersectionality” every other word way , not in the feminism is for everybody , let’s not forget the penis people kind of way, not really in the polite middle class Guardiany kind of way which means little changes and anything considered difficult is ignored.
No, she is a feminist who goes to the dark, dark places of women’s lives all over the world. She speaks to victims of terrible abuse, to those who were trafficked at puberty. She goes to houses full of pregnant women in India who are kept in prison basically as they are surrogates for rich white couples. She talks to parents whose daughters have been raped and murdered. She goes into prison to help women whose lives have been nothing but misery, prostitution, addiction and male violence.
I have only covered a fraction of this stuff myself and it takes its toll I can tell you. That does not stop her. I consider that she and her partner the lawyer Harriet Wistrich to have done more to help change things for women who have suffered from male violence more than just about anyone I know. And I have been a feminist for a 103 years remember.
Harriet quietly gets on with changing the law. She worked on the Worboys case, for the women who were duped into affairs with undercover police officers, for women abused at Yarls Wood, she helped free Sally Challen. These are just a few of the things she has done. All while living with someone who is called a “hate preacher”. Astonishing really.
So I understand only too well that Bindel is a dangerous person. A danger to the old style patriarchy and now it seems the new progressive patriarchy cannot stomach her any more than the old kind could. I refuse to use the word ‘woke’ as that implies consciousness.
Three years ago she gave an over -subscribed talk at a book shop in Australia. She read from her book on the horrors of the global sex trade: something she had investigated in depth. The audience were engaged and lots of books were sold. The new left patriarchy likes lovely sex work. Of course it fucking does.
Now three years later the book shop has “issues” and released a statement saying it regrets this event because Bindel is an author “whose current stance is to divide our community”.
What fresh hell is this? Cancellation in which the past is now altered? What changed? Bindel has always been gender critical and has also apologised for a couple of the harsher things she said years ago. I was in the room when she did so.
As a result of her views she has been physically assaulted, de-platformed and threatened. Unbelievable rubbish has been written about her though I admit to being disappointed that some of it isn’t true. When I read that she was head of an international lesbian sex trafficking ring, I asked her to get me a wife and she flatly refused. I know?
The only good that can come of this surely is that the dude bros who say cancellation doesn’t exist will wake the fuck up.
Hello Billy Bragg and all the rest of the gang, I guess we won’t be having any more cosy veg curries because you refuse to listen to women who want not only to keep the rights we already have but want even more. I know its nagging isn’t it? By the way please can we have a list of men this stuff has happened to?
Again I am not in Bindel’s position, I have not been cancelled . I simply chose to leave a workplace where I could no longer write what I wanted to and where some of my supposed colleagues seem muddled about the meaning of feminism, journalism and activism.
Bindel’s life is a genuine mixture of these three things but I guess because of a glitch in the matrix, that event three years ago did not happen and people did not enjoy it. Lets wipe it.
Seriously If you don’t see what is happening here people you are blind. This is a post-truth manoeuvre.
As for being a fun feminist, let me just add, Bindel is actually enormous fun. Always with the best food, the best booze, the best gossip. She talks the talk and she walks the walk.
It’s just a shame really she can’t walk in heels. But that’s feminism for you, never good enough for some people.
Especially the new zombie patriarchy.