Lesbian feminist journalist Julie Bindel is slated to speak at the Working Class Movement Library for LGBT History Month, and trans rights activists are pissed.
Who is Julie Bindel?
Bindel is a life-long activist with a decades-long history of speaking out on domestic violence, sexual violence, lesbian rights and children’s welfare. She has written two books and many articles. She also has a regular column at The Guardian.
But she’s a controversial figure in the feminist movement. Many activists call Bindel a TERF—a Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist, or a feminist who does not support transgender rights. Bindel insists she’s not a TERF, and even called her critics “a global plot to end women’s liberation.”
In an utterly vile 2004 Guardian column, she lumped in trans people with rapists and serial killers and wrote, “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 bit of vacuum hose down your 501s does not make you a man.”
She’s also opposed to sex work and weirdly negative about same-sex marriage. It appears as though her “LGBT” activism is just “LG” activism. She only seems to care about lesbians and gay men, not trans or bisexual people.
Given Bindel’s history, many people are not thrilled to have her at an LGBT event. The Working Class Movement Library’s Twitter and Facebook accounts have been deluged with angry comments:
Have to ask why @wcmlibrary have invited an inflammatory, exclusionary, transphobic, biphobic speaker to an LGBT history month event?!
— Amber (@Red_Amber) January 4, 2017
— Sharon ✨ (@sharmander_says) January 5, 2017
disappointed in @wcmlibrary inviting someone who campaigns against the rights + existence of bi and trans people to speak at an LGBT event.
— Faiza (@faizam_) January 4, 2017
Does Julie Bindel belong at an LGBT History Month event? On one hand, she is a part of LGBT history. But on the other hand, she has absolutely no respect for the BT half of the movement. Should we listen to her, or should we leave people like her behind?
Header image via Flickr user Saeima.