She was forced to silence herself

Vanessa Thorpe at the Guardian reported yesterday on the shunning of Selina Todd. She did it in a very cautious, fearful way.

Already at the subhead things are peculiar.

Anger as Oxford historian Selina Todd is forced to pull out of speaking at Ruskin anniversary conference

No, anger as Oxford historian Selina Todd is removed from her scheduled speaking slot at Ruskin anniversary conference. She wasn’t “forced to pull out,” whatever that would mean, she was told she couldn’t do it. Selina Todd is not the one who “pulled out”; she was removed.

The alleged “no platforming” of feminist historian Selina Todd the night before the conference prompted loud protests from the packed hall at the former site of Ruskin College, the spot of the original meeting in 1970.

It’s not alleged. There is video of two of the organizers explaining to the audience why she was no-platformed. They say, over and over and over again, that they told her she couldn’t deliver her scheduled two minute talk. It’s not alleged. They’re not going to sue the Guardian for saying they no-platformed Todd because they can’t because they said they did, although to be sure they also kept insisting that telling her she couldn’t give her scheduled talk wasn’t the same thing as… telling her she couldn’t give her scheduled talk.

“This is cowardice. How can we do this to a woman who has worked all her life on behalf of other disenfranchised women?” asked Julie Bindel, the radical feminist writer.

There was no coherent answer.

Organisers said that Todd had not been banned from the conference, but was asked to give up her short “thank you” speech slot on behalf of the Oxford University history faculty in response to a boycott threat from other speakers.

Yes, they did, they said with forced gaiety that she was welcome to attend the conference, she just wasn’t allowed to give her scheduled talk.

Author Lola Olufemi, a billed panellist who had pulled out of the event when she learned of Todd’s involvement, said in a statement that she felt the conference planners had not done enough to investigate Todd’s alignment with the Woman’s Place UK group, which she regards as “transphobic”. “I have seen first-hand how middle-class white women with social capital have used their gatekeeping power to harass trans people, threaten them with defamation, actively work to curtail their rights, refused to extend solidarity, and then claim victimhood,” she said, explaining why she withdrew from the event.

I have seen first-hand how middle-class white men with social capital have bullied and insulted and no-platformed feminist women while claiming victimhood.

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