Fairness? What’s that?

Last week, there was this: Julie Bindel Statement on Withdrawing from Feminism In London

Julie’s blog is down, so she’s asked me to host her statement here — I think it’s brilliant and am honoured to publish it.


I am very sorry that I feel I have no choice but to withdraw my contribution to the Feminism in London conference this year. It is particularly difficult for me to do so because FiL is one of the few feminist conferences that dare include me on their programme (in case of disruption from anti-feminists claiming I am transphobic, biphobic, Islamophobic and whorephobic). In fact, FiL had, in previous years, left me off the programme (but had me speak) in case the smooth-running of the conference suffered as a result. This year I told the organisers that I would only agree to speak at the event if my name were included in the programme, to which they agreed. It therefore feels particularly upsetting to find that the organisers are once again being bullied about one of their speakers, Jane Fae, this time on the grounds that she has expressed and still holds some pro-pornography views.

I am very clear in my stance about the sex trade. I am an active and passionate member of the feminist abolitionist movement, and would never invite someone with Jane Fae’s views to speak on the topic at any event I were to organise, and would not debate whether or not the sex trade harms women and girls. But Jane was not invited to speak on any aspect of this topic.

I have shared panels with other feminist abolitionists that have differing views to me on a range of feminist issues, and regularly attend events at which there may be delegates or speakers who would take opposing views on important issues such as reproductive rights and sexual identity. But I would hope we all share core values, and can work together on single issues, such as ending men’s violence towards women.

If we were to scrutinise each others’ political standpoints on everything prior to deciding whether a speaking invite should be proffered, I would imagine our movement would be somewhat smaller than it already is.

I cannot possibly reconcile my position on the no-platforming of feminists for holding contrary views  on topics they are not even planning on speaking about, and stand aside whilst Jane Fae is handed out similar treatment.

This week, there is this from the University of Manchester SU:

Statement from the Students’ Union 05.10.2015

Last week we received a visiting speaker request form for Julie Bindel to be invited to speak at a society event.

As per our external speaker processes, it was flagged as potentially in breach of our safe space policy.

After reviewing the request in more detail, the Students’ Union has decided to deny this request based on Bindel’s views and comments towards trans people, which we believe could incite hatred towards and exclusion of our trans students.

You can read the full safe space policy here.

The Executive Committee

Peak disgust reached.

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