Activism, Politics, Top Stories

Silencing Women in the Name of Trans Activism

It all began with a warm and friendly email from an arts producer who runs a regular London-based project called the Truth to Power Café (TTP). Founder Jeremy Goldstein had seen my writing, and figured I might be a worthy performer.

“[The show] includes live and spontaneous testimony from participants rising up in the name of free speech and political activism,” he told me. “During the course of the show, I invite participants to respond to the question, ‘Who has power over you and what do you want to say to them?’ before a live audience. This year, I’ve worked with over 100 participants in four countries including U.K., Australia, Netherlands and Croatia.”

I hesitated before accepting. Performance art isn’t really my thing. And I already do a number of events as part of my feminist activism, so I need to be careful about how I allocate my remaining time (especially when, as in this case, I’m not being paid). But the free speech and truth-to-power elements appealed to me, so I agreed to take part.

Goldstein seemed pleased to have me. Two weeks before the event, he sent me a gushing email and asked me to advertise my attendance on social media. My name was added to the program, and I was told to arrive at the venue early to have publicity photos taken.

Then, out of the blue, Goldstein emailed to say how “sorry” he was, but few tickets had been sold, so he needed to “rethink” the program. On my hasty first scan of the ambiguously worded message, I concluded that the event had simply been cancelled.

Imagine my surprise when, the next day, I saw the event advertised on Twitter with my name neatly substituted by another—that of supposed free-speech champion and LGBT rights activist, Peter Tatchell, well known for having supported the legal right of a religious baker to refuse to decorate a cake with the slogan “Support gay marriage.”

“In a free society, neither they nor anyone else should be compelled to facilitate a political idea that they oppose,” argued Tatchell. He is right—although many progressives seem quite ready to forget that principle when a feminist such as myself refuses to accept the idea that a penis is a female body part, or declines to mouth Orwellian mantras that completely equate trans women with biological females.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First let me provide some background, to help readers make sense of what was about to happen between me and Jeremy Goldstein.

Over the past 15 years, I’ve been the object of a systematic harassment campaign organized by radicalized trans activists and their ideological allies. It began in 2004, following the publication of a column I’d written about the case of Kimberly Nixon—a male-to-female trans woman who targeted a rape relief clinic in Vancouver, Canada with a lengthy litigation campaign after the clinic’s leaders had rebuffed Nixon’s request to act as a counsellor to rape survivors. Nixon was considered unsuitable to counsel victims of male violence because, as was plainly explained, Nixon did not share the same life experiences as women born and raised as girls.

Eventually, after several costly hearings, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the group, Vancouver Rape Relief (VRR), had not discriminated against Nixon, and that the group had the freedom to self-organize as it saw fit. The court case almost bankrupted VRR. And when I wrote my column in the left-leaning Guardian, only weeks after final judgment has been handed down, I was still angry about it—as the tenor of my writing made clear.

Even though this was the pre-Twitter era, all hell broke loose, especially on lesbian message boards, which tended to be dominated by transgender women who presented themselves as lesbians, and often used these forums to seek out sexual partners.

These boards became the central battleground in the online campaign against me. Within days, the Guardian was inundated with emails and phone calls. The staff member who deals with reader concerns dedicated his weekly column to the issue, concluding that my article had served to “abuse an already abused minority that the Guardian might have been expected to protect.”

Seen by the lights of 2018, such a reaction might seem predictable. But these were still early days in this culture war. In England, where I live, many of the first salvoes had been fired by an organization called Press for Change (PFC), which had been founded by two activists—Stephen Whittle and Christine Burns—who identified as “transsexual” and campaigned for an end to legal discrimination. By the time I’d published my Guardian column in 2004, Whittle and Burns already had been debating me on this issue. But now they were being pushed aside by more militant activists who’d swapped out “sex” for “gender,” and gave PFC a good kicking for even engaging with me at all.

In 2008, I was shortlisted by the British gay rights charity, Stonewall, for a journalism award. But once the trans activist Inquisition heard of this, Stonewall came under pressure to de-nominate me. To their credit, the organizers refused to capitulate. And on gala’s eve, a crowd of 200 protesters duly turned up to bleat, “Bindel the Bigot.”

I didn’t win that night. And my detractors, believing that they’d swayed the vote (which perhaps they did), gained confidence. I was subsequently “de-platformed” (avant la lettre) by the National Union of Students (NUS). Whenever I was invited to speak—whether about rape, trafficking, child sex abuse or domestic homicide—I often was greeted by a group of students screaming at me about my alleged “bigotry.”

But back to 2018 and the Truth to Power debacle.

Having learned that the event was still on, I emailed Goldstein (who, as an aside, is depicted in publicity shots wearing wings and a t-shirt with the slogan “Only the Brave”). What followed was a darkly hilarious and profoundly deceptive exchange, in which he gamely tried to pretend that I had not actually been bounced for the sake of his own political convenience. I eventually got fed up with the dissembling and emailed TTP’s partner, Index on Censorship (IoC), whose mission is to “publish work by censored writers and artists, promote debate, and monitor threats to free speech.” Its CEO, Jodie Ginsberg, told me she was “appalled” at what had transpired. She pieced together the facts of the matter, which apparently were that Goldstein had caved in to pressure from two queer-identified performers on the same event program, and publicly withdrew IoC’s sponsorship.

On reflection, I should have known when I accepted the invitation from Goldstein that trouble would follow. One of the scheduled performers was Reece Lyons, whose poem, “I am a Woman, and I have a penis,” has been viewed 2.5-million times on YouTube. Following my ouster, Reece declared that “the concept of me and Julie Bindel even sharing the same space is, at the very least, debilitating to my mental welfare and to other LGBT members of the audience/line-up.” (Somewhat appropriately, the two groups of trans allies that bullied Goldstein into cancelling my appearance made the triumphant announcement of my erasure via Tumblr, the same medium commonly used to promote cross-sex hormone treatment for young butch lesbians.)

“[Bindel’s] work, together with many other anti-trans activists—or TERFs [a term of abuse that denotes ‘Trans-Exclusive Radical Feminists’]—has had impact on the well-being of our communities and friends, but also on systemic discrimination of trans folk in the U.K.,” reads the statement, echoing the now-common claim that even the most respectable forms of debate on this subject should be equated with violence and persecution. “The current daily violent climate against transgender communities—and indeed public and governmental consultations on if trans people should even be ‘allowed’ basic rights—is abhorrent and goes in line with her work and ethos.”

The venue for the TPP event had been the Roundhouse in Camden, North London. This is a performing-arts theatre focused on new and emerging talent. Two days after IoC disowned the event, the scrupulously woke Roundhouse also pulled out, and issued a statement declaring that “the safety of our young people, audiences, staff and volunteers is always our biggest priority. We pride ourselves on being an inclusive venue and would always encourage people to use creativity to enable a dialogue. However, due to the changing nature of the event, we feel we can no longer guarantee it is a safe space, particularly for our young artists. Therefore, we have spoken with the event organiser to inform them we will be cancelling next week’s Truth To Power Café shows.”

I had been pleased when IoC withdrew from the event, because it represented a strong, principled stand against arbitrary censorship. But when Roundhouse also pulled out, I had the opposite reaction—in part because of the false insinuation that somehow I was the reason the space was no longer “safe.”

Such “safe space” language is meant to suggest that feminists such as myself represent a sort of terroristic threat to trans people—even when we aren’t there. The opposite would be closer to the truth: Feminists now are routinely beaten up, slandered, fired from their jobs and de-platformed if they offer even the mildest caveat in regard to the demands of transgender extremists. Just this week, in fact, a female lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University was mobbed, with potentially career-ending ramifications, after raising concerns about male-bodied individuals being sent to female prisons.

Since I made my story public, Goldstein has tried to suggest that he is the true victim, and that he was bullied into apologizing to me (“a decision I now retract”). His public statement is full of applause lines aimed at the trans community, complete with suggestions that the real beneficiaries of this contretemps will be “right wing Twitter trolls.” Unfortunately for him, the evidence of what actually happened is all in the emails he sent me, which still sit in my inbox.

The ostensible mission of Truth to Power is to give people “a chance to express your true self, become the person you’ve always wanted to be, and say what you’ve always wanted to say.”

Well here I am, being true to myself. I am what I was yesterday, and what I will be tomorrow: a tireless, radical feminist who refuses to accept that biological men are identical to women. As for the thing I’ve “always wanted to say,” I will now direct it to Goldstein and all the other ostentatiously progressive men in my world: Silencing feminists who are calling out your hypocrisy stinks—especially when you have the gall to do so under the banner of “free speech.”

Feature photo by Andy Ngo.

 

Julie Bindel is a UK-based writer and activist. In 1991, she co-founded the group Justice for Women, which provides legal assistance to women accused of killing violent male partners. Follow her on Twitter @bindelj.

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120 Comments

  1. TarsTarkas says

    Although I don’t agree with many of your views, I’m sorry that you were once again socially mugged by the conspiracy of the criminally insane.

    The problem is two-fold: Transgenderism itself (a male reaction to Third and Fourth Wave Feminism used to regain the top position in the intersectionality ) and the total cowardice of those nominally in power. These wannabe women are a microscopically small fraction of society, are violent and abusive verbally and physically by orders of magnitude beyond ordinary people, yet have been allowed to gain an incredibly outsized hold on society. What is enabling them? Is it the Chicagoite creature called Pritzer? The moolah being extorted by a whole galaxy of surgeons, psychologists, counselors, and other enablers of this mental illness? Why are the movers and shakers of culture so blind or so deluded to the poison circulating in their midst? Too many questions and no definite answers.

    • Burlats de Montaigne says

      “a male reaction to Third and Fourth Wave Feminism used to regain the top position in the intersectionality ”
      This comes across as the worst sort of unhinged paranoid nonsense I’m afraid. As if “men” (all of them?) would or even could take the time and trouble to engineer such a plot like some sort of maniacal Bond villain is just absurd. Gender dysphoria is a recognized medical condition. But that’s just ‘patriarchal’ medical science I suppose?

      • Yes, gender dysphoria is a recognised medical condition. Unforunately, I think what we’re seeing is a surge of trans-“trenderism” that is rather confusing things.

        There are trans people with gender dysphoria who I believe most people empathise with and understand and who, obviously, deserve protection, support and understanding.

        But then there is also a ragbag of gay and lesbians and people with sexual kinks who have started claiming they are “trans” because it now has more social capital than LGB.

        And then there are far left activists – often men, it seems – with no apparent interest in transitioning to the opposite sex and wanting to identify not as a man or a woman but as a “trans”.

        From what I’ve observed I tend to agree with TarsTarkas. Not that it is a “maniacal Bond villain plot” engineered by “all” men. Rather that “some” men (particularly young men) who have a revolutionary bent and want to protest something have realised that white men have (in their own circle’s terms) too much privilege to be even the allies of women and minorities and instead have chosen to bestow victim status upon themselves by becoming “trans”.

        I think that accounts for part of the rise of people identifying as trans and the current vocalness of trans activists. Most of them will get it out of their system by the time they hit their thirties and have to pay the bills.

        The trouble I see at the moment is that the media and other commenters confuse the first group (people with an actual medical/mental health condition) with the other (noisier) groups, making discussion almost impossible.

    • Circuses and Bread (transgender and proud! 🏳️‍🌈 ) says

      @TarsTarkas

      Can we stop with the hate? I’ve been a transgendered woman for less than a day now and I’ve already had to endure the cis prejudice and hate so typical of the white male patriarchy. I’m not a “wannabe woman”, I’m a transgendered woman with hopes, dreams, and aspirations! And I don’t mean to brag, but it’s also possible that I could save 15% or more on my car insurance through Transgenderism®️. And that’s not nothing.

      The fact that our politics are absurd has nothing to do with the social construct of gender. Politics was a bottomless pit of evil and despair before Transgenderism and will remain so.

      It is my incontestable opinion based on my own very recent personal experience that those who are most opposed to Transgenderism are those who are in deepest denial. Up until this morning, I thought of myself as a socially traditional cis male. It was only after some deep introspection that I decided that I was denying my true gender identity.

      While I wouldn’t dare presume anyone else’s gender identity, Quillette readers should take some time for thought and introspection. Who knows? You might conclude like I did that you’re a butch, transitioning, non-operative, body-hair enhanced, transgendered lesbian woman.

      • Aerth says

        @Circuses and Bread (transgender and proud! )

        You should understand and respect that women may not want to see your male body in their bathrooms only because you did introspection and suddenly decide “hey, I am woman!”.

    • Look….I love how articulate the writers and commenters are here. Heck, even when I disagree I have to admit that the person I am disagreeing with is intelligent.

      I’m just a straight, white, middle aged dude with two kids to raise, a 10 yr old boy and 17 yr old girl.

      All I know is that I am raising them both to be as strong as I can, physically, mentally and emotionally. I pay for good schools. I teach them self defense, with and without a weapon. (I’m former army recon) I teach them good sportsmanship and respect for others, even when they disagree. I teach them to think before they speak and to listen even when what is being said is something that annoys them.

      I supervise over 300 people and I make a conscious effort to promote the interests of all my employees, male, female, young and old, gay or straight. I admit I probably pay more attention to promoting young people and young women in particular since my field, technology, is so heavily male dominated it seems the thing to do because these young women need just a bit more support sometimes. That said, I mostly care if the people who are working for me are just good people. Are they honest? Are they willing to work hard? Can they get along with others? Do they solve problems or create them? I care more about those characteristics than I do about raw talent. If people show those characteristics I will bend over backwards to help their careers, male, female, trans …whatever. Those are what I value in people and believe deserve respect and support.

      That said, there are things that are getting a little freaky.

      My daughter came home from prep school and told me that it had become “fashionable” to be bi-sexual, that some students were actually verbally attacking others for thinking that people are either straight or gay and that binary thinking was bigoted. I dunno about you all, but the gay friends I grew up with, would be deeply offended by the idea that their sexual orientation is a fashion statement or was a choice they made. So many of them spent years encouraging research to prove that being gay was genetics and not choice.

      Look, I get it, some people are gay, some are straight, some small group is probably truly bi-sexual, and I do believe that some people are born with some form of gender challenge resulting from how they developed genetically. I also believe that there are some mentally ill people who convince themselves they are something they are not in a desperate attempt to find an answer to whatever their misery is. All that said, the vast majority of human beings are straight men or straight women. Probably a good thing for the continuance of the species. Gay people probably make up something like 5% of the population. Ok. Truly transgender people are less than one half of one percent of the population. Should they be treated kindly and with basic human respect? Absolutely. Should they be allowed to browbeat the rest of us and our children to a point where our kids are afraid to just be straight boys or girls for fear of being bigoted?

      It is hard enough to raise good healthy kids, kids capable of growing up to build a happy life for themselves. Throwing this kind of crap into the mix is just making it that much harder and I think it is doing real damage.

      Look, for those that are truly trans, I can only imagine how hard that is. To be part of a group that is SO incredibly small and one that is inevitably going to bare some level of persecution even from groups that you would think would have some empathy, has to be really hard. That said, they cannot be allowed to set their personal interests above everyone else all the time.

      We have boys rooms and girls rooms for reasons and not just because boys forget to put up the seat. We do NOT need the issues of 16 yr old boys sharing a bathroom with 16 yr old girls. It is POSSIBLE that adults MIGHT be able to deal with that..MAYBE, but there is no way that works with adolescents without there being incidents. (BTW…as the father of a daughter, the BEST invention ever was the family bathroom)

      We have boys sports and girls sports for a reason. Not because we think that girls cannot compete (Jesus…my daughter is the most competitive person I have ever known) but to prevent injury and to give the MAJORITY of girls a chance to play and compete and win. On a bell curve, boys are bigger, faster and heavier. Allowing a boy that thinks he is a girl to participate in girls wrestling or in girls basketball would very likely be unfair to the actual, physical girls, playing. I’m sorry if you are a trans kid that is genetically male and you want to play girls sports, but it is not fair to every girl on the team or on the opposing team. Sorry.

      • Dan, Thanks for your post. Total Agreement. I would add that in most human interactions I don’t ask people what their sexual preferences are. (I am sure you don’t either) The majority of the time it doesn’t matter. I am not trying to date them; I don’t have a job requirement that differs due to gender or sexual preference. I am not starting an athletic team.

        I have worked with people I later found out are trans. Okay. So what. my respect for them did not lessen in any way. I vote for lets just treat people as people.

    • One word: phallic power (which is why the really dangerous trans are the ones who keep their pricks). This phantasy has been around for decennia, ie. ” what is the real complete human being, one who has breasts and a prick………thankfully they will die out by themselves without the power of reproduction in female bodies

  2. Sydney says

    I have a visual in my mind. Cartoon Bart Simpson writing 100 times on the blackboard: ‘Trans people do not alter their chromosomes or life/body experience.’

    The extraordinarily aggressive (often violent) push by trans ‘females’ into the world of girls and women is well-known and universally despised. Is there a parallel issue happening of trans ‘males’ making similar claims and demands in the world of boys and men?

    • jolly swag, man says

      women aggressively making claims and demands in the world of boys and men don’t have to pretend to be men. could that be a parallel issue?

    • Heike says

      Baha, if they tried it they’d get their asses kicked.

      Everyone likes to go on about the patriarchy and so on, but the truth is that if you’re a man, other men will treat you brutally and will happily beat the shit out of you for opposing them. Something often overlooked by those blinded by ideology.

    • Shatterface says

      Is there a parallel issue happening of trans ‘males’ making similar claims and demands in the world of boys and men?

      A transman was given his marching orders at a gay sauna in London a day or so ago. Gay men are having none of this nonsense in their spaces.

      • Cifaretto says

        What are you talking about? That same sauna apologised and acknowledged it was in the wrong. Please don’t assume that “gay men” (as if they’re some kind of homogenous blob) are going along with your prejudices just because of one isolated incident. It just isn’t true.

        The reason they were kicked out in the first place was the fear that, as they were a men’s sexual service, their license wouldn’t cover someone of the female sex, so they had to check with the council. This wasn’t due to any “not having nonsense” at all, it was due to a fear that they’d get it wrong. The council confirmed that if someone had a GRC then their license would be fine, thus concluding that transmen are fine to access this space.

        So no, no one was given “marching orders”, and the people who disallowed the individual access to the service have now apologised and stated that they were in the wrong (although their initial action was fueled by a need to protect their license NOT by being anti-transgender, as you were implying).

      • Cifaretto says

        What are you talking about? That same sauna apologised and acknowledged it was in the wrong. Please don’t assume that “gay men” (as if they’re some kind of homogenous blob) are going along with your prejudices just because of one isolated incident. It just isn’t true.

        The reason they were kicked out in the first place was the fear that, as they were a men’s sexual service, their license wouldn’t cover someone of the female sex, so they had to check with the council. This wasn’t due to any “not having nonsense” at all, it was due to a fear that they’d get it wrong. The council confirmed that if someone had a GRC then their license would be fine, thus concluding that transmen are fine to access this space.

        So no, no one was given “marching orders”, and the people who disallowed the individual access to the service have now apologised and stated that they were in the wrong (although their initial action was fueled by a need to protect their license NOT by being anti-transgender, as you were implying).

        The individual showed their passport showing they were a man too – so shouldn’t have been turned away. Again, the sauna has accepted they were wrong to do this.

        • KP in BC says

          What is amazing to me is that such things as “gay saunas” enabling (presumably) anonymous public sex with multiple partners still exist in the age of AIDS. And anyone who insists it’s all “safe sex” is very naive about what sex between gay men actually involves. BTW I am no homophobe, just have very little sympathy for either a “transman” who goes to one of these places or the men there who are inconvenienced by the presence of a biological woman. But still, doesn’t a gay man have the right to refuse sex with a biological woman, even one identifying as male and possessing a passport saying they are male? Is having sex with “transpeople” obligatory now because refusing to hurts their feelies?

  3. Donald Collins says

    Not to worry.

    Many folks that think they are not part of the problem because somehow they offended someone even more radical than themselves

    When a person thinks in terms of tribalism, it is not their tribalism that is wrong, it is the others tribalism that is wrong, where as it is groupthink that is wrong.

    It is why feminism is a failure today. Claims of unequal outcomes, that would be pay in particular, due to choices made by the woman, thus her using her own power to live how she wants, is somehow construed to mean she is unequal. That claim is no different than a man saying he is a woman even though he has a penis. It is factually wrong, but he feels it? The pay gap is factually wrong but she feels it.

    So when feeling rather than facts are the basis for whatever one determines their rights are rather than concrete standards, do not be surprised when your feelings get hurt.

    • RadixLecti says

      Well put. The more leftists we see on Quillette because their own side had abandoned them, the closer we will be to the singularity where there’s one black, disabled, Indigenous, lesbian-identified, trans-woman,sometimes hydrogender individual who is the only one with the right to be offended by anything. Then the rest of us can just get on with it.

      • ga gamba says

        “[T]he rest of us can just get on with it,” which I understand to be live and let live, is not the end state for radfems. You’re fooling yourself if you think so. Radfems are hostile to individualism, free speech, capitalism, liberty (for anyone other than themselves), the family, and males. Our existing “patriarchal” society must be overturned. It’s a group of totalitarian busybodies with severe personality disorders who have animosity for anyone but themselves, and even then they’re often at each other’s throats.

        As always, a reminder that the radfems are as repellent as the transtrenders. Think of their conflict as the SS versus the NKGB (the KGB’s predecessor). A reasonable freedom-loving person recognises the danger of each and also the utility they keep bashing each other.

      • peanut gallery says

        RadixLecti has it almost right. You’re assuming this person’s singularity.

        Should be… “where there’s one black, disabled, Indigenous, lesbian-identified, trans-woman,sometimes hydrogender [collective] who is the only [plurality] with the right to be offended by anything. Then the rest of us can just get on with it.”

    • Ray Andrews says

      Once we abandoned sense, we find that it’s hard to go ‘half-way’ back to reality. The radfems point out the insanity of the radtrans claims (and of course they are indeed utter lunacy) but they want to keep the insanity of the equal outcome agenda and they will insist that the invisible monster ‘The Patriarchy’ is making the cows give sour milk.

      • Harland says

        Yeah, the whole thing is red on red. Enemy civil war.

        The problem is, when evil fights evil – evil wins. Cheering for a radical feminist gives me the creeps.

        • Harland, it isn’t red on red. The victims of the trans takeover are not radfems, but simply women: trying to win a race or a scholarship, trying to serve a prison sentence without being raped, trying to get rape counseling, trying to get changed in a locker room without being stared at by a man, etc. etc.

          • @beniacanova: you conflate so many different topics here.

            me (a transsexual woman) using the women’s bathroom just seems reasonable. I have to use to go the bathroom like anyone else. I have gone in the women’s room for twenty-one years. only twice as anyone has anyone ever had a problem with it. (one of those times probably does not even count. I won’t go into that story.)

            but then you also mention other separate issues where it might make sense to not treat trans women equivalently with cisgendered women.

    • david of Kirkland says

      Most wars/fights are over feelings rather than reason.
      That some seek power and control over others is natural. They label it the patriarchy now, but the reality isn’t patriarchy, but powerarchy, and when ANY people think they can gain power at others’ expense, they often take it without regard to morals or ethics or reason.

    • Cee M says

      So when I was paid less then a man – with the same background i.e we had both finished school with very similar grades (mine were higher) and he was paid £1200 more a year for the same entry level job with less work experience then I had. I only felt it?

      And when the research came out by the union that showed that female employees in entry level jobs were on average paid £1500 less a year – this was not discrimination? but just something felt? and not true?

      • David says

        Yes, it was real. And it was illegal. Just as in the rest of the world, illegal things sometimes happen. The law often deals with it, though sometimes imperfectly. Just as in the rest of life. That said, illegal wage differentials such as you describe account for only a tiny fraction, perhaps 5 to 10 percent, of the so-called “pay gap.” The rest is the result of (1) choices made by women and (2) choices which are to some extent forced on women by biology.

  4. David Turnbull says

    “Just because you lop off your penis and then wear a dress doesn’t make you a ******* woman,” Ms Greer said in a statement given to the Victoria Derbyshire show. “I’ve asked my doctor to give me long ears and liver spots and I’m going to wear a brown coat but that won’t turn me into a ******* cocker spaniel.”

    • @David Turnbull: I grasp her point but male-to-female transition involves a lot more than having your penis and putting on a dress. it takes years.

      • MRM Berlin says

        According to trans activists, it takes nothing but self identification to become a woman. That is the problem. (well, not quite. the larger problem is ignorance of biological sex as a category)

      • Paulo says

        Maybe that’s her point to, it seems to me that she’s against these instantaneous transitions of nowadays – perhaps one more symptom of the speed disease of our society.

  5. RadixLecti says

    I disagree with almost everything Ms Bindel stands for, but am pleased to see that Quillette provides a platform for those silenced by the woke marauders. I hope to see more pieces from those who find themselves left-but-not-left-enough.

  6. Wentworth Horton says

    Third story in as many weeks on infighting on the Victim Hierarchy, second about the Trans/Fem rift. How sweet it is.

  7. Northern Observer says

    We now live in the shadow of intolerant irrational minorities and a culture that can’t stand up to them. It’s terrifying and I am comstantly perplexed at how people rationalise the horror around them in order to get on with it.

    • It’s the slippery slope argument in action, in plain sight, coupled with the laws of diminishing returns. People are already legally equal in nearly every regard, but the trend to play victim and need reparations and to switch power from X to Y.

  8. Farris says

    Women are losing hard fought equalities to men who wish the world to indulge their fantasy, that they are actually women. In athletics, female athletes are being displaced by female wannabes. Females are losing the right to freely associate. Females are having their privacy rights encroached upon. Trans male to females may honestly believe they are actually women but the truth is they simply don’t share the same life experiences. For instance a Trans male to female has never had to wonder what he might do when faced with an unwanted pregnancy. A man may contemplate what he may do should he cause an unwanted pregnancy but that is simply not the same.
    Additionally men are not faced with the same issues regarding Trans females to males.
    Not being recognized as their preferred gender may be hurtful to Transgenders, but perpetuating a falsehood is harmful to everyone.

    • Ghatanathoah says

      @Farris

      There are three problems with “transwomen don’t share the same life experience” arguments. The first is that most ciswomen don’t share the same life experiences either. There is no universal experience of womanhood that is shared among all 3.5 billion women alive currently, not to mention the billions more who lived in the past. Even fairly common experiences like the risk of unplanned pregnancy aren’t universal among biologically female individuals. There are many biological females who have been sterile since birth for one reason or another.

      Another problem is that transpeople’s experiences might be less unshared than you’d initially think. There is evidence that brains have an instinctive sense of what gender they are, this is why gendered socialization works. Boys absorb male socialization, girls absorb female socialization. If their brains couldn’t discriminate between the two they’d absorb socialization from everyone and behave androgynously. Many transpeople have brains that absorb the socialization of the opposite sex, that’s one theory as to why they are trans in the first place. So they actually do have the experience of being socialized as their chosen gender.

      Lastly, human brains have this thing called “empathy” that allows them to understand things that they haven’t personally experienced. If a man wants to know what being a woman is like, all he has to do is listen to women describe their experiences and use his empathy. Human beings are not that different from each other. If you want to know what it’s like to be someone else all you have to do is listen and empathize. So even if transpeople don’t share lived experience with cispeople, it isn’t hard for them duplicate it.

      —-

      I also want to point out a problem with your post about athletics, which is that biologically there isn’t really any difference in athletic ability between someone who is biologically male, but has undergone treatment with feminizing hormones, and someone who is biologically female, but has an unusual amount of masculizing hormones. This is especially true of many intersex people who have been raised as women all their lives, but are excluded from athletics because they are not biologically female. You can’t discriminate against transwomen without also discriminating against other biologically unusual women.

      • Sergio says

        “I also want to point out a problem with your post about athletics, which is that biologically there isn’t really any difference in athletic ability between someone who is biologically male, but has undergone treatment with feminizing hormones, and someone who is biologically female, but has an unusual amount of masculizing hormones.”

        Rubbish. They still fundamentally different bone density and structure as well as differences in muscular mass and upper body strength. Additionally the amount of estrogen given to men will prevent bone density loss even further. So no, no even playing field.

      • I also want to point out a problem with your post about athletics, which is that biologically there isn’t really any difference in athletic ability between someone who is biologically male, but has undergone treatment with feminizing hormones, and someone who is biologically female, but has an unusual amount of masculizing hormones.

        Horseshit.

        If that were true mediocre male athletes would transition into mediocre female athletes, not world champions.

        Transwomen like Rachel McKinnon are breaking women’s records by achieving speeds that wouldn’t even qualify them to compete in finals against other men.

        And most transwomen don’t take hormones in any case. Transition is about identifying as women, it’s nothing to do with altering your body.

        • @Shatterface: transsexual woman here. I know nothing about athletics or sports medicine. if you have your facts correct, I would have no problem whatsoever with banning trans women from woman’s athletic competition.

          I think you have it wrong about most trans women not taking hormones. transitioning, by definition, does not meaning merely identifying a particular way. transitioning means to _transition_ from one gender role to the other, to go through a social and physical process.

      • Ghanathoah, all the empathy in the world cannot help me understand what it means to be a man. I can imitate. I can take hormones to give me some idea, but I do not have a man’s body. The body includes the brain. We are not born in the right or wrong body — we are ouŕ bodies. If your brain is confused, it’s a mental problem, not a physical one.

      • Just because females (“cis women”) don’t *all* have the *exact same* experiences, it doesn’t justify eliminating the distinction between females and males altogether. There are plenty of experiences shared by virtually *all* females and virtually *no* males, and those experiences are impacting enough to justify segregation based on biological sex in many cases. (Ask yourself if, say, we should just eliminate racial minority or disability protections altogether because not all African Americans or disabled people have exactly the same experiences, and a lot of white and able-bodied people feel a deep inner kinship with their black and disabled peers.) It frankly sounds like male privilege to belittle the universality of discrimination and oppression that virtually *all* women and girls face from the moment they’re born, as a direct result of their biological sex.

        You completely misunderstand how socialization works: most of what we call gender is imposed on us by society, it’s not just something you pick up and “absorb” based on your inner feelings. A biological male is going to be socialized as a male (and be granted the benefits of maleness) no matter how “feminine” he feels inside. Sure, if someone’s dysphoria is strong enough they’ll take cues from females and try to emulate them socially (and indeed, exceedingly feminine boys face discrimination too as a result of patriarchy), but it’s the height of male privilege to say that’s the same as being socialized as a female.

        (And let’s not forget that under the ever-watering-down and broadening of the definition of “trans,” we’re seeing males with less-and-less “true, deep, lifelong” identification with females pushing their way into female spaces. A rich male finance executive was recently recognized as a top “woman” in business because he occasionally likes to wear a wig and a dress. That’s light-years from what transsexualism used to mean, and it makes a mockery of the entire exercise of the work to recognize and promote women in leadership roles.)

        As for male-bodied athletes who deliberately handicap their abilities with cross-sex hormones in order to play in women’s leagues: your contention that they have no advantages over female athletes is demonstrably, plainly false, given how already vastly overrrepresented transwomen are at the top of female athletics. If there was no benefit to being male-bodied, the distribution of trans women in athletic rankings would be arbitrary, but it’s not: the tiny number of transwomen in female sports is shattering records and rocketing to the top in vastly disproportionate numbers. And why on earth would we WANT male-bodied athltes in female sports to begin with? This is a blatant conflation of sex and gender, and a complete wrong turn on the part of transactivism. Sports are segregated by sex because of the undeniable reality of sexual dimorphism in the human species (as with all mammals); they are not segregated by clothing or hairstyle or pronoun preference or “inner gender feelings” of any kind. For one thing, the corollary of allowing feminine-identifying male athletes into women’s leagues would be to DISALLOW feminine-identifying male athletes from competing in men’s leagues. This is just a reversion to ugly old outdated gender stereotypes. Guys in dresses get kicked off the team. (Maybe that’s why sports associations, which are typically rather conservative, are so open to trans activist demands?) Male-bodied trans athletes should compete in male leagues and proudly wear their feminine clothing and use whatever pronouns they like while doing so. And frankly, wouldn’t that be a giant leap for trans awareness — for a male-bodied trans athlete to stand proud at the top of the podium in female dress, female pronouns and all? THAT’s the direction trans acitivism should be going in.

        Instead, it’s veered off into a realm of male privilege writ large.

      • jmilton says

        Ghatanathoah

        If you had any capacity for ’empathy’ with women (which you clearly don’t) you would understand that infertility is not the same as ‘sterility’. I am post-menopausal. I am now infertile but have 2 daughters and had 5 pregnancies. The majority of women who are ‘infertile’ actually experience pregnancy, but can’t carry to full term. Many experience multiple miscarriages. Most women, infertile or not, have experienced one. For those who haven’t they sure as hell know others who have.

        Women aren’t born knowing they are ‘sterile’, as you put it. Discovering you can’t have children is often devastating as well as life changing for women and is often related to other very painful conditions associated with female reproductive biology which transwomen don’t have, and don’t have any insights into either. Which your post and so many others confirm.

        Your levelling of transwomen, bodily, to that of ‘sterile’ adult human females, who are women, not only trivialises those experiences but erasures it in one simple, crass, insensitive and totally ignorant statement.

      • Paulo says

        @Ghatanathoah

        Here we go again! Just because, unfortunately, some people are born with less fingers doesn’t mean humans have ten fingers. Just like, because some are masochist doesn’t mean humans in general avoid pain. Heck, all living things avoid pain because it helps survival! The existence of masochists doesn’t invalidate that basic fact of life.

        • Paulo says

          @paulo
          “doesn’t mean humans have ten fingers.” should read “humans don’t have ten fingers”. 😬

        • Paulo says

          @paulo
          “doesn’t mean humans in general avoid pain” should read “doesn’t mean humans in general don’t avoid pain”.

          It’s not easy today 🤪

      • By now, just reading the above endless nonsense, I would like to institute the following: if you have something to say declare your age, your education, and life experience (which should be longer than 20 years in the body you were born with), and declare your references, that means where did you get your information from? Propaganda, repeating fake news and doctored evidences do not count. Grow up!

    • Today, being “left out” is the same “violence” and “denial of rights” compared to prior notions of harm that suggest you did something that actually hurt them, not just deprived them of some inclusion. What next, the Catholic Church needs to allow atheists or Islamists to become priests?
      This entire notion that all humans are “equal” such that we no longer are allowed to think/act/believe based on the clear differences we see is weird and denies the rights/liberties of free thinking, free association, free speech and all that liberty promises.
      Whoever your “true self” is fine for you to believe and act, but I cannot be forced to accept all differences presented to me as non-important to my own thoughts and actions.

    • Asenath Waite says

      @Farris

      Lived experiences are beside the point. Men are excluded from private female spaces because of anatomical differences. Anatomical differences (and the underlying genetic differences) are the only defining feature of men and women and are the rationale behind having separate spaces for the sexes to change clothes, use the restroom, etc. Also the rationale for sex segregated athletic competitions. There are general psychological differences between populations of men and women, but these are by no means universal and cannot be used to sort any individual into a particular sex, nor can incredibly variable lived experiences be used to do so. It’s simply about anatomy and doesn’t need to be made more complicated than that.

  9. Let me get this straight.

    Feminists have spent 50+ years claiming we live in a tyrannical patriarchy that oppresses women. You claim not to get paid as much as men for the same work, which is false. You claim we live in a rape culture, which is false.I could go on and on, but I believe Quillette know all the usual arguments.

    And now you’re complaining when the radical left are gunning you down? Welcome to our world. Now you have the equality you were after.

    • ga gamba says

      And now you’re complaining when the radical left are gunning you down?

      ‘Cuz the radical left is “the patriarchy” too, don’t ya know?

      Everywhere the catastrophist looks she can’t help imagine seeing it. Convenient that, yeah?

    • Transwomen aren’t just ‘coming after’ radical feminists.

      A sixteen year old male bodied ‘girl guide’ could be sharing your daughter’s tent and the Guides would be under no obligation to inform you of the fact.

      A male bodied transwoman could be – and has been – sent to a women’s prison despite the fact he was convicted of rape.

      If this were two extremist factions fighting each other it would be fine to scoff from the sidelines, but when there’s a 4,000% increase in young girls being referred to Tavistock for ‘gender dysphoria’ and a majority of them are autistic, how in the name of fuck can you ‘Hur-hur, womyn had it coming’ your way through that?

      • KP in BC says

        I agree; it’s not just radical feminists who are veing victimized by this trangender insanity. For one thing, women athletes are being royally screwed. Just have a look at the photo of Rachel McKinnon standing between the women who came in second and third in that cycling race. That “woman” is about half a foot taller, has a very obvious male physique, and doesn’t even have fake breasts (but why would a transwoman athlete bother to get them; they’re just a hindrance…) It’s like a collective psychosis has overtaken the world.

  10. Event Horizon says

    This entire piece reads like a junior high gossip column written in the school’s newspaper. It’s utterly depressing to see adults wasting so much time and energy on such issues. The world is amazing, Ms./Mrs Bindel… countless things to explore, amazing books to read, wonderful people to become friends with…. don’t waste your life with such petty issues. Instead of wasting an entire day if not more to write this column, give these bullies the Christopher Hitchens treatment: a quick, highly effective dismissive “F.. off” and move on. It not only takes a mere 10 seconds of your life, but more importantly, it robs these bullies of their victory. As it stands now, your tears only feeds their craziness and determination.

    • Just Me says

      That’s the leftist argument for “no-platforming” of people they disapprove of.

      It’s just plain wrong. By not deigning to rebut misguided arguments, you are allowing them to stand unchallenged, and people who never get to hear the counter-argument can fall prey to those views.

  11. jimhaz says

    I read half a dozen paragraphs and have no idea what this article is about – so I would not be surprised by rejection. I gave up.

    The author needs to simplify. A common problem I find with this site and virtually all modern “academics” is not giving a sufficiently clear idea of the purpose of the article early on. To me it seems as if people have lost the ability to communicate well. I used to be interested in a site called Art and Letters, but now I cannot stand it as all the articles just ramble on like the authors are on LSD – all sorts of irrelevancies are bought in.

    Something is wrong with modern education – and perhaps it is that all decent viewpoints have already been expressed. Originality is so very much harder now.

    • Trollificus says

      I must say, jimhaz, that your lack of comprehension is not the fault of the author, but of the subject matter. She has made it about as clear as she can, perhaps with a little naivete in assuming other to be familiar with this insular and involved dispute.

      It is worth reading and comprehending, at the very least to inform a meta-analysis of the ugly and hateful ways deplatforming workds in almost every instance.

  12. John Doe says

    You participate in victimhood hierarchies, eventually someone’s going to use their higher-tier victim status against you. Play stupid games, ein stupid prizes.

  13. Burlats de Montaigne says

    I find the whole TERF phenomena and the splintering of the third wave paradigm absolutely hilarious. The vicious, unprincipled and unsubstantiated attack on men, the “patriarchy”, and all things white, masculine and Caucasian have caused/actively encouraged real rifts between the sexes and have only succeeded in fostering enmity and distrust. To now witness those foot soldiers of the third wave like Bindel whingeing about chick with dicks not being ‘real’ whamen is just delicious. Yes, men in frocks are going to piss in your toilets, win all your sports events and will probably make better sandwiches than you too!.

    • ga gamba says

      If my understanding is correct, technically Bindel and other TERFs such as Germaine Greer would be classified as second wave. Anti-trans ideas were raised back in the ’70s. The third wave is characterised by ‘gender feminist’ beliefs such as the feminine penis and adherence to intersectionality. Generally, of course.

    • Emmanuel says

      The good thing with living in a stupid time and society is that it provides plenty of entertainment.
      I mean, left-wingers fighting one another and playing the “I am more oppressed than you… No you” game is hilarious.
      I hope the trans-racial movement will keep growing, it should be even funnier than the feminists vs women with penis fights.

  14. Rusty says

    “Well here I am, being true to myself. I am what I was yesterday, and what I will be tomorrow: a tireless, radical feminist who refuses to accept that biological men are identical to women.”

    Anyone know this persun’s opinions on women in STEM? Hopefully they correlate with the above statement.

    Meanwhile the sight of the radical Left eating itself once again is immensely satisfying. Bon apetit!

  15. Jol Anstwin says

    For decades the feminists have been telling us maleness is a social construct that men must be cured of. Now a bunch of men have taken them at their word, and they are not happy. Be careful what you wish for.

    • Men are a toxic disease, so they transition to sweet, nice, women who then fight each other, complain, jockey for power and control, threaten, coerce….

  16. Jol Anstwin says

    What we are seeing here is that favorite idea of the Marxist left, the dialectical “internal contradiction” playing out in real time.

    More seriously, if not an outright contradiction, then the current clash between sex-difference denying feminism and their trans offspring is a reductio ad absurbum to their philosophy. This is the absurdity to which their philosophy logically leads. This is been shown to them vividly and clearly, and they have no where to go. Either way they have to deny that men can be women. It’s the death of the feminist theory – it’s met its falsification.

    • George G says

      @ Jol Anstwin

      I think your spot on in your analysis but I would predict the opposite outcome, Feminists and Trans advocates will both double down on their ideology ( both groups are extremists). Facts didn’t stand in the way of either groups beliefs before, neither can afford to face up to reality or their personal identities & groups financing will come crumbling down. Also the greater their opposition to reality the greater the inter group signalling of solidarity, so perversely they will become more entrenched and delusional the longer this goes on.

      There is something hilarious about the ever expanding oppressor class though, who will be the last victim left?

      My money’s on JenniGary, the intersex, pansexual, post human, demi-mermaid, Trans dwarf.

    • Ray Andrews says

      @ Jol
      Patriarchal logic! Feminist logics make it all possible. Or … we can back out of this cave while we can still see the light of the entrance.

  17. Julie and her allies have themselves to blame. She and her anti science cohort of third wave feminism are the culprits for normalizing the conflation of biological essentialism with misogyny. It was them who made it a dirty and ineffable offense to obviously state homo sapiens is a dimorphic species, gender isn’t a social construct, and a significant portion of human behavior is determined by one’s genetic composition. Julie can enjoy her cold stiff comeuppance.

  18. Defenstrator says

    Welcome to genuine equality. Now you too can enjoy being told how privileged you are by people divorced from reality. You fought hard and now can enjoy the predictable fruits of your labour.

    • I’m still wondering why my white male body never had power over others since I have all that privilege, toxic masculinity while being supremely white. I guess males never are victims, never are poor, never are taken advantage of, never are despised, never are unemployed, never are depressed, never are anxious, never are homeless…

  19. This is the logical end result of the pyramid of victimhood. Everybody wants to be on top, which means climbing over all the other victim groups. Looks like your space on the pyramid is being threatened.

  20. David Norman says

    Unusually there is a lot of ill considered point scoring thinking in these comments. It shouldn’t matter whether Julie Bindel defines herself as a radical feminist if her argument is right. I think it is; the trans extremists are having considerable success with their ploy of labelling anyone who disagrees with them as a TERF when in fact the large majority of people, grounding their views on science rather than fantasy, disagree including most women who are not feminist extremists by any stretch of the imagination.

    Schadenfreude is enjoyable and therefore tempting but there are occasions when it should be resisted. This is one of them.

    • Heike says

      It is, though. Radical feminists are vile people and if you ever find yourself cheering for one of them, you went wrong somewhere. Retrace your chain of logic to find the flaw. It’s there. You just need to figure out where it is.

      If you need proof, read this article entitled: “Thanks for not raping us, all you ‘good men.’ But it’s not enough.”

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2018/10/12/thanks-not-raping-us-all-you-good-men-its-not-enough/

      Radical feminists are nobody’s friend.

      • David Norman says

        No, you are letting your dislike of extreme feminism override logical reasoning. A good argument is a good argument wherever it comes from. In other words you should play the ball not the person.

    • Defenstrator says

      While I will confess to a certain amount of schadenfreude, the point is more a desire for the author to reflect on how her own ideology is what caused this. The feminists are the ones that planted the idea that gender is merely a social construct. One hopes that they will reconsider advocating this and other divisive ideas now that theyhave to eat the bitter fruits of their labours.

      • Asenath Waite says

        @Defenestrator

        Actually I would say that the idea of gender being a social construct is at odds with the transgender philosophy, which instead requires a belief in a biological essentialism so strong that one must believe these ironclad psychological differences between men and women are so universal that they are even more constant and important in defining gender than the actual physical anatomy of the two sexes. To the extent that in cases where a person deviates from the rigidly defined psychological profile of that person’s physical sex, that in itself actually means that the person is in truth a member of the opposite sex. This is what you would have to believe to accept the concept of transgenderism. The truth, of course, is that men and women differ widely in their psychology, more so within each of these two groups than between them, and thus individuals cannot be defined as men or women based on psychology, BUT, even so there are strong AVERAGE differences in psychology between men and women at the population level, and it is these differences (not oppressive patriarchy) which explain the different interests and life choices made by men and women on AVERAGE. So transgenderism and radical feminism have contradictory underlying philosophies, both of which are wrong.

    • Big Jim Slade says

      It shouldn’t matter whether Julie Bindel defines herself as a radical feminist if her argument is right.

      Certainly true if one were to take this case in isolation. And I confess to knowing nothing whatsoever about Julie Bindel save for what I just read in this article. She may in fact be a radical feminist who argues in good faith, allows others to have their say and defends their right to speak, and does not engage in the kind of silencing and de-platforming she’s calling out. However, those tactics are part and parcel of radical feminism whether or not some few particular activists don’t use them, and if she’s only objecting to them now when they’re used against her, it’s easy to see why people don’t believe she’s against the tactics themselves, but only against being the victim of them.

    • @ David Norman,
      – Usually I would agree with you. ‘Tear drinking’ isn’t really helpful or going to change anyone’s mind. If Quillette readers really believe in ‘free speech’ and ‘open dialogue’; then they need to defend it even when it is from someone who espouses concepts that they oppose with every fiber of their being. (Think ACLU defending Nazi’s right to march)

      but google ‘Julie Bindel’ and you get this from wiki:

      “Bindel argues that gender is a social construct, an outcome of socialisation, and that gender roles are a cause of women’s oppression.[73][74] She would like to see an end to gender entirely.”

      Her argument seems to be: ‘gender is a social construct, we need to end gender identity, but men can’t be women.’

      Her fundamental argument is flawed and false. She should be glad that many people I am sure radfem’s would happily deplatform and destroy publicly still defend her right to complain about being deplatformed. Maybe she could take all of this as a learning opportunity for how to rehabilitate her feminism into something that is A) based on facts and biology, and B) seeks to empower all, not just change who is in power.

  21. Ray Andrews says

    The feminists are used to being the screamers and demanders and accusers, now they are on the other side, having to listen to being labeled phobes and haters and bigots, etc. These intersectionality fights are indeed vicious and now perhaps the fems can understand how men have felt listening to their shrieking these last decades. Not very nice, is it? I would suggest that rather than trying to regain Victim primacy again, that the radfems reconsider the entire program of Victimocracy and see how toxic the whole thing is. Robespierre enjoyed his time sending Oppressors to the guillotine, but soon found himself under the blade.

    But in the French Revolution the solidarity of the Victims at least lasted long enough to guillotine the king — before dissolving into internecine holocaust. In the current case, the Victims are at each other’s throats before they have even won total power. Fems vs. trans is just the start, what’s next? Note that most feminists are Privileged and White, once the Patriarchy has been smashed, surely White Feminist Privilege is next?

    Or, perhaps the Victims will succeed in wiping each other out shortly and sanity will return.

  22. “…lesbian message boards, which tended to be dominated by transgender women who presented themselves as lesbians, and often used these forums to seek out sexual partners.”

    Whenever I try to read something written by a whatever (?) person, I get bogged down in confusion a short way in.

    • It is confusing. Gay trannies want hetero (or gay) men whereas autogynephiles are hetero men who even in their drag state generally prefer women. Naturally hetero women won’t give them the time of day. So they’re forced to seek out lesbians. And when they get rejected there too, the shit really hits the fan. Trans bullies by and large are big ugly angry autogynephiles. There is no misogyny like trans misogyny — they are told they are not real women and are cut off from most sexual channels.

  23. Circuses and Bread (Transgender rights now! 🏳️‍🌈 ) says

    While it’s unfortunate that the author is suffering from abuse from the transgendered community, this strikes me as being akin to an arsonist complaining about the burns suffered as a result of the fire they helped start.

    But that’s not the reason why I’m posting. I need some help from my fellow Quillette readers. You see I’m coming to realize that this whole social traditionalist thing just isn’t working out for me. What am I getting out of it other than more work, more taxes, and the derision of thousands of people who consider me as a patriarchal SOB? It’s a crummy deal. I want to be a cool kid too!

    Happily, I’ve done some introspection and decided that I might really be a woman trapped inside the body of a man. It’s obvious that changing my gender could be the start of laying claim to all sorts of tangible and intangible benefits. I’ve even heard that I could save 15% or more on my car insurance through Transgenderism!®️

    Wow. What a deal! But I have some questions:

    – I’ve been doing some reading and apparently I don’t really have to go through the hormone treatments or surgery to identify as transgendered. That’s good. I don’t like surgery or needles. But what about body hair? Can I keep the beard and mustache? The rest of my body hair? Shaving your chest itches.

    – how about dressing? I have foot problems, so high heels are out. And dresses just don’t complement my figure. Can I continue to wear trousers? How about I identify as transgendered female, but very butch?

    – how do I go about being certified as officially transgendered? Is there some sort of application process or form to fill out? Can I fill out the paperwork at the local motor vehicle registration office?

    -how do I go about applying for my title IX benefits?

    – most importantly, how do I properly refer to my new, cool status? The language is so confusing! I think I used to be referred to as “cis gender male.” But now I think I would be properly referred to as a “very butch, transitioning, non-operative, body-hair enhanced, transgendered lesbian woman.” Have I got that right?

    Thanks in advance for any assistance.

  24. CMEENA says

    Wow. You guys have some f***ed views on trans folks—and feminists for that matter. People who don’t support trans people, or any marginalized group in general, are not feminists. Feminists are not extremists—if you think that you’re a bigot or just ignorant (probably a man, or a woman who believes in some form of post-capitalist feminist empowerment shit [or, that you can legislate discrimination away—which means you’re white]).

    Just leave trans people alone. Also, stop appealing to biology if you don’t understand that it’s not an immutable process. Essentialisms never work out. Sex is not a binary process or determined through a single chromosomally triggered process. It involves multiple processes in utero which do not necessarily have binary outcomes. Besides, humans are mediated through technological processes, so HRT in trans people creates similar biological outcomes as having corresponding chromosome pairs. Yes, none of us are “natural,” we are literally co-constituted through material and nonmaterial technological processes.

    Gender is a socially constructed concept, so I am not sure why everyone wants to dogmatically stick to this as if it is also some form of immutable category.

    Why am I wasting time on you turds? It’s not like this type of discourse is meaningful. So go on, hate. What a wonderful world we construct with our immovable essentialist tribalisms.

    • Hence their convenience switch from transexual to transgender. Clearly, there’s transrace, transage, transfitness, transintellect, transethnicity. Denying reality to make your mental model make sense is not progress or a natural good.
      Yes, there’s no reason to pick on those who are different, but that’s different from saying that we have to accept all those differences as having no meaning, no bearing or no reason to think differently about them. How can it be right to confuse your “gender” but wrong think they are confused?

    • Defebstrator says

      See, this is exactly the kind of cry bullying we are talking about. They show up, whine instead of argue, show that they are both racist and sexist, and then berate us for wasting their time. Morally, ethically, and intellectually they are the inferior of the general populace, but act as though they are an authority to be taken seriously.

    • Weronika says

      What is a social construct? My body? My period? My sexuality? My health issues like endometriosis? How can a transwoman experience womanhood? What does she know about female puberty, sexuality, health issues, ovulation, pregnancy, motherhood, menopause etc? In which way adult human females (women) and adult human males (trans-women) are the same?FUCK OFF with this nonsense. Humans are living, breathing, sexually dimorphic beings, not socially constructed robots. And there is a huge difference between being a woman and a desperate desire to be a woman. Trans-women may be feminine, but they are not females. End of story.

    • George G says

      @CMEENA

      “we are literally co-constituted through material and nonmaterial technological processes?”

      translated into English what does this mean?

    • Asenath Waite says

      “if you think that you’re a bigot or just ignorant (probably a man, or a woman who believes in some form of post-capitalist feminist empowerment shit [or, that you can legislate discrimination away—which means you’re white]).”

      Yes, clearly we are the bigots here.

      “Essentialisms never work out.”

      Transgenderism is the philosophy that requires a belief in essentialism. Specifically a belief in the notion that men and women have nearly universally distinct sets of psychological traits, to the extant that if an individual deviates from this set of traits that defines that person’s sex, it means that they actually have the brain of a member of the opposite sex. An effeminate male is actually a woman, because it is impossible for a man to have feminine psychological traits and still be considered a man (and vice versa). On the other hand, if gender (as it’s currently differentiated from sex) is a socially constructed concept, then no one actually has an innate gender and there would be no conflict with with a male individual behaving and dressing in a traditionally feminine way while still being considered a man both by himself and by others based on biological reality.

  25. It seems to me that the real problem is that “trans” activists and scholars are shutting down/attacking/badgering *everyone* who disagrees with them. I don’t see that it matters whether they’re shutting down women or men. In fact, I find it a symptom of our current malady that only “silencing” women or some other left-approved group counts as a problem. I’m not accusing Ms. Bindel of thinking that. I’m merely pointing out that even those opposed to political correctness often fall into tacitly accepting the overall PC view by emphasizing objections of this kind.

  26. johno says

    Many years ago, before transgender became a PC thing (and a big money thing), I had a friend who went through the process.

    It caught me by surprise, but I thought… if they felt it necessary, then there must be a good reason. I trusted my friend’s judgment, even if I didn’t understand it. In all fairness, he turned into a pretty hot she…

    The sad part is, this person, like many before, didn’t want the attention. They just wanted to get on with their life, accepted as their new identity. They want to be known as their new identity, not as a poster child for someone else’s political agenda.

    It’s the PC crew following on in their wake, screaming: look at me! I’m accepting a transgendered person! That one, right there, in the designer jeans and heels! I’m so cool! Vote for my candidate because I ‘understand’ an ‘oppressed minority’!

    Well, if you weren’t making such noise, they wouldn’t be an ‘oppressed minority’. They would simply be their new identity.

    I get a better feel for how the PC crew has been so patronizing to other minorities, only to further their own agenda. And, how self servant their ‘concern’ actually is.

  27. We need more brave women to stand up to the trans cult bullies. They are attempting to co-opt womanhood and in the process are erasing it. There is no equivalence on the other side. So-called trans men are no threat to real men. Women have fought so long to have a place at the table, and here we are, back in the kitchen, serving men in drag.

  28. Satchel Konigsberg says

    I’m sorry, but this is too funny coming from someone like Julie Bindel.
    Any cursory glance at her writings show that she’s a radfem bombthrower, who continually targets the “Patriarchy” and social institutions like marriage, Parenthood, father’s, son’s, etc.
    I, like many commenters here, find it hilarious that she’s being skewered by the same weapons that she’s used against others.
    She should take a good look in the mirror and realize who’s really to blame for this situation.
    Herself.
    Her intellectual heirs took her deconstructive tools and used them on their “foremothers”.

  29. David Aharonson says

    What is baffling and hilarious about all of this is that there are very few trans activists in the world. There is no vast army of harassers and agitators out there. There are perhaps a couple of hundred dedicated trans activists who do this sort of thing regularly in the US. Beyond that core group, there are perhaps several thousand who would show up at one-off protests. That’s not several thousand in one location, but rather several thousand scattered across many locations around the country. Beyond that secondary group, there are a few tens of thousand online in toto who might regularly like or retweet. These are paltry numbers by any standard. They are poorly organized, emotionally and psychologically ill-equipped to effectively engage the public, and have no money. For people to be trembling before this group is absurd. Trans activist “campaigns” should be ignored, except in rare cases involving violence, in which case they should be sued or prosecuted.

    One reason this tiny group of transgender activists has had success in cowing others is because people erroneously believe that gay people – LGB people – are on board with trans activism. They see endless references to the “LGBT community” or “LGBT people” and assume that opposing trans activism is, in a sense, opposing gay people. In order to make amends for past abuse of gay people, some are inclined to side with trans activists against their better judgment. Don’t make that mistake. LGB people are not on board with this nonsense. Our organizations were hijacked in the 1990s and the previously unheard-of initialism “LGBT” was invented and imposed on us. But it does not describe reality. It is a fraud. Most trans people are not gay and 99% of gay people are not trans. You are not helping us by caving to trans activists or by conflating LGB and T.

  30. Matthew B says

    Looks to me like the feminists are being out-maneuvered on the ‘victimhood hierarchy’ by the trans guys….oh the amazing irony of it all. The snake eating its tail.

  31. V 2.0 says

    May I suggest that for the purposes of prisons and access to bathrooms we segregate people by how much they can bench press? That takes care of the safety issue. Everything else will work itself out as long as we ignore any demands for special treatment.

  32. Bindel is a hero of mine.

    As per wikipedia (pleb I know): Her lesbianism is “intrinsically bound up” with her feminism and campaigning to oppose sexual violence. She described her horror when she was younger at the idea of settling down with a local boy:

    “I was … struck by the drudgery on display. While men were out drinking, embarking on fishing trips and generally enjoying their freedom, women were stuck cooking for them, cleaning for them, and running around after children. FOR WOMEN, HETEROSEXUALITY SEEMED A TOTAL CON .” She concluded the article with an invitation to heterosexual women: “Come on sisters, you know it makes sense. Stop pretending you think lesbianism is an exclusive members’ club, and JOIN THE RANKS (my caps). I promise that you will not regret it.”

    Bindel does not support the idea of marriage, which she calls a “patriarchal and outdated tradition” stemming from a time that women were viewed as the property of their fathers, then of their husbands. The taking of a husband’s name she calls “branding”. She extends the same criticism to same-sex marriage; marriage should be rejected, not reclaimed. “Dress it up, subvert it, deny it all you want,” she said in 2016. “Marriage is an institution that has curtailed women’s freedom for centuries … It can never be a feminist act.” She argues that the state should instead regulate civil partnerships for same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

    • Asenath Waite says

      So she chose to be lesbian because heterosexuality seemed like a “con,” and urges other women to decide to be lesbian for the same reason? And here I thought sexuality was supposed to be an innate thing, but apparently it’s just something you sign up for. Also, she may have wanted to look a little more closely at men’s lives as she might have found a very small percentage of those lives consists of drinking and fishing trips while a much larger percentage tends to be devoted to working at shitty jobs. I guess it’s impossible that some women might prefer to be homemakers to being garbage collectors, or that heterosexual marriages might be able to exist where both partners have jobs, or even where women are the primary earners. The notion that all heterosexual relationships are inherently oppressive to women is pathological.

  33. I got to meet “the lesbian feminist,” Julie Bindel. What I don’t understand is the mob mentality in the comments here. Why pile on someone you’ve never met? She’s delightful in person. Glad to see her published here.

  34. EyeRoll says

    It’s quite fascinating to watch a group of men spewing vile misogynistic bile while claiming misogyny and the patriarchy are fallacies.

    And by the way, choices forced on to women as a result of their biology are not choices.

    As for “the vicious, unprincipled and unsubstantiated attack on men”… that has to be satire, no?

    • Asenath Waite says

      @EyeRoll

      Where did anyone say anything misogynistic? I don’t recall anyone saying that they disliked women, but maybe I missed it. And true, biological reality is not a choice. People don’t choose to age and die, but so far we haven’t been able to do much about it. It’s not the fault of an oppressive society, though. Although, come to think of it, men die significantly earlier on average than women do, so maybe there could be some societal role there?

      • Aylwin says

        @Asenath,

        I second your pushback against @EyeRoll. Whilst this article does seem to have generated intense and vitriolic (though often quite well reasoned) commentary from many perspectives, I do not think misogyny is a reasonable reading of anything I’ve read here.

    • Defenstrator says

      Since it is only your own delusions that have led you to believe they are doing so there is no inconsistencies.

      Same for men. So don’t go arguing you have it worse because of them.

      No. Again, your own bigoted preconceptions are the issue here, not reality.

  35. Peter James says

    Juliet Bindel, the sexist, man-hating pig is upset about someone not treating her with kid gloves.

    The revolution eats its own. No sympathy here for the bigot Bindel.

  36. Dominicanhabit says

    To the commentator above “Aa” Julie Bindel is not a Third Wave feminist, they are the very liberal feminists who embrace all the gender ideology.

    Julie is more of a classic Second Wave feminist who works to help actual women who are literally (not figuratively) the victims of extreme violence because they have a female biological body.

    You may not agree with Julie but any quick perusal of YouTube will show you how incredibly intelligent and articulate she is. She doesn’t shut people down, she is always an advocate of free speech.

    I am not a Radfem. I am a happily married mother of three teens, two of which are girls. I am very concerned that any woman, whether an activist like Julie or a run-of-the-mill mother like myself is demonized, accused of “literal violence” and shut down for having an opinion and asking questions about the current, very extreme trans activist ideology.

    I am pragmatic, I acknowledge science and common sense. Having XY chromosomes and a penis means you are not in the sex category of myself and my daughters with our XX chromosomes and monthly periods.

    For the men enjoying this charade I would speak up and make sure the sex category woman does not get changed or diluted as I’m sure this nonsense will turn around to bite other biological men. If a trans woman can be considered equal to a biological woman this will affect your wives, your daughters, your mothers, your sisters. It might also mean in the future when you expect a woman for your date or your masseuse and a transwoman walks in that legally you will not be able to object.

  37. EyeRoll says

    “Claims of unequal outcomes, that would be pay in particular, due to choices made by the woman, thus her using her own power to live how she wants, is somehow construed to mean she is unequal.”

    Have you seen the uptake rates for shared paternal leave? Men want to procreate but don’t want to share the burden of having a child, don’t want to impact their careers in the way women are told they must accept. What would society do if women said no more? This is not a choice women make, and certainly not one that impacts men and women equally – you cannot say that there is equality anywhere in this equation, and that’s not even factoring in the physical detriment women suffer from bearing children. If science progressed to the point where men could bear children safely, do you think they would choose to, with everything that comes with it? Men couldn’t even hack a trial of a contraceptive that cause side effects that women tolerate routinely without complaint.

    No misogyny here? Give me a break. Can’t remember the last time I saw men referred to as “screamers”, hysterical, a junior high gossip columnist, especially when documenting their own harassment.

    And then there’s this…

    “Yes, men in frocks are going to piss in your toilets, win all your sports events and will probably make better sandwiches than you too!.”

    Or “Julie can enjoy her cold stiff comeuppance.” (I’m sure the implicit threat of Male sexual violence in this one was just accidental…)

    “The feminists are used to being the screamers and demanders and accusers” oh yes, those shrieking, demanding, accusing women who simply won’t shut up about being sexually assaulted, or discriminated against by employers, the medical profession, society et al for having a uterus. The nerve.

  38. EyeRoll says

    “Since it is only your own delusions that have led you to believe they are doing so there is no inconsistencies.
    Same for men. So don’t go arguing you have it worse because of them.
    No. Again, your own bigoted preconceptions are the issue here, not reality.”

    Was that aimed at me? It’s barely comprehensible, but I think you’re saying that women don’t have it worse because of men, and I’m bigoted for thinking they do.

    So my two decade battle against an agonising condition that only affects women isnt real, just my bigoted preconceptions? My ten year battle for help with medical issues stemming from treatment for that condition? Having a condition that only affects women and seeing it receive less than 5% of the research funding for conditions that affect the same number of people but also affect men? Seeing studies reflecting my own experiences, that women wait longer for diagnoses, treatment and receive less pain relief than men? Nothing to do with the fact that the medical and pharmaceutical industries have long been dominated by men, and that men’s health is given priority because they are more important, I’m sure.

    Being asked in interviews if I have kids or plan to have them? Watching my employer routinely paying women and men different starting salaries for the same role and with the same experience? Sitting on interviews panels otherwise made up entirely of men who find excuses to rule out mothers or women of child-bearing age? Nothing to do with senior business and political positions being mostly held by men, I’m sure.

    The physical, mental and financial impact of having children – just imaginary? Working with women whose bodies have been wrecked by pregnancy and birth and who receive no medical help whatsoever, just dismissal? The fact that treatments exist for male sexual dysfunction but women’s sexuality is medically disregarded? Do you think men would tolerate leaking urine every time they laugh or cough losing sexual function, and being told that this is inevitable and normal? Men couldn’t even tolerate contraceptive side effects when it was trialled, despite women accepting the same side effects without complaint.

    The assumption that everything related to childcare is by default my responsibility? Having to write off my career because I have a disabled child, while my husband can still work with it having no impact on his prospects? Seeing the same thing across almost every family unit within groups for disabled children?

    My experiences of serious sexual assault / rape / child abuse at the hands of five different people over the course of 15 years? Seeing men repeatedly prioritise a marginally more enjoyable sexual experience over a woman’s health and future, and expect them to screw up their hormones instead? Nothing to do with an innate Male entitlement to women’s bodies, I’m sure.

    You can try to tell women that they don’t have it worse because of men, but the world repeatedly demonstrates otherwise to us. The fact that there’s so much vitriol aimed at women who speak out about these things is telling.

    • Asenath Waite says

      @EyeRoll

      One could point to numerous examples of men having it worse than women (earlier deaths, much higher suicide rate, much higher homelessness rate, far more job-related injuries/deaths, etc.), so it’s really not self-evident that one sex has it harder overall than the other, nor is it clear to me why it is important to “win” this victimhood contest. Members of both sexes face unique challenges in life, as well as many of the same challenges. Life is hard.

      Everything you listed is either a biological inevitability (pregnancy), a personal choice (career vs. child care), or already illegal (job discrimination, rape).

      Most of the examples you gave have to do with pregnancy and motherhood. Currently there’s nothing we can do about the fact that women are the ones who give birth, so it seems like kind of a pointless thing to argue about. Each woman has a choice if she wants to become a mother or not. If she chooses to, she will have to go through the process of pregnancy. Nothing can currently be done about this. I’m not sure that all or even a majority of women consider it a horrible burden in the way that you do. My understanding is that many consider it to be a uniquely fulfilling experience despite the physical difficulty involved, one that men do not have the option of experiencing. In cases where a woman doesn’t want to be primarily responsible for the care of her child after it is born, I would recommend she find a partner who is interested in taking on this role, or one who wants to share in the responsibilities equally. From my observations this is extremely common in contemporary western society. Basically, just find a partner who is on the same page as you are.

      On a similar note, if a woman doesn’t want to be on birth control medication, it seems like she should find a partner who is willing to be responsible for contraception.

      Any vitriol or derision in this thread (with the exception of yours directed at all men) has been aimed at radical feminists, not at women. The former is a tiny subcategory of the latter.

  39. Jezza says

    I am therefore I think. I think therefore I am. I am what I think I am. I think you’re wrong. Why don’t you just admit it? I think I will drink my coffee before it gets cold. I think you think my message is not delivered with precision and clarity. I think you’re right. I think you think I think thoughts about thinking thoughtfully. I don’t think you’re wrong. I know you’re wrong. What do you think about masturbation?

  40. TheSnark says

    Wow, I’ve received some education here. I didn’t know there was a 2nd Wave of feminism, much less a 3rd and 4th. Maybe by the time we get to the 6th or 7th Wave we will have come full circle, and feminists will demand that women all be barefoot and pregnant. But that would exclude trans people, so I guess that would be unfair.

    More seriously: Ms Bindel, I am sorry that you were kicked out of a conference by some spineless organizers. But that is what happens when you give unlimited license (at least in the academic world) to anyone who claims to be an oppressed minority. Unlimited license attracts the unscrupulous, who will abuse it for personal advancement, in this case at your expense.

  41. Area Man says

    My baptism into the world of the Left eating itself was when Dan Savage–a person more responsible for the normalization of homosexuality & paraphelia than anyone else in the 90s and early 00s–was “glitter bombed” by a transgender person. Trans activism piggybacked on the gay rights campaign almost seamlessly, but even in those early days there was an aura of fanaticism that didn’t sit well. So this new wrinkle vis-a-vis homosexuality is not at all surprising.

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