The other day, after a “women’s sex-based rights” talk that Julie Bindel gave at Edinburgh University, Bindel tweeted that following her talk she was “violently attacked” by a trans woman, who in her tweet she knowingly misgendered as “a man.” Another speaker, however, confirmed that Bindel was never even physically touched. Cathy Brennan, the Trans woman in question, was deliberately misgendered as a man by Bindel after what was later said to be just a heated verbal exchange between Brennan and Bindel.
I have experienced violence at the hands of cis men for my whole life as a woman and now as a Trans non-binary person. I understand where the mistrust and the association with violence that feminist activists like Bindel, Dworkin and others use as a catalyst for their platform. Bindel feels that Trans women are just men playing dress up. That they are “imitation women” or even men mocking what it means to be a real woman. What I want to say in response to that is that no one — NO ONE — receives more shit in life or is shit ON more than a Trans woman, particularly a Trans Woman of Color. TWOC have a life expectancy of no more than 35 years old, according to a large study conducted on Transgender people’s deaths in the Americas over a several year long span.
Julie Bindel has a long history in the anti prostitution camp. She believes that sex work can never be empowering nor be a valid occupational choice, because at its essence it is merely “modern slavery.” Feminist extremists, or as I’ll call them Trans-Exclusionary “Radical” Feminists, are focusing on the wrong thing. When Andrea Dworkin says that sex with a man is inherently violent, isn’t she in fact whitewashing the actual violence that can and does take place all over the globe every second of the day.
In case you couldn’t tell, I majored in Women’s Studies in college. I spent years reading progressive and intersectional feminist authors like Audre Lorde and Bell Hooks, while also having to study the more “radical” (if by radical you mean ridiculous) views of Andrea Dworkin and other anti — sex, anti-porn TERFS of second wave feminism of the late 1970’s and 1980’s.
What I have to say to Bindel is, I understand why you would hate cis men. I understand why all and any womxn would dislike and/or mistrust cis men, like I understand why some POC might dislike and/or mistrust white people. But there are other community’s out there who are victimized and marginalized, besides cisgender women. And why can’t you make space for that? What isn’t acceptable in Bindel’s example is that she uses this hate to divide and to erase. Trans women exist. They already exist and have since the beginning of time. Bindel does not need to “believe in” being transgender as a valid identity for it to exist in the world. As Audre Lorde said, “The masters tools will never dismantle the masters house.” Choosing hate, choosing to invalidate and ignore a whole community is not the answer to your own issues of hate and personal pain with cis men. Trans women and sex workers are not your whipping boys. When sisters shit on other sisters — transgender or cisgender — the only ones who win are cis men, who get to frolick in the deep canyons you carve between “types” of womxn.
Being divisive is not being an edgy feminist. It’s being the willing puppet of the cis white hetero male regime in hopes that they will throw a few crumbs your way in the form of book deals and paid conference appearances. Stop giving book deals, and articles and press coverage to a hateful dinosaur of a “feminist” who is neither innovative nor helpful to the women’s movement in any way. I can tell you, this way of looking at feminism and utilizing feminist power has been made moot. So I’m asking The Guardian to stop giving this hate-speech masked as real feminism any air-time with the consistent articles she writes or has been written about her by this publication. University’s, stop hiring the worst of the worst of wealthy cis white women to use their platform to accrue more wealth and more power. And if you need any ideas for brilliant, talented Trans women of Color to supplement Bindel’s place, just let me know.