This is by way of a heads-up – I will write a longer post about it later.

As rumoured, Julie Bindel has written another anti-trans diatribe, this time for a right-wing magazine, Standpoint, which runs climate deniers, eurosceptics, and Peter Hitchens here

She plays the victim a treat – we were UTTERLY MEAN to her back then.

Since she has opened the question again and is playing the victim, I feel entitled to publish the correspondence I had with her a year ago, in which she entirely fails to address anything I say, and instead comes out with the sort of paranoid crap she repeats in the Standpoint article, about how we are an organized conspiratorial lobby out to wreck her life.

I wish…

With new horrors like the murder of Andrea Waddell, it’s time to be not nice.

I wrote, referring to the attack on me in Comment is Free and her, admittedly welcome, disassocation of herself from it.

nice to know that you are still here and paying attention, but I really do not need you to be gallant. As I am sure you have noticed, I can take care of myself. As you will also have noticed, I always disapprove of vulgar abuse, given that it is so much more fun to respond with actual wit and intelligence.

The moment you disrespect people’s deepest and most personal choices, you open discussion up to bar-room bigots like thaidous, which makes your disapproval of his comments somewhat hypocritical. You don’t regard me as a woman, so why should you care? Oh, I know, because he is using language associated with misogyny – but don’t you see that in this matter your instinct to defend me is sounder than your instinct to deny my experience?

The fact of the matter is that, like other trans people, I agonized over my decision for longer than you can quite imagine – for five years during which I considered endlessly the version of your arguments current in radical circles in the 1970s. You act – and I do not understand how you can act – as if you believe I and others like me have never heard these arguments before. Believe me when I say that I considered them for years and found them wanting.

And live with the consequences of my decisions – the danger and the abuse and the health problems. If I am as fat and ugly as thaidous claims, that too is one of those consequences…

Yet I live with consequences that you cannot possibly imagine – I have not regretted a single day of the last thirty years. Most of the time I live in bliss, useful and creative and respected and admired and loved – none of this would have been possible had I spent those thirty years talking to some therapist and hating myself.’

She wrote:
I did not object to that poster because I was being ‘gallant’ but because his sentiments were deeply offensive, full stop.

Your accusation that, in writing about trans issues and not agreeing with the baying mob is to ‘open discussion up to bar-room bigots’ made me laugh. The horrible, misoginystic, anti-lesbian and abusive filth on the web sites discussing my nomination are there for all to see (and if they have been removed, don’t worry, I have print outs).

Oh, and was it Sarah Brown, a trans woman, who is so offended at my assertion that she is not a real woman, encouraged an intersex person to ‘suck her balls’.

Lovely! And very telling.

I wrote:

If I make you laugh as much as you make me, we are clearly both the winners.

I am glad that you objected to thaidous’ language purely for its content; I would hate to be in your debt. For anything. Full – as you say – stop.

Film of last Thursday’s demonstration – now on Youtube – clearly shows an orderly group chanting loudly. ‘Baying mob’ is DailyMailspeak for people who don’t agree with one expressing an opinion vociferously.

And, however you may have apologized for your tone, your article of 2004 used bar-room bigot language and you have not engaged, as far as I am aware, in any self-examination of why you were drawn to it. Remarks about ‘the cast of GREASE’ are only an improvement by comparison.

While you were monitoring – and printing out – those sections of the discussions on Facebook that you consider ammunition for future rounds of this particularly pointless wrangle, you might have taken the time to address the serious discussion of issues raised in your statement that some of us, in spite of our general sense that discussion with you is liable to be less than useful, nonetheless posted.

I raised, for example, the serious question of whether a simple dichotomy between biology and social construction is intellectually viable.

I have always suspected that the only sort of ‘robust debate’ in which you are actually interested is one in which everyone on the other side knocks forehead to pavement and admits total error. As always, you exceed expectation.

As to much of what appalled you, if you insist on eavesdropping on family rows you will hear stuff that appalls you, no doubt . One of the reasons for that is that, as an eavesdropper, even an eavesdropper who helped provoke the row in the first place, you are liable to be surprisingly ill-informed as to people’s identities and relationships. Families are as prone to any other small group to private language and to the narcissism of small differences. Subjects on which you are yourself an expert.


She wrote:
Then remove my name from this group, and hold this ‘family’ discussion in a members only environment. I have the right to see what rubbish is being posted about me, and will continue to do so until you remove it from this forum.

Because of the viciousness with which some of the trans community has conducted itself, I have no intention of learning a thing from you.

I have, by the way, been contacted by a number of non-trans folk whom you have tried to push towards a nervous breakdown when they questioned your oh-so-fragile identities.

I wrote:
There is, believe me, nothing even slightly fragile about my identity.

I contacted precisely three non-trans people in the early stages of all this – Johann Hari, Suzanne Moore and Stella Duffy. I somewhat lost my temper with Stella, which I regret, but to describe my telling her that what peripherally friendly relationships had previously existed before were now over is hardly me trying to push her to a nervous breakdown.

Johann and Suzanne declined to get involved and I respected their decision, while posting in my LiveJournal, my reasons for believing them to be wrong.

You may believe you have nothing to learn from me, but that, as so much else, is a matter of opinion in which you are incorrect.

She wrote:
I was not even referring to those people! Others who, over the years, you lot have bullied and slandered, as well as stalked and harassed.

I wrote:
I would be interested, and probably amused, to know precisely who ‘my lot’ have bullied, slandered, stalked and harassed. I was not aware of having been part of any ‘lot’ prior to the last year or so. After my time at Liberty and on the Parliamentary forum, I took several years off politics in general and trans politics in particular to write books on television and film and a novel.

I trust that, when you make these claims in public, you will document them properly.

She wrote:
And I trust that when people from various factions of the trans community make claims about me being not a ‘real’ lesbian, misogynistic, bigoted, ugly, responsible for genocide, evil, etc, that they will cite evidence?

Talk about shooting yourselves in the foot.

You have made yourselves look so bad through all this. I could not care less what you think of me. Look how long I have been going in the face of men’s violence, abuse, oppression and attempts at silencing. This feels awfully familiar.

Bye now.

I wrote:

BTW you may be interested to know that the very first point at which I re-engaged with these issues was the zap of your radio show, at which I met Sarah Brown and some others. If we are a group, you brought us together.

Or do you regard all transexuals as responsible for the actions of all other transexuals?

1. Some younger women who were not around in the 80s got confused about the whole notion of ‘political lesbianism’ , particularly when they came across your remark that lesbianism was a choice. Older members of the community devoted some time to putting them straight on this and explaining nuance.

2. Your attitude to transsexuals – in which anything we do or say is quarried for evidence, and you will learn nothing from anything we might say – is bigotry pure and simple. That is what bigotry is.

3. What you are advocating is, whether you like facing up to the fact or not, the cultural genocide of the trans community. You want us, as a community, to stop existing on our terms and only exist on yours. That is what cultural genocide is.

Believe me when I say that you have said things on all of those matters that can be as fully documented as you like.

It remains to be seen who has shot themselves in the foot – after last Saturday’s article, you are not best placed to make that claim.

I am as acquainted as you – probably better – with violence and attempts to silence me – actual attempts to silence me, not expressions of disagreement with what I say. This is not a competition, though, nor is it The Martyrdom of Julie Bindel Show; it is you abusing a community and that community defending itself.

‘Cet animal est tres mechant; quand on l’attaque il se defend.’

And as you say, bye now.


About rozkaveney

Middleaged, trans, novelist, poet, activist
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30 Responses to BindelBalls

  1. ffutures says:

    This has been going on so long, and her attitude seems so irrational, that I find myself wondering if she ever thought about trans surgery but got turned down on psychiatric grounds.

  2. steepholm says:

    Oh God, not again! She really can’t rub two thoughts together, can she?

    Transsexualism, by its nature, promotes the idea that it is “natural” for boys to play with guns and girls to play with Barbie dolls.

    Wtf? Especially coming from someone who’s unable to distinguish transsexuality from any form of gender non-conformity:

    A definition of transsexualism used by a number of transsexual rights organisations reads:

    Students who are gender non-conforming are those whose gender expression (or outward appearance) does not follow traditional gender roles: “feminine boys,” “masculine girls” and students who are androgynous, for example. It can also include students who look the way boys and girls are expected to look but participate in activities that are gender nonconforming, like a boy who does ballet. The term “transgender youth” can be used as an umbrella term for all students whose gender identity is different from the sex they were assigned at birth and/or whose gender expression is non-stereotypical.

    According to this definition, a girl who plays football is trans-sexual.

    She seems especially fond of a kind of bricolage, whereby she lays ideas next to each other with the implication that there’s a connection, when there just isn’t:

    There is a handful of radicals in the world today who have dared to challenge the diagnosis of transsexualism. Those who do are called “transphobic” and treated with staggering vitriol. There is a form of cultural relativism at play here. Defenders of female genital mutilation or forced marriage often use the argument that such practices can be justified within certain communities (i.e. non-Western cultures), despite the fact that they serve to dehumanise women, because it is the “truth” of that particular community. After I had been shortlisted for the Stonewall award, scores of blogs and message boards filled with a call to arms against me.

    I love the “handful of radicals” daring to challenge the forces of transsexual hegemony. And yeah, it’s just like FGM – er, I expect, somehow…

    Sorry to fill your blog with this bullshit. But Bindel retains her power to make me splutter – at her, and those stupid enough to take her seriously.

  3. auntysarah says:

    Damnit, Bindel, it was “suck my balls, and I hope you enjoy the taste of formaldehyde”. She could at least have the fucking decency to leave the punchline on.

  4. paulathomas says:

    OK the good news is she’s found her peeps (on this issue at least). I do wander if she offered this piece to the Guardian and was refused…??

    • Anonymous says:

      She’s seems to be an irregular now

      The guardian publish her less than once a fortnight these days. I didn’t bother to check which ones were print first and which were just on CiF.

      I suspect they don’t think her stuff is worth the hassle these days

  5. Oh dear god.

    I do have to give her props for density. To have crammed so many offensive stereotypes and observations into so few words — that takes talent.

  6. paulathomas says:

    Oh and I found this bizarre article on the Guardian website. Recommend the first comment though…

  7. reddragdiva says:

    Dear Ms Bindel,

    Please – just stop being gay.

    Love, everyone.

  8. reddragdiva says:

    I am now actively seeking out ideas and inspiration for a notnews based on Ms Bindel’s latest enlightening tract. (Mention will be made of those fucking trannies nicking her paper on the tube.)

  9. reddragdiva says:

    Julie Bindel: Trannies nicked my paper on the Tube

  10. My goodness, what a surprise. Her ‘personal’ correspondance reveals her to be even more paranoid and deluded than her articles! Who’d’a thunk it?

  11. steerpikelet says:

    Hi, Laurie Penny here 🙂 This bits I’d like to quote are your responses, particularly about the Martyrdom of Julie Bindel show, and about ‘our lot’ being a misnomer.


  12. Like the article and like this too…

    Good piece, Roz!

    Also like this from Christine Burns – worth listening to the end ;o)

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