My sentence is for open war. Of Wiles/ more unexpert I boast not.

One should always be as nice as possible when one is about to be as unpleasant as necessary, so I will start this post with a link here to a fine piece of writing by Beatrix Campbell in which she talks about coming out and what it cost her, and why she is hostile to people who stay in the closet. It’s a good piece, on the whole.

Which is why I find it almost staggering that someone who can write so movingly about her own predicament as a young married woman who discovered that she was a lesbian can be so utterly unforgiving and brutally hostile to trans women and men who went through processes of self-discovery at least as gruelling.

One of the standard charges back in the 70s of people on the Left who objected to interest in feminism and LGBT rights was that it would inevitably lead to solipsism, to people obsessing about their own experiences and losing track of other people’s humanity. As always with what that sort of Stalinoid thug says, this was usually a monstrous lie, but on occasion touched on a grain of truth. There is no sorrow like unto the sorrow of Beatrix Campbell and certainly not the sorrow of trans people.

There is something wrong with Beatrix Campbell and Julie Bindel’s capacity for empathy – Shaw says in Saint Joan something along the lines of ‘Must a saint burn in every generation for the sake of those who have no imagination’ and there was a man who knew his comrades and sisters.

I am amazed that Campbell has been adopted as a candidate by the Green party after the utter debacle of her involvement with the satanic panic of the 90s. This is a woman who used her access to the press to claim that there was a vast conspiracy to suppress evidence of satanic abuse and criticized all those who disagreed for ‘an inability to imagine that ‘satanic’ practices actually happen, that ‘organising rituals to penetrate any orifice available in troops of little children; to cut open rabbits or cats or people and drink their blood; to shit on silver trays and make the children eat it’

Generally, can we say that all of this throws a certain shadow on her judgement – the general conclusion was that there was no vast conspiracy, that in a few cases abusers used ritual trappings to cow their victims, that this was a problem that did not need radical solutions. Campbell argued, not unsympathetically, that we should err on the side of believing possible victims, especially children, but ignored the extent to which the children had been badgered into belief by her right-wing Christian allies on this one.

She let herself become a useful idiot for mad fundies that time, and now she is, on the subject of trans, lining up not only with her jolly little crack-em-up in the aisles standup comedian Bindel – her description, not mine – but with evil Christianist loonies. It’s a sad fate for a former Marxist who once understood solidarity.

Which brings us back to Julie Bindel, who has taken a day off from moaning that we are mean in no-platforming her, to propose here a ban on advertisements for sexual services. Does she really not understand that the more prostitutes are unable to work from flats, the more they will be on the street, getting raped, killed and forced to have unprotected sex?

I do worry sometimes that JB really does know and does not care, that the deaths of actual prostitutes are just a necessary stage in the transitional movement towards the prohibition of whoring, just as driving trans people to misery and madness and suicide would be a necessary stage in the transition towards her vision of the regendered future. She seems to be hanging out a lot with my old chum Fiona McTaggart, who, when young, had a short infatuation with the Khmer Rouge, another group who thought you could build utopia on a pile of skulls

Am I being ill-tempered and intemperate? No, I have just got fucking fed up with being nice Roz.

Later and isn’t it interesting that various people’s attempts to recall the satanic panic in the comments on Campbell’s anti-trans piece have been expunged? From Comment is Free But Clearly Not As Free As All That.


About rozkaveney

Middleaged, trans, novelist, poet, activist
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23 Responses to My sentence is for open war. Of Wiles/ more unexpert I boast not.

  1. “Literally Angry with Rage”


    I’m not even going to read the article, my sanity is not worth her aggressive attention-seeking now, but WTFF?

    How anyone of functioning sanity and humanity can have witnessed (from a distance) the predictable path to, committing of, and aftermath of the Ipswich Murders and still feel any answers lie in prohibition and oppression of sexwork is beyond my comprehension.

    I, I .. >_< '

    • scattermoon says:

      Re: “Literally Angry with Rage”

      The JB order of priority: Julie Bindel > Views of Julie Bindel > Julie Bindel’s Pals and their Views > Everyone Else apart from > Sex works, Trans people, Kinky people, Men…

      I’m afraid that she knows perfectly well what she’s saying, and that she truly doesn’t care. I wouldn’t be surprised if she blames the victims (does she?).

      • lovingboth says:

        With that sort of world view, the more corpses there are, the righter she is.

        I don’t think she’s in print shedding even crocodile tears about the deaths of the two trans sex workers I know were murdered last year.

  2. actionreplay says:

    Well, there goes any inclination I may have had to vote for the Scottish Green Party in the next election.

    And I’ll remember that about Fiona McTaggart, next time I see her. I had a rather interesting holiday in Cambodia last year.

  3. scattermoon says:

    *this comment has been removed by the Guardian (of Campbell)*

  4. I don’t believe that many of the more vocal anti-sex work feminists remotely give a shit about sex workers. They see them as victims they can practice ventriloquism with and little more.

    • rozkaveney says:

      That would be my thought too and is one of the things I detest most about them. Crocodile tears caught in crocodile handbags.

      • If a sex worker uses their script, she gets sympathy and pity and head pats. If a sex worker refuses their script, she’s accused of being violent, male-identified, and possibly “really a man.”

        Also not loving the times I’ve seen radical feminists use proxy rape as a threat – like, “just wait until a man rapes you” kind of comments.

        I’m tired of the people saying it’s unfair to ask that Julie Bindel not be given a platform to air her hate speech, though. It’s like, “just how many human beings are expendable to ensure that her free speech = the right to use any venue she chooses?”

  5. ephemerita says:

    My mind really hurts when I contemplate what kind of world-views prompt this kind of politics.

    Are there people out there, in positions of influence, who truly believe the way forward is towards some kind of bizarre riff on the Handmaid’s Tale?

  6. cmcmck says:

    Absolutely bang on and I am now incandescent having heard the ex Hitler youth, Joseph Ratzinger pronounce this morning that his UK bishops and cardinals should fight human rights legislation here ‘with missionary zeal’. Like they did in sixteenth and seventeenth century South America, creating one of the largest, yet least remembered genocides in human history Benny, is that what you mean?

    I assume the gay community will expect me, as an ally, to be out on the streets protesting when this apology for a human being turns up here late this year?

    Hmmmm…….I may have to think long and hard about that! :o(

    Ratzinger? Bindel? ‘Repairative therapy’ on the NHS with fundies in charge?

    In the words of a well known poet and with a reference perhaps germane to the situation: ‘Oh Jesus, make it stop!’

    • lovingboth says:

      ‘Welcome’, rather than ‘expect’, I would hope.

      The existence of some loony LGBT people does not mean that the basic issues are not worthy of support.

      • cmcmck says:

        So I would hope and so it is :o)

        What bugs me most is the lack of condemnation of some of the loony fringe from places whence the condemnation should come.

        I’m a trans woman of Roz’s generation or just a little younger (sorry Roz :o) and it bothers me that I feel less safe and accepted now than I did thirty years ago when things really were….um….interesting (and bear in mind that I’m straight, assimilated and married).

        Friending you, if that’s okay?

      • x_mass says:

        interested in what generation your in

        I know some of the people went through the mill with . Me I saw Randall when I was eighteen (who told me I was banned from CX and to never come back). I saw what’s his name at the Marsden? The hospital next to the Royal Bethlehem, but didn’t get along with him at all. I guess I’m one of Russels babes.

        btw be aware that I am OUT as a dyke and LOUD as Transexual when i say things to me seem better than ever before.

      • cmcmck says:

        We have met on here before here and there I think? I’m a wee bit younger than Roz (fiftysomething) and was lucky enough to fetch up with a young Reid rather than that arse Randall ( I’d also come into a bit of money via a favourite Great Uncle, which helped fund private treatment) but I know the mill to which you refer all too well!

        I’m the opposite to yourself in some ways- straight, married and pretty much integrated (I won’t say ‘stealth’ as I consider it a hateful, loaded word).

        But whatever turns you on! :o)

      • x_mass says:

        for all I know i may hav met you at a different time and place

        I get the impression life is good for you – which is great. I hope all the the people I have met and known and lost touch with work out for them as well

        my mentor, who sent me to randall – because she did very very well with him, got her surgery at 21 etc last I knew was similarly integrated. Last I know because she made a tough and i think for her right decision to distance herself from me. I was causing to much backlash in her life. Was it shaft’s moto that when any two transexuals are gathered together…

      • ex_voz_lati says:

        The existence of some loony LGBT people does not mean that the basic issues are not worthy of support.

        When the basic issues all too often erase and exclude trans women, they are most definitely not worthy of supporting.

        Really, it’s not just a few bad apples. The whole orchard is diseased.

  7. time_freak says:

    I don’t have anything clever to add, just dropping a line so you know I’m reading/following with much interest.

  8. paulathomas says:

    What has seemed absolutely bizarre in the whole business is the idea that Julie Bindel has a right to a platform for her views. Surely it is up to the NUS who they give a platform to just as it is up to the Guardian who they give a platform to?

  9. vampwillow says:

    I’ve noticed this a few times lately from different people, but when / why did “Bea Campbell” become “Beatrix Campbell” everywhere? Trying to leave her own past behind?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Any way we can embarrass Campbell on the campaign trail ? Such as letters to the local paper inviting them to dig up her satanic past etc ?

  11. annafdd says:

    I read the first piece and I can’t say I am too keen on it. I have friends who are in the closet, and while I may disagree with them I also have a fuckload more respect for their agency and judgement than she does. The only reason not to come out is being fired or telling your mum? What a sheltered life this woman must have lived.

    Also, not a word did I hear about her husband. Spouses of gay people usually go through a pretty rough time. After all, it is usually not their fault. No word of compassion is heard here – maybe he was scum, I don’t know.

    In general, no word of compassion for anybody is heard in that piece.

    Nope, not keen on this woman.

  12. x_mass says:

    in my general experience humans react to trauma in one of two ways

    One option is that they become hardened by the experience, they can understand if someone else is going through a similar experience but cannot understand how others experiences relate to their own. A classic example of this is racism where one group say the Irish might treat the new comers for example the “black” community with the same disdain they were treated with. Then in turn the “black” community then treat the next wave of immigrants say the African Indian immigrants with the same lack of charity. More recently we have watched the eastern Europeans being badly treated. But not everyone acted alike, some people become more tolerant as result of their experiences, they recognise their common experience and worked to help make the integration easier

    equally we see the same issue around gender with first different waves of feminism not understanding other waves of feminism and then not understanding lesbian then lesbians not accepting SM and bisexuality and bisexuals then bisexuals and lesbians and feminists not accepting transexuals, Until the bisexual community changed and slowly other groups But we see the same in the transexual community. Not understanding or accepting gender queer or transvestites or drag queens and Loud vs stealth. I know plenty of transexuals who are blind to the suffering of others, who cannot connect the suffering they have been through with the suffering of others.

    Intolerance can also act in other ways, in not allowing others to be intolerant. There is many things I don’t like about Julie Bindel but we are both still feminists. I don’t like many of her views but if she was on a march for abortion rights I would be right there with her. She might object to my presence but i wouldn’t object to hers

    personally I try to become more tolerant even as I feel the rage, the pain and often the fear drive me towards intolerance

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