I am not going to go on and on about this, I hope.

Essentially, the facts are these. Julie Bindel is in the habit of making free with the claim that trans people’s choice of surgical option is a pursuit of ‘uneccessary mutilation’ on the grounds that her version of feminism presents her with the revealed truth that sex is totally binary and gender purely socially constructed. She will not listen to anyone who points out that biological sex is a spectrum and that there are a lot of variations on chromosomal sex and genital sex and possibly even brain sex; or that the construction of gender and its relationship to biological sex is a deal more complicated than she thinks. She also maintains that trans people reinforce strict and oppressive gender binary in the face of all lived evidence to the contrary – and not just from gender-queer and neutrois people either. (Even totally binary identified trans people who live in deep stealth complicate the binary SIMPLY BECAUSE PEOPLE KNOW THEY ARE OUT THERE). She really does not get that every time she makes statements claiming that trans guys are lesbians carried off by the raggle-taggle shrinks, oh!, or that trans women transitioned in order to avoid the stigma of being gay men – which is why so many of us end up identifying as dykes, of course, she causes huge offense and does not seem to get that people are entitled to be vexed.

Latterly, she has been arguing, along with other ‘radical feminists’ of her persuasion like Sheila Jeffreys that making puberty blockers available to trans teenagers, so that they have time to make up their mind about their ultimate identity without going through irreversible changes either way, is child abuse. She tries to weasel out of accusing parents of this; many of her allies are less moderate. Similarly she has thus far avoided saying that trans teens cannot make up their own minds – some of her allies like GallusMag of GenderTrender have said that no-one under 25 should be allowed to make any decisions about gender identity.

People have been even more vexed about this. One young trans woman went so far as to entitle a post Julie Bindel’s Genitals in order to make the point that she cannot endlessly make free with other people’s private parts as the object of theoretical statement without their taking it pretty personally. My view was that the post, which included no illustrations bar a surgical diagram and no personal speculation about its subject, was a bit inappropriate simply because it has enabled Julie Bindel to run playing victim to the likes of Johann Hari.

There have been a lot of exchanges on Twitter about this.

Some of the transphobe blogs, notably DirtyWhiteBoy and GenderTrender, are in the habit of pirating private photos from closed sites in which trans guys discuss surgical outcomes, as well as endlessly speculating pruriently about the ways in which lesbians can distinguish, by taste, the genitals of trans women from those of cis women – no, really, I am not making this up…I suggested in a tweet to Julie Bindel that she condemn those practices in order to be consistent with her argument that the post entitled Julie Bindel’s Genitals was sexual bullying. After all, how much more offensive to have posts which include actual photos and – I assume – the results of extended programmes of sexual research.

She replied as follows:

@bindelj Julie Bindel
@RozKaveney Yes, if that is what they have done, then I utterly condemn it. Are you critical of any of the sexual bullying of me by trans?

I tried to take a screen cap of this, but screwed up and only got a text file off twitter.

I called on her actually to communicate her disapproval of their tactics to the relevant people,including Sheila Jeffreys who has posted on GallusMag’s blog GenderTrender, and suggested that she actually look at those blogs and see why trans people regard them, and her, as guilty of hate speech. She responded by deleting her original tweet and announcing that I was the militia wing of the trans movement and she is not talking to me any more.

bindelj Julie Bindel
@RozKaveney Thats a no then. I am taking advice I have ignored for years and cutting ofg all contact with you and other militia-wing trans.
17 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply

Oh dear. Was it something I said?


About rozkaveney

Middleaged, trans, novelist, poet, activist
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26 Responses to

  1. ffutures says:

    To quote Bugs Bunny, “What a maroon…”

  2. feorag says:

    endlessly speculating pruriently about the ways in which lesbians can distinguish, by taste, the genitals of trans women from those of cis women

    This bit just stood out to me. After all, since my recent op, many of the things that provide those distinctive “feminine” flavours are no more. I wonder if I taste like a transwoman to them (except, of course, they’ll never find out because they’d never sully their pure little selves by going with a bi woman – that’s the same as going with a man, you know).

    I suspect that confusing them is nowhere near as much fun as confusing Bears, who tend to have a sense of humour.

  3. radlein says:

    I suppose there is some small consolation here in knowing that the planet is obviously in no danger of running out of stupid any time soon. Sorry you have to spend time wading through this particular motherlode.

  4. At least she does condemn the actions of the denizens of GenderTrender (which I have to confess I’ve never heard of but I suspect that bisexuals are probably persona non grata there too!) – but what a shame she couldn’t do it without bleating, “But I’m the REAL victim here!” at the end.

    • rozkaveney says:

      And she deleted her condemnation the moment I asked her to do something practical about it like actually tell the people involved that she disapproves. As many people here will know, I am sometimes tedious in my inistence that we try to keep the moral high ground when discussing this stuff with her.

      • From what you’ve said, I think she deleted it because you didn’t immediately acknowledge that her upset at one bitchy blog post was equivalent to all the hate hurled at trans people in the history of the world ever. That’s just my reading though.

        I still fail to see what she gains from deleting the tweet. It just makes her look petty and withholding.

      • rozkaveney says:

        I long ago gave up trying to understand why she does anything, or why she continues to make transphobia such an article of faith

      • cmcmck says:

        She also appears to despise the working class from which she (as do I) springs and to despise her father and male sibs for daring to be male.

        Who does she not despise apart from her and her mates?

        I think the time is long past for trying to enagage in any rational discourse with such people. You are well out of it!

        The term monumental narcissist springs to mind :o/

      • lovingboth says:

        Obsession – it’s not just a perfume.

  5. Along with that other noisy Julie B(irchill) of the Press, Ms Bindel has long lost sight of her own privilege in the glow of her Importance. And the more Important she grows, the less respect she deserves, and the more she models that patriarchy she believes she’s resisting. I’m so sorry you have to put up with this, day after day after day.

    • Partly, what annoys me about Julie Bindel is that aside from her transphobia and sex-negativism, she’s actually involved in some pretty good and important work – helping and counselling trafficked and abused women, for example, through Eaves and The Poppy Project. I just wish she’d stop saying things like “gender reassignment surgery is evil” and “all sex workers are victims”. It seriously undermines her credibility, and that of the organisations she’s involved with.

      • That’s one of the things I had in mind when talking about her mimicking patriarchal models, I think: she sometimes gives the impression of believing that her good works make her opinions more right than those of other people. (I don’t know if she actually believes that, it’s just my impression, but it’s a strong one.)

      • Anonymous says:

        “good works”

        Dr Petra Boynton, who is in a position to know and has gone public with her skepticism, believes that Bindel’s research work for Poppy and Eaves ignores anything that resembles sound sociological methodological practice by sifting evidence according to her own peculiar ideologies which consequently “prove” pre-conceived ideas. I am in no position to judge Boyntons criticisms views, but they are in accordance with Bindel’s responses on trans issues.

        So, even on the thing for which she is generally given praise, she’s probably doing more harm than good

      • Re: “good works”

        I know people who work for Eaves (in more front-line roles than Bindel) and I believe the work they do is necessary and valuable, and I was frankly appalled that their funding was recently cut by the Government.

      • lovingboth says:

        Just like her trans stuff – she wants to add ‘except for people I disagree with’ to human rights

        By denying sex workers agency (‘I wouldn’t, therefore no-one else can’) I think she increases violence and discrimination.

        Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that everyone has the right to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work, and the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of their interests. There is no ‘except for sex workers’ in that, but that doesn’t stop her campaigning as if there was.

      • hamsterine says:

        Re: Just like her trans stuff – she wants to add ‘except for people I disagree with’ to human rights

        Well, to be fair there are exceptions to pretty much every ‘human right’ and in terms of employment there are absolutely tons of exceptions (we are a long way from seeing Pratchett’s thieves’ and assassins’ guild becoming reality!) and these basically amount to “..as long as it’s legal”. Therefore the issue moves on to what different people think should be legalised or criminalised -based, one would assume, on differing opinions about which practices are harmful to society as a whole in a way that overrides the rights of individuals- and therefore article 23 is no longer very relevant IMO.

        Of course, I do share your view that sex work shouldn’t be one of the criminalised professions.

  6. jessie_c says:

    Oh dear. Was it something I said?

    Yes. You’re guilty of giving her an argument she cannot answer so her brain blue-screened.

  7. vschanoes says:

    Because arguing with somebody is just like being part of a protomilitary group.

    I do grow tired of histrionic comparisons (by which I mean hers).

  8. Idiot.

    I’ll never quite understand how people who report to be so educated can’t see over their own privileges and ignore basic (okay, maybe a little more advanced, but not a hard concept) science because it doesn’t match with their personal agendas.

  9. natalie_456 says:

    Ah, silence. The sign of not having an answer. Unsurprising in outcome. Good work Roz!

  10. cherade9 says:

    “that making puberty blockers available to trans teenagers, so that they have time to make up their mind about their ultimate identity without going through irreversible changes either way, is child abuse.”

    Fucking bastarding woman! My baby is 11, has early puberty and needs, *NEEDS* more time before he has to make any choices as to his gender. As his Mum I dinnae give a damn *what* he chooses, just so long as he gets the time to do it in. Hormone blockers don’t do any harm to the kids and once they’re stopped puberty continues merrily onwards, so what is she/they whining about?

    If I could get my hands on her she’d wish I hadn’t.

    • cmcmck says:

      Aye- having had two goes at puberty many moons ago- the wrong one around 13-14 and later the right one at 18 when I started hormonal treatment (can you imagine?) I’d far sooner have only had to face one lot!

      I’d have saved a deal of money on electrolysis too! :oZ

  11. delirieuse says:

    My former boss was another feminist of the old school, and trans issues was the one thing that we could never agree on. The one time it came up, I felt like we might have come to blows. Her opinion was less hardline, but she felt that trans people had been “tricked” into surgery options by a corrupt medical fraternity, and that gender should be so fluid and mutable a thing that what’s in your pants shouldn’t signify.

    I think, from memory, that I responded politely that I had several trans friends and I couldn’t agree with her on that point.

  12. hamsterine says:

    Thinking of JB’s various opinions on transgender people always brings to my mind a wonderfully graphic phrase from one of Bill Hick’s routines; “Every word that comes out of your mouth is like a turd landing in my drink.”

  13. Anonymous says:

    Ahh, she’s fulla’ shit and about as socially effective as stopping a hurricane by shouting at it. Bindel and the rest of her brood are delusional and only exist because the internet allows them to freely spout their rubbish. No-one would know anything about them if we were pre-Net.

  14. JB has obviously never done any research whatsoever into gender identity or she’d know that it is neurologically-based, and not “malleable” as she wishes it were. The idea that gender is malleable was what made poor David Reimer’s life a misery (seriously suggest you google him).

    I despise people who think transgender people only transition to get out of being gay. What’s their explanation for gay/bi transsexuals then??!

    Speaking of SRS being “unecessary”, statistics show that it dramatically reduces a transgender person’s risk of suicide. Unless JB would rather us all committ suicide, of course (which would probably be her wet dream)…

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