This is going to be brief. As why shouldn’t it?
I learnt, late last night, that Manchester SU had put out a statement confirming their decision to no platform Julie Bindel. Its an odd statement, since it argues that her “views and comments towards trans people” could “incite hatred towards and exclusion of our trans students”.
Well, she is unlikely to win the title of world’s greatest trans advocate any time soon. But that’s a much bigger debate. Whereas this particular exclusion seems to have been grounded in a policy that is about “safe spaces”.
Can i be bothered to argue the toss out of this foolishness? No. Here’s my simple brief take.
This is NOT about safety. I do not, for one instant, believe JB represents a physical threat to any individual at this event.
JB should not have been no platformed.
There are many, many far unsafer spaces and unsafer speakers.
One of those unsafer speakers, well known for his safe views such as “Trans is a mental illness” and “if you’ve heard about a rape, it’s fake” is Milo Yiannopoulos: apparently, according to Manchester SU, he is a safer speaker than JB
Despite such nastiness, i would not support no platforming Yiannopoulos either. I’ve shared a TV studio with him: he did not threaten me physically, though his presence there allowed me to take down one of his sillier comments about trans people on air.
It won’t entirely endear me to what is oft presumed to be my (trans) constituency, but so be it. I do not consider myself limited in that way: forever condemned to be mouthpiece for one group only. I am trans, feminist, catholic, radical, old-style Liberal and – Letchworth beware! – local activist.
Not all of those bits will join together seamlessly. But i know what i feel to be overwhelmingly wrong – and this decision is wrong.
That is all.