Feminist Cultists #2 – Hypocrisy Rocks #radfem2012

Posted: May 30, 2012 in Feminism, Freedom of Speech, misandry, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

Dem a cut, cut, cut agains’ dem one another;

Dem a cut, cut, cut agains’ dem one another.

Don’t dem teach to love one another ?

Don’t dem teach to love one another ?

oh!See de ‘ypocrite, dem a-galang deh!

See de ‘ypocrite, dem a-galang deh!

– Hypocrite, Bunny Wailer

Last week on my Graunwatch blog I wrote about the forthcoming radical feminist conference (#radfem2012 on twitter) and the furore over its transphobia. I took an unpopular view in that whilst I agreed with everyone condemning its ‘no trans women allowed’ policy, I also pointed out that feminism AS A WHOLE is full of exclusionary practices, especially towards men.

The Guardian, after publishing an article by (trans) feminist Roz Kaveney (who blocks me on twitter by the way), gave Sheila Jeffreys the right of reply. She was tabled to speak at the conference but has now been told she can’t, due to her transphobia. An example of said transphobia can be seen in her Guardian piece. It reads:

‘Criticism of the practice of transgenderism is being censored as a result of a campaign of vilification by transgender activists of anyone who does not accept the new orthodoxy on this issue. A recent Comment is free piece by the transgender activist Roz Kaveney, headlined “Radical feminists are acting like a cult”, criticises a forthcoming radical feminist conference, at which I was to be a speaker, on the grounds that I and “my supporters” may be guilty of “hate speech” for our political criticism of this practice.

Though Kaveney’s comments about me are comparatively mild in tone, the campaign by transgender activists in general is anything but. This particular campaign persuaded Conway Hall, the conference venue, to ban me from speaking on the grounds that I “foster hatred” and “actively discriminate”. On being asked to account for this, Conway Hall appeared to compare me to “David Irving the holocaust denier”. The proffered evidence consists of quotes from me arguing that transgender surgery should be considered a human rights violation – hardly evidence of hate speech.’

I find it very depressing that after a venue in London has said Jeffreys’ views are not welcome on its premises, the Guardian newspaper has given her and her vile opinions a platform! In the name of what? Fairness? This is a paper that spouts a very narrow white middle class feminism day in day out, with very little chance for non-feminists to write about gender issues. Let alone trans women, black women, disabled women etc etc. But Jeffreys gets a column. Nice.

This hypocrisy is not limited to the Guardian. I think it is a characteristic of feminism in general. For example feminist blogger stavvers criticised Jeffreys desire to ‘debate’ trans issues whilst trans women are not allowed at the conference. However bloggers and activists such as stavvers are happy to ‘debate’ whilst excluding people, including women – e.g. me – from their feminist safe spaces. My 101 Wankers post is a list of all the feminists and their ‘allies’ who ban me and block me online. Stavvers is on the list.

So is Julie Bindel. Bindel, also a known transphobe, has a regular column in the Guardian, and when she was criticised for one of her diatribes recently, Chris Ashford of Law and Sexuality blog wrote a piece saying he was worried she was being ‘silenced’! Hers is a very loud silence then.

I think there are some very real and complex issues here to do with freedom of speech. I personally find the increasing mobilisation of the term ‘hate speech’ worrying. A woman was jailed for five months this week for hate speech, a racist rant on a tube. I have been accused of ‘hate speech’ and I know a few people who would be glad to see me locked up.

But when it comes to Sheila Jeffreys I think Conway Hall made the right decision. They are accomodating the radical feminists in their venue. They are allowed to refuse to host a speech that would be hateful, and one that would question the right of a group of people to exist on this earth.

However, ‘moderate’ feminists need to be very careful before they start throwing stones. Of course it is ironic that Jeffreys claims trans people could not withstand criticism, when she is part of a movement that demands to know the sex/gender identity of people before it even lets them in a building, let alone has a ‘debate’! But feminism’s overall approach to ‘freedom of speech’ is dire. And feminists’ need to sit in closed groups that do not include people who disagree with feminist dogma, suggests a weakness in their arguments.

Comment Is Free, the online discussion section of the Guardian, that so fairly and openly allowed Jeffreys a right of reply, now blocks me on twitter. They are not going to give me a chance to write for them now, are they?

I guess some women are just too dangerous to be allowed a viewpoint!

Comments
  1. Dean Esmay says:

    I was going to comment on the main topic until I got to the link about the woman jailed for a racist rant. But i was stunned by that. Here in the States, such a thing would be very nearly unthinkable. Yes a racist rant can get you shunned, might get you a sock in the jaw or something thrown at you, but arrested and jailed? For weeks? If someone even tried that here there’d be lawyers lining up to represent you for free I would think, and protests in the streets. What on Earth is going on with you Brits? No there’s nothing acceptable about a drunken racist rant except to leave, or ask her to leave, or maybe embarrass her publicly. But jail? Is that really where things are going in the UK?

    “The cure for hate speech is more speech” — I don’t think Americans invented that, did we?

    Like you I have noticed that there are groups on both the right and left who have clear totalitarian impulses, who wish to suppress any form of speech or dissent they strongly oppose. I have experienced censorship from feminists (and other groups) throwing me out of forums and viciously castigating me for opinions I didn’t even think were particularly controversial. I just have such a strong attachment to the phrase “I utterly oppose everything you say but I will fight to the death for your right to say it” I’m genuinely sickened when I see people who don’t feel the same way. It’s one of those “shock you out of your comfortable sensibilities” moments; I foolishly go through life assuming that putting people in jail for saying things is something they go for in dictatorships, not countries like the UK.

  2. elissa says:

    Let’s be clear on the reasons why nincompoops such as Sheila Jeffreys are given generous leeway in the big, when otherwise small, feminist tent – she is again mudslinging men. Male to female transsexuals are men co-opting the female lovely. Radical feminism is the infantry division of the feminist brigade. The superbly obnoxious Mary Daly was similarly granted space and even eulogized on passing.

  3. Murphy says:

    Dunno to be honest. I sort of get your argument, but there’s a clear difference between freedom of speech, and – as Oliver Wendell Holmes once had it – ‘the freedom to shout ‘fire’ in a crowded theatre’. A pissed-up woman shouting racist abuse on a train to all and sundry is pretty unpleasant, and it’s a form of violence frankly, and maybe it’s because here it’s likely to result in you being thrown in the chokey for a few weeks is the reason the public don’t pull a gun or throw a punch, which is what might happen elsewhere. I think we need to be clear that public spaces operate on the basis of some degree of mutual respect, otherwise we’re all in trouble. I feel differently somehow about people getting locked up on the basis of saying something offensive on Twitter, or trolling websites – it feels to me that there’s a difference between some sicko trolling the families of a teenager who’s committed suicide, and someone who expresses a contrary political opinion. It feels to me as though the line’s been drawn wrongly somehow.

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