As part of LGBT History month the WCML has invited journalist, writer, broadcaster and researcher Julie Bindel to speak about growing up as a working class lesbian in the 1970s. Bindel’s uncompromisingly gender-critical views are naturally opposed to transgender ideology, amplifying dispute within the LGBT community. The library has therefore drawn fire from pro-trans campaigners for its choice of speaker on the 4th February.
Based in Salford, the Working Class Movement Library is a charity concerned with documenting British class struggles. This topic does of course touch issues relating to gender, sex and sexuality but the library’s volunteers can’t have been prepared for the tsunami of trans outrage that surged towards them and the event’s organisers.
Fair Play For Women sent the library’s trustees the following message in support, signed by 105 of our members:
Thank you for being brave and standing up against the online mob for the right of a working class lesbian activist to be heard. Watching the comments on your Facebook page it is quite clear that, conscious or otherwise, lesbophobia, ageism and sexism simmer beneath the demands to silence such a prominent campaigner for the rights of women and girls.
Julie Bindel has been smeared as a paedophile, a racist and a misogynist. These baseless accusations have been levelled at a woman who has been instrumental in bringing attention to human rights abuses of the most vulnerable women in the world; namely those in the sex and surrogacy industries. Her work in co-founding Justice for Women has transformed women’s lives, and her visibility as a proud and unapologetic lesbian has helped many women to feel comfortable with their sexuality.
From a cursory glance at the profiles of those who object, it seems most of those who have complained are not feminists, campaigners or lesbian. Julie Bindel believes, as do many feminists, that gender is a social construct. Thank you for recognising that this is not hate crime, it is merely an opinion.
Fighting the individualism of identity politics is crucial to class struggle and analysis. As feminists we stand with you in solidarity.
United we stand,
Signed (105 signatures)
I won’t dignify the often undignified assaults on this event by reproducing them here, but some readers may like to visit the Facebook pages of the Working Class Movement Library and of LGBT History Month.