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Julie Bindel, new book - feminism for women, the route to freedom. Interviewed by Emma Barnett on women’s hour today

(225 Posts)
Iam64 Wed 08-Sep-21 19:59:33

If we had a feminist board, this would best be placed there.

Julie has been no platformed by many venues, by universities because of her outspoken support for hard won women’s spaces. She wrote a Guardian article 20 years ago when she used what she now describes as immature language when dismissing trans women as men in frocks.

One of the argument in her new book is that men can be supporters of feminist women/feminism but they can’t be feminists. She reported concerns from young women about men in leadership roles in feminist groups at universities. She repeated concerns about the impact of self ID.

I’m with Julie on this

Galaxy Wed 08-Sep-21 20:34:08

I need to order her book. She has done such good work with regards to women in prison.

Iam64 Wed 08-Sep-21 20:42:55

Her partner is Harriet Wistrich (sp) who is a feminist lawyer, whose work includes defending women accused of killing abusive male partners

trisher Wed 08-Sep-21 20:59:31

There is a long history of male feminists amongst them Tony Benn, Henry Brailsford, Frederick Pethick-Lawrence and George Lansbury. Not to mention the young man in Doncaster who was imprisoned for arson attacks, went on hunger strike and was released under the Cat and Mouse act when suffragette women smuggled him out of the house the police were watching by dressing him as a woman. It's as wrong to say there are no feminist men as it is to assume all women are feminists. There's Margaret Thatcher for a start. So I suggest she begins by studying history.

Iam64 Thu 09-Sep-21 07:43:47

I don’t think JB is unaware of history or the arguments you make trisher. She takes a different view.
I support many of the aims of Black Lives Matter. I’m aware of underlying racism but this doesn’t alter the fact I’m a white woman

Galaxy Thu 09-Sep-21 08:59:03

I am also really grateful for the campaigning she is doing around the rough sex defense for murder. It's an issue that is becoming increasingly frequent and it needs to be discussed openly without people throwing the word prude around.

Rosie51 Thu 09-Sep-21 08:59:46

Exactly Iam64. We can be supporters and campaign for any demographic, but it is inappropriate to assume leadership and authority of those whose criteria we don't meet. Why do men want to lead women's groups when they have zero lived experience of being female?

trisher Thu 09-Sep-21 09:33:12

The idea that men can't be feminist is though a dangerous one. It buys into the relief that sex somehow influences or even rules our thinking. It's the sort of sexist nonsense that was promoted by men before women got the vote. They argued that women if they had to think too much would damage their reproductive capacity. Saying men can only support and not be feminists is tying them into an equally unsupported fallacy that masculinity is fixed and men cannot develop a feminist views.

trisher Thu 09-Sep-21 09:37:10

I also don't know of any feminism which divides people into seperate groups. The feminism I know embraces all who follow it's aims of change and inclusivity. The policies of division are patriarchal. And feminism is not just replacing patriarchy with matriarchy

Galaxy Thu 09-Sep-21 10:03:42

Feminism centres women. In the way that gay rights groups centre gay rights. In the way that organisation campaigning on issues relating to down syndrome centre people with down syndrome and so on.
And no it's nothing to do with sex influence thinking its to do with power.

Galaxy Thu 09-Sep-21 10:04:39

Few endings of words missing there but you get the gist.

Rosie51 Thu 09-Sep-21 10:05:14

Why is it deemed good for men to head women's groups when practically nobody would suggest white people are best to head BLM? Putting men at the top of a group whose aim is to protect and advance the interests of women (eg in a university setting) just reinforces the patriarchal view that men do everything better and still hold most of the power. The man will never have the lived experience of a woman and no amount of empathy can change that. I can empathise with the horror that is racist bigotry, but I can never know what it actually feels like.

Ilovecheese Thu 09-Sep-21 10:07:18

Absolutely agree with you Galaxy regarding the "rough sex" defence. Four years for killing a young women is appalling. I do hope the sentence is extended.

Rosie51 Thu 09-Sep-21 10:10:29

Ilovecheese my husband told me yesterday it is being reviewed. Presumably someone has objected to its leniency. I hope it's lengthened, it clearly won't be lessened.

Galaxy Thu 09-Sep-21 10:18:59

It's not just about the individual case either as utterly horrific as this one is. It's about what's going on (I assume porn) and the normalisation of really dangerous activities. And of course those most at risk of these activities are women.

Doodledog Thu 09-Sep-21 10:19:27

I agree that men can support feminism, but would have thought that a feminist man would be in favour of women leading the debates, based on what is important to them as women.

I understand that there are those who are uncomfortable with women defending their own rights and issues, but if anything that throws the need for feminism into sharp relief.

As for replacing patriarchy with matriarchy, we are so far away from that being even a possibility, never mind a likelihood, that I don't think we need to be on the lookout for signs of it yet.

Doodledog Thu 09-Sep-21 10:22:16

As for leaders of groups in Universities - in my experience the vast majority of groups are headed by white men, even if 'only' in the sense that they are the ones the titular heads of the groups have to report to.

AmberSpyglass Thu 09-Sep-21 10:41:08

I am a die hard feminist and dislike her intensely. My feminism has always and will always include trans women.

AmberSpyglass Thu 09-Sep-21 10:41:09

I am a die hard feminist and dislike her intensely. My feminism has always and will always include trans women.

Rosie51 Thu 09-Sep-21 10:44:46

People who don't think feminism should centre women are (in my opinion) on a parallel with those who shout "all lives matter" while professing to support equality and fairness for black people. Do people really consider "All Lives Matter" will achieve the same as "Black Lives Matter", or that we're in serious danger of replacing white supremacy with black supremacy? Isn't it somewhat telling that you can have single interest groups for anything unless it's for women?

GagaJo Thu 09-Sep-21 10:46:44

Me too AmberSpyglass. I also believe that although most feminists are women, that it's perfectly possible for men to be feminists. Patriarchy/sexism also has very negative effects for men therefore feminism benefits everyone.

GagaJo Thu 09-Sep-21 10:48:43

Feminism is about equality. It isn't about female dominance. Therefore correcting/overcoming the negative effects of patriarchy will by default benefit men.

AmberSpyglass Thu 09-Sep-21 11:29:57

My feminism does centre women. Including trans women.

Ilovecheese Thu 09-Sep-21 11:44:16

It should be possible for feminism to be a "broad church" with room for differences of opinion. These differences should, however be up for discussion if some people want to discuss them. A confident position should be able to take discussion not try to close it down.
What I think is very wrong is a refusal to even debate different opinions, even sometimes by intimidation.
These differences are just that, differences of opinion.

Doodledog Thu 09-Sep-21 12:32:29

Rosie51

People who don't think feminism should centre women are (in my opinion) on a parallel with those who shout "all lives matter" while professing to support equality and fairness for black people. Do people really consider "All Lives Matter" will achieve the same as "Black Lives Matter", or that we're in serious danger of replacing white supremacy with black supremacy? Isn't it somewhat telling that you can have single interest groups for anything unless it's for women?

I agree with this absolutely.