Julie Bindel is a feminist activist and journalist whose career has been dominated since 2008 by an ongoing campaign against her by trans activists, which first sparked when she was nominated for a Stonewall Journalist of the Year Award, which led to a small protest gathering outside the award ceremony. A more measured trans response was taken by prominent trans activist Stephen Whittle, who organised and live streamed a debate between prominent trans academic Susan Stryker and Julie Bindel. It was the protest rather than the measured debate that would be the dominant theme of the next decade as trans activists sought a badge of honour by proving that they could disrupt Bindel's ability to speak in public on any debate, whether on trans matters or not.
Bindel had first come to fame as an activist who co-founded Justice for Women, successfully campaigned to have domestic abuse taken into consideration for women accused of murdering their partner. The successful case related to Emma Humphreys, who Bindel befriended. Humphreys took her own life in 1998, an event that dominated Bindel's ongoing campaigns on violence against women. Yet to listen to some trans activists you would think that Bindel does nothing but write articles against transsexuals. This all relates back to one of her early press articles for the Guardian, Gender Benders Beware, in 2004, when she employed some over the top language about transsexuals in anger at a Canadian transsexual taking a rape crisis centre to a human rights tribunal for refusing to train her as a counsellor. Subsequently, the Guardian and Bindel apologised for the tone of the article, but no apology was ever good enough for internet based activists who had an online article to rally around.
Bindel is targeted because she can be (she remains an active campaigner) and because she once transgressed and apologised for it. It is long past the time for trans activists to stop trying to build a reputation by attacking Bindel. Trans academic and activist Natacha Kennedy was a key organiser of the Stonewall Awards protest and with trans journalist and activist Jane Fae worked to have an academic conference banned on the grounds that Bindel was on the panel. Trans journalist Paris Lees nearly scuppered her career by writing an offensive article against Bindel and has remained obsessed with Bindel ever since and not in a good or healthy way. These are just a few of the more prominent examples of trans activists who target Bindel as a way of scaring off anyone who dares to criticise cherished orthodoxies in the trans narrative.
© Mercia McMahon. All rights reserved