Discover more from Julie Bindel's podcasts and writing
Aligning with the Right is a disaster for feminists:
We may win the battle, but we will lose any possibility of women's liberation
This is part 7 in what was to be a 6-part correspondence series, but will now be an 8-parter because Meghan and I always have PLENTY to say! Also, it has proven popular with our readers – you – which is the best incentive to stretch it out a little.
First of all, really glad to see you back on Twitter. It is an outrage that you were banned in the first place for stating a biological fact.
In this crazy world we’re living in, men can self-identify as women while women and girls are gaslighted left, right and centre by trans-activists telling us that gender identity trumps biological sex, while politicians on the Left insist that “sex work is work”. I despise the craven idiots masquerading as progressives even as they peddle the most regressive ideologies imaginable.
And how comforting it is to hear those on the hard Right say it as it is: women are women, men are men, and prostitution is morally wrong.
But when we find ourselves walking hand-in-hand with these people because they happen to condemn some of the harmful practices that we too condemn, there is a price tag attached. In order to make (and stay) friends with these people, we have to discard the policies and ideologies that will keep the most marginalised in society safe.
You wrote in your previous letter:
“As a lifelong devotee of not just the left, but the hard left, I have (disappointingly) come to the conclusion that leftist politics and The Left, as it exists today, is dogmatic, cultish, hyperbolic, irrational, and chooses mantras over facts and truth. I feel that I operated in this way myself, when I identified as a leftist, leading me to believe this is a problem ingrained in the politic, approach, and ideology, that will not be resolved should feminists be successful in wresting back power.
What I would ask is: What is there to take back? Why do we need it? Why would I want to “take back” a politic I don’t support?”
I agree with you that much of want passes for the current ‘left’ is as you describe. But the left I am part of emerged out of working class, grass roots liberation struggles and not in elite universities. We are a generation apart, which means that you encountered the worst of the identitarian, authoritarian left as a young woman. Also, as you well know, Canada is a breeding ground for the worst type of faux-progressive politics imaginable. I know you were put through hell by these people, and that you have found refuge in the libertarian Right.
But we need to be honest about the end goal of this movement.
You seem to be suggesting that men like Jason Miller (Gettr CEO) hold the beliefs they do because they have never sat down and listened to a feminist, and that such men may have a distorted view of what feminism actually is, perhaps thinking that feminists are, “a bunch of frothing morons in pink pussy hats who sold out their own movement for a bunch of bearded perverts in heels”.
You suggest that maybe we could disabuse each other of the stereotypical images we hold (Miller of feminists, and me, of men on the hard right). Perhaps you have evidence to the contrary, but I have never once seen a man like Miller give a damn about challenging themselves on the subject of feminists or feminism. Why would they? Their entire political outlook is anti-feminist and anti any kind of women's liberation.
Trump is one of my lines in the sand. He is an out-and-out racist, he is a misogynist, he is homophobic and a destroyer of the rights and liberty of marginalised, oppressed peoples across the entire nation.
“Should someone associated with Justin Trudeau, the man whose party passed Canada’s gender identity legislation without debate or regard for the impact on women, and who has behaved like a depraved totalitarian over the past two years, be told to “shove it” as well?”
Without hesitation, YES.
Like you, Meghan, I despise misogyny and men who do harm to women (including bystanders). But I can't throw my lot in with the hard Right. They are against the liberation of women as a sex class. Women need to rebuild the Left and kick those blue-fringed Owen Jones hand puppets into the gutter.
The hard Right are NOT friends to women’s rights; their reasons for disliking gender ideology are the opposite of those of feminists.
We dislike it because it promotes the sex stereotypes that keep women in our place. They don't like it because they want women in the kitchen and the bedroom. Whilst much of the Left supports the notion of ‘sex work is work’ and refuses to accept that the surrogacy trade feeds on racism, misogyny and exploitation, those on the hard Right create the climate that leads to women being abused. They want to do away with the benefit system and public health care, which would leave women vulnerable to abuse.
I'm not going to work alongside those who want to ‘get rid of’ gender identity as they see it. Because what they actually think is that we should be in our traditional roles, and if we work alongside them on their terms, that's what we will get – because it always is on their terms.
Despite constantly approaches from wealthy right wingers, we resisted this allegiance through the years spent fighting the porn industry. They hated porn because they believed sex outside marriage to be wrong and that women's bodies are dirty – as well as because masturbation is forbidden by religious zealots.
In recent years, a growing number of the women fighting gender ideology are relying on arguments that amount to biological essentialism. This is a hindrance to women’s liberation from patriarchy.
To anyone who says the house is on fire and our children are inside, I say that it's been on fire for a long, long time, and our children and our women have been inside all the while. These women and their children have been murdered, raped, beaten, abused and controlled by men. They have been put through unspeakable horrors while the hard Right has chosen to busy itself promoting policies and laws that have made it easier for men to get away with committing such crimes, and has never spoken out against the abuse and degradation of women and children.
The fire at that house has been raging for hundreds of years, and feminists (NOT anti-feminist ‘gender critical’ women and men who think re-criminalising abortion is a fair price to pay for getting rid of gender ideology) have been there with their hosepipes, dousing the flames, rescuing women and children, and doing our best to ensure the arsonists face justice.
Meghan, your work in critiquing the sex trade, surrogacy markets and gender ideology is exemplary. You have given a platform and a voice to women of all stripes when the so-called progressives blocked them from speaking out, calling them bigots and Nazis, kicking them off publications supposedly reflects a Left wing perspective. But if those feminists firmly situated on the Left decide to abandon the politics of socialism and hook up with the hard Right, we will be subsumed under a sea of patriarchy, and women’s liberation would be nothing but a fantasy.
We may not have shifted each others’ views on this issue, but I am so pleased we have had this conversation. Lots of love, and Merry Christmas to you, sister.