The phrase “I’m not a feminist, but…” has been around for decades, and many of those women uttering these words will be both benefiting from and participating in some aspects of the movement. But since feminism began, there are those that profess their hatred towards us. In a recent article, Tom Chivers unpicks the findings of a poll on young British people’s views on feminism, and finds that, “significant percentages of every age group, including 33% of 18- to 24-year-olds, agrees that feminism makes some men feel marginalised. More men (42%) than women agreed, but a quarter of women did too. The charity themselves described it as ‘staggering’, and linked it to far-right YouTubers.”
Why is anti-feminism always assumed to be a domain of the Right? Clearly, the far-Right hates feminism, because its members hate women and consider us inferior and good for nothing but breeding, cleaning and sex, but most young people in the UK today are on the Left. How then, is the current wave of mainstream misogyny being fed by the alt-Right?
I would wager that a hatred of feminists in the current climate is being fuelled by leftist men who claim to be “on the right side of history” but are, in fact, misogynists dressed up as progressives. Take Owen Jones, using his Guardian platform to regularly stick the boot into feminists who are fighting to retain sex-based rights. In one article, he dismissed my 40 years of activism to end male violence against women and girls, and reduced me to an anti-trans campaigner. This merry band of leftist puppets would have it that those many thousands of women attending public meetings to discuss the potential clash of rights between trans people and natal women if self-identification is introduced in Britain, are also, by default, homophobic bigots.
Feminists that campaign against abuse in the global sex trade are labelled as White Feminists, and, whether they are white or not, racist. No matter how many times black and brown feminists refuse to capitulate to the version of feminism that benefits men a damn sight more than it does women, they are vilified by the super-woke and publicly ‘cancelled’ – social media’s version of witch burning.
When Vice, which has run an article entitled Ban Sex Work? Fuck off, White Feminism published a piece on the murder of the schoolgirl Charlene Downes, based on my investigation a decade ago, I was described as “The journalist Julie Bindel – these days better known for her divisive views on trans issues.” In one sentence, my entire body of work over the past 40 years, including four books on feminism, thousands of articles on rape, domestic violence, child abuse, and trafficking of women, and travelling the world to investigate human rights abuses, is reduced to my views on transgender ideology.
Then there are brilliant feminists, such as the Canadian writer Meghan Murphy being pushed off Twitter. Murphy’s crime? Pointing out that a man who calls himself Jessica Yaniv was a biological male with a penis. Why was that necessary? Because Yaniv had filed complaints against 16 self-employed female beauticians in Vancouver (primarily from ethnic and religious minorities) for refusing to treat his scrotum to a ‘Brazilian wax’.
Countless other feminists, many of whom do amazing work on behalf of the most abused and disenfranchised women and girls on the planet, have also been kicked off Twitter, for ‘misgendering’ men who identify as women. This means that the voices of those perfectly reasonable feminists are being drowned out by a chorus of men who like nothing better than women being silenced in the name of progressive wokeness.
Is it any wonder that so many young people watching this debate unfold want nothing to do with feminism, painted as a movement of bigots, transphobes and homophobes hell-bent on abusing an oppressed group, as opposed to liberating women? The most widely used slur to describe people thought to be anti-trans is Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist (Terf). Not, you may notice, “violent men”, the group most likely to hate and attack transgender people, but feminists.
There is a war against feminists in the UK, and the so-called progressives are the ones throwing the grenades.
I am writing a book on feminism, exploring how so many young women are being sold a version of a glorious liberation movement that is the opposite of reality. During the 50-plus interviews I have done so far, I have been told by women from a range of backgrounds and circumstances that they feel under pressure to sign up to fun feminism, support “sex work”, stripping, porn, and to chant the mantra, “trans women are women!” They are being groomed into hating actual feminism, and adopting a faux-version that does not challenge men at all.
Male Left-wing misogynists who hate feminism are too cowardly and inadequate to be open about it, and would rather rebrand feminism to suit them. The young women who dare to challenge them are exiled. And in the meantime, those of us slogging our guts out to end the global pandemic of sexual and domestic violence, which every woman and girl on the planet fears – and, all too often, experiences – are being painted as reactionary bigots.
Women need feminism, and I will continue to support and mentor young women resisting the dudes trying to indoctrinate them about what type of feminism is ‘acceptable’. Men on the Right are not, in my view, ever going to be feminist allies, but nothing is as pernicious as a sheep in woke clothing.