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The return of lesbian pride We won't be bullied into submission

Unfuckable? Credit: Barbara Alper/Getty

Unfuckable? Credit: Barbara Alper/Getty




October 28, 2021   7 mins

On my very first date with Harriet, with whom I still live, I rocked up with two black eyes and a broken nose. I had been punched in the face by a man who had clocked me as a lesbian. I suppose my T Shirt with the slogan, “Lesbian Nation” may have given him a clue.

It was 1987, and the entire gay community was under siege. The AIDS epidemic had incited the worst bigotry we had ever experienced, and a pernicious piece of legislation known as Section 28 was being concocted by Thatcher’s government.

I’ve been reminded of that atmosphere of hatred recently. It feels like we lesbians are being treated to that same sort of shit all over again — in many ways more vicious than before. But this time the attacks are coming from those who we thought were once allies.

I became a campaigner for lesbian and gay rights at the same time I got involved in active feminism, in 1979, but I quickly became disillusioned. Women who had come before me clearly felt the same. In 1973, the majority of lesbians involved in the Gay Liberation Front in the UK decided to leave the male-dominated movement en masse, sick of the sexism they were experiencing.

Four years later, in 1977, the year that I was outed by school bullies as a lesbian, the newly elected Labour MP Maureen Colquhoun came out as “gay and proud of it”. But, despite both the gay rights and Women’s Liberation Movements being in full force at the time, Colquhoun’s constituency soon showed its disapproval. The party refused to support her and there were calls for her deselection. The local party chairman, Norman Ashby, said: “She was elected as a working wife and mother … This business has blackened her image irredeemably.”

It is interesting to record that the next member of Parliament who came out as gay was Chris Smith in 1984. Far from being vilified like Colquhoun, Smith received a standing ovation for his announcement and was wrongly credited with being a “pioneer” of gay rights in Westminster.

My first foray into lesbian culture was in the working-class bars of Newcastle, in the north-east of England. I was terrified of being kidnapped by predatory butch lesbians. Kids at school had labelled me a freak and a pervert, and said that I must really be a boy, and these slurs had stuck. I had not yet met the feminists who would disabuse me of these myths.

In those days, lesbians were divided between feminist lesbians and “bar dykes”, meaning traditional lesbians who organised into butch and femme identities and socialised mainly in the dingy bars and clubs, away from “normal” people.

There was a distinct class divide. The bar dykes were mainly working-class, and veterans of lesbian culture. Many had previously been in the Armed Forces, often as a way to avoid men, marriage and children. On the other hand, the feminist lesbians were very political about their sexuality. Understanding heterosexuality to be bad for women under patriarchy, we saw our attraction to other women as liberating and positive. We were comrades in arms as well as lovers.

I soon chose my tribe, but it was not without angst. I was solidly working-class and well out of my comfort zone having dinners with the feminists. I was having to endure stodgy baked potatoes with vegan spread and chewy aubergines — a vegetable I had never previously heard of. Asking for salt or ketchup would have been as appalling as whipping out the latest copy of Playboy.

But these lesbians were beyond inspirational. They taught me to feel pride in myself, and to feel anger about male violence and dominance over women. They rejected sex stereotypes and were critical of butch and femme role-play while offering support and friendship to women embedded in that culture. I came to learn that rejecting heterosexuality was a dangerous but exhilarating thing for feminists to do.

By the early Eighties, most feminist lesbians who I hung around with were practising non-monogamy (what the kids call “polyamory” today). We rejected the exclusive couple relationship, and put friendship on the same scale as romantic and sexual relationships. These were revolutionary times and, when women at Greenham Common began speaking out in the press about how many of them were lesbians, the issue became more high profile. During the miners’ strike, many of the women who had become politicised as a response to Thatcher’s government, finally admitted how unhappy they were living with men. So, they packed a rucksack and joined the women at Greenham. This was a landmark moment because these women clearly saw lesbianism as an opportunity to be liberated from drudgery and inferiority to men.

By the late Eighties, with the AIDS epidemic in full swing, and gay men being vilified by most of the mainstream press and the Thatcher government, many lesbians joined forces with the boys, offering support and solidarity. Then came Section 28 and our reunion was fully cemented.

However, with Section 28, most gay men were defending an essentially gay identity, the “we were born this way” attitude. While many lesbians were doing the direct opposite, chatting about how proud we were to be lesbians, inviting other women to join us, wearing T-shirts proclaiming “We recruit”. The difference was that we recognised that lesbianism could easily appeal to women if they were not closed off to the idea.

During that time, which was unsurprising when you recall that many lesbians had adopted gay male culture by campaigning so closely alongside them, the UK saw the emergence of a pro-pornography and pro-sadomasochistic lesbian culture, which had long been part of the gay male clubbing and sex scene.

A sex toy business aimed at lesbians, called Thrilling Bits, marketed vibrators named after anti-porn feminists and, equally shockingly, a black dildo named ‘the Whitney’. Intersectional feminism had not yet reached the lesbian sex toy market. Other lesbians tried to join the party by wearing leather and chains, producing and consuming pornography, practising extreme body modification, donning drag and adopting the gender-neutral “queer” label. Lesbian culture was becoming so much more male, and the commercialisation of sexuality as seen in gay clubs began to be emulated in some lesbian joints. For example, the Candy Bar in Soho had an evening every week at which a female stripper performed for women.

Suggested reading
The return of lesbian pride

By Julie Bindel

At the same time, it was becoming fashionable to be a lesbian — or at least to pay lipservice to the idea. But only if you were young, conventionally attractive and, ideally, famous. The August 1993 edition of Vanity Fair kickstarted the trend, with its front cover featuring singer k.d. lang dressed in a man’s suit and enjoying a barber-shop shave by supermodel Cindy Crawford, who was wearing a high-cut swimming costume and heels. The shift into lesbian chic happened in part because of the heavy duty sexualisation of lesbian leisure, which filtered through into the mainstream.

But for some of us, it was not very chic or cool to be beaten up, lose our jobs, or to have our children removed by the family courts, literally because we were lesbians.

And so, in 1994, the Lesbian Avengers was founded. In its mission statement it described itself as a “non-violent direct-action group committed to raising lesbian visibility and fighting for our survival and our lives”. Refreshingly, the Avengers were critical of mainstream gay male culture, including the normalisation of prostitution and pornography. And it would  also “combat lesbian chic”, otherwise known as “lipstick lesbianism”.

The Avengers was set up to assert the rights of lesbians to challenge the gay male domination of the entire so-called queer movement. Lesbian culture was disappearing, and, by the late Nineties had become “lesbianandgay” with a focus on hedonism rather than politics.

Things changed dramatically when lesbianism became more entangled in gay male culture, with a focus on clubbing, consumerism, social acceptance and sameness. The focus shifted from demanding our rights and liberation as proud lesbians, to asking for tolerance. Lesbians now wanted the same as heterosexuals, so the campaigns focused more on equal marriage and coupledom than direct action. Suddenly, the turkey baster, an instrument used since the Seventies by lesbians wishing to have children without the involvement of men, was swapped for a trip to the IVF clinic and, often, the sperm donor becoming a hands-on father.

As lesbians bought matching wedding outfits and began to emulate traditional heterosexual family life, the political focus of lesbians as front-line warriors against patriarchal heterosexuality waned. We crossed from the picket line to the picket fence.

Those women who had begun as a marginal and marginalised subgroup of sexual outlaws, paving the way for other feminists to resist compulsory heterosexuality and male dominance, were morphing into a tame, apolitical version of our foremothers. Movements do evolve, and battles are fought and won, but in my view, Stonewall in particular defanged the movement by making it all about attaining respectability, such as seeking the right to marry. But now, something is brewing in Lesbian Land. Under attack, we are rising again.

The uncompromising and in-your-face butch lesbians I met in the Seventies are back. Lesbians have been ignored and our rights ridden roughshod over by certain gay men who demand we adopt the new Queer alphabet, and capitulate to trans ideology. We are told we are transphobic bigots if we refuse to accept that some lesbians have a penis and, worse, we don’t want to have sex with them. Meanwhile, our ‘L’, the letter we fought so hard for, has been subsumed in a word salad of ever growing proportion, currently standing at LGBTQQIA2S+.

Many of the young lesbians I interviewed for my recent book on feminism told me they are often told by men whose advances they spurn that they are “unfuckable”, despite having previously made their intentions plain. It takes me back to a few years ago when, having enjoyed a couple of drinks with the crime writer and lesbian Val McDermid, we decided to form a rock band called “2 Ugly 2 Rape”, so often had we both heard that phrase from disgruntled men.

Lesbians are cool and edgy, not because we pose in swimsuits and lipstick (although whatever floats your boat, girls), but because we understand the revolutionary power of defining our own sexuality. And, as a result of the misogynistic backlash against us in recent years, we are once again becoming a force to be reckoned with. The next generation of lesbians will doubtless be the warriors we felt we were back in the day.

I’m not about to give up the fight. Though it is a shame we have to keep up the struggle. But for the next generation of lesbians, I hope they follow the words of the great Audre Lord: “The true feminist deals out of a lesbian consciousness whether or not she ever sleeps with women.”


Julie Bindel is an investigative journalist, author, and feminist campaigner. Her latest book is Feminism for Women: The Real Route to Liberation. She also writes on Substack.

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Dan Gleeballs
Dan Gleeballs
2 years ago

I’ve liked all the Lesbians I’ve known. (Not too many, unfortunately, so I can’t know whether I liked them because of lesbian characteristics, or whether I just became friends with a few nice women who happened to be Lesbian.)

My impression, for what it’s worth, is that they’re still women – like my mother, sisters, wife, daughters, female friends etc. Oh, they might not have much use for me in the bedroom, but the ones I met seemed to like men. I am a big, strapping sort and as soon as they found I accepted them, they were very friendly indeed. One let me drive her Porsche at ridiculous speeds – and yes, she understood that car far better than I did. (The engine was in the boot! Oversteer was a constant worry.)

I don’t really see why some men get so angry about Lesbians, though I had to laugh at ‘We Recruit’ t-shirts. I don’t want to ‘white-knight’ as I think it’s phrased, but as I say: good people in my experience. What else do we have really, without learning from those we meet?

It’s my suspicion that women-who-like-women are a pretty benign type of humanity. Hard not to come to that conclusion after the ones I’ve known. I think a man has to be a bit of a wrongun to get worked up about them, or threaten violence, to be honest. It reveals more about the attackers than the target, every time.

Oh, and I met Val McDermid once in, I think, Dublin. She was great.

Last edited 2 years ago by Dan Gleeballs
David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago
Reply to  Dan Gleeballs

I don’t really see why some men get so angry about Lesbians,

Me neither. In fact I’ve never met a man who gets angry about lesbians. Are there really that many. There used to be a fair bit of male anxiety about gay men, but even that has receded a great deal.
Are we sure this isn’t just JB playing a rather worn and dated victim card?

Last edited 2 years ago by David Morley
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Dan Gleeballs

As a young man I hung with the artist circles a great bit, and I remember still, one Lesbian Poet at a Poety Reading, reading her stuff to a crowd of similarly art minded – her poem ‘YOU ARE More than PU **y!’.

Her style of reading was very like the classic Thurber depiction of the tough, Artsy, woman belting it out, and every refrain ended with the main line….

45 years later and I still can put myself back in that room in my memories… great stuff….

R MS
R MS
2 years ago

Re ‘that’ BBC article…
The thing that struck me was it wasn’t ‘just’ or even ‘mainly’ about some Trans Women trying to coerce Lesbian’s into sex. After all, men trying to push it with women is as old as the hills, and this is ‘just’ a modern riff on that old theme. Still awful. But not new.
Rather the ‘real’ or ‘main’ point I thought, was how so many Lesbians found themselves in a social environment where so many of their supposed friends, men and women, being members of the Trans Activist Woke Left, basically took the side of their abusers, telling them that if they weren’t prepared to sleep with men who called themselves women they were ‘bigots’ and ‘transphobes’. As if the defining feature of being a Lesbian isn’t being a women who is sexually attracted to other women, not men, however they want to call themselves.
And if you doubted anyone could be so gross as to do that, well the reaction of the Trans Activist Woke Left to the BBC article bore it out in spades – a veritable hate fest calling for the sacking of the BBC journalists, demands that ‘we can’t talk about this’ from the self same crowd who had been celebrating the triumphs of ‘MeToo’, endless denunciations of the Lesbians and anyone who spoke up for them as transphobic bigots, including notably by the director of Stonewall.
Personally I have an absolute horror at the thought of belonging to any tribe so the generic descriptions of ‘Lesbians’ as a group in this piece are a bit difficult for me. But I understand that it is hugely important for many others to ‘belong’, including especially people in their adolescence and their early twenties, finding themselves and their sexuality. Heaven knows it must still be hard to have a non-conforming sexuality such as being Lesbian or being Gay and coming to terms with that as a young woman or young man. And then to have your supposed friends turn on you and threaten to ostracise you if you don’t betray your sexual boundaries must be horrific.
So yes. I agree with Julie. I think the only way forward, not just for Lesbians but also Gay Men, Bisexuals, Feminists and, yes, Trans People who dissent from the Totalitarian Trans Supremacist Ideology pushed by the likes of Stonewall is to ‘Brexit’ from the Toxic Woke Left and its various organisations and set up their own new social support networks, representative groups, papers, dating apps etc etc. Both individually as ‘Lesbians’, ‘Gay Men’ etc. And as all such groups together. And within the wider circle of all decent people in society at large who subscribe, from whatever part of the political spectrum them come from, to the universal values of live and let live, free speech, free thought, and respect and celebration of difference. in other words the values of inclusivity and diversity that Stonewall pays lip service to and in practice is trying to stamp out.
Kudos as well to Unherd for publishing this piece. We all need to be challenged to get outside our echo chambers more and build bridges to decent people, wherever we find them.

Gavin Stewart-Mills
Gavin Stewart-Mills
2 years ago
Reply to  R MS

Exactly right; the larger problem here is the appalling abuse directed by self-appointed woke “allies” of transgender people, rather than necessarily transgender individuals themselves (Debbie Hayton being an example who has posted articles on here). These intolerant allies peddling the usual one-upmanship superiority complex & vilifying everyone outside their groupthink.
Check out the LGB Alliance for exactly the kind of “brexit” disentanglement you’re talking about into more representative groups. Again, absolutely vilified as a transphobic hate-group yadda yadda.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 years ago

I’ve always hated the term ‘allies’. It’s too warlike and suggests that any deviation from the orthodoxy makes you an ‘enemy’.

Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
2 years ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

It seems that the writer and her friends are already regarded as an enemy by the new trans-orthodoxy.

Dawn McD
Dawn McD
2 years ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I recognized right away the careful specificity with which the word ally was chosen by the woke “anti-racism” crowd. Not a partner, not a friend, they will never be your friend. As an ally you will be allowed to help them achieve their goals, after which you will be one of the first to be pushed off the roof.
Sorry to go off topic, but “ally” is really starting to bug me.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  R MS

Excellent comment 
. Also a nod to the fact that we need to get outside the echo chambers.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
2 years ago
Reply to  R MS

I have been reading with interest the unfolding drama of trans activists vs the world. From the comments made regarding the Chapelle special; a Trans Netflix associate of sorts declared Trans people are facing a Holocaust! (Where exactly are these death camps?) And now the bbc article where lesbians are being threatened with ruin for not consenting to sex with an actual pen*s! Refusing to consent to s*x with someone for whatever reason isn’t bigotry, however coercing someone into consent is still r@pe! What planet do these people live on that they truly believe they have the moral high ground?

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago

The worst bigotry YOU’VE ever experienced. I’d say by 1987 that bigotry was fast receding – away from a time when it was actually illegal to be publicly gay, and before that in history you’d probably have been lynched or burned at the stake for going against God or something. To try and claim bigotry in 1987 was the worst ever experienced is a bit of a stretch especially when gay popstars and celebrities were well loved and becoming completely open about their sexuality. I remember 1987 it was a weird in between time when being gay was still a bit of a ‘gasp, cover your eyes mother’ type of scandal and ‘gay bashing’ was frowned upon but also something you did hear about. But at the same time a lot of people were becoming very accepting too. My boomer parents and pre war grandparents were cool when my cousin came out – the attitude generally was ‘she’s family, she’s a good person and it’s not hurting anyone else so it’s none of our business’. I’m proud of that.

Peter Morgan
Peter Morgan
2 years ago

I find it hard to understand why anyone would object to this piece. Sexual preference is once again under attack, this time equally by men and women, and Bindel is calling fellow lesbians to stand up and be counted. This call to action is very much needed in a time when our institutions have been captured by an ideology that requires all of us to deny that our sex is a defining quality as a human.

Last edited 2 years ago by Peter Morgan
Gavin Stewart-Mills
Gavin Stewart-Mills
2 years ago

Out of interest, I googled for a definition of the latest word-salad snapshot LGBTQQIA2S+. Nothing came up for that, only endless slightly different versions (LGBT2QS, LGBTQIA+, some with 2 T’s, some with 1 T . . . ), all posted by the usual attention-needy social justice bore sites, and all of them having a slightly different version with which to “educate” us. No doubt each random version magically becomes an immutable truth, that we all must instantly follow on pain of cancellation.
The real issue is that Transgender activists and their endlessly spoilt/bored so called “allies” are engaged in nothing more than constant goalpost moving one-upmanship for social & political advancement. Against that level of uber bollocks the defiant sex-based lesbianism of Julie and others is massively refreshing.

David George
David George
2 years ago

Try LGBQWERTY, Gavin. A handy shorthand for whatever they’re calling it this week?

Andrea X
Andrea X
2 years ago

Ok, I started skimming this article after a while, but can we be surprised if now *they* are victim of the cancel culture?
I mean, what does this even mean: “Understanding heterosexuality to be bad for women under patriarchy”; is she advocating for the end of the human species, or at least the cull of all men, as a turkey baster will do just fine?

John Murray
John Murray
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

She means that under a patriarchal system women who are in heterosexual relationships are seen as subordinate to their husbands (and before that to their fathers). Consider that it only became the law that a man could rape his wife in the UK in 1991. That sort of thing.

Andrea X
Andrea X
2 years ago
Reply to  John Murray

So the answer is to *choose* to become a lesbian? I never knew that you were born gay, but you choose to be a lesbian.

John Murray
John Murray
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

The idea of being “born gay” is actually something that really only developed in the 1990’s and then became the standard argument because under US civil rights law the strongest argument to make is to draw an analogy to race.
Julie grew up in the prior era in the 70’s and 80’s where it was much more common for activists to argue on a choice basis, and sometimes that bleeds through in her writing (especially when she works up a head of steam).

Dawn McD
Dawn McD
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

I remember, as someone who did not closely follow the gay rights struggle but simply lived and breathed in San Francisco in the 80s and 90s, getting the impression that gay men were gay because they were actually sexually attracted to other men, while a great number of lesbians seemed to be so through a deliberate political decision rather than natural sexual urges. Bindel clearly confirms that in this piece, which makes me feel relieved to know I wasn’t imagining it.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  John Murray

In many heterosexual couples I know, under the ‘patriarchy’ it’s the woman who rules the roost. How does that work?

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

Women spend most of the money in the economy too. Given a choice between being the one who earns it and the one who spends it I think I’d pick the latter.

David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

Absolutely. Not only that, but more to the point they expect to rule the roost – it’s a social expectation.
I grew up in a working class family where this was emphatically not the case. The contrast between this and the average modern middle class family is enormous. And men know that if their wife decides to walk, the kids go too and they are financially stuffed. So they keep their heads down.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
2 years ago
Reply to  John Murray

It is also normal that domestic violence against men was ignored, close to 100% of alimony payments were from men to women, even for no fault divorces where the wife might have been sleeping around, it was also pretty much law that women could deny men access to their own own children, even while extracting large amounts for their upkeep.

Sounds like women’s desire for equality in 1991, and now, is rather selective.

Incidentally, while it’s great that marital rape is now punishable, what’s the law against fake marital rape accusations? Can men whose wives are sexually incompatible or refuse to sleep with them get divorced without being penalised by alimony payments?

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

My take away was not that heterosexuality is bad, but that is bad under patriarchy. I find that reasonable.
I did not ‘skim the article’.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago

I would counter that under patriarchy there are pros and cons. Men may rule the roost by virtue of superior physical strength but they are also raised (or used to be) to protect and provide for women and take on responsibility. In a time when women are claiming to be as good at or better than men at everything, including the unedifying spectacle of 100lb female action heroes routinely beating up men, do we really want that kind of equality? Where men think women can take a lump like a man because they are strong empowered equals and how dare you say otherwise? If men are told they’re worthless, useless, violent creeps and women are sooooo much better at everything, should we complain when they go ok then, fix your own shelves, clear your own drains, and I’m not laying down my life or giving up my money to look after you? I’m no fan of violent misogynistic men, feminism did well to get the law on our side against them but the demonisation of all the ones who aren’t sickens me.

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

Being ‘protected’ and ‘provided for’ is demeaning. It is basically legalised prostitution.

David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago

I suspect that a lot of good, but less well off single men would agree with you. But it’s odd to see a woman taking the incel side and calling others of her sex prostitutes.

Allie McBeth
Allie McBeth
2 years ago

No, it is not. If you have entered into a contract or understanding: “I will have and take care of the children, you provide and protect us”. Perfectly reasonable.- and you can have sex when both want to. Hardly prostitution; an awful lot of people have lived quite happily like this.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
2 years ago

How ? When are prostitutes protected or provided for ?

When do mistresses have a claim to loyalty ?

Gia Underwood
Gia Underwood
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

Been fixing my own shelves, clearing my own drains and earning my own living since I was sixteen. No big deal.

But seriously, if keeping silent on the violence and harassment and intimidation dished out to women by men means I get my shelves fixed, I reckon the choice is pretty clear.

Andrea X
Andrea X
2 years ago

And the answer to the patriarchy is to become a lesbian? I may be naĂŻve, but that makes no sense to me at all.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

Is no-one understanding? If we do not live in a patriarchal society (which in the westernized societies it is not), then all is well. I certainly wouldn’t like to live in an oppressive patriarchal society like huge chunks of the Middle East, Africa etc) where men beat and rape women/their (often very young) wives with impunity. If I did, I think I would definitely prefer a female companion.
I sometimes find the Unherd readers quite naive as to what goes on in the great wide world outside Europe and the US.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago

If they want to go against Patriarchy we have imported plenty of it already. But I suppose you are afraid to go against that and prefer to continually batter those of us who work and look after our wives and children.

Gia Underwood
Gia Underwood
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

Maybe it was mooted as a way to resolve the relentless pressure and misogyny from men, from the culture of the day, expressed by men who were strangers and men who were intimate partners.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Gia Underwood

What does misogyny mean?

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago

I found the article and history very interesting and it is a fact that cancel culture is negatively affecting a lot of groupings, particularly lesbians. Lesbians have had a challenging history and it is disgraceful that they are once again being targeted.
See that the ‘all feminists are identical and we hate feminists’ Usual Suspects are starting to post on this thread already.

Mirax Path
Mirax Path
2 years ago

Interesting history but within the seeds of that historical activism and identity fetish, lie the seeds of today’s trans ideology and it is extremely dishonest to disregard that. It is also arrogant to quote Lorde at the end. Lesbians do not own feminism, just as tranwomen do not own womanhood.

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
2 years ago
Reply to  Mirax Path

Transidentified men have zero to do with womanhood. They stole our word, confused everyone and most still behave like the worst kind of men, screaming bullying threatening women who object to their colonisation of our spaces. Many people actually still don’t know they are male!!

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago

Are you interested in anything apart from yourself?

Hersch Schneider
Hersch Schneider
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

She does love to constantly regale her life story. Brave, strong, noble Bindel

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago

Did you say that with tongue in cheek?

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

What a brilliant reply.

David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

It really is getting boring isn’t it. And isn’t this just JB projecting onto others the hatred she herself feels.

Derek Bryce
Derek Bryce
2 years ago

I remember coming out in early 1990s western Canada, not the most welcoming place for gay men back then and often violent towards us. I remember lesbians I knew being decent, usually more grounded, and having our backs when the chips were down. It’s time gay men returned that solidarity. What’s happening to lesbians at the hands of some transwomen is horrifying.

Last edited 2 years ago by Derek Bryce
Mathilda Eklund
Mathilda Eklund
2 years ago

Maybe now with the article in the BBC also more people will wake up..

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
2 years ago

Who you want to f*** is entirely a personal choice. The idea that somehow like an admin job it should be open to all applicants some or one of whom will be selected on entirely objective grounds is such utter nonsense that it should not pass muster even as a hypothesis… yet here we are and the representatives of leading public institutions dare not gainsay it. Utter madness.

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
2 years ago

Well, gay or straight, it seems that it’s still all the fault of men. Plus ca change…But kudos for the “we recruit” thing. It seems lesbians are the more honest group.

Malcolm Knott
Malcolm Knott
2 years ago

With you all the way Julie (my lovely daughter is gay) but s.28 was not pernicious. It was aimed at proselytising left-wing teachers actively promoting homosexuality which was none of their business.

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
2 years ago
Reply to  Malcolm Knott

It was pernicious. I refused to change my teaching continued to support gay and lesbian kids in my secondary school was willing to be sacked over it but nothing actually happened!

Miriam Cotton
Miriam Cotton
2 years ago

Some of the commets below misunderstand (I think). Neither Bindel (nor Lord) are/were saying that you have to be lesbian to be a feminist but rather that you need to fully comprehend that sensibility to be a fully rounded feminist. Lesbianism is clearly the most comprehensively rooted in femaleness one can be. We have a (largely unmet, as yet) duty to understand and respect that perspective if our feminism is to be meaningful and effective. That so many self-described feminists are blindly following the trans cult’s woman-hating dictates is nowhere more in evidence than in their reaction to lesbian women TELLING them about how men in dresses have been sexually assaulting them – while pretending to be lesbian. To these faux-feminist ‘cis’ women (FFS!), the ones who wear feminism like a fashion accessory in return for access to self-interested cliques, for social acceptance, or because they fear the mob, lesbian women are simply unpeople. Bindel is on the money here. #ListenToLesbians

Last edited 2 years ago by Miriam Cotton
Mikey Mike
Mikey Mike
2 years ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

Feminism will never be meaningful or effective. It never was nor will be rooted in the exultation of essential femaleness and other platitudes. It will always be a cudgel used by politicians and activists for purposes extraneous to the liberation of women from things they may or may not need liberation from.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Mikey Mike

Where is the laugh emoticon when you need it?!

Gunner Myrtle
Gunner Myrtle
2 years ago

I feel that straight people are more or less bystanders watching a civil war among all the Letters. The author obviously yearns for the earlier years of struggle – but almost all the gay / lesbian battles have been won.

ralph bell
ralph bell
2 years ago

Love the articles vibe and 1980’s campaigning passion.

Gia Underwood
Gia Underwood
2 years ago
Reply to  ralph bell

You got it! Thank god someone did. It’s a great piece of history.

Michelle Johnston
Michelle Johnston
2 years ago

My hiking buddy in New Zealand is married to another lovely lady. They are intelligent, witty and great company but most importantly my hiking buddy is thoroughly professional and we have fantastic adventures out in the outback. On another occasion, I was on a group hike with a group of girls who all they could talk about is that they were Lesbians, it was the only thing that defined them. They did not exist beyond being Lesbians.
I never talk about my sexuality to others because to me the entire subject is so dull and uninteresting and I would hate to be defined by it. Indeed I do not even feel the need to define it. If I meet someone the fun is defining what flies between us and what we want to do with it. Neither of us gives it a letter.
I am not really interested in what anyone else’s letter is. Are they interesting fascinating good company and by knowing them do they enrich the human experience and that moment in time?
Will some still find as they go through life that people do not understand and care (parents friends, religion), sure but just avoid the red ball because there are heaps of people now who are just not registering things in that way and that’s I suspect part of the problem they want to keep on rushing over and finding red balls? So tedious.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
2 years ago

So Julie, with your programme to re-educate straight women, who had foolishly in your view chosen to be heterosexual, in the delights of the lesbian choice, you weren’t a teensy bit predatory yourself?
I recall from the eighties the articles, the dramas and the bar talk from straight women having to tolerate being predated by lesbians; as I myself was predated when underage by a number of presumably gay men, usually of the dirty old variety. But it would be deemed homophobic to discuss that now.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago

I was watching an old episode of Miami Vice the other day and looking at Don Johnson I couldn’t help but notice that all lesbians seem to have his circa 1984 haircut.
Can anyone explain why activist lesbian misandrists have settled on this particular look as the perfect one?

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

I suppose because it looks boyish? Half of them hate men but want to be like them it appears?

F Mcallister
F Mcallister
2 years ago

Remember when you signed up to Unherd folks, because you thought you were getting an alternative to the Woke Identity politics constantly forced down your throat like castor oil being gurgled down a funnel, by the unhinged Left? Julie, and her hate spewing Misandry clearly didn’t get the memo.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  F Mcallister

No, I thought that this site was so we could hear ALL views provided that they are expressed coolly and rationally. I am quite prepared to hear “woke” views expressed in a reasoned manner – maybe I can be convinced. Criticism of men for some of the awful things that they do to women does not necessarily constitute misandry; although I do agree that at times her criticisms do cross into generalised “all men” rather than “some men” and this is not helpful.
My main issue with this article (and others that Ms Bindel has written) is she seems to think that one can choose one’s sexuality, or at least she implies that. I do not agree; if one is heterosexual one is heterosexual, if one is homosexual one is homosexual. This was, in fact, the argument put forward by many gay rights activists, if I remember correctly.

Karl Francis
Karl Francis
2 years ago

I agree. I’m glad that UnHerd has provided a platform for Julie Bindel. Being smacked in the face, having your nose broken and having to listen to: “Too ugly to rape” vitriol all your life is bound to make you dislike men, to say the very least.
I’m not going to judge her, I’m interested in her story.
Also, the ketchup, aubergine, Playboy thing was endearing?
Part of me admires her, she’s tough.

Last edited 2 years ago by Karl Francis
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  F Mcallister

Agreed. Radio 3 has a programme called Free Thinking that is anything but. It the same old left wing faces and talking points. If Unherd wants to live up to its founding principles how about giving space to people like Morgarth

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  F Mcallister

I’d go on Pink News if I wanted to hear this stuff.

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

Pink News is all about the trans. Hate lesbians!!!

Alex Stonor
Alex Stonor
2 years ago

Wonderful. A real antidote to today’s gender confusion. A lot of talk about the horrors of patriarchy; I wonder how bad it will be when matriarchy is the norm. Maybe it will just be different.

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
2 years ago
Reply to  Alex Stonor

Last known matriarchal culture was I think the minoans. No wars apparently, but overrun by a more violent patriarchal one…..

David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago

Lesbians are cool and edgy,

Actually they are a bit passĂ© (and that’s good – it’s good to be normalised unless you are an ageing attention seeker).
ï»żThey were cool and edgy back when JB was a young thing. Even women who weren’t actually lesbians adopted the dress code. But times have changed, and there are some new kids in Coolandedgy town. This is just nostalgia for lost youth.

GA Woolley
GA Woolley
2 years ago

‘Understanding heterosexuality to be bad for women under patriarchy,’ Lesbianism Macht Frei!  

Steve Walker
Steve Walker
2 years ago

“Understanding heterosexuality to be bad for women under patriarchy”

I cannot express how much I cringed when I read this, particularly as I rembered that I was reading the work not of a sixth former but a 59 year old woman.

Simon Lait
Simon Lait
2 years ago

Gosh, I have led a sheltered life!

David McDowell
David McDowell
2 years ago

What a relief.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago

Who is interested in this stuff? I suppose some are.

Frederick B
Frederick B
2 years ago

Who cares? Why does the media indulge this gang of sexual misfits?