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The Lesbian Project has begun The rainbow flag has failed us

Veteran lesbians are fighting back. Credit: Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Veteran lesbians are fighting back. Credit: Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images


March 10, 2023   6 mins

It is great being a lesbian. Without getting into the thorny debate about whether or not sexuality is innate, I consider being a lesbian a great gift and a privilege. Yes, same-sex attracted females do have to learn to live with the bigotry, social exclusion and risk of violence that are everyday facts of life. But, having been out since 1977, when I was just 15 years old, I could not be happier with my lot.

For many women though, both in the UK and elsewhere, things are very different. Whether in Uganda, where same-sex encounters are a criminal offence, in Iran, where some lesbians have been threatened with state execution, or within the religious enclaves that exist in a number of US states and in which lesbian conversion therapy is widespread, being a lesbian can mean a hard, lonely life. I am keenly aware that 45 years after coming out, and despite decades of campaigning for lesbian rights, much remains to be done before lesbians can feel truly liberated. Which is why, with Kathleen Stock and Martina Navratilova, I have set up the Lesbian Project. The idea has been brewing for a number of years — ever since I began to realise that the word “lesbian” was yet again becoming a dirty one, as many gay men and trans activists accused us of bigotry for seeking out our own spaces and setting boundaries.

We want to explore why our needs and issues have been so thoroughly deprioritised that we are ignored, presumed indivisible from gay men and heterosexual “queer”-identified kinksters, and even — according to other “letters” of the ever-growing alphabet – the baddies?

The rot started to set in when the Gay Liberation Front split. Lesbians, despite having taken the lead in many ways, soon found that their own concerns were coming second to those of men. Sick of being marginalised and asked to make the tea, after three years the majority of the women walked out and began organising independently. These lesbians had become the stuff of legend by the end of the Seventies. And their struggle for liberation was indivisible from that of women everywhere: one of the seven demands of the Women’s Liberation Movement was “The Right to a Self-Defined Sexuality. An End to Discrimination Against Lesbians”.

I was at the first autonomous public lesbian event — the Lesbian Strength March — in London, in 1981, and the exhilaration that my 19-year-old self felt is hard to describe. Back then we understood that the one thing we did have in common with our gay brothers was discrimination on the basis of our same-sex attraction. We also recognised that one common anti-gay trope, namely the suggestion that gay men were not to be trusted around children, was also said of lesbians. But we were also well aware that a number of gay male campaigns, such as those targeting the legal penalties against cottaging and cruising, did not concern us.

Our issues included resisting what the lesbian writer Adrienne Rich called compulsory heterosexuality. Many of us were feeling coerced into marriage with men. I know I was. As a working-class girl hitting my teens in the mid-Seventies, my life had already been mapped out. I was supposed to marry and have kids with one of the men on my estate, and stay with him regardless of how unhappy or unfulfilled it made me.

At that time, and indeed well into the Eighties, it was commonplace to hear of lesbians who, having split with their husbands, then lost custody of their children through the family courts because they were lesbians. At one stage, up to 80% of the women dragged through the courts by disgruntled ex-husbands lost their children this way. It was clear that the issues affecting lesbians were worlds apart from those affecting gay men.

Coming out as a teenager was not my choice. Every girl at my school was deemed either a lezzer or a slag. And because I had rejected the boys in my class, and was clearly more interested in my female friends, by the bullies’ logic I must be a lezzer, so they stared to call me it. For once, they happened to be right. I was bullied and threatened, until my older brother stepped in. But being a teenaged lesbian was also a joy: going to nightclubs with the gay boys and observing the older butch/femme couples was fascinating.

The Lesbian Project is seeking an amicable divorce from our gay brothers. Being lumped in with men is neither appropriate nor useful when it comes to our priorities, and we can no longer pretend that it is. We have only once been targeted by the same legislation — Section 28 — and as women we need to ask ourselves whether we are being afforded the same attention as our male counterparts.

Not that all the issues affecting lesbians are the same. We are not a hegemonic group. If I were cast away on a desert island, with 50 indiscriminately chosen lesbians, we would fight like cat and dog and agree on next to nothing. But we would still share something precious and fundamental: our resistance to the path set out for us by whichever community and nation we were raised in.

There are other things we share. We are all gender nonconforming (despite the fact that prior to queer theory and trans ideology we didn’t ever use that term). We have defied sex stereotypes, and all of us have been major disappointments to those hoping we would grow up looking to marry a handsome, successful man and produce a brace of children. We were supposed to behave differently, even if raised within liberal or socially progressive families. We weren’t supposed to wear scruffy dungarees and play pool in backstreet bars.

Many lesbians will disagree with, even actively dislike, my views on certain issues. Some lesbians won’t be feminist. Others might prefer the term “queer” or “gay” — terms I won’t use to describe myself. But like it or not, we are a tribe. Our enemies are not discerning. We are bound together by our refusal to play by the rules. Every out lesbian has defied sex stereotypes and taken a huge risk in being public. Heterosexuality is not just the norm — it is also the method by which patriarchy flourishes. Whether or not we are conscious of it, lesbians are both a threat and a direct challenge to men’s superiority over women.

Today, I live a privileged, middle-class life, with a media career and a supportive family and friendship circle. Although I am relatively safe from bigotry and violence, I still feel that knot in my stomach when asked by a stranger, “What does your husband do?” Then there are the times I hear direct anti-lesbian sentiments expressed by colleagues, neighbours and others, and I can’t keep quiet. If we can come together to fight the oppression that affects us all, our differences will matter less than they otherwise might. A few weeks ago I was walking my dog in the park when a man, resplendent in tattoos, biker jacket and shaven head, approached me. For a split second, I wondered if he was friend or foe. But as we stood face-to-face, he broke into a big smile, and told me he recognised me “off the telly” and that “my mum loves you! She’s a lesbian too.” I was walking on air for the rest of the day.

Everyone involved in this project has their own history and perspective on what it means to be a lesbian. Joanna Cherry, one of the Scottish National Party’s most high-profile MPs, has been treated appallingly within her own party over her views on single-sex spaces (not just for lesbians but also for women facing domestic and sexual abuse). And Lucy Masoud, a former firefighter turned barrister, has spoken out about biological men identifying as lesbians on online dating apps, for which she was labelled a “bigot” and a “transphobe”.

These women join a long list of those who are fighting back against the new bigotry that has rebranded lesbians as irrelevant or not deserving of attention. Our enemies are the same as when I came out decades ago: misogynists. Above all, men who hate the fact that we reject them sexually and get on just fine without them. Some of our enemies are, unfortunately, young women, although we would never condemn or reject them. Having spoken to dozens of them, I fear these women are motivated by a desire to stay on the right side of the men in the LGBTQ+ rainbow, so they put their own needs aside in order to be accepted. One day they may come to us older lesbians for advice and support. We are here for them if they do.

The Lesbian Project will put us back on the map. Lesbians who are able to be out and proud share bravery, tenacity — and enemies. Whatever our differences, we all want things to be better for future generations of girls. Being a lesbian is to refuse to bow to convention. It is an act of resistance and resilience. And I for one am proud to use that label.


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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Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago

As a man I greatly admire and enjoy Kathleen Stock’s articles whereas I can’t say the same for Julie Bindel’s work. It isn’t because I am a misogynist or disapprove of lesbianism as I would then have a low opinion of both. It seems to be the difference is that while Kathleen is like Julie a lesbian she can write entertainingly about a whole range of subjects whereas Julie really only has one major subject “life as a lesbian” and one connected minor subject “it’s all the fault of the patriarchy”. At the end of the day such limited monomania becomes a bore. Of course I have sympathy for Julie for many of the unpleasant things that have occurred to her as a result of her sexual preference and certainly agree with her regarding the appalling behaviour of many aggressive male transsexuals and their ideological supporters I just wish I could read something original and unpredictable in a Julie Bindel article. Whether this gets through moderation may be another matter.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Yes, can’t help feeling that people whose sexuality is the sole focus of their lives are missing out on something. Sure it’s important, but it isn’t everything.

Michelle Johnston
Michelle Johnston
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

I have told this story before but on a multi-day hike in New Zealand, a place where no one bats an eyelid on this, we had five ladies in the group. They had absolutely nothing to say outside of constant reinforcement of their sexuality which I found very sad. When I am in a communal social environment I am interested in looking at people holistically and try and offer the same. If any of them happen to be married to another woman it is of no interest unless they have something interesting to say in general.
I have a very powerful relationship with another woman in Singapore. My companion’s view is the government endorses a traditional view but what people do in the modesty of their own homes is up to them. When we last discussed this I got the impression it was almost as if the government does not have a view at all but if push comes to shove they endorse family life as the default position.
Much too much is made of all this. My youngest daughter is put under the same social pressure to have children the mortgage the washing machine; as Antony Quinn said the full catastrophe but chooses to remain single with her lovely male partner. That’s a natural social pressure where one does not follow the herd it’s just something all of us have to live with and is absolutely no different to someone who chooses to marry someone of the same sex. It’s no more different than myself who prefers to live alone or my daughter who does not want children.

Last edited 1 year ago by Michelle Johnston
Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
1 year ago

Hear hear – I’ve always viewed sexuality through the lens of civil liberties- what you do behind closed doors is none of my business.

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
1 year ago

Hear hear – I’ve always viewed sexuality through the lens of civil liberties- what you do behind closed doors is none of my business.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

But she’s an activist so she’s going to feel passionately about her cause, that what activists do. There’s plenty of other women writing about everything under the sun, so you’re not deprived of variety.If you see she’s written something you don’t have to read it.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Fair comment. As someone generally on her side when it comes to people being able to enjoy their own sexual preferences unmolested and unharrassed by others I am disappointed that Julie’s articles are usually rather boring agitprop. I appreciate it seems she is stuck in this mode and I should just accept it and stop reading her and treat her frequent articles as Unherd’s effort to show they are a very broad liberal publication. After all there are plenty of other articles that I don’t bother to read. Indeed a quick look at the comment section is often enough to determine whether an article is worth reading even to refute the premise.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

The problem with Bindel is not that she’s boring, because readers can always ignore her. The problem is not that she has a one-track mind, moreover, because that concerns no one but herself. Rather, the problem is that she fosters contempt for those whom she classifies as her adversaries–that is, for men (including trans women). This is a moral problem, therefore, not merely a psychological one.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

Good point. While I am not going to be influenced by her misandry others may be and that morally is not a good thing.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

And I’d add this, Jeremy. Misandry (one form of hatred among many) is a moral problem not only because of its possible results. It’s among the very few things, possibly the only thing, that’s inherently evil, with or without consequences, just as love is inherently good.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

And I’d add this, Jeremy. Misandry (one form of hatred among many) is a moral problem not only because of its possible results. It’s among the very few things, possibly the only thing, that’s inherently evil, with or without consequences, just as love is inherently good.

Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

Oh come on..she fosters contempt for nearly all human life.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter Dunn
Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

Good point. While I am not going to be influenced by her misandry others may be and that morally is not a good thing.

Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

Oh come on..she fosters contempt for nearly all human life.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
1 year ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Activist or not,writing the same self-absorbed drivel for 40years irritates the hell out of most people who’s regular magazines publish it..

Dan Mullen
Dan Mullen
2 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Very good point.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Fair comment. As someone generally on her side when it comes to people being able to enjoy their own sexual preferences unmolested and unharrassed by others I am disappointed that Julie’s articles are usually rather boring agitprop. I appreciate it seems she is stuck in this mode and I should just accept it and stop reading her and treat her frequent articles as Unherd’s effort to show they are a very broad liberal publication. After all there are plenty of other articles that I don’t bother to read. Indeed a quick look at the comment section is often enough to determine whether an article is worth reading even to refute the premise.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

The problem with Bindel is not that she’s boring, because readers can always ignore her. The problem is not that she has a one-track mind, moreover, because that concerns no one but herself. Rather, the problem is that she fosters contempt for those whom she classifies as her adversaries–that is, for men (including trans women). This is a moral problem, therefore, not merely a psychological one.

Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
1 year ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Activist or not,writing the same self-absorbed drivel for 40years irritates the hell out of most people who’s regular magazines publish it..

Dan Mullen
Dan Mullen
2 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Very good point.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Indeed. I do feel slightly envious though – my adult life is a vortex of overwork. Sex etc seems like a students / first world problem.

Michelle Johnston
Michelle Johnston
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

I have told this story before but on a multi-day hike in New Zealand, a place where no one bats an eyelid on this, we had five ladies in the group. They had absolutely nothing to say outside of constant reinforcement of their sexuality which I found very sad. When I am in a communal social environment I am interested in looking at people holistically and try and offer the same. If any of them happen to be married to another woman it is of no interest unless they have something interesting to say in general.
I have a very powerful relationship with another woman in Singapore. My companion’s view is the government endorses a traditional view but what people do in the modesty of their own homes is up to them. When we last discussed this I got the impression it was almost as if the government does not have a view at all but if push comes to shove they endorse family life as the default position.
Much too much is made of all this. My youngest daughter is put under the same social pressure to have children the mortgage the washing machine; as Antony Quinn said the full catastrophe but chooses to remain single with her lovely male partner. That’s a natural social pressure where one does not follow the herd it’s just something all of us have to live with and is absolutely no different to someone who chooses to marry someone of the same sex. It’s no more different than myself who prefers to live alone or my daughter who does not want children.

Last edited 1 year ago by Michelle Johnston
Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

But she’s an activist so she’s going to feel passionately about her cause, that what activists do. There’s plenty of other women writing about everything under the sun, so you’re not deprived of variety.If you see she’s written something you don’t have to read it.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Indeed. I do feel slightly envious though – my adult life is a vortex of overwork. Sex etc seems like a students / first world problem.

T M Murray
T M Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

You’re entitled to your opinion, but no more will women be divided by the intersectional and Transgender lobby’s tactics, and nor will the founders of this movement respond to this sort of post with petty competitive in-fighting. Enough of that. We’re in solidarity now.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  T M Murray

time for the strapadictome operation

Daniel P
Daniel P
1 year ago
Reply to  T M Murray

Oh for the love of God….what a cliche.

The lefty, we are united and strong, lingo has gotten really old and kinda pathetic.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel P

no such word as gotten.. learn to speak your own language before you write publicly please?

Andrew D
Andrew D
1 year ago

‘Gotten’ is perfectly good American English. And it was perfectly good English English when the English settled in the US.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew D
Yana Way
Yana Way
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Actually, Americans typically use ‘got’ incorrectly. Don’t know why. Think about saying “I’ve got five bucks ” – this is incorrect. We should say ‘I have five bucks’ instead of ‘I’ve got.’ And the only time to use gotten would be when saying something like “It has gotten bad.” Oh well. This no longer matters. No one learns grammar anymore.

Robert Kaye
Robert Kaye
1 year ago
Reply to  Yana Way

How would you “have” five bucks unless you had at some point “got” them? Both are fine.

Robert Kaye
Robert Kaye
1 year ago
Reply to  Yana Way

How would you “have” five bucks unless you had at some point “got” them? Both are fine.

Robert Kaye
Robert Kaye
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew D

And we maintain the distinction with forgot/forgotten.

Yana Way
Yana Way
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Actually, Americans typically use ‘got’ incorrectly. Don’t know why. Think about saying “I’ve got five bucks ” – this is incorrect. We should say ‘I have five bucks’ instead of ‘I’ve got.’ And the only time to use gotten would be when saying something like “It has gotten bad.” Oh well. This no longer matters. No one learns grammar anymore.

Robert Kaye
Robert Kaye
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew D

And we maintain the distinction with forgot/forgotten.

Andrew D
Andrew D
1 year ago

‘Gotten’ is perfectly good American English. And it was perfectly good English English when the English settled in the US.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew D
Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel P

no such word as gotten.. learn to speak your own language before you write publicly please?

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago
Reply to  T M Murray

You might like to reread my post as I think you will find I was specifically against intersectional and Transgender lobby tactics. I was simply observing that monomania does not make for compelling reading. Unless you want to advance the proposition that no criticism of an article can be countenanced against any woman whose sexual preference is for other women your solidarity seems rather pointless. If you do want to support that proposition that is fine if rather bizarre.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  T M Murray

time for the strapadictome operation

Daniel P
Daniel P
1 year ago
Reply to  T M Murray

Oh for the love of God….what a cliche.

The lefty, we are united and strong, lingo has gotten really old and kinda pathetic.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago
Reply to  T M Murray

You might like to reread my post as I think you will find I was specifically against intersectional and Transgender lobby tactics. I was simply observing that monomania does not make for compelling reading. Unless you want to advance the proposition that no criticism of an article can be countenanced against any woman whose sexual preference is for other women your solidarity seems rather pointless. If you do want to support that proposition that is fine if rather bizarre.

Mona Malnorowski
Mona Malnorowski
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

As a woman, I’m forced to agree. I’ll admit I raised an eyebrow reading the first paragraph above – I’m not convinced by her claims that it’s great to be a lesbian considering the many articles she’s written reminding us how difficult it is being part of an oppressed and persecuted minority – including the present one.
I read this whole article as an attempt to move lesbians a few notches higher up the grievance hierarchy. She acknowledges the fact that women as a whole have much to be concerned about in the current political climate, but in the end it all comes back to “But what about me and people like me?”. Sorry if that sounds ungenerous, but there you go.

Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Yes, I suppose William Wilberforce spent a lot of time writing about slavery. People on a crusade tend to do that; probably why Stonewall don’t put out many gardening features.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Hawkes

I agree, but do we need so many such articles here? William Wilberforce’s crusade was rather more compelling and he did speak on other subjects as an MP. But I shall cease and desist as far as JB articles are concerned.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Hawkes

I agree, but do we need so many such articles here? William Wilberforce’s crusade was rather more compelling and he did speak on other subjects as an MP. But I shall cease and desist as far as JB articles are concerned.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Like some of you, I’m very ambivalent about Bindle’s article. On one hand, I agree with her basic argument about the need to oppose transgender ideology. She cites, with good reason, the danger to women from men who impersonate women—some of them with nefarious goals in mind. I would add, however, that this ideology must be opposed for another reason: the danger to everyone from those who reject not only science but reason itself in the name of a romantic folly known as “identity politics.” But both dangers have been cited many times, so I won’t take them any further right now.
 
On the other hand, I’m troubled by her argument in favor of what amounts to lesbian separatism and even more troubled by the woke (and therefore feminist) ideology that underlies it. I don’t think that this disqualifies her as one of UnHerd’s regular columnists. After all, readers should be prepared to encounter arguments that they find unconvincing or even worldviews that they reject. But I do think that responses such as mine, below, are worth writing now and then.
 
Having no access to Bindel’s inner life, I know nothing about her apart from what she writes. And she writes (to my knowledge) about only one thing: men as archetypal oppressors of women. In one article after another, her words tell me, often implicitly, that she has nothing but contempt for men in general. This presents me with at least two intellectual problems—both of which have moral consequences.
 
First, it’s not self-evident to me that misogyny (or misandry) is involved in every conflict between men and women. In this article, she singles out the misogyny of trans women (but also of those gay men and even some women who become their ideological or political allies). There are indeed some trans women (that is, biological men) whose claim to be women is both dishonest and opportunistic. Their behavior really does indicate misogyny. I suggest, however, that other trans women are sincerely motivated by an intense urge to be women, not to harm women. That desire is founded on delusion, to be sure, but not on hatred. Because mass delusion is never a good thing, as the history of increasingly frequent moral panics clearly indicates, we should be doing as much research as possible on why these men want to be women desperately enough to mutilate their own bodies. But no one will ever do that research in the current climate of hysteria. Too many academics now believe that they already know on ideological grounds what research will reveal (in this case, misogyny) even before doing the research. If you expect to find misogyny (or fascism or white supremacy or whatever) and search for it relentlessly, you will surely find it.
 
Second, Bindel’s contempt for men in general suggests an even deeper contempt toward an inherently imperfect world. We have a word for this mentality. That would be cynicism: believing that people generally (or always) act on the most sinister motivations. In a cynical world, there can be no benefit of the doubt, no generosity, no altruism. There’s a huge difference between cynicism, in short, and caution or even pessimism. And worse than cynicism is selective cynicism: believing the worst of other communities but the best of your own. I’ve written elsewhere that this mentality is characteristic of political ideologies on both the Left and the Right.
 
Bindel writes as a lesbian, and I write as a gay man. Unlike Bindel, though, I accept labels grudgingly. I’m neither proud nor ashamed, for instance, of being gay. It’s a fact of my life but definitely not the most meaningful one. Being gay has taught me something about being a victim of prejudice, sure, but also about being a man—that is, about loving men as people, not merely as bodies. Much more important to me is being a Jew. And that’s definitely not because Jews have suffered historically as the victims of countless tyrannies (and still do). On the contrary, it’s because I’ve inherited a cultural tradition that I find immensely beautiful and wise. And yet my ties with the Jewish community are very loose and not without conflict. More important still, in one way, is being a man. This has required me (at a particular moment in history) to embark on an epic intellectual and moral journey, requiring courage and releasing creativity. Most important of all, however, is that I am, like everyone else, a unique person. I think for myself and therefore don’t owe obedience ultimately to any community or any ideology. I accept some labels for the sake of convenience, it’s true, but only because the world insists on classifying me for one reason or another.
 
So, yes, I do find it hard to understand how Bindel can find the meaning of her life exclusively as a feminist or as a lesbian feminist—or any other one thing. (She might not, of course, but I know nothing about her apart from what I read in UnHerd.) In any case, I don’t spend all of my time thinking about “gender identity” and “power relations,” let alone “oppression.” I revel in the beauty of this world. I’m thinking now of Heather Mac Donald, an implacable enemy of wokism but also a fervent lover of art and music (both under siege by the wokers). An interviewer once asked her to sum up what she thought or felt about Western civilization, and she answered in one word: gratitude. Just so. I’m grateful for what my ancestors have given to me. And I refuse to “deconstruct” it all in the name of some utopian fantasy, one that has already turned into a grotesque dystopia.
 
 

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

Yes a very fair analysis. Julie wheels out her limited and overfamiliar theme and presumably Unherd publish her so often because she can churn out this stuff at a greater rate than more thoughtful and insightful authors and it fills out a space that people read even if it only to complain about.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

The best comment here. Ask UnHerd to give you an article.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

Yes a very fair analysis. Julie wheels out her limited and overfamiliar theme and presumably Unherd publish her so often because she can churn out this stuff at a greater rate than more thoughtful and insightful authors and it fills out a space that people read even if it only to complain about.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

The best comment here. Ask UnHerd to give you an article.

Claire England
Claire England
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Then don’t read her. I’m completely disinterested in sports, hence I bin or otherwise ignore the sports’ pages. Julie is a focused campaigner for her issue, and that’s a good thing.

Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
1 year ago
Reply to  Claire England

To afford to buy a house and live a “middle-class” life in London..who wouldn’t adopt an issue that pays her kind of fees?…forever.

Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
1 year ago
Reply to  Claire England

To afford to buy a house and live a “middle-class” life in London..who wouldn’t adopt an issue that pays her kind of fees?…forever.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Good well-rounded comment.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Lesbians are not and have never really been oppressed by the ‘patriarchy’ . The patriarchy has no need to be concerned by lesbian sex , since there is no threat of a ‘cuckoo in the nest ‘ which could arise from the infidelity of a married woman with a man not her husband .

Sappho of Lesbos has always been an acclaimed poet . Why would that be so if the patriarchy wished to oppress Lesbians ? Even Donne writes invitingly about Lesbian sex in his verse letter ‘Sappho to Philaenis’ He makes Sappho praise the physical and emotional likeness of the two women . No mention in his poem of the Butch /femme role play that so fascinated the youthful Julie Bindle .Perhaps that was a later development and Elizabethan lesbians cherished more equal relationships , considered dull by modern progressives .

Last edited 1 year ago by Alan Osband
Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Yes, can’t help feeling that people whose sexuality is the sole focus of their lives are missing out on something. Sure it’s important, but it isn’t everything.

T M Murray
T M Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

You’re entitled to your opinion, but no more will women be divided by the intersectional and Transgender lobby’s tactics, and nor will the founders of this movement respond to this sort of post with petty competitive in-fighting. Enough of that. We’re in solidarity now.

Mona Malnorowski
Mona Malnorowski
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

As a woman, I’m forced to agree. I’ll admit I raised an eyebrow reading the first paragraph above – I’m not convinced by her claims that it’s great to be a lesbian considering the many articles she’s written reminding us how difficult it is being part of an oppressed and persecuted minority – including the present one.
I read this whole article as an attempt to move lesbians a few notches higher up the grievance hierarchy. She acknowledges the fact that women as a whole have much to be concerned about in the current political climate, but in the end it all comes back to “But what about me and people like me?”. Sorry if that sounds ungenerous, but there you go.

Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Yes, I suppose William Wilberforce spent a lot of time writing about slavery. People on a crusade tend to do that; probably why Stonewall don’t put out many gardening features.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Like some of you, I’m very ambivalent about Bindle’s article. On one hand, I agree with her basic argument about the need to oppose transgender ideology. She cites, with good reason, the danger to women from men who impersonate women—some of them with nefarious goals in mind. I would add, however, that this ideology must be opposed for another reason: the danger to everyone from those who reject not only science but reason itself in the name of a romantic folly known as “identity politics.” But both dangers have been cited many times, so I won’t take them any further right now.
 
On the other hand, I’m troubled by her argument in favor of what amounts to lesbian separatism and even more troubled by the woke (and therefore feminist) ideology that underlies it. I don’t think that this disqualifies her as one of UnHerd’s regular columnists. After all, readers should be prepared to encounter arguments that they find unconvincing or even worldviews that they reject. But I do think that responses such as mine, below, are worth writing now and then.
 
Having no access to Bindel’s inner life, I know nothing about her apart from what she writes. And she writes (to my knowledge) about only one thing: men as archetypal oppressors of women. In one article after another, her words tell me, often implicitly, that she has nothing but contempt for men in general. This presents me with at least two intellectual problems—both of which have moral consequences.
 
First, it’s not self-evident to me that misogyny (or misandry) is involved in every conflict between men and women. In this article, she singles out the misogyny of trans women (but also of those gay men and even some women who become their ideological or political allies). There are indeed some trans women (that is, biological men) whose claim to be women is both dishonest and opportunistic. Their behavior really does indicate misogyny. I suggest, however, that other trans women are sincerely motivated by an intense urge to be women, not to harm women. That desire is founded on delusion, to be sure, but not on hatred. Because mass delusion is never a good thing, as the history of increasingly frequent moral panics clearly indicates, we should be doing as much research as possible on why these men want to be women desperately enough to mutilate their own bodies. But no one will ever do that research in the current climate of hysteria. Too many academics now believe that they already know on ideological grounds what research will reveal (in this case, misogyny) even before doing the research. If you expect to find misogyny (or fascism or white supremacy or whatever) and search for it relentlessly, you will surely find it.
 
Second, Bindel’s contempt for men in general suggests an even deeper contempt toward an inherently imperfect world. We have a word for this mentality. That would be cynicism: believing that people generally (or always) act on the most sinister motivations. In a cynical world, there can be no benefit of the doubt, no generosity, no altruism. There’s a huge difference between cynicism, in short, and caution or even pessimism. And worse than cynicism is selective cynicism: believing the worst of other communities but the best of your own. I’ve written elsewhere that this mentality is characteristic of political ideologies on both the Left and the Right.
 
Bindel writes as a lesbian, and I write as a gay man. Unlike Bindel, though, I accept labels grudgingly. I’m neither proud nor ashamed, for instance, of being gay. It’s a fact of my life but definitely not the most meaningful one. Being gay has taught me something about being a victim of prejudice, sure, but also about being a man—that is, about loving men as people, not merely as bodies. Much more important to me is being a Jew. And that’s definitely not because Jews have suffered historically as the victims of countless tyrannies (and still do). On the contrary, it’s because I’ve inherited a cultural tradition that I find immensely beautiful and wise. And yet my ties with the Jewish community are very loose and not without conflict. More important still, in one way, is being a man. This has required me (at a particular moment in history) to embark on an epic intellectual and moral journey, requiring courage and releasing creativity. Most important of all, however, is that I am, like everyone else, a unique person. I think for myself and therefore don’t owe obedience ultimately to any community or any ideology. I accept some labels for the sake of convenience, it’s true, but only because the world insists on classifying me for one reason or another.
 
So, yes, I do find it hard to understand how Bindel can find the meaning of her life exclusively as a feminist or as a lesbian feminist—or any other one thing. (She might not, of course, but I know nothing about her apart from what I read in UnHerd.) In any case, I don’t spend all of my time thinking about “gender identity” and “power relations,” let alone “oppression.” I revel in the beauty of this world. I’m thinking now of Heather Mac Donald, an implacable enemy of wokism but also a fervent lover of art and music (both under siege by the wokers). An interviewer once asked her to sum up what she thought or felt about Western civilization, and she answered in one word: gratitude. Just so. I’m grateful for what my ancestors have given to me. And I refuse to “deconstruct” it all in the name of some utopian fantasy, one that has already turned into a grotesque dystopia.
 
 

Claire England
Claire England
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Then don’t read her. I’m completely disinterested in sports, hence I bin or otherwise ignore the sports’ pages. Julie is a focused campaigner for her issue, and that’s a good thing.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Good well-rounded comment.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Lesbians are not and have never really been oppressed by the ‘patriarchy’ . The patriarchy has no need to be concerned by lesbian sex , since there is no threat of a ‘cuckoo in the nest ‘ which could arise from the infidelity of a married woman with a man not her husband .

Sappho of Lesbos has always been an acclaimed poet . Why would that be so if the patriarchy wished to oppress Lesbians ? Even Donne writes invitingly about Lesbian sex in his verse letter ‘Sappho to Philaenis’ He makes Sappho praise the physical and emotional likeness of the two women . No mention in his poem of the Butch /femme role play that so fascinated the youthful Julie Bindle .Perhaps that was a later development and Elizabethan lesbians cherished more equal relationships , considered dull by modern progressives .

Last edited 1 year ago by Alan Osband
Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago

As a man I greatly admire and enjoy Kathleen Stock’s articles whereas I can’t say the same for Julie Bindel’s work. It isn’t because I am a misogynist or disapprove of lesbianism as I would then have a low opinion of both. It seems to be the difference is that while Kathleen is like Julie a lesbian she can write entertainingly about a whole range of subjects whereas Julie really only has one major subject “life as a lesbian” and one connected minor subject “it’s all the fault of the patriarchy”. At the end of the day such limited monomania becomes a bore. Of course I have sympathy for Julie for many of the unpleasant things that have occurred to her as a result of her sexual preference and certainly agree with her regarding the appalling behaviour of many aggressive male transsexuals and their ideological supporters I just wish I could read something original and unpredictable in a Julie Bindel article. Whether this gets through moderation may be another matter.

Dean Andrews
Dean Andrews
1 year ago

As a gay man, I found this heartbreaking to read, but not at all surprising. It is a shame that it has come to this. With each letter added to the LGBTQIWXYZ moniker, it completely dilutes rather than strengthens solidarity, and personally I find it has lost all meaning. Ditto the Pride flag. I am disgusted by the way groups such as Stonewall have treated lesbians in recent years. These days, they tend to go where the money is, at a terrible price.

But let’s face it, unfortunately the whole idea of ‘queer’ unity has largely been a bit of a myth, as if we were some homogeneous, happy family. I consider myself lucky that I got to know some radical feminists when I came out in the mid-80s, and have ever since been an enthusiastic supporter of feminism. I wish the new project every luck, hope it can get its message through, and that it gains plenty of support.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Dean Andrews

Well said.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Dean Andrews

homogenous? woz at ? clever queer?

Janet G
Janet G
1 year ago
Reply to  Dean Andrews

It is not just that they go where the money is, it is money, very big money, that propels the entire trans movement and its appropriation of every other letter of the alphabet. Big billionaires in US fund it all.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Dean Andrews

Well said.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Dean Andrews

homogenous? woz at ? clever queer?

Janet G
Janet G
1 year ago
Reply to  Dean Andrews

It is not just that they go where the money is, it is money, very big money, that propels the entire trans movement and its appropriation of every other letter of the alphabet. Big billionaires in US fund it all.

Dean Andrews
Dean Andrews
1 year ago

As a gay man, I found this heartbreaking to read, but not at all surprising. It is a shame that it has come to this. With each letter added to the LGBTQIWXYZ moniker, it completely dilutes rather than strengthens solidarity, and personally I find it has lost all meaning. Ditto the Pride flag. I am disgusted by the way groups such as Stonewall have treated lesbians in recent years. These days, they tend to go where the money is, at a terrible price.

But let’s face it, unfortunately the whole idea of ‘queer’ unity has largely been a bit of a myth, as if we were some homogeneous, happy family. I consider myself lucky that I got to know some radical feminists when I came out in the mid-80s, and have ever since been an enthusiastic supporter of feminism. I wish the new project every luck, hope it can get its message through, and that it gains plenty of support.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
1 year ago

I think that the term misogynist- like most progressive attack labels – is used too indiscriminately. However there is no doubt that many online trans activists – despite claiming to be women – appear to show a real rage towards women who challenge their views. The threats of violence and frequent gynaecological references smack of misogyny to me.

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

I wonder why they don’t show the same aggression to ‘gender-critical’ men?

Daniel P
Daniel P
1 year ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

Because they do not want to be included with us and they want to be included, not rejected by biological women.

Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
1 year ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

Because they’d get a punch on the gob?

Daniel P
Daniel P
1 year ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

Because they do not want to be included with us and they want to be included, not rejected by biological women.

Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
1 year ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

Because they’d get a punch on the gob?

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

I wonder why they don’t show the same aggression to ‘gender-critical’ men?

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
1 year ago

I think that the term misogynist- like most progressive attack labels – is used too indiscriminately. However there is no doubt that many online trans activists – despite claiming to be women – appear to show a real rage towards women who challenge their views. The threats of violence and frequent gynaecological references smack of misogyny to me.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago

I’ll pass, thank you. I’m not a big fan of any of these kinds of projects. They inevitably run into same problems as other such projects: a group of people setting themselves apart from the great unwashed heterosexual masses who them claim victimhood for doing so, while demanding that they be afforded the very trappings of heterosexuality that they initially decry. It’s all so very bourgeois and ultimately very cynical in a climate where claiming victimhood pays out dividends.
If you want to sleep with other women just sleep with other women. There will always be those who disapprove of you doing so, those who encourage you to do so, and I guess those weird trans people who demand to be included.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

It’s not as simple as that and if you think it is you really need to become more informed.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Exactly ! Is not this Butch /femme business in Lesbian couples ( which Julie Bindel seems to approve of ) just simulating heterosexuals . Why would Lesbians want to mimic mum and dad ?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

It’s not as simple as that and if you think it is you really need to become more informed.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Exactly ! Is not this Butch /femme business in Lesbian couples ( which Julie Bindel seems to approve of ) just simulating heterosexuals . Why would Lesbians want to mimic mum and dad ?

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago

I’ll pass, thank you. I’m not a big fan of any of these kinds of projects. They inevitably run into same problems as other such projects: a group of people setting themselves apart from the great unwashed heterosexual masses who them claim victimhood for doing so, while demanding that they be afforded the very trappings of heterosexuality that they initially decry. It’s all so very bourgeois and ultimately very cynical in a climate where claiming victimhood pays out dividends.
If you want to sleep with other women just sleep with other women. There will always be those who disapprove of you doing so, those who encourage you to do so, and I guess those weird trans people who demand to be included.

Miriam Cotton
Miriam Cotton
1 year ago

Wishing a fair wind to the much needed Lesbian Project. Congratulations to all involved, especially to Julie Bindel and Kathleen Stock.

Miriam Cotton
Miriam Cotton
1 year ago

Wishing a fair wind to the much needed Lesbian Project. Congratulations to all involved, especially to Julie Bindel and Kathleen Stock.

T M Murray
T M Murray
1 year ago

Today transgender activists exploit the last century’s gay liberation movement as a Trojan Horse through which they import an antithetical agenda that has nothing to do with changing cultural and social perceptions of gender non-conformists and everything to do with changing the self-perceptions and the bodies of gender non-conformists. Most shockingly, this includes changing the bodies of homosexuals too young to understand the implications of what they’re being taught.  I welcome this project and think it is long overdue.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago
Reply to  T M Murray

As from an earlier post you seemed to think I disagreed with you I would like to make clear that I entirely agree with the point you make here. I still prefer K Stock to Julie B articles though.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago
Reply to  T M Murray

As from an earlier post you seemed to think I disagreed with you I would like to make clear that I entirely agree with the point you make here. I still prefer K Stock to Julie B articles though.

T M Murray
T M Murray
1 year ago

Today transgender activists exploit the last century’s gay liberation movement as a Trojan Horse through which they import an antithetical agenda that has nothing to do with changing cultural and social perceptions of gender non-conformists and everything to do with changing the self-perceptions and the bodies of gender non-conformists. Most shockingly, this includes changing the bodies of homosexuals too young to understand the implications of what they’re being taught.  I welcome this project and think it is long overdue.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

“If we can come together to fight the oppression that affects us all”.
In what way is Julie Bindel being “oppressed” ?
“Lesbians who are able to be out and proud share bravery, tenacity — and enemies.”
One wonders just how important it is to some of these people to make sure they have enemies (and a cause). More important than actually solving problems and moving on for some. This echo of permanent enemies and permanent war reminds me of “1984”.
Again here:
“But like it or not, we are a tribe. Our enemies are not discerning. We are bound together by our refusal to play by the rules.”
Julie appears to want to not play by the rules (many of us are instinctively like that) – and yet at the same time expect not to suffer any consequences. Unrealistic !
The most interesting aspect of this article is how it details – and little surprise to me – how the vast majority of hostility is within the LGBTQ/whatever it is this week alleged alliance. I think most ordinary people can live with Julie doing whatever she wants and just want to be left alone to get on with their own lives.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter B
Miriam Cotton
Miriam Cotton
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Define ‘ordinary people’? Do you mean heterosexuals? In what way is The Lesbian Project not ‘leaving people alone to get on with their lives’? That is precisely the point of the project – to establish a state of affairs where lesbians can do just that. You would not be any kind of authority on lesbian lives but right now, to give just one example, lesbian groups and dating services are overrun by males pretending to be women. Women who are same sex attracted are called ‘transphobes’ for not wanting to date those men. That is oppression. When lesbians try to organise meetings for themselves, they are oppressed by hostile, bawling crowds outside their meeting rooms. That is oppression. When any woman objects to being called a ‘womb haver’ or a ‘chest feeder’ rather than a woman, she is called a ‘transphobe’ by men and women of any sexual orientation. That is oppression. When the state apparatus, egged on by powerful, unelected lobbying groups seeks to erase the scientific fact of biological sex, that is oppression. It affects both men and women albeit in different ways.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

I largely agree with what you say.
Yes, using “ordinary people” as a shorthand for “non-LGBTQ/whatever” – which is what I really meant – is a little careless and insensitive. No offence intended to anyone here. So hard to keep up with the language here though.
But I do not accept that name calling is at all the same as oppression. If you know those doing it are wrong/crazy, don’t dignify them by taking it seriously. And I suspect most of us would be terrified to even attempt to take on Julie Bindel with any sort of name calling – and might well find her [justified] response as feeling somewhat oppressive.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

“Most of us” being who, ordinary people? Name calling is bullying and we know how damaging that can be. Julie wasn’t writing just about her own experience but about the experience of most lesbians in the current climate.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Name calling is not always the same as bullying. This is that lazy sort of analysis too many people go in for: “X is Y”. Logical fallacy.
Besides which, name calling is not beyond Julie Bindel herself. Consider her perpetual banging on about misogyny. My language might accidentally offend some people I never intended to. Speaking from a male perspective, it very definitely feels that her language is quite deliberate and intended to offend men.
But that’s OK. I’m not going to let it bother me or think myself a “victim”.
As I noted earlier, I really don’t care what she gets up to. But she seems insistent that her special group must always be “outside”:
“But we would still share something precious and fundamental: our resistance to the path set out for us by whichever community and nation we were raised in.”
Just let that sink in. She never wants equality for her special group or to be accepted. Grievances must be nursed and grown (“nursing her wrath to keep it warm” as I recall from school poetry). Nothing less than permanent opposition to the majority will do for her.
It is very hard to conjure up much sympathy for someone who takes such attitudes.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Name calling is not always the same as bullying. This is that lazy sort of analysis too many people go in for: “X is Y”. Logical fallacy.
Besides which, name calling is not beyond Julie Bindel herself. Consider her perpetual banging on about misogyny. My language might accidentally offend some people I never intended to. Speaking from a male perspective, it very definitely feels that her language is quite deliberate and intended to offend men.
But that’s OK. I’m not going to let it bother me or think myself a “victim”.
As I noted earlier, I really don’t care what she gets up to. But she seems insistent that her special group must always be “outside”:
“But we would still share something precious and fundamental: our resistance to the path set out for us by whichever community and nation we were raised in.”
Just let that sink in. She never wants equality for her special group or to be accepted. Grievances must be nursed and grown (“nursing her wrath to keep it warm” as I recall from school poetry). Nothing less than permanent opposition to the majority will do for her.
It is very hard to conjure up much sympathy for someone who takes such attitudes.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

“Most of us” being who, ordinary people? Name calling is bullying and we know how damaging that can be. Julie wasn’t writing just about her own experience but about the experience of most lesbians in the current climate.

Michelle Johnston
Michelle Johnston
1 year ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

Miriam, you describe a world in which living in three countries (with a couple of months in England) I have never come across. You make me wonder whether these people all circle each other. I have yet to meet a self-identifying male-to-female, I have met a handful of woman couples and male couples. Obviously, if people congregate then the entire thing takes on a political dimension and any form of politics can be noisy and divisive. The only time any of this goes live for me is here in Unherd which is why I find Julie monochromatic for the most part.
I would never feel the need to discuss my sexuality in this way because labels are so limiting and i never feel constrained wherever I am but then I am not pushing up against anything which is what I feel a lot of this is about.

Last edited 1 year ago by Michelle Johnston
William Goodwin
William Goodwin
1 year ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

Well said; and if the Lesbian Project can establish a consensus that the examples you give – and many others – are unacceptable examples of oppression, it will be a job well done. In any civilised society, the rights the project is seeking to re-assert should be beyond question. What an appalling state we will be in if such misogyny is allowed to continue unchecked.

Rachel Taylor
Rachel Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

Isn’t that true of anyone who denies the female characteristic of a trans woman?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

Well said, thank you.

Janet G
Janet G
1 year ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

Well said MIriam Cotton. The biggest oppression is that girls who are growing into being lesbian are captured and masculanised, turned into transmen. It’s called transing the lesbian away.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

Judging from your examples, Miriam, I conclude that you consider “oppression” synonymous with name-calling or even disagreement. That sounds to me like linguistic inflation: widening definitions beyond recognition, usually for political purposes. It’s a common strategy among activists who demand new laws or the reinterpretation of existing ones. Those who want more convictions for sexual harassment, say, simply agitate until legislators expand the definition of it to include more offenses (and eliminate due process to ensure as many convictions as possible). It seems to me that the worst scenario would involve any legal system that prevents minorities from voting and allows or even encourages the majority to segregate, censor, attack or even kill minorities. That’s oppression.
Moreover, I think that your comment relies implicitly on a utopian and therefore unrealistic foundation. In no society can, or should, everyone agree about everything. Hurt feelings are part of life for everyone. This does not necessarily mean that those on one side want to harm those on the other. It just means–in democratic societies, it does so by definition–that we must all learn to accept being members of a minority in some circumstances (and of the majority in others). This means being satisfied to live as you please in private life–or if that doesn’t satisfy you, being willing to do so with some degree of public disapproval.
I say all this specifically as a gay man. It would be easy to take offense at some of the comments here. According to one, for instance, being gay is the result of inadequate parents. Not in my case. But I wouldn’t care even if that were true. From my point of view as a Canadian in 2023, that comment is ignorant (and passe even in clinical circles), not oppressive and probably not even malicious.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paul Nathanson
Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

I largely agree with what you say.
Yes, using “ordinary people” as a shorthand for “non-LGBTQ/whatever” – which is what I really meant – is a little careless and insensitive. No offence intended to anyone here. So hard to keep up with the language here though.
But I do not accept that name calling is at all the same as oppression. If you know those doing it are wrong/crazy, don’t dignify them by taking it seriously. And I suspect most of us would be terrified to even attempt to take on Julie Bindel with any sort of name calling – and might well find her [justified] response as feeling somewhat oppressive.

Michelle Johnston
Michelle Johnston
1 year ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

Miriam, you describe a world in which living in three countries (with a couple of months in England) I have never come across. You make me wonder whether these people all circle each other. I have yet to meet a self-identifying male-to-female, I have met a handful of woman couples and male couples. Obviously, if people congregate then the entire thing takes on a political dimension and any form of politics can be noisy and divisive. The only time any of this goes live for me is here in Unherd which is why I find Julie monochromatic for the most part.
I would never feel the need to discuss my sexuality in this way because labels are so limiting and i never feel constrained wherever I am but then I am not pushing up against anything which is what I feel a lot of this is about.

Last edited 1 year ago by Michelle Johnston
William Goodwin
William Goodwin
1 year ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

Well said; and if the Lesbian Project can establish a consensus that the examples you give – and many others – are unacceptable examples of oppression, it will be a job well done. In any civilised society, the rights the project is seeking to re-assert should be beyond question. What an appalling state we will be in if such misogyny is allowed to continue unchecked.

Rachel Taylor
Rachel Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

Isn’t that true of anyone who denies the female characteristic of a trans woman?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

Well said, thank you.

Janet G
Janet G
1 year ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

Well said MIriam Cotton. The biggest oppression is that girls who are growing into being lesbian are captured and masculanised, turned into transmen. It’s called transing the lesbian away.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

Judging from your examples, Miriam, I conclude that you consider “oppression” synonymous with name-calling or even disagreement. That sounds to me like linguistic inflation: widening definitions beyond recognition, usually for political purposes. It’s a common strategy among activists who demand new laws or the reinterpretation of existing ones. Those who want more convictions for sexual harassment, say, simply agitate until legislators expand the definition of it to include more offenses (and eliminate due process to ensure as many convictions as possible). It seems to me that the worst scenario would involve any legal system that prevents minorities from voting and allows or even encourages the majority to segregate, censor, attack or even kill minorities. That’s oppression.
Moreover, I think that your comment relies implicitly on a utopian and therefore unrealistic foundation. In no society can, or should, everyone agree about everything. Hurt feelings are part of life for everyone. This does not necessarily mean that those on one side want to harm those on the other. It just means–in democratic societies, it does so by definition–that we must all learn to accept being members of a minority in some circumstances (and of the majority in others). This means being satisfied to live as you please in private life–or if that doesn’t satisfy you, being willing to do so with some degree of public disapproval.
I say all this specifically as a gay man. It would be easy to take offense at some of the comments here. According to one, for instance, being gay is the result of inadequate parents. Not in my case. But I wouldn’t care even if that were true. From my point of view as a Canadian in 2023, that comment is ignorant (and passe even in clinical circles), not oppressive and probably not even malicious.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paul Nathanson
T M Murray
T M Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

In the pre-transgender era it was certainly true that it was sufficient to leave people alone to do what they want and “live and let live”. But this doesn’t seem sufficient for the present era. Why not? today not subscribing to a whole new lexicon is treated as “hate”. NOT using the “correct” Newspeak, NOT colluding in the extermination of scientific facts about human biology, or just vocalising disagreement with male-bodied persons playing on womens sports teams or being housed in womens prisons, or the NHS’s erasure of the word “woman” – are all deemed transgressions equivalent to crimes. So, there is no opt out permitted. We have a new state religion and agnostics and atheists have no religious freedom to dissent. This is not hyperbole; the parallels are mind-blowingly clear.

Janet G
Janet G
1 year ago
Reply to  T M Murray

Yes, we have a new modern version of heresy trials.

Janet G
Janet G
1 year ago
Reply to  T M Murray

Yes, we have a new modern version of heresy trials.

A Willis
A Willis
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

“many gay men and trans activists accused us of bigotry for seeking out our own spaces and setting boundaries.”
I’m not so sure its because Bindell et al seek their own spaces that she’s accused of bigotry. More likely this:-
“Put men in camps”
http://www.radfemcollective.org/news/2015/9/7/an-interview-with-julie-bindel
and this:-
‘All Men Are Rapists and Should Be Put in Prison Then Shot’
https://www.dailywire.com/news/feminist-journalist-all-men-are-rapists-and-should-amanda-prestigiacomo
But then, perhaps suggesting that’s a little bigoted makes me a fascist right-wing extreme misogynist bigot.

Miriam Cotton
Miriam Cotton
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Define ‘ordinary people’? Do you mean heterosexuals? In what way is The Lesbian Project not ‘leaving people alone to get on with their lives’? That is precisely the point of the project – to establish a state of affairs where lesbians can do just that. You would not be any kind of authority on lesbian lives but right now, to give just one example, lesbian groups and dating services are overrun by males pretending to be women. Women who are same sex attracted are called ‘transphobes’ for not wanting to date those men. That is oppression. When lesbians try to organise meetings for themselves, they are oppressed by hostile, bawling crowds outside their meeting rooms. That is oppression. When any woman objects to being called a ‘womb haver’ or a ‘chest feeder’ rather than a woman, she is called a ‘transphobe’ by men and women of any sexual orientation. That is oppression. When the state apparatus, egged on by powerful, unelected lobbying groups seeks to erase the scientific fact of biological sex, that is oppression. It affects both men and women albeit in different ways.

T M Murray
T M Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

In the pre-transgender era it was certainly true that it was sufficient to leave people alone to do what they want and “live and let live”. But this doesn’t seem sufficient for the present era. Why not? today not subscribing to a whole new lexicon is treated as “hate”. NOT using the “correct” Newspeak, NOT colluding in the extermination of scientific facts about human biology, or just vocalising disagreement with male-bodied persons playing on womens sports teams or being housed in womens prisons, or the NHS’s erasure of the word “woman” – are all deemed transgressions equivalent to crimes. So, there is no opt out permitted. We have a new state religion and agnostics and atheists have no religious freedom to dissent. This is not hyperbole; the parallels are mind-blowingly clear.

A Willis
A Willis
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

“many gay men and trans activists accused us of bigotry for seeking out our own spaces and setting boundaries.”
I’m not so sure its because Bindell et al seek their own spaces that she’s accused of bigotry. More likely this:-
“Put men in camps”
http://www.radfemcollective.org/news/2015/9/7/an-interview-with-julie-bindel
and this:-
‘All Men Are Rapists and Should Be Put in Prison Then Shot’
https://www.dailywire.com/news/feminist-journalist-all-men-are-rapists-and-should-amanda-prestigiacomo
But then, perhaps suggesting that’s a little bigoted makes me a fascist right-wing extreme misogynist bigot.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

“If we can come together to fight the oppression that affects us all”.
In what way is Julie Bindel being “oppressed” ?
“Lesbians who are able to be out and proud share bravery, tenacity — and enemies.”
One wonders just how important it is to some of these people to make sure they have enemies (and a cause). More important than actually solving problems and moving on for some. This echo of permanent enemies and permanent war reminds me of “1984”.
Again here:
“But like it or not, we are a tribe. Our enemies are not discerning. We are bound together by our refusal to play by the rules.”
Julie appears to want to not play by the rules (many of us are instinctively like that) – and yet at the same time expect not to suffer any consequences. Unrealistic !
The most interesting aspect of this article is how it details – and little surprise to me – how the vast majority of hostility is within the LGBTQ/whatever it is this week alleged alliance. I think most ordinary people can live with Julie doing whatever she wants and just want to be left alone to get on with their own lives.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter B
Daniel P
Daniel P
1 year ago

Ugh….”Heterosexuality is not just the norm — it is also the method by which patriarchy flourishes. Whether or not we are conscious of it, lesbians are both a threat and a direct challenge to men’s superiority over women.”

Julie, what the hell are you thinking? Really?

First, as a straight, White guy in his 50’s, not only have I never had an issue with lesbians I have always sort of had an affinity to them and so have most of the men I know. Its kinda cool to have a female friend who gets what it is like to be in a relationship with a woman. In fact, I would argue that most guys like lesbians because they are women that you can hang out with that you can chat with without risk. You can actually be buddies without complications with a lesbian in a way you cannot with a straight woman.
Heterosexuality promotes patriarchy? Really? Jesus. First, I disagree with the whole melodramatic, victim of patriarchy thing but beyond that have you EVER seen a marriage where the woman does not run the house, set the rules for the house, control the family budget, and sets the social agenda? Honestly? I love the fact that women complain about being stressed from all the work and the stress that comes from having taken control of so much but they generally TAKE control. They may ask for their husbands opinion but what the really want is him to validate their opinion. They want him to do stuff around the house THEIR way cuz only their way is the right way and their priorities have to be his. Any deviation from that will set her off. Partnership? My ass. Women run the home and the family because they want to control it and then complain about the burden.

There is a REASON that when a young woman gets engaged all her friends get excited and when a young man gets engaged his friends all ask him “Why?”. The day you get married as a guy, she will run your world and you will almost always be second fiddle to everyone else. Nobody gives a crap about a groom. All they want to know is how the wedding dress and bride look. When she gets pregnant, nobody gives more than a nod to the father. When the kids come along, everything is about them or how tired she is taking care of everything she took control of. Dad? Just go to work and bring home the bucks, show up for school plays and do not make a mess. The day a man gets married he loses all agency outside of his job.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel P

I agree. There was a time in my 20s when, as a bloke lurching from one snafu relationship with one woman to another, it seemed to me that my gay woman friend was the only dependable / loyal woman I knew. Years later, I’m happy to say that is not entirely true, but it is fair to say that the couple of gay women in my life have been exceptional friends, much much more so than straight women. Part of this is that they have zero sexual interest in you. So if they are being your friend, it’s a real compliment, not partly inspired by hormones.
As for the alphabet soup, while G&T go well together in a pub, they’re largely in opposition as far as sex is concerned. In my view, much of the trans movement is indistinguishable from gay-cancellation.  

Simon Tavanyar
Simon Tavanyar
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel P

Daniel your comment is entertaining but not serious! You know very well that critique of “the patriarchy” has nothing to do with domicile politics but everything to do with careers and influence in the public square.
Look, everyone is defending their territory here. Julie is defending her territory as the L in LGBTQ+, and quite deservedly so.
The rainbow flag is a joke. Anyone with a brain can see that the Ts and Qs cannot possibly share a philosophical space with Ls or Gs, so long as the in-your-face TQs want it all! Ls and Gs are waking up to this takeover of the whole flag. Yet the only thing that Ls and Gs have in common sexually is that they aren’t T or hetero. That’s it.
What about Heteros (the 95%)? They are biologically the only group that can make children. And, not unsurprisingly, the protection of children is a hetero-parent’s greatest concern. Protection from what? Primarily, propaganda. The propaganda that says that children don’t need both a mommy and a daddy. Other than that, heteros just want to be left alone.
The most basic truth? Only men become sexual predators. Women, almost never. Predatory men hurt us all, but especially women and children. And the most dangerous group of predator men at the moment are thriving in the anti-woman trans agenda.
I applaud Julie for wanting to get out from under that mess.

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel P

“In fact, I would argue that most guys like lesbians because they are women that you can hang out with that you can chat with without risk.”
Amen. One of the best friends I ever had was a bull d**e named Kris. One of the guys, she was. Very intelligent too, a philosopher. It was so relaxing. Absent the sexual tension we had a whole lot of fun. Then, her femme girlfriend took a liking to me and that was the end of that. The girlfriend would have been skinned alive for daring to apostasize (‘become’ hetero) and I’m not a home wrecker so good bye Kris.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel P

I agree. There was a time in my 20s when, as a bloke lurching from one snafu relationship with one woman to another, it seemed to me that my gay woman friend was the only dependable / loyal woman I knew. Years later, I’m happy to say that is not entirely true, but it is fair to say that the couple of gay women in my life have been exceptional friends, much much more so than straight women. Part of this is that they have zero sexual interest in you. So if they are being your friend, it’s a real compliment, not partly inspired by hormones.
As for the alphabet soup, while G&T go well together in a pub, they’re largely in opposition as far as sex is concerned. In my view, much of the trans movement is indistinguishable from gay-cancellation.  

Simon Tavanyar
Simon Tavanyar
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel P

Daniel your comment is entertaining but not serious! You know very well that critique of “the patriarchy” has nothing to do with domicile politics but everything to do with careers and influence in the public square.
Look, everyone is defending their territory here. Julie is defending her territory as the L in LGBTQ+, and quite deservedly so.
The rainbow flag is a joke. Anyone with a brain can see that the Ts and Qs cannot possibly share a philosophical space with Ls or Gs, so long as the in-your-face TQs want it all! Ls and Gs are waking up to this takeover of the whole flag. Yet the only thing that Ls and Gs have in common sexually is that they aren’t T or hetero. That’s it.
What about Heteros (the 95%)? They are biologically the only group that can make children. And, not unsurprisingly, the protection of children is a hetero-parent’s greatest concern. Protection from what? Primarily, propaganda. The propaganda that says that children don’t need both a mommy and a daddy. Other than that, heteros just want to be left alone.
The most basic truth? Only men become sexual predators. Women, almost never. Predatory men hurt us all, but especially women and children. And the most dangerous group of predator men at the moment are thriving in the anti-woman trans agenda.
I applaud Julie for wanting to get out from under that mess.

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel P

“In fact, I would argue that most guys like lesbians because they are women that you can hang out with that you can chat with without risk.”
Amen. One of the best friends I ever had was a bull d**e named Kris. One of the guys, she was. Very intelligent too, a philosopher. It was so relaxing. Absent the sexual tension we had a whole lot of fun. Then, her femme girlfriend took a liking to me and that was the end of that. The girlfriend would have been skinned alive for daring to apostasize (‘become’ hetero) and I’m not a home wrecker so good bye Kris.

Daniel P
Daniel P
1 year ago

Ugh….”Heterosexuality is not just the norm — it is also the method by which patriarchy flourishes. Whether or not we are conscious of it, lesbians are both a threat and a direct challenge to men’s superiority over women.”

Julie, what the hell are you thinking? Really?

First, as a straight, White guy in his 50’s, not only have I never had an issue with lesbians I have always sort of had an affinity to them and so have most of the men I know. Its kinda cool to have a female friend who gets what it is like to be in a relationship with a woman. In fact, I would argue that most guys like lesbians because they are women that you can hang out with that you can chat with without risk. You can actually be buddies without complications with a lesbian in a way you cannot with a straight woman.
Heterosexuality promotes patriarchy? Really? Jesus. First, I disagree with the whole melodramatic, victim of patriarchy thing but beyond that have you EVER seen a marriage where the woman does not run the house, set the rules for the house, control the family budget, and sets the social agenda? Honestly? I love the fact that women complain about being stressed from all the work and the stress that comes from having taken control of so much but they generally TAKE control. They may ask for their husbands opinion but what the really want is him to validate their opinion. They want him to do stuff around the house THEIR way cuz only their way is the right way and their priorities have to be his. Any deviation from that will set her off. Partnership? My ass. Women run the home and the family because they want to control it and then complain about the burden.

There is a REASON that when a young woman gets engaged all her friends get excited and when a young man gets engaged his friends all ask him “Why?”. The day you get married as a guy, she will run your world and you will almost always be second fiddle to everyone else. Nobody gives a crap about a groom. All they want to know is how the wedding dress and bride look. When she gets pregnant, nobody gives more than a nod to the father. When the kids come along, everything is about them or how tired she is taking care of everything she took control of. Dad? Just go to work and bring home the bucks, show up for school plays and do not make a mess. The day a man gets married he loses all agency outside of his job.

David McKee
David McKee
1 year ago

“I consider being a lesbian a great gift and a privilege.”
At the risk of being denounced for homophobia, I can’t say I can see how deciding which half of the human race you want to get between the sheets with, is in any way a gift or a privilege. Being able to make your choice without someone bellowing in your ear, warning of awful consequences if you make the ‘wrong’ choice – now that _is_ a gift and a privilege.
This is a strange piece altogether. In 1,500 words, she mentions ‘enemies’ four times, threat (or threatening) three times, and resist (or resisting) three times. I have no idea who she thinks her enemies are, although if they include pro-trans extremists, then they are my enemies too. They are the enemies of anyone who cares for the safety and wellbeing of women.

David McKee
David McKee
1 year ago

“I consider being a lesbian a great gift and a privilege.”
At the risk of being denounced for homophobia, I can’t say I can see how deciding which half of the human race you want to get between the sheets with, is in any way a gift or a privilege. Being able to make your choice without someone bellowing in your ear, warning of awful consequences if you make the ‘wrong’ choice – now that _is_ a gift and a privilege.
This is a strange piece altogether. In 1,500 words, she mentions ‘enemies’ four times, threat (or threatening) three times, and resist (or resisting) three times. I have no idea who she thinks her enemies are, although if they include pro-trans extremists, then they are my enemies too. They are the enemies of anyone who cares for the safety and wellbeing of women.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Splitters!

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

ring splitters?

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

ring splitters?

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Splitters!

Steven Somsen
Steven Somsen
1 year ago

“Being a lesbian is to refuse to bow to convention. It is an act of resistance and resilience.” I wish you all the best. But it feels, with all this resistance and refusal, there is a deeper area to explore: why lesbian, why not heterosexual? What is it which is being resisted on the deepest level. And why? There is knowledge there to be explored. By the way: heterosexuals taking heterosexuality for granted is neither a good idea. The mystery of the sexes is truly a mystery for all.

Steven Somsen
Steven Somsen
1 year ago

“Being a lesbian is to refuse to bow to convention. It is an act of resistance and resilience.” I wish you all the best. But it feels, with all this resistance and refusal, there is a deeper area to explore: why lesbian, why not heterosexual? What is it which is being resisted on the deepest level. And why? There is knowledge there to be explored. By the way: heterosexuals taking heterosexuality for granted is neither a good idea. The mystery of the sexes is truly a mystery for all.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
1 year ago

“… one common anti-gay trope, namely the suggestion that gay men were not to be trusted around children …” was the mirror image of the Left-wing, pro-gay trope, suggesting that gay men were incapable of committing crimes against children. As a result, in the 1980s children homes in Labour run councils such as Islington, Lambeth, Hackney and Liverpool were infested with paedophiles, many of whom were gay. Mark Trotter was one such gay paedophile. From Wikipedia:
In the 1990s, there was a period of changing coalitions in the government and councillors of Hackney following the Mark Trotter affair, known as “Trottergate”, involving allegations of a cover up over a child abuse scandal involving Mark Trotter, a Labour activist and trade unionist who continued working in the borough despite a number of complaints about his behaviour leading to allegations that he had been shown favouritism by some of the members of the ruling Labour group.
… Mark Trotter was a children’s social service employee of the Hackney and Liverpool Councils who had been reported four times for child abuse and multiple times for suspicion of abuse, and was reported for beating his boyfriend and illegally evicting him from their shared council-provided house.
An independent inquiry carried out by John Barrat stated that the reason why Mark Trotter was not properly investigated by the council or terminated was “the fact that he [Mark Trotter] had quite an influential position in the trade union in a council where trade unions have a lot of power.” Mark Trotter died of an AIDS-related illness in 1995, shortly before the police informed the Hackney council they were about to prosecute him for sexually abusing five boys in 1980–81 when he lived in Merseyside, UK. None of the known victims, twelve in all, contracted HIV/AIDS from the alleged abuse.
In the interests of political balance, there have been paedophiles from other political parties. No other part of the political spectrum however suggested that a group of people were incapable of committing the crimes they were perpetrating. Also in the interests of balance, there are plenty of heterosexual paedophiles.

Paul Boire
Paul Boire
1 year ago

Generally, about every third victim of pedophilia is a male. Almost all sexual abuse of children is from males. About 2% of the population is responsible for one third of the sexual abuse of minors. Gay magazines in San Francisco use to run ads for the MBLA.. the Man Boy Love Association. The scandal that shook the Catholic church in the west was 81% homosexual in the US and involved homosexuals with teenaged boys not “pedophilia” as so constantly reported. The John Jay College of Criminal Justice did a full record study. The patter was the same everywhere that there was a problem.

Paul Boire
Paul Boire
1 year ago

Generally, about every third victim of pedophilia is a male. Almost all sexual abuse of children is from males. About 2% of the population is responsible for one third of the sexual abuse of minors. Gay magazines in San Francisco use to run ads for the MBLA.. the Man Boy Love Association. The scandal that shook the Catholic church in the west was 81% homosexual in the US and involved homosexuals with teenaged boys not “pedophilia” as so constantly reported. The John Jay College of Criminal Justice did a full record study. The patter was the same everywhere that there was a problem.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
1 year ago

“… one common anti-gay trope, namely the suggestion that gay men were not to be trusted around children …” was the mirror image of the Left-wing, pro-gay trope, suggesting that gay men were incapable of committing crimes against children. As a result, in the 1980s children homes in Labour run councils such as Islington, Lambeth, Hackney and Liverpool were infested with paedophiles, many of whom were gay. Mark Trotter was one such gay paedophile. From Wikipedia:
In the 1990s, there was a period of changing coalitions in the government and councillors of Hackney following the Mark Trotter affair, known as “Trottergate”, involving allegations of a cover up over a child abuse scandal involving Mark Trotter, a Labour activist and trade unionist who continued working in the borough despite a number of complaints about his behaviour leading to allegations that he had been shown favouritism by some of the members of the ruling Labour group.
… Mark Trotter was a children’s social service employee of the Hackney and Liverpool Councils who had been reported four times for child abuse and multiple times for suspicion of abuse, and was reported for beating his boyfriend and illegally evicting him from their shared council-provided house.
An independent inquiry carried out by John Barrat stated that the reason why Mark Trotter was not properly investigated by the council or terminated was “the fact that he [Mark Trotter] had quite an influential position in the trade union in a council where trade unions have a lot of power.” Mark Trotter died of an AIDS-related illness in 1995, shortly before the police informed the Hackney council they were about to prosecute him for sexually abusing five boys in 1980–81 when he lived in Merseyside, UK. None of the known victims, twelve in all, contracted HIV/AIDS from the alleged abuse.
In the interests of political balance, there have been paedophiles from other political parties. No other part of the political spectrum however suggested that a group of people were incapable of committing the crimes they were perpetrating. Also in the interests of balance, there are plenty of heterosexual paedophiles.

Peter Shaw
Peter Shaw
1 year ago

Yawn

Peter Shaw
Peter Shaw
1 year ago

Yawn

Kelly Logan
Kelly Logan
1 year ago

If you are concerned about the bias of the family courts regarding custody of children, try being a male in a custody claim, including fair and equitable access. The courts may issue reasonable access, but the physical mechanics of exercising that access is often entirely at the ” pleasure” of the woman. You are probably not more ” discriminated ” against than any other section of the population.

Kelly Logan
Kelly Logan
1 year ago

If you are concerned about the bias of the family courts regarding custody of children, try being a male in a custody claim, including fair and equitable access. The courts may issue reasonable access, but the physical mechanics of exercising that access is often entirely at the ” pleasure” of the woman. You are probably not more ” discriminated ” against than any other section of the population.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago

Like some of you, I’m very ambivalent about Bindle’s article. On one hand, I agree with her basic argument about the need to oppose transgender ideology. She cites, with good reason, the danger to women from men who impersonate women—some of them with nefarious goals in mind. I would add, however, that this ideology must be opposed for another reason: the danger to everyone from those who reject not only science but reason itself in the name of a romantic folly known as “identity politics.” But both dangers have been cited many times, so I won’t take them any further right now.
On the other hand, I’m troubled by her argument in favor of what amounts to lesbian separatism and even more troubled by the woke (and therefore feminist) ideology that underlies it. I don’t think that this disqualifies her as one of UnHerd’s regular columnists. After all, readers should be prepared to encounter arguments that they find unconvincing or even worldviews that they reject. But I do think that responses such as mine, below, are worth writing now and then.
Having no access to Bindel’s inner life, I know nothing about her apart from what she writes. And she writes (to my knowledge) about only one thing: men as archetypal oppressors of women. In one article after another, her words tell me, often implicitly, that she has nothing but contempt for men in general. This presents me with at least two intellectual problems—both of which have moral consequences.
First, it’s not self-evident to me that misogyny (or misandry) is involved in every conflict between men and women. In this article, she singles out the misogyny of trans women (but also of those gay men and even some women who become their ideological or political allies). There are indeed some trans women (that is, biological men) whose claim to be women is both dishonest and opportunistic. Their behavior really does indicate misogyny. I suggest, however, that other trans women are sincerely motivated by an intense urge to be women, not to harm women. That desire is founded on delusion, to be sure, but not on hatred. Because mass delusion is never a good thing, as the history of increasingly frequent moral panics clearly indicates, we should be doing as much research as possible on why these men want to be women desperately enough to mutilate their own bodies. But no one will ever do that research in the current climate of hysteria. Too many academics now believe that they already know on ideological grounds what research will reveal (in this case, misogyny) even before doing the research. If you expect to find misogyny (or fascism or white supremacy or whatever) and search for it relentlessly, you will surely find it.
Second, Bindel’s contempt for men in general suggests an even deeper contempt toward an inherently imperfect world. We have a word for this mentality. That would be cynicism: believing that people generally (or always) act on the most sinister motivations. In a cynical world, there can be no benefit of the doubt, no generosity, no altruism. There’s a huge difference between cynicism, in short, and caution or even pessimism. And worse than cynicism is selective cynicism: believing the worst of other communities but the best of your own. I’ve written elsewhere that this mentality is characteristic of political ideologies on both the Left and the Right.
Bindel writes as a lesbian, and I write as a gay man. Unlike Bindel, though, I accept labels grudgingly. I’m neither proud nor ashamed, for instance, of being gay. It’s a fact of my life but definitely not the most meaningful one. Being gay has taught me something about being a victim of prejudice, sure, but also about being a man—that is, about loving men as people, not merely as bodies. Much more important to me is being a Jew. And that’s definitely not because Jews have suffered historically as the victims of countless tyrannies (and still do). On the contrary, it’s because I’ve inherited a cultural tradition that I find immensely beautiful and wise. And yet my ties with the Jewish community are very loose and not without conflict. More important still, in one way, is being a man. This has required me (at a particular moment in history) to embark on an epic intellectual and moral journey, requiring courage and releasing creativity. Most important of all, however, is that I am, like everyone else, a unique person. I think for myself and therefore don’t owe obedience ultimately to any community or any ideology. I accept some labels for the sake of convenience, it’s true, but only because the world insists on classifying me for one reason or another.
So, yes, I do find it hard to understand how Bindel can find the meaning of her life exclusively as a feminist or as a lesbian feminist—or any other one thing. (She might not, of course, but I know nothing about her apart from what I read in UnHerd.) In any case, I don’t spend all of my time thinking about “gender identity” and “power relations,” let alone “oppression.” I revel in the beauty of this world. I’m thinking now of Heather Mac Donald, an implacable enemy of wokism but also a fervent lover of art and music (both under siege by the wokers). An interviewer once asked her to sum up what she thought or felt about Western civilization, and she answered in one word: gratitude. Just so. I’m grateful for what my ancestors have given to me. And I refuse to “deconstruct” it all in the name of some utopian fantasy, one that has already turned into a grotesque dystopia.
 

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago

Like some of you, I’m very ambivalent about Bindle’s article. On one hand, I agree with her basic argument about the need to oppose transgender ideology. She cites, with good reason, the danger to women from men who impersonate women—some of them with nefarious goals in mind. I would add, however, that this ideology must be opposed for another reason: the danger to everyone from those who reject not only science but reason itself in the name of a romantic folly known as “identity politics.” But both dangers have been cited many times, so I won’t take them any further right now.
On the other hand, I’m troubled by her argument in favor of what amounts to lesbian separatism and even more troubled by the woke (and therefore feminist) ideology that underlies it. I don’t think that this disqualifies her as one of UnHerd’s regular columnists. After all, readers should be prepared to encounter arguments that they find unconvincing or even worldviews that they reject. But I do think that responses such as mine, below, are worth writing now and then.
Having no access to Bindel’s inner life, I know nothing about her apart from what she writes. And she writes (to my knowledge) about only one thing: men as archetypal oppressors of women. In one article after another, her words tell me, often implicitly, that she has nothing but contempt for men in general. This presents me with at least two intellectual problems—both of which have moral consequences.
First, it’s not self-evident to me that misogyny (or misandry) is involved in every conflict between men and women. In this article, she singles out the misogyny of trans women (but also of those gay men and even some women who become their ideological or political allies). There are indeed some trans women (that is, biological men) whose claim to be women is both dishonest and opportunistic. Their behavior really does indicate misogyny. I suggest, however, that other trans women are sincerely motivated by an intense urge to be women, not to harm women. That desire is founded on delusion, to be sure, but not on hatred. Because mass delusion is never a good thing, as the history of increasingly frequent moral panics clearly indicates, we should be doing as much research as possible on why these men want to be women desperately enough to mutilate their own bodies. But no one will ever do that research in the current climate of hysteria. Too many academics now believe that they already know on ideological grounds what research will reveal (in this case, misogyny) even before doing the research. If you expect to find misogyny (or fascism or white supremacy or whatever) and search for it relentlessly, you will surely find it.
Second, Bindel’s contempt for men in general suggests an even deeper contempt toward an inherently imperfect world. We have a word for this mentality. That would be cynicism: believing that people generally (or always) act on the most sinister motivations. In a cynical world, there can be no benefit of the doubt, no generosity, no altruism. There’s a huge difference between cynicism, in short, and caution or even pessimism. And worse than cynicism is selective cynicism: believing the worst of other communities but the best of your own. I’ve written elsewhere that this mentality is characteristic of political ideologies on both the Left and the Right.
Bindel writes as a lesbian, and I write as a gay man. Unlike Bindel, though, I accept labels grudgingly. I’m neither proud nor ashamed, for instance, of being gay. It’s a fact of my life but definitely not the most meaningful one. Being gay has taught me something about being a victim of prejudice, sure, but also about being a man—that is, about loving men as people, not merely as bodies. Much more important to me is being a Jew. And that’s definitely not because Jews have suffered historically as the victims of countless tyrannies (and still do). On the contrary, it’s because I’ve inherited a cultural tradition that I find immensely beautiful and wise. And yet my ties with the Jewish community are very loose and not without conflict. More important still, in one way, is being a man. This has required me (at a particular moment in history) to embark on an epic intellectual and moral journey, requiring courage and releasing creativity. Most important of all, however, is that I am, like everyone else, a unique person. I think for myself and therefore don’t owe obedience ultimately to any community or any ideology. I accept some labels for the sake of convenience, it’s true, but only because the world insists on classifying me for one reason or another.
So, yes, I do find it hard to understand how Bindel can find the meaning of her life exclusively as a feminist or as a lesbian feminist—or any other one thing. (She might not, of course, but I know nothing about her apart from what I read in UnHerd.) In any case, I don’t spend all of my time thinking about “gender identity” and “power relations,” let alone “oppression.” I revel in the beauty of this world. I’m thinking now of Heather Mac Donald, an implacable enemy of wokism but also a fervent lover of art and music (both under siege by the wokers). An interviewer once asked her to sum up what she thought or felt about Western civilization, and she answered in one word: gratitude. Just so. I’m grateful for what my ancestors have given to me. And I refuse to “deconstruct” it all in the name of some utopian fantasy, one that has already turned into a grotesque dystopia.
 

Stephen Shirreffs
Stephen Shirreffs
1 year ago

Alas, divorce at this time serves the interests of the gender ideologues who seek to cancel both women in general as well as gay men. This is not the time or the place. Perhaps the new gay movement could espouse a certain “federalism”, which is pretty much what we always did until the rise of the current attack from within by the gender extremists.

There is a core historical error in this piece also. Referring to the early post-Stonewall gay liberation movement, the author writes “Lesbians, despite having taken the lead in many ways.” Alas, it is just not true. In the 70s, gay male liberationists begged lesbians to be involved with us. But, citing the then current open homophobia of feminism, most political lesbians declined. We were a predominantly male movement by default, not by choice. Gay liberation happened because gay men went to battle, and when our sisters joined us a decade or more later, we welcomed them. And we still do.

The left has long loathed gay men. Dumping on gay men with sorry stereotypes and standard slurs is old hat among radicals. The gender ideologues have taken this up with enthusiasm. Ms. Bindel would do well to eschew this comfortable meme.

Last edited 1 year ago by Stephen Shirreffs
Stephen Shirreffs
Stephen Shirreffs
1 year ago

Alas, divorce at this time serves the interests of the gender ideologues who seek to cancel both women in general as well as gay men. This is not the time or the place. Perhaps the new gay movement could espouse a certain “federalism”, which is pretty much what we always did until the rise of the current attack from within by the gender extremists.

There is a core historical error in this piece also. Referring to the early post-Stonewall gay liberation movement, the author writes “Lesbians, despite having taken the lead in many ways.” Alas, it is just not true. In the 70s, gay male liberationists begged lesbians to be involved with us. But, citing the then current open homophobia of feminism, most political lesbians declined. We were a predominantly male movement by default, not by choice. Gay liberation happened because gay men went to battle, and when our sisters joined us a decade or more later, we welcomed them. And we still do.

The left has long loathed gay men. Dumping on gay men with sorry stereotypes and standard slurs is old hat among radicals. The gender ideologues have taken this up with enthusiasm. Ms. Bindel would do well to eschew this comfortable meme.

Last edited 1 year ago by Stephen Shirreffs
Paul Boire
Paul Boire
1 year ago

There is no such thing as a “homosexual” or “heterosexual”. There is only mature and immature human mammalian sexual behavior. Its how we got here. Drop the cultural phobia against sanity. There is no such thing as “gender”, that repackaged word from Marxist feminist De Beauvoir and the pedophilia enabling Dr John Money in Philadelphia. Dr Paul Mchugh saw the damage this did to mere children including the Reimer twins who both committed suicide with his invented usage of “gender”. Accepting narcissistic hedonism is far removed from being a sane liberal. Men and women are only intelligible in their factual relationship together in life itself.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Boire

You’ve echoed my sentiments exactly on this matter. Homosexuality, both male and female, is a form of sexual arrested development which I am almost 100% convinced comes from dysfunctional parent-child relationships or as a result of a traumatic life event of some kind. Such is the case in almost every gay relation or friend that I know of.
While I do believe in treating homosexuals with kindness and understanding, in no way should such lifestyles be pushed on to the young. I’m a firm believer that much of our life’s purpose is to gain mutual understanding of the sexes in order to live a complete and satisfying life. Men and women need each other, now more than ever, especially in a societal system which seems hell-bent on keeping men and women clawing at each other’s throats.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Boire

You’ve echoed my sentiments exactly on this matter. Homosexuality, both male and female, is a form of sexual arrested development which I am almost 100% convinced comes from dysfunctional parent-child relationships or as a result of a traumatic life event of some kind. Such is the case in almost every gay relation or friend that I know of.
While I do believe in treating homosexuals with kindness and understanding, in no way should such lifestyles be pushed on to the young. I’m a firm believer that much of our life’s purpose is to gain mutual understanding of the sexes in order to live a complete and satisfying life. Men and women need each other, now more than ever, especially in a societal system which seems hell-bent on keeping men and women clawing at each other’s throats.

Paul Boire
Paul Boire
1 year ago

There is no such thing as a “homosexual” or “heterosexual”. There is only mature and immature human mammalian sexual behavior. Its how we got here. Drop the cultural phobia against sanity. There is no such thing as “gender”, that repackaged word from Marxist feminist De Beauvoir and the pedophilia enabling Dr John Money in Philadelphia. Dr Paul Mchugh saw the damage this did to mere children including the Reimer twins who both committed suicide with his invented usage of “gender”. Accepting narcissistic hedonism is far removed from being a sane liberal. Men and women are only intelligible in their factual relationship together in life itself.

Cynthia W.
Cynthia W.
1 year ago

I wish you the best, Ms. Bindel.

Cynthia W.
Cynthia W.
1 year ago

I wish you the best, Ms. Bindel.

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
1 year ago

The grand coalition of all perverts is coming apart. For quite some time all the Victims have managed to put on something of a united front against whitey. Particularly has LGBTQ!pqbd69>?<+-+- tried to look like one big happy family united under the rainbow flag. Not any more?
The gays quite rightly protest that Trans is robbing them of their twinks. As the author notes, lesbians have fallen to near the bottom of the Victim totem pole and they want to shriek and bite and scratch their way back to the top. Black wimin wonder out loud if woke white wimin are really their sisters or just more white people. Perhaps it’s becoming a buyers market for Victims, which is to say that there are more people selling Victimhood than there are purchasers. Even white guilt is not infinite. If so we will see fragmentation of the Grand Coalition.

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
1 year ago

The grand coalition of all perverts is coming apart. For quite some time all the Victims have managed to put on something of a united front against whitey. Particularly has LGBTQ!pqbd69>?<+-+- tried to look like one big happy family united under the rainbow flag. Not any more?
The gays quite rightly protest that Trans is robbing them of their twinks. As the author notes, lesbians have fallen to near the bottom of the Victim totem pole and they want to shriek and bite and scratch their way back to the top. Black wimin wonder out loud if woke white wimin are really their sisters or just more white people. Perhaps it’s becoming a buyers market for Victims, which is to say that there are more people selling Victimhood than there are purchasers. Even white guilt is not infinite. If so we will see fragmentation of the Grand Coalition.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Come on the diesel dykes!!!

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Come on the diesel dykes!!!

nigel roberts
nigel roberts
1 year ago

Pedant alert:

“Not that all the issues affecting lesbians are the same. We are not a hegemonic group.”
Homogenous, surely?

nigel roberts
nigel roberts
1 year ago

Pedant alert:

“Not that all the issues affecting lesbians are the same. We are not a hegemonic group.”
Homogenous, surely?

Philip Stott
Philip Stott
1 year ago

Being a lesbian is nothing more or less than being a woman who is attracted to women. Please leave it at that.

Philip Stott
Philip Stott
1 year ago

Being a lesbian is nothing more or less than being a woman who is attracted to women. Please leave it at that.

ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
1 year ago

I’m afraid that when I encounter one of these one-note zealots, the thought which runs through my head is that without that obsession, they would have nothing.

Who would pay for her thoughts on some other topic?

ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
1 year ago

I’m afraid that when I encounter one of these one-note zealots, the thought which runs through my head is that without that obsession, they would have nothing.

Who would pay for her thoughts on some other topic?

Ardath Blauvelt
Ardath Blauvelt
1 year ago

Once again, it’s men’s fault. My problem with the feminist movement, gay or not, from the beginning has been its total focus on men. Even as it protests that exact fact! When will women, of all authentic stripes, grow up and joyfully take on their own identities and worthiness — without always comparing, contrasting and blaming their “lot” vis a vis men?
Women, in all their splendor and wonder, are more than enough to shine as bright as any endlessly identified group out there. Stop wasting time, money and energy pushing men down and expend it all on instead on exalting women, simply because we are lucky enough to be…. women!!

Ardath Blauvelt
Ardath Blauvelt
1 year ago

Once again, it’s men’s fault. My problem with the feminist movement, gay or not, from the beginning has been its total focus on men. Even as it protests that exact fact! When will women, of all authentic stripes, grow up and joyfully take on their own identities and worthiness — without always comparing, contrasting and blaming their “lot” vis a vis men?
Women, in all their splendor and wonder, are more than enough to shine as bright as any endlessly identified group out there. Stop wasting time, money and energy pushing men down and expend it all on instead on exalting women, simply because we are lucky enough to be…. women!!

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago

I can only feel sorrow for anyone who focusses their life’s work on how they chose to have sex. When I meet someone for the first time, or as I work with someone, their sexual orientation is meaningless to me.

Andrew Vavuris
Andrew Vavuris
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Do you mean to say their orientation is unknown to you or their disclosure of it s meaningless to you?

Andrew Vavuris
Andrew Vavuris
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Do you mean to say their orientation is unknown to you or their disclosure of it s meaningless to you?

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago

I can only feel sorrow for anyone who focusses their life’s work on how they chose to have sex. When I meet someone for the first time, or as I work with someone, their sexual orientation is meaningless to me.

Andrew Vavuris
Andrew Vavuris
1 year ago

Could the rot have started when those so inclined started acting on their disorder?

Andrew Vavuris
Andrew Vavuris
1 year ago

Could the rot have started when those so inclined started acting on their disorder?

Philip May
Philip May
1 year ago

I am womyn (sic) hear me roar…
h. reddy – lower case in bell hooks’ honour.

Philip May
Philip May
1 year ago

I am womyn (sic) hear me roar…
h. reddy – lower case in bell hooks’ honour.

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
1 year ago

Why is that woman giving the Nazi salute? I thought we disapproved of fascists?

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago

The author just couldn’t restrain herself, and poisoned any goodwill I might have had with the misandrist nonsense in the final paragraphs.

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago

The author just couldn’t restrain herself, and poisoned any goodwill I might have had with the misandrist nonsense in the final paragraphs.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
1 year ago

If Lesbians are really so marginalised and ignored how do you explain the prestige afforded the original Lesbian , the poet Sappho . Indeed John Donne’s love poem in the name of Sappho writing to a female lover Philaenis explicitly celebrates lesbian sex .
‘Thy body is a natural paradise ,
In whose self ,unMANured , all pleasure lies Nor needs perfection : why shouldst thou then
Admit the tillage of a harsh , rough man 
.

Hand to strange hand , lip to lip none denies : Why should they breast to breast or thighs to thighs’

In the poem Donne celebrates the ‘alikeness’ of the two female lovers
‘

the likeness being such
Why should they not alike in all parts touch ‘

So from where do the Butch /Femme pairings come which so fascinated Julie as a young ‘out’ lesbian ?
It almost seems like copying the old distinction of active /passive ( masculine /feminine ) in gay male relationships .

Last edited 1 year ago by Alan Osband
William Cameron
William Cameron
1 year ago

Good Luck to you I agree. But beware the Trans lot. They say that if you lesbians refuse to have sex with trans males claiming to be women you are transphobic- the ultimate proof of their intolerance.

Paul Boire
Paul Boire
1 year ago

Unleash the epithets. Cry out in horror. Attack! There is no such thing as a “lesbian” assuming you do not write from Lesbos and it is a gross disservice to our children who are now having their genitalia hacked off in hospitals to further confuse them on the issue of whether our bodily organs are misdesigned or not.
And I don’t “hate” you or my dead by suicide miserable cousin who faced the same challenges in life. And neither do I regret pointing out that “homosexual” is a 19th century invented term by some obscure writer in Germany.
A good friend and tennis team partner was shocked to learn that large cohort and national identical twin studies show the genetic element of homosexual behavior is minimal. No one is “born that way” as CNN assures us with song and dancers. He stopped “being” gay and the handsome healthy young man fell in love with a lovely young woman. I must call and see how he’s doing. There is only mature and immature sexual behavior.
And it matters. Over a million young men who were told they just “were” “gay” and it is not a gay grouping, lost their lives through practicing sodomy which has escalated buggery amongst our young. Shame on us.
I get and sympathize with those elements including a lot of early aged sexual abuse.. and the stats DO show a much higher child abuse contingent among the same sex attracted people. And there are three times as many “ex-gays” that hated term. Virtually all sex abuse is from males and one out of three victims or more are young boys.
The trans phenomenon is exactly the logic of pretending one can separate one’s sex from one’s sexual behavior… and the perverse idea that one’s “identity” is this of all things highlights its perverse nature singularly. Pun intended.
I wish you well. So I try to speak honestly and truly. What is a woman?

Last edited 1 year ago by Paul Boire
Paul Boire
Paul Boire
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Boire

I’d like to commend Unherd for daring to publish my comment which seeks to return to sanity for all including those whose “identities” are immature or developmental disorders as Dr Paul Mchugh points out and for which there is no scientific warrant. Good for Unherd for at least permitting what I purport to be reality not colored by the current cultural phobia that has shushed the west. Lies don’t help anyone. Things like “tans” people emerge. Cheers

Paul Boire
Paul Boire
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Boire

I’d like to commend Unherd for daring to publish my comment which seeks to return to sanity for all including those whose “identities” are immature or developmental disorders as Dr Paul Mchugh points out and for which there is no scientific warrant. Good for Unherd for at least permitting what I purport to be reality not colored by the current cultural phobia that has shushed the west. Lies don’t help anyone. Things like “tans” people emerge. Cheers

Paul Boire
Paul Boire
1 year ago

Unleash the epithets. Cry out in horror. Attack! There is no such thing as a “lesbian” assuming you do not write from Lesbos and it is a gross disservice to our children who are now having their genitalia hacked off in hospitals to further confuse them on the issue of whether our bodily organs are misdesigned or not.
And I don’t “hate” you or my dead by suicide miserable cousin who faced the same challenges in life. And neither do I regret pointing out that “homosexual” is a 19th century invented term by some obscure writer in Germany.
A good friend and tennis team partner was shocked to learn that large cohort and national identical twin studies show the genetic element of homosexual behavior is minimal. No one is “born that way” as CNN assures us with song and dancers. He stopped “being” gay and the handsome healthy young man fell in love with a lovely young woman. I must call and see how he’s doing. There is only mature and immature sexual behavior.
And it matters. Over a million young men who were told they just “were” “gay” and it is not a gay grouping, lost their lives through practicing sodomy which has escalated buggery amongst our young. Shame on us.
I get and sympathize with those elements including a lot of early aged sexual abuse.. and the stats DO show a much higher child abuse contingent among the same sex attracted people. And there are three times as many “ex-gays” that hated term. Virtually all sex abuse is from males and one out of three victims or more are young boys.
The trans phenomenon is exactly the logic of pretending one can separate one’s sex from one’s sexual behavior… and the perverse idea that one’s “identity” is this of all things highlights its perverse nature singularly. Pun intended.
I wish you well. So I try to speak honestly and truly. What is a woman?

Last edited 1 year ago by Paul Boire
Alan Osband
Alan Osband
1 year ago

Lesbianism has no history of persecution in this country . On the contrary the word itself derived from the celebrated Greek poet Sappho of Lesbos .
In the Elizabethan period John Donne wrote a poem in the name of Sappho writing a verse letter to a female lover Philaenis. It is a touching celebration of ‘Lesbian ‘ sex , but emphasising the likeness of one body and soul to the other . There is certainly no hint of Butch /femme role play which so intrigued Julie as a young ‘out’ lesbian . What is the origin of this butch / femme role play . Seems like a parody of male / effeminate roles in male homosexuality .

Surely there was no antagonism to lesbian sexual expression because it couldn’t result in pregnancy and what men really feared was a sexually out of control woman giving birth to a child not her husband’s .

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
1 year ago

Lesbianism has no history of persecution in this country . On the contrary the word itself derived from the celebrated Greek poet Sappho of Lesbos .
In the Elizabethan period John Donne wrote a poem in the name of Sappho writing a verse letter to a female lover Philaenis. It is a touching celebration of ‘Lesbian ‘ sex , but emphasising the likeness of one body and soul to the other . There is certainly no hint of Butch /femme role play which so intrigued Julie as a young ‘out’ lesbian . What is the origin of this butch / femme role play . Seems like a parody of male / effeminate roles in male homosexuality .

Surely there was no antagonism to lesbian sexual expression because it couldn’t result in pregnancy and what men really feared was a sexually out of control woman giving birth to a child not her husband’s .

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
1 year ago

There seems to be an inbuilt rejection of non-heterosexual life styles by heterosexuals. We may accept it but we will never be comfortable with it.

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Lee

I think this is true of any minority that deliberately sets itself apart in some way from any majority.

Paul Boire
Paul Boire
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Lee

Sodomy has killed over a million young men in the west. Stats show same sex behavior is what it obviously appears a developmental disorder that children should be helped to avoid. Loving people is not loving their behaviors. The 8X greater suicide rate , drug abuse and diseases.. like ongoing AIDS .. is not an accident that is unintelligible. Men and women are quite obvious and unintelligence without reference to one another. The pios platitudes of condemnations for being sane are exactly what phobias are, fears predicated upon irrationality; in this case fear of the phobic mob.

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Lee

I think this is true of any minority that deliberately sets itself apart in some way from any majority.

Paul Boire
Paul Boire
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Lee

Sodomy has killed over a million young men in the west. Stats show same sex behavior is what it obviously appears a developmental disorder that children should be helped to avoid. Loving people is not loving their behaviors. The 8X greater suicide rate , drug abuse and diseases.. like ongoing AIDS .. is not an accident that is unintelligible. Men and women are quite obvious and unintelligence without reference to one another. The pios platitudes of condemnations for being sane are exactly what phobias are, fears predicated upon irrationality; in this case fear of the phobic mob.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
1 year ago

There seems to be an inbuilt rejection of non-heterosexual life styles by heterosexuals. We may accept it but we will never be comfortable with it.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago

Sharing a platform with Ms Bindel is rather like sharing a platform with Nick Griffin.
It shows either poor judgment or where you sympathies really lie

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago

Sharing a platform with Ms Bindel is rather like sharing a platform with Nick Griffin.
It shows either poor judgment or where you sympathies really lie

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
1 year ago

Martina Navratilova has viciously denigrated the great tennis champion Margaret Court. And be in no doubt Julie, anyone who would do that would do the same to you if it it suited them.

Last edited 1 year ago by Stephen Walsh
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

I think you’ll find that it was Court who instigated the problem, by attacking Navratilova for her open sexuality, calling her “a bad example to kids”. Navratilova was never one to just accept that and returned the volley with greater precision.

Plus, i doubt Kathleen Stock, who’s also involved, would stand for any nonsense that arose from prejudice, which is where Court was coming from.

Nikki Hayes
Nikki Hayes
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Court may have been a great tennis champion but she was a very unpleasant person – a racist, homophobic bigot basically.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

I think you’ll find that it was Court who instigated the problem, by attacking Navratilova for her open sexuality, calling her “a bad example to kids”. Navratilova was never one to just accept that and returned the volley with greater precision.

Plus, i doubt Kathleen Stock, who’s also involved, would stand for any nonsense that arose from prejudice, which is where Court was coming from.

Nikki Hayes
Nikki Hayes
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Court may have been a great tennis champion but she was a very unpleasant person – a racist, homophobic bigot basically.

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
1 year ago

Martina Navratilova has viciously denigrated the great tennis champion Margaret Court. And be in no doubt Julie, anyone who would do that would do the same to you if it it suited them.

Last edited 1 year ago by Stephen Walsh