Oppressive Silence

Originally published at The Morning Star

On Saturday June 6 in Sheffield, RadFem Collective, a radical feminist women’s group, and I hosted an open talk and discussion with journalist Julie Bindel to discuss the effect of the no-platforming of radical feminists.

No-platforming has been justified based on allegations of transphobia. Although this may seem to be a niche discussion, the real-world effect is both further and broader than it at first would appear. The Trojan horse of transgender identity politics dominates much feminist and women’s discourse and makes it harder for women’s groups to prioritise other concerns and causes.

This event was to some degree a follow-up of a similar talk held in Nottingham in February. That these two meetings even happened is remarkable. For each, the location was shrouded in secrecy and revealed to attendees only the day before to prevent campaigners from lobbying the venue to force cancellation.

Both these meetings were planned and organised between radical feminists and me, a trans woman. I have written before in the Morning Star about the conflicts that exist between radical feminism and transgender politics, and in the light of these problems RadFem Collective and I have resolved to work together to bring people on both sides of this debate together, as well as anyone else who may be interested. Both meetings had a mixture of radical feminists, other women who would not necessarily describe themselves so, as well as trans women, trans men and men. If nothing else, we were able to measure the success of both these events by the diverse mixture of attendees.

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