December 7th, 2008
On Friday 5th December Manchester Metropolitan University’s Law department hosted a debate between academic Susan Stryker and journalist Julie Bindel. This was in response to recent events affecting the Trans community – particularly the LGB charity Stonewall nominating Julie Bindel for their Journalist of the Year award – which was criticised by many Trans folk and their supporters due to Ms Bindel’s negative views on Trans issues.
In response to Stonewall’s nomination a grassroots group organised a successful and peaceful protest at Stonewall’s awards ceremony, which then prompted an empassioned piece from Ms Bindel in The Guardian.
Discussions over on Facebook and in other blogs became heated and the apparent distress of many Trans women in particular seemed to go unnoticed by most of the mainstream media, and gay press. Schisms also seemed to be growing between established Trans groups and grassroots organisations.
Within this climate the debate on Transgender issues and feminism was either a timely discussion or a bad attempt at patching up a divided community or a direct insult towards Trans people – depending on your take on events.
Several bloggers either attended the event or watched on a live webcast. Their summaries can be found below. Where this now leaves the Trans community, academics/clinicians working in the area of gender, or feminists is unclear. It seems the problems aggravated by Stonewall have not been resolved, and we’ll have to wait and see what action people plan on taking next.
LoneGrrrl has written Notes from a Trans/Feminist Debate
Sarah, the bringer of tea has a review of the Bindel/Stryker debate
Christina Alley has a response to the debate