This is a test. Have no doubt, this is a test.
You see, you are either in favour of free speech or you aren’t. If so, you don’t get to choose who can speak. That’s sort of the point. Free speech means everyone gets to speak. Even hateful sexist, racist bigots.
And when it comes to people with hateful opinions, Bahar Mustafa, Julie Bindel and Germaine Greer are on the A team, without question. And they must be allowed their say.
Apart from anything else, if they coudn’t speak, how would we know they were bigots. I’d rather have these people out in the open.
You will recall Bahar Mustafa, the Diversity Officer at Goldsmith’s University, London, who, in May this year, posted a Facebook message requesting that men and white people not attend a BME Women and non-binary event. The uninitiated might find it odd that a specified gender or race should be excluded from an event supposedly about “diversity”. The initiated, of course, know that “diversity” means “adherence to approved identity politics”. So excluding white men is to be expected.
To emphasise her message, Mustafa also posted a photo of herself alongside a notice to that effect – adding a mug of male tears in case we were still in doubt about her allegiances.
That Mustafa had also allegedly used the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen on social media hardly served to mollify those sensitive souls – all 26,900 of them – who failed to appreciate such naked hatred being projected at them. They signed a petition in protest, the thrust of which was that someone holding such views was not really suitable to be a Diversity Officer. I confess I was one of them.
In answer to her critics, Mustafa read a statement which was recorded on video. She “explained” that, as a woman and a member of a racial minority, it was impossible for her to be either racist or sexist. It is chilling when someone declares themselves incapable of sin. One knows that one is in the presence of deep moral corruption.
All went quiet until, on 6 October, Mustafa received a court summons from the Metropolitan Police to answer two charges, both of which come under the Communications Act 2003. The first is for sending a “letter/communication/article conveying a threatening message”; the second for “sending by public communication network an offensive/ indecent/ obscene/ menacing message/ matter”.
You may permit yourself two minutes of belly laughter – even five minutes. Nothing wrong with that. But then you need to get serious about the free speech thing.
It’s been a good month for feminists getting a taste of Karma. We have also had Julie Bindel being banned from, of all things, an event titled “From liberation to censorship: Does modern feminism have a problem with free speech?” The gender police in control of Manchester University Students Union banned Bindel for being, as Women’s Officer Jess Lishak put it, a “famous transphobe”.
Germaine Greer is guilty of the same sin. She was due to speak at Cardiff University in November in a lecture called Women & Power: The Lessons of the 20th Century. An online petition was launched and succeeded in preventing Greer giving the lecture. The petition claimed that Greer promotes views that are “problematic” for transgender people. The petition was started by Rachael Melhuish, women’s officer at the university’s students’ union. It alleges that Greer has “demonstrated misogynistic views towards trans women, including continually misgendering trans women and denying the existence of transphobic altogether”.
Asked about the petition, Greer replied, “I don’t really know what I think of it. It strikes me as a bit of a put-up job really because I am not even going to talk about the issue that they are on about. What they are saying is that because I don’t think surgery will turn a man into a woman I should not be allowed to speak anywhere.” Nevertheless, Greer decided to pull out.
Just a quick word about where Greer, and Bindel, are coming from on this trans issue. You see, they hate men so much that they just won’t countenance an escape route for men by “pretending to have become women” (their view, not mine).
The young student feminists, exemplified by the NUS Women’s Officers, are sticklers for strict adherence to the current political ruling. Old dinosaurs like Bindel and Greer just aren’t on message.
Oh, do allow yourself a good old chuckle. You may make a list of relevant aphorisms, such as “hoist by your own petard”, or, “if you live by the sword, you will die by the sword”, or, “if you sow the wind, you will reap the whirlwind”, etc., etc. But then you must get serious. Those aphorisms should be for the consumption of Bindel and Greer and Mustafa – if they had the wisdom to perceive the message, which, regrettably, is unlikely.
But it is the Stepford students who are at fault in the case of Bindel and Greer. We might be tempted, like Richard Dawkins, to tell them to “go home and hug a teddy“. But the issue is more serious than this allows. The crushingly intolerant hive mentally which is taking over our universities is the true enemy here.
And that’s why…
I stand with Bahar Mustafa, Julie Bindel and Germaine Greer.
Now, for God’s sake, pass the sick bucket.