Here‘s my latest article for The Backbencher: Corbynmania at Glastonbury: Why Drugs are Bad:

http://thebackbencher.co.uk/corbynmania-at-glastonbury-why-drugs-are-bad/

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Being Targeted by Hope Not Hate

It’s been five years since I started this blog – anonymously at first because I was warned about how people with views like mine are targeted and harassed.

I’ve been very careful with what I say online so haven’t had any problems until now, but since giving up my anonymity to become part of a group of like minded UK women (The Liberty Belles) someone has clearly decided that it’s time make sure we are silenced before the public has a chance to hear what we actually think.

It seems that the attention of the radical left was called to us after we started a group called Ladies for Philip Davies, in support of the only MP in parliament willing to stand up against radical feminist ideology and policy. It is clear that for him to be publicly supported by women is something that leftist ideologues must avoid at all costs.

The organisation Hope Not Hate has targeted us with an incredibly dishonest and malicious article which can be read here in which we are branded ‘far-right extremists’ without one single example of our views being put forward as evidence for this.

Of course, we understand that it is standard procedure for the social justice left to accuse anyone who disagrees with them of being part of the far right, however this article is simply so bizarrely unfounded and unfocused that it can be used as an example of just how low they have to sink when they have no arguments whatsoever to put forward against our actual opinions.

We also discuss the article in this live stream.

The following is our message to David Lawrence, the ‘researcher’ who put the piece together.

I hope his reply will illustrate how interested he is in truth, reason, openness and respecting women:

Dear Mr Lawrence,

Firstly we would like express our disappointment that your research clearly focused on ways to create our guilt by association rather than taking an interest in the nature of our opinions. We also feel that you made certain to contact us in such a way that we had little or no chance to respond to your allegations. It is our hope that this was a mistake and that you will be willing to withdraw your article or at least amend some of its more scurrilous statements. We are sure you would never want to mislead your readers or cause women to fear for their safety, which has been an unfortunate consequence of your work, as we explain below.

Regarding accusations of racism – these are especially spurious given the fact that one of our founders (Natoya) is mixed race and another (Catherine) has an ethnic minority background.

We set up Ladies for Philip Davies in support of Davies’ attempts to challenge radical feminist policies in UK parliament, policies which we believe do little to help women and waste precious time and resources. We notice that you also did not include a link to our interview with Davies. We hope that this was not because, had they watched it, your readers would have been left to judge for themselves where we stand on the political spectrum and would have realised that we do not hold any remotely extremist views. If you choose to leave the article online, we request that you give your readers the chance to make their own choice by linking to our video.

The accusation that we hold “extreme right-wing views” is not supported by any evidence in your article. None of us hold any. We as a group came together to discuss our issues with feminism and why we do not believe it works towards genuine equality. As such we have spent little or no time discussing far right ideologies. If you had bothered to read any of our personal blog posts you would have been able to confirm this. We would be very disappointed if you are aware of our work, but do not wish to draw your readers’ attention to it because it does not support any of the allegations you make in your piece. If you do not have time to read any of our writing, perhaps you could include some links so your readers can judge for themselves? We would also like to point out that several of us identify as non-feminist rather than anti-feminist, as you claim. Given that you did not make the effort to clarify this, we would also like to give you the opportunity to clarify this information for your readers.

The statement that some of us are involved in the Men’s Rights community is true. However as people are increasingly beginning to realise – particularly since The Red Pill documentary – the objectives and opinions of the Men’s Rights community have nothing to do with the far right.

Most of us identify as libertarians and classical liberals, while one of us defines herself as socially conservative. No amount of research and digging on us will ever suggest otherwise. We have no links with The National London Forum beyond one of our number speaking there on a platform about male genital mutilation. If you had approached Elizabeth for comment she would have explained that she was not aware of their true ideological bent, and that had she known of any links with the anti-Semite David Irving, or any bigot, she would not have accepted the offer. In fact several other members of the group had never heard of The London Forum until your article came out.

Perhaps the most deliberately underhand tactic you appear to have used is to list extreme right wing figures who have given THA talks, without mentioning that they host talks on a number of unusual and extreme topics, including speeches by radical leftist thinkers such as (in April of this year) Russ James of the Socialist Workers’ Party England, which is currently urging its supporters to vote for Jeremy Corbyn. We are sure you will agree that this kind of omission does a terrible disservice to your readers and is something you will wish to correct as a matter of urgency. If not, may we enquire whether you will be writing an article accusing the SWP of having links to right wing extremism?

We are five ordinary women not professional speakers with advisors and agents. Natoya Kadifa, a trained journalist, met with Claire Khaw personally to find out who the person behind the extreme online persona was and found a timid keyboard warrior. We find her opinions repugnant and have refused to share a platform with her in the past; she has subsequently harassed our group so much that most of us have had to block her on social media. Again, you would have learnt this if you had made any genuine attempt to ask if we had any connection to her. We find it particularly bizarre that you were able to take the time to connect with Khaw (which, we understand, is how you were able to learn that Natoya had attended her talk) and yet made zero attempt to contact any of us as individuals in good time before the piece, rather sending a single email to our group email address 24 hours before going to press. We would like to point out that it is very easy to contact us via the info we have in our public Twitter profiles. We do hope you will agree that your readership deserves a much higher and more rational standard of journalistic investigation.

We have nothing to hide, and had you contacted us we would willingly have discussed our passion for true egalitarian values. To be as clear as possible, the values we stand for are:

Democracy

Classical liberalism

Free speech

Civil rights

Equality before the law

Small government

These are all antidotes to far right and far left authoritarianism.

Finally and most importantly, some of us now have genuine fear for our own safety and the safety of our families, given that the website you write for appears to have links with Antifa via Searchlight Magazine and Unite Against Fascism. Antifa extremists are currently on trial in the US for carrying out unprovoked violent attacks on women and men whom they believe to hold right wing views. In the light of this, your labelling of us in those terms without having done genuine research into our views is a possible threat to our safety; your article effectively ‘marks’ us as persons of interest for sinister authoritarian left wing groups, such as Antifa and BAMN. We hope that your article was not written specifically with that cowardly goal in mind and that the errors and omissions were the result of shoddy research which you will be happy to amend, or remove from the internet entirely.

Given that many of your readers are likely to hold the opinion that women are not safe either in society or on the internet we are sure they will greatly appreciate you dealing promptly with this matter.

Yours Sincerely,

Elizabeth Hobson

Natoya Kadifa

Paula Wright

Catherine Kitsis

Belinda Brown

 

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My latest blog for The Backbencher

This is me writing on some of the latest violence and lies from the gender activists that will not attract any attention from the mainstream media:

http://thebackbencher.co.uk/violence-lies-and-hypocrisy-the-safe-space-crowd-are-making-trouble-for-us-all/

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I’m now blogging for thebackbencher.com

I am now writing for http://www.backbencher.com here’s my article about those pesky feminists who just can’t survive without policing what people say:

The Tangled web of Feminists, Free Speech, and the Internet

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A law unto itself: NUS commissioned investigation concludes ‘no-platform’ is illegal. They see ‘no reason’ to change policy

Commissioning a QC to write a 37-page opinion regarding the legal status of the NUS’ no-platform policy must have been expensive. Expensive, and paid for with funds earmarked for the improvement of the lives of students. And yet, when Christopher McCall QC found that (except in the case of officially proscribed groups, such as terrorists) the no-platform policy is likely to be illegal, what did the NUS do? Nothing.

Nor can we read the legal opinion, as it has been kept ‘confidential’. Well done on transparency there, NUS.

McCall found that no-platforming groups or individuals not on official proscribed lists may fall foul of section 43 of the Education Act 1986, which contains the following:

‘Every individual and body of persons concerned in the government of any establishment to which this section applies shall take such steps as are reasonably practicable to ensure that freedom of speech within the law is secured for members, students and employees of the establishment and for visiting speakers.’

One would like to think that a student union would be pretty excited about securing every freedom possible for its members – especially those protected by law.

But sadly this does not seem to be the case. Instead of addressing McCall’s concerns, they issued a statement claiming that there was ‘no reason’ for them to change their policy. Like the friend who asks for advice and then gets annoyed when you tell them something they don’t want to hear, the NUS are demonstrating – yet again – breathtaking immaturity and arrogance.

Whether they are deciding that ‘cisgendered’ gay men just don’t deserve representation on LGBT committees, or proclaiming that some people have more equality than others these individuals are a law unto themselves. But Google Christopher McCall’s judgement and it seems that not many people are talking about this. They should be. As Sam Leith points out writing in the Evening Standard, this raises important issues; for example, will the NUS or individual SUs be held responsible if a legal challenge to a no-platform decision were to be brought successfully?

Since the opinion itself has not been published we also don’t know whether it contained any pearls of advice regarding safe-space policies either. Could it be that SUs may simply have no right to prohibit music and publications as they see fit? I would certainly like to know what a legal expert has to say about that.

The NUS spends a lot of time and energy fighting individuals and groups they consider to be fascist. There is perhaps a deep irony, then, when a group that is supposed to oppose despotism is arrogant enough to decide that the laws of the land simply don’t apply to them.

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Why I’m supporting ‘The Trouble with the F-Word’ documentary

Some of you might be aware of the current Kickstarter campaign for a documentary called The Trouble with the F-Word. I was interviewed for this production three years ago now, and I’m writing this blog to share my experience and opinions about the project. I’m going to try to be entirely honest and I’m really sorry if that upsets anyone from either side of the argument but I think it’s the best policy.

 

Here is the film’s official trailer:

 

And here is their Kickstarter page, with another video explaining more about the format of the documentary and the problems they have faced.

 

 

In this video the director – Vanessa Pellegrin – talks about some of the problems with getting the film funded, and also states that she has spent most of her personal income on this project. Vanessa first contacted me in 2013 asking me to speak in the documentary. At the time I asked how soon they were expecting it to air, and she didn’t know exactly but gave me an estimate of around 6-8 months. I was under the impression that it might be airing on BBC3 (more about that below). Vanessa has since explained that the BBC had said they might have been interested but then dropped the project. I don’t want to put words in anyone’s mouth but the impression I get is that both the BBC and other channels stopped being interested when they realised that Vanessa’s approach was to try to be as neutral as possible. This does not surprise me at all –there is very little doubt in my mind that Vanessa’s experience has been similar to what happened to Cassie Jaye in terms of how she has been viewed by both sides. I sometimes wondered why so much time went by without the documentary airing, but never really looked into it until the Kiskstarter campaign came along, but now it does make sense. At the time I don’t think those involved in the program had any idea the process would go on this long, or any concept of the wall of resistance they would encounter.

 

To be perfectly honest, I can understand why people on both sides of the debate are worried about this project. We know how feminists react the minute anyone dares to even suggest there might be a counterargument to any of their positions, so I won’t spend too long talking about it. This is how they treated the woman who set up the first ever women’s refuge when she refused to frame domestic violence as a male on female problem:

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In terms of some of the reservations that people in the non-feminist community will undoubtedly be feeling, all I can say is that I feel them too. When I was contacted in 2013 Nick Lancaster was not yet part of the project, so the format was going to be Lucy Holmes’ journey of meeting people from both sides of the debate. I thought (and still think) that the odds of her doing a 180 on feminism are nil. She has too much invested in her activism, and after three years working on this documentary I cannot see any discernable difference in the ideological bent of her Twitter or the No More Page 3 campaign – she has changed her opinion about things like sex work, but I can’t see her leaving her ideological framework behind at any point soon. Secondly, I was also concerned by the fact that it was likely to air on BBC3 – this was before Reggie Yates, but the BBC has been a feminist propaganda machine since long before that, so I didn’t think there was any way people like me would be presented in a favourable light. Also, to those of you not from the UK, BBC3 is not a channel dedicated to intellectual pursuits – it’s pitched at young people and usually provides entertainment – their documentaries are purely designed to shape the opinions of impressionable people.

 

Despite all this, back then I decided that it was my duty to get involved. If only the more controversial members of my community are willing to speak, or only male ones for that matter, what right do I have to complain if they misrepresent us? If non-feminist women like me refuse to speak then we are playing into the hands of those who wish to paint us as down-trodden slaves to the men who supposedly boss us around, liars, or even sock-puppets. Vanessa was kind enough to spend a lot of time on the phone with me – I had a lot of questions about privacy and I was also trying to understand where she was coming from. Of course I can only vouch for my personal impressions, but she truly did strike me as someone who was trying to be as neutral and unbiased as she possibly could, and that did inspire confidence – no wonder the BBC ended up deciding they weren’t interested in the program she would have made. I had a lot of requests about my privacy etc. that she went out of her way to meet, particularly allowing me to see the final clip of my interview (I don’t know much documentary production but I assume this is pretty unusual). I met with Vanessa, Lucy and the executive producer at a bar before they decided to film me and everyone was friendly – I was offered drinks but stuck to the sparkling water as I needed to keep my wits about me! Of course Lucy and I strongly debated some issues, but I did observe that Vanessa was happy to make points for either side as they occurred to her.

 

It seems to me that if this project was intended to be yet another load of one sided rubbish it would have been funded and aired a long time ago. I did get a sense at the time that the approach to the material was a bit ‘light’, which is perhaps reflected in the tone of the Kickstarter video. I can understand why this attitude may have caused them problems – this issue is not ‘light’ or funny for a lot of the people involved, on both sides. But that doesn’t mean that the producers of this documentary don’t have a right to take that tone – one which is perhaps necessary when trying to be neutral in the face of so many fraught battles and debates.

 

The fact that they have since brought a male presenter on board does add weight to the idea that they are trying to be unbiased, and it’s also true that Vanessa has put so much emphasis on this objective that it would be super hard for her not to deliver a finished product that makes a decent attempt at impartiality. For example, she and I have talked on Twitter about how Roosh V is not representative of the MRA community – she’s done enough research to understand that Roosh and the MRAs are not friends, which is a lot more than many people who have ‘investigated’ the non-feminist community have done. I can still understand why non-feminists are a bit suspicious, and can see why the choice of Nick Lancaster might cause concern – he’s not as deeply invested in the non / anti-feminist side of the argument as Lucy is in hers. That said, I have to take my hat off to the man who is willing to even go near this issue – it is certainly putting his career and reputation on the line. Don’t get me wrong, when I hear Lucy’s arguments in the Kickstarter video about the wage gap or making feminism compulsory on the politics A-Level, I feel royally annoyed and want to shout out all the reasons why I find these points disingenuous. But I have to remember that when feminists watch Nick’s sections they are feeling the same way. Many of them will feel emotional and angry – triggered even. But like Cassie Jaye stated in the video I linked above, that’s the result of the attempt to give both sides the opportunity to be heard.

 

One thing that Vanessa said to me was ‘I’m disappointed to have been asked to become an activist when I am just a filmmaker’. This mirrors my own disappointment in the way that many within the media have handled this issue. My personal hope is that the project will reach its Kickstarter goal. Partly because I don’t want to see a person who has worked really hard and tried her best ruined financially, but also because I’d like to see support for material that doesn’t promise to feed only the agenda of one side. Of course, everyone needs to judge for themselves, but I have made a donation to the Kickstarter and hope that more people will do the same.

 

 

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Did a woman from my community just get urine poured over her face?

So a lot of people on Twitter have been asking me why I haven’t done a blog in over a year – well it’s partly because I’ve been super busy (I can just about manage 140 characters a day sometimes) but it’s also because I’m worried about attracting too much attention from our friends over at SocJus. They are scary; I have met up with people who have had their careers ruined, who have been threatened, who have had false allegations made against them, who have lost their jobs because of saying things these people don’t like. Sometimes I think maybe I should just stop being so paranoid. After all, these are people who claim to fight for the rights of everyone, who want equality, and who – especially – want the voices and opinions of women to be listened to, and respected. They abhor the violent and controlling ways of male dominated western patriarchy. It’s all about creating a safe space for a dialogue. Right?

Wrong.

So this morning, I wake up to news on my Twitter feed that someone has covered Lauren Southern (Libertarian, non-feminist journalist and YouTuber) in what may have been urine at a protest last night.

It seems that a group of activists were protesting at the planned venue of a speech in Vancouver which was not going to go ahead as the speaker had been barred from entering Canada. The following footage shows Lauren discussing issues of gender and feminism with some of the protesters present, who identify as feminists. There is strong disagreement, but at least there’s a conversation going on, and nobody is breaking the law. Someone pours a bottle of liquid over Lauren’s head and face. There is an altercation between the person who poured the fluid and someone defending Lauren (I think).

 

 

 

As Lauren leaves people can be seen sticking their fingers up at her and shouting things like ‘burn in hell bitch’. Some of them are loitering around in masks. These people are not afraid. These people do not care about a woman’s feelings, or her safety, or her consent. These people – who in a debate about misogyny would be happy to argue that the word ‘bitch’ is an insult that shames and oppresses all women – are not shy about shouting gender based insults at a woman, laughing at her when someone covers her in God knows what, and insulting her intelligence. Not everyone in the crowd behaved like this – of course not. But, unfortunately, this bullying, hostile and intimidating attitude is characteristic of so many of the activists who today claim to be coming from a position of powerlessness and oppression. For example, compare their behaviour to the people protesting at this speech. Screaming, making rude finger gestures and storming off. Do they look like people who have no rights? Do you think the people who made this speech before Christina Hoff Sommers spoke at Oberlin College really needed a ‘safe space’? Do you think they would have allowed someone from the other side of the argument to make a joke about ‘only biting people they don’t like’? And some of what happened to Maryam Namazie when she spoke at Goldsmiths was pure thuggery.

 

The fact that they treat women and LBGTQ people like this demonstrates that these people do not care about women. Or gay people. Or oppressed people. They care about one thing: their ideology. Being right. Just like the non-feminist community (of which I proudly consider myself to be a part) these people don’t care what gender or race you are. They admire people because they agree with their ideas. There’s nothing wrong with that. But what’s so galling about it is the hypocrisy; this is how Anil Dash (who only retweeted women for a year) treated me:

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(I don’t think he really can have read my blog properly, since his first reply came back within a minute and the second after 14 minutes)

 

When a movement that claims to fight for womens’ right to make their voices heard can rejoice pouring a bottle of urine over a woman’s head, and delete her posts that are critical of feminism from Facebook, I think we can all see that it’s ideology they are committed to, not women.

 

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