Historiography Saturday: Julie Bindel

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Julie Bindel is an English columnist whose work on gender and feminism is frequently featured in The Guardian and several other prominent publications. Sex trafficking and prostitution are among her specific areas of interest and subjects of original research. She identifies as a political lesbian and has written a book on generational changes in the gay community where she argues that heterosexuality is enforced by societal pressure. In addition to the controversy over the origins of homosexuality, Bindel has received criticism for her views on transsexuality.

While this blog takes no stance on the origins of same-sex attraction and gender variance, its existence does presuppose the importance of those categories as identities with consistent meanings. The tag “lesbian” usually indicates a woman who is primarily or exclusively attracted to other women; however, according to the political lesbian text Love Your Enemy?, lesbianism is defined not by the presence of an attraction to women but by the absence of sexual conduct with men. While political lesbianism is a relatively fringe viewpoint, other definitional debates exist in the queer community (e.g. what degree of attraction to which gender qualifies someone as bisexual, or if there is a difference between transgender and transsexual), creating a challenge for anyone whose work requires drawing boundaries between the categories.

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2 thoughts on “Historiography Saturday: Julie Bindel

    • I feel you there. My position (especially on Saturdays) is that it’s my job to create as broad a picture as I can of queer people throughout history. That goal is limited by factors that impact my access to information, but I have chosen to not screen based on who I think has moral worth. It would feel dishonest and counterproductive for a community that draws its members from every possible demographic and that has experienced severe infighting as part of its growth.

      That doesn’t make reading or writing about someone you don’t like any easier, though.

      Like

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