Roz Kaveney has posted a link at her LJ blog showing exactly how Julie Bindel's view of the world deviates from that of the reality-based community. I also recommend reading the comments thread, because there are some good points made there about how the essentially sex-negative attitudes of Bindel and many other feminists of her ilk actively made life more difficult not just for trans or queer people, but even for the cis lesbians who they supposedly represented.
The thing I find most gob-smacking about Bindel, though, is that the usually reasonable newspaper The Guardian employs her. Sometimes she does actually have something interesting to say - she was almost a lone voice in UK newspapers against the treatment of Meredith 'Foxy Knoxy' Knox (though I suspect Bindel would have been a lot less bothered about the case if Knox were trans rather than cis, what with it being a well-known fact in Bindel-land that trans women are really just rape-crazed males going into deep cover to unleash their penises when the Transsexual Empire reactivates them with the secret codeword*) and she has an interesting article up on the Guardian at the moment about research on 'why men use prostitutes' though again I suspect that in her head she's already answered this question with because they're men! They're evil! They have penises!
But then you come across something like this , which is basically 'What I Did on my Holidays by Julie Bindel.' And what did Bindel do on her holidays, you ask? Well, you or I would probably catch some rays, read a good book, eat and drink a bit too much, maybe visit a gallery, that kind of thing. But Bindel isn't like us. When she goes on holiday, she brings the hate.
I suppose we ought to be grateful that her vitriol here was directed at children rather than trans women, but then again I don't imagine many trans women enjoy the middle class privilege of being able to take holidays in Tuscany in the first place, so there isn't much chance of Bindel being bothered by their presence. Still, deprived of her favourite punching bag, Bindel nevertheless bravely goes into print to lather reams of abuse on, again, a bunch of kids. She dehumanises them, referring to them as 'like locusts swarming on an oasis' and bemoans their terrible, thuggish habit of having fun in a swimming pool. What monsters!
There's also a nice bit of 'I'm not middle class even though I live in a middle class area and holiday in Tuscany' which, frankly, isn't fooling anybody, and, hilariously, Bindel bemoans people 'raising their children without teaching them manners or a sense of consideration'.
That's right. Julie Bindel, who believes 'a world inhabited just by transsexuals...would look like the set of Grease', Julie Bindel, who considers queer-identifying people to be akin to devil-worshippers and who believes that how gay men have sex with each other is somehow part of an evil conspiracy to oppress women, and who uses a column in a national newspaper to rip the piss out of families of people enjoying a little relaxation while on their holidays, thinks people should have more manners and consideration.
I think we can all see, at this point, that Bindel is just another paid troll used by the papers to fill column inches with some 'controversial' opinions. Whatever her opinion of herself as a political activist, she's wound up filling the same niche as Liz Jones, Rod Liddle, Tanya Gold and even - the daddy of the Vile Opinion Troll Squad - Richard Littlejohn. And so we shouldn't be surprised if people from her milieu defend her - after all, people are defending Liddle even after it was revealed that he spent time on Milwall FC's website making racist comments that, as far as I can tell, amount to hate speech. These people have a good thing going: they get paid to troll, essentially, and like all people running a racket - especially one increasingly under threat from a bunch of new, more clued-up and genuinely idealistic operators - however much they may dislike each other, there's a tacit principle of protecting their own.
At the risk of flaunting my middle class privilege in the same way as Bindel, I should mention here that I have a Blackberry. And I use the Guardian's Blackberry app to read the only two pieces of that paper I never want to miss - Charlie Brooker's TV review on Saturdays, and his G2 column on Mondays. And, since I started doing that, I've stopped buying the paper, and felt a little bit guilty about it. After all, by reading those bits of the paper free online, I was robbing the paper itself of money. I felt a little bad about that.
Then again, now that I know that some of that money goes towards paying for Julie Bindel to go on holiday in Tuscany, I find I don't feel guilty at all. Not even one little bit.
(also - it's a long shot, but just in case any of the kids who annoy Bindel so much do happen to be reading this - next time she's out there, don't bomb into the pool. Gather 'round her and do that humming thing, you know the one where you hum at the same time so she doesn't know who it is. That'll piss her off right good an' proper.)
*The secret codeword is, of course, 'Execute Case Orange.' They're massive Battlestar Galactica fans.