UK

Julie Bindel Slams Donald Trump Petition Ban During Defence Of Free Speech

10/02/2016 13:24 GMT | Updated 10/02/2016 13:59 GMT

Feminist writer Julie Bindel has slammed calls to ban controversial presidential candidate Donald Trump and "pro-rape" advocate Roosh V from entering the UK.

The 53-year-old said "we can't ban everything that offends you" and claimed that people are "endangering making censorship the standard response to any view which offends".

Her comments come after a petition to ban the Republican frontrunner reached over half a million signatures and a similar protest for Roosh V reached 91,237 supporters.

Bindel has also experienced no-platforming after being branded "transphobic" by some student unions.

julie bindel

Julie Bindel has spoken out on free speech

During the speech, recorded in a video by The Guardian, Bindel said: "Banning Donald Trump from the UK won't stop Americans voting for him, banning Roosh V from entering the country does nothing to change the fact that in the UK an estimated 85,000 women are raped, and 400,000 are sexually assaulted.

"What it does do is blind us to the existence that he articulates. Let's just hear the arguments put forward by those who we disagree so we can expand our language and show rational resistance."

Roosh V, who has been widely branded a "pro-rape" advocate has previously said that: "If a woman got raped, that is a sad thing. It’s a bad thing. But whose fault is it? Is it the woman’s fault? No, I’m not saying that.

"But a woman can do things to reduce the likelihood that she will get hurt. If I get a BMW car right now and I leave the key inside and park it in a bad area and it gets robbed, whose fault is that? Is it the thief's fault, or is it my fault for being a moron?".

Comments such as these have led petitioners to brand Roosh V as a "militant pro-rape advocate".

After disagreeing with the bans, Bindel went on to discuss her own experience.

"In 2015 the National Union of Students women's conference debated banning cross-dressing from fancy dress as it may be offensive to transgender people," she said.

"I have been no platformed by student unions around the country and at one debate angry students claimed they would be traumatised if they were forced to repeat my 'horrifically transphobic' views. Turns out not a single one of them had read my work."

Bindel has been repeatedly no platformed by the NUS because of a 2004 Guardian column in which she criticises gender reassignment surgery and trans activists that many people found offensive.

In 2011, the NUS LGBT conference voted to no platform her and approved the motion “this conference believes Julie Bindel is vile”.

Bindel asked: "What ever happened to freedom of expression? We're quickly becoming a society which censorship is the new normal, political movements such as civil rights and feminism have made such progress because we were able to hold people to account.

"Banning people from publicly stating their views does not make those views disappear. Let's just hear the arguments put forward by those who we disagree so we can expand our language and show rational resistance.

"This problem is getting worse and worse, we're in danger of making censorship the standard response to any view which offends. Unless someone is breaking the law by inciting a crime with their words, I believe it a crime not to hear them."