” If you work in academe, like Mary Beard, or you’re a veteran LGBT activist like Peter Tatchell, you really don’t want to be on that list.”
No shit, Sherlock! Was it ever fun to be on a blacklist?! I bet that the comment created by my reblog will be removed as well.
At the weekend a letter was published in the Observer, signed by 130 people, which called for open debate in universities and criticised the silencing or ‘no platforming’ of people whose views are deemed transphobic or whorephobic. Two high-profile signatories, Mary Beard and Peter Tatchell, were immediately deluged with abuse and threats. Both ended up making statements (Beard on her blog, and Tatchell to Pink News) in which they reiterated their support for the principle of free speech, but took pains to distance themselves from the TERFs (‘trans-exclusionary radical feminists’) who are the main targets of the tactics the letter criticised. ‘Don’t confuse me with those people’, was the message. ‘I defend their right to express their views, but I find those views as repulsive as you do’.
Reading these statements, I couldn’t help thinking about the ending of George Orwell’s novel 1984, where Winston pleads with his torturers to…
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