I am sufficiently “dangerous” to the “safety” of University of Manchester students that I have to be surrounded by security and any event that features me must be ticketed and the number of seats restricted, according to that university’s Student Union.
Julie Bindel, a lesbian feminist journalist and author, was scheduled to speak at the upcoming Free Speech Society event alongside your humble narrator, until the campus Gestapo deemed her a threat to the university’s Orwellian “safe space policy” and banned her entirely.
Bindel wrote a piece eleven years ago, which she has since apologised for multiple times, that some transgender campaigners object to. There was no suggestion that trans issues were to be discussed at the Free Speech Society debate.
— Guy Walters (@guywalters) October 5, 2015
Just read Manchester's SU safe space policy. Surely Milo Yiannopoulos violates that as much, if not more, than Julie Bindel? Ridiculous.
— Sarah Fletcher (@SarahFletcher27) October 5, 2015
The student SS went on to proclaim that I was “sufficiently dangerous” that the event must now be held in a closed environment, with tickets, added security and a maximum number of seats. Apparently a flamboyantly gay columnist represents a threat to someone… somehow. Me, dangerous? Dangerously sexy perhaps.
The irony of all this is that I’ve been the target of feminist bomb threats twice.
The situation has got so bad that for a public event in Los Angeles this week I even had to hire a bodyguard. (Not that I was complaining.)
— Lauren Southern (@Lauren_Southern) October 4, 2015
The debate has been put on a temporary hold by the Free Speech Society until these problems are resolved, and the organisers are currently fighting the student union’s decision to ban Bindel, a lesbian feminist campaigner who has advocated tirelessly for women’s rights for years. The society intends to run the event as originally planned.
The Union’s actions have caused uproar among fellow students, with very few responding to the news positively. Freedom of speech at universities has become heavily compromised in the past few years with the rise of militant progressives and feminists with their demands for “safe spaces” and trigger warnings.
What particularly concerns me about this series of events, of course, is that Julie was the one to get banned instead of me. As she rightly notes, I am “an antifeminist, deeply offensive bellend.” Yet the Union has allowed me to speak, albeit with heavy restrictions. I’ll have to raise my game!
I mean, I quite like @Nero in some ways, but he is an antifeminist, deeply offensive bellend but I am the one that gets banned, not him!
— Julie Bindel (@bindelj) October 5, 2015