What do you stand for? Who do you stand with?
I could never stand with someone who makes false claims of being in an abusive relationship (with a woman they’ve never met) as a protest tactic.
I am a woman who has survived intimate partner violence and then blamed myself for being so thick to allow it to happen.
I remember feeling powerless as my mum continued to stay with a man who beat her violently every time he drank. Swearing that could never happen to me. It didn’t happen in the same way. I found the strength to end my own abusive relationship after being raped “only” once and weeks of minimising it then having to call for help because I was scared for my safety. But it might have happened that way and it wouldn’t have been because I was thick or allowed it. As an adult survivor who has tried to learn about societies attitudes to intimate partner violence and especially the gendered reality of it I now accept we leave when we can. My mother left when she could. Just like I did.
Julie Bindel may not be your cup of tea, you may think she chats shit. Whatever. She isn’t raping you, screaming in your face, throwing things at you, sabotaging your friendships and family relationships, chipping away at your sense of self till you feel what’s happening is normal and you probably could do more to prevent it. You’re not in an abusive relationship with her. And your hyperbole is distasteful, hurtful and dangerous.
If you can stand alongside individuals who use such odious techniques to express their dissent at Julie Bindel being allowed to speak you cannot stand alongside me.
If you stand with those who seek to silence Julie ask yourself do you stand by such tactics? If you stand with neither these people nor Julie know that silence is an action. Fence sitters only end up with a splintered arse.
I stand with Julie not because I agree with her on everything (like she won’t agree with me on everything obviously) but because we must stand up. She has stood up to this bullshit for 14 years, now her critics feel confident in labelling her as an abuser and belittling the experiences of those of us who know what an abusive relationship is. This is where silence has enabled them to progress. It’s long time she stopped standing alone.