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Selina Todd has been disinvited from "Women's Liberation at 50" because of association with WPUK

(324 Posts)
stumbledin Fri 28-Feb-20 20:30:52

Have just seen this on facebook and am totally taken aback. She is listed as a speaker here

Everyone of the other speaker if they go ahead and dont protest should be totally ashamed of themselves.

This is her tweet

Some of the women speaking are those I have told I should and I do admire.

This sickness that is dividing women is so upsetting.

Not sure where or how we can show our disgust at this and make sure they know they do not speak for women.

OP’s posts: |
ArranUpsideDown Fri 28-Feb-20 20:41:49

Selina Todd is a very fine scholar.

I'm so sorry that this is happening to her - and for such ludicrous grounds.

I feel WPUK is being baited into spending its times and scant resources on getting involved in a law suit with those who slander/libel them. That said, I don't know how much longer this calumny can be allowed to continue.

Gwynfluff Fri 28-Feb-20 20:44:54

She is an amazing historian. Her writing is a joy to read and I’ve seen her speak in relation to her research.

stumbledin Fri 28-Feb-20 20:48:41

I suppose it could be to do with some Oxford University politics, but the idea that some women can claim to be speaking for Women's Liberation and have the right to stop other women speaking is disgusting.

This event has made Oxford and any of the women who turn up to speak or listen look absolutely ridiculous.

Both in the tradition of WLM conferences and so called academic freedom these women have shown themselves to be small minded bigots, too caught up in ingratiating themselves with the patriarchy.

They are no more about Women's Liberation than Thatcher.

I almost wish I was on twitter. Not sure where or how to show my disgust.

OP’s posts: |
Twunk Fri 28-Feb-20 20:52:34

This is nothing short of McCarthyism. It’s now so blatant and so sinister I am genuinely worried about the future of freedom of speech and association.

Languishingfemale Fri 28-Feb-20 20:52:37

Hopefully some of the women speaking will pull out in support of Selina. Unless of course they're all in academia then they'll be too intimidated and frightened for their jobs to speak out sad

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Fri 28-Feb-20 20:55:23

And the credibility of the organisers of the women's liberation conference evaporates like the morning dew...

aliasundercover Fri 28-Feb-20 20:57:14

Held at Ruskin College’s former site. I attended Ruskin and this sickens me.

wellbehavedwomen Fri 28-Feb-20 21:05:13


*Don't worry, ladies! Fully pre-approved by men.

AyeRobot Fri 28-Feb-20 21:09:46

I'm baffled. How on earth are they so (seemingly) invested in the history of women's liberation and yet make a ginormous leap that discounts it all?

wellbehavedwomen Fri 28-Feb-20 21:20:13

Because these days, it's all about intersectional feminism. And not in the orginal sense (recognising that women can be oppressed by other things on top of their sex). But in the sense that women are now somehow responsible for righting all other wrongs in the world, and it's just spoilt, classist, racist and selfish selfish to prioritise their own group's liberation. Only groups that include, are dominated by, and centre men - so, every other liberation group in existence - are allowed to do that.

NYnachos Fri 28-Feb-20 21:31:48

I wonder if other speakers have objected to sharing a platform with her?

AyeRobot Fri 28-Feb-20 21:33:11

I kinda get that. But to be so invested that they put on an event about something centering women so hard & then have such an issue with women, erm, centering women?!

Where does the ball drop (sorry) happen? It's the TWAW thing, isn't it? Do they really think? I was going to put "that transwomen are born women in a man's body?" or "that transwomen become women at a particular point in transition (at the decision stage, maybe)? But, my question really is "do they really think? ". Because it doesn't seem like it.

I do remember being on here years ago and reading Dittany's women centered posts (along with many others, including one I suspect was recently banned here) and feeling a real frisson of transgression even reading what she wrote. And all she was doing was putting women centre in scenarios that mattered. I can understand why that scares people. But to put on a whole event celebrating the fight for women's liberation and throw out another woman who is working with those centering women? That's pretty bold.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 28-Feb-20 21:37:30

Lolo Olufemi tweeted

I’ve withdrawn from @womenslib_50 conference tomorrow over their clear links with Women’s Place UK. TERF links cut across universities, women’s services + public institutions. They have no place in my vision or understanding of the political possibilities that feminism offers us.


I don’t believe in the marketplace of ideas ! !

I imagine that has something to do with it - I imagine they have been under a lot of oressut from the usual sources too.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 28-Feb-20 21:38:24

Oressut = pressure, thank you autocorrect <sigh>

AyeRobot Fri 28-Feb-20 21:44:30

WTF do they think Women's Liberation means?

I wonder if there is a bit of basking in male gaze going on these days, instead of recognising that it is a fundamental of the wheels of patriarchy.

Gibbonsgibbonsgibbons Fri 28-Feb-20 21:47:05

Ironic that they plan to “ film screening of 'A Woman's Place'.”

I hope some of the other speakers have the ovaries to stand up for Selina - feminism is for all the women even the ones you don’t agree with (paraphrasing) & all that

TorkTorkBam Fri 28-Feb-20 21:47:42

I do hope more closet tervens pull out in protest.

BritneyPeedOnALadybug Fri 28-Feb-20 21:53:33

Is this to do with Oxford University then? shock No less than 30 minutes ago there was a video recommended for me on Youtube which was Judge Judy speaking there talking to students. I watched a bit of it and she was talking about the dangers of no-platforming and said “how can people disagree with someone’s views when they don’t let them speak to know what their views are?”

In the sidebar Tommy Robinson had a similar interview also at Oxford. Wtf?

nonsenceagain Fri 28-Feb-20 21:53:48

May I point out out that Selina Todd told them what her views were when they invited her last October!! They've now told her that she's welcome to come - as long as she sits in the back and doesn't say anything 😯

Shame on the organising committee.

Imnobody4 Fri 28-Feb-20 21:55:46

From the biography of Laura Schwartz who's chairing the discussion.
Give me strength.

ArranUpsideDown Fri 28-Feb-20 22:03:44

Helen Lewis wrote about Erin Pizzey in her book, Difficult Women and an extract from it is in The Atlantic .

In 1976, a few years after Pizzey founded her refuge, the American feminist Jo Freeman wrote an article in Ms. magazine titled “ Trashing: The Dark Side of Sisterhood. ” It generated an outpouring of letters from other women who felt that they had also been subject to this practice. Trashing, Freeman explained, was not criticism or disagreement, which were a healthy and normal part of any movement. “Trashing is a particularly vicious form of character assassination which amounts to psychological rape,” she wrote. “It is manipulative, dishonest, and excessive. It is occasionally disguised by the rhetoric of honest conflict, or covered up by denying that any disapproval exists at all. But it is not done to expose disagreements or resolve differences. It is done to disparage and destroy.”

Freeman’s and Pizzey’s negative experiences took place in real-world collectives. The online feminism of the 2010s added a new dimension because it was possible to be the target of trashing by several hundred people at once, in real time. Anger is a great engine of change, and activists are often dismissed by those who hold power as “too radical” or “too aggressive” in their demands, but outrage became prized for its own sake, and online feminists lost the ability to distinguish between righteous indignation and mere spite. Worse, self-appointed “allies” went full The Crucible by performatively denouncing their peers.

Being trashed is a traumatic experience. I was accused of endangering lives, because my rhetoric was so hate-filled that people reading it would surely kill themselves. I was a racist. I was a transphobe. I was accused of keeping a blacklist of writers and using my immense power to keep them out of British journalism. I was out of touch because I was middle-aged. (Funny: I was not yet 30.) I had dropped my double-barreled name to hide my aristocratic roots. (Painful: My divorce was still recent.) A caricature developed, a shadow Helen who stalked me around the internet: Absurdly posh, oblivious, ruthlessly careerist, and concerned only with fripperies.

Everything I did just made it worse....The most panic-inducing experiences were the attempts to isolate me: Any contact with me was deemed to make other feminists unclean. My existence itself, and my success, was a provocation. I was taking up a space that another, more worthy woman could have held.

It was, as Freeman wrote, a character assassination.



Languishingfemale Fri 28-Feb-20 22:07:27

Olufemi has called WPUk (with all their open meetings and everything recorded on Facebook etc) "violently transphobic" confused

BovaryX Fri 28-Feb-20 22:09:52

This is nothing short of McCarthyism. It’s now so blatant and so sinister I am genuinely worried about the future of freedom of speech and association

Well said.

Justhadathought Fri 28-Feb-20 22:12:03

Because these days, it's all about intersectional feminism. And not in the orginal sense (recognising that women can be oppressed by other things on top of their sex). *But in the sense that women are now somehow responsible for righting all other wrongs in the world, and it's just spoilt, classist, racist and selfish selfish to prioritise their own group's liberation

Good post, and you're absolutely right.

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