INTERVIEW: Linda Bellos on trans activism, coming out, and being a black lesbian feminist on the left Feminist Current 13.11.18
Private Prosecution September 2018
Linda, together with radical feminist and organiser of the ‘We Need to Talk’ series of meetings, Venice Allan, was the target of a private prosecution by one of the nastiest trans activists known to womankind. Mark Kendal, who is now known as Giuliana Kendal, is unhappy that the police would not pursue a ridiculous and highly malicious complaint against her for what she said at a meeting in York in November 2017, which was organised and recorded by Venice. A video of the meeting was uploaded to youtube. (See details below.)
At the plea hearing, held at Westminister Magistrates’ Court, on 26 October 2018, the case was adjourned until 30 November. The defence invited the Crown Prosecution Service to take over the case and will make a decision as to whether to continue it.
There was great support for Linda and Venice at the court. I’ve posted videos here.
At a final hearing on 30 November the judge told the court that he had received notification late the previous day that the case was to be discontinued.
Linda Bellos and Venice Allan. No case to answer! Lily Maynard 03.12.18
Linda Bellos and Venice Allan. A case to answer? Lily Maynard 30.09.18
Veteran Labour activist facing private prosecution over anti-trans comments Telegraph 27.09.18
Linda Bellos has a history of being what she calls “respectful” to men who identify as women. She isn’t afraid to call them “transwomen” and use their preferred pronouns in a room full of radical feminists. Like any feminist worthy of the name, however, Linda has become concerned about transgender ideology. This led, in October 2017, to the withdrawal of an invitation to speak by a society at Peterhouse College, Cambridge University which, apparently in all seriousness, is described by its members thus:
Here’s the story that appeared in The Times.
Linda Bellos barred in Cambridge University row
It’s not clear what impact Maroof or anyone else thought the proposed talk might have on the welfare of their students.
In Linda’s interview with BBC Newsnight, her only reference to transwomen is when she says this:
Now check out this astonishing comment that appeared on Linda’s Facebook page soon after the programme aired.
Linda’s alleged “transphobia” is revealed….where exactly? In saying that men who identify as women are not the same as those of us who are women? This makes her a “propagator of hate”? “Out of step with the world”?
I don’t think too many people in the world would agree with this pompous idiot, who is surely the living, breathing confirmation of the insulation described by Frank Furedi here.
I agree with Linda Bellos that safe spaces should be about physical safety – not safety from ideas. To see university students whining about being offended by ideas is very sad, very disappointing, a pitiful indictment of their character and intellect as well as a betrayal of everyone who has fought throughout history for the free expression of ideas and opinions.
When Linda Bellos said she’d fight back
Happily, as a result of this attempt to silence Linda Bellos, she got two other speaking invitations, the first one in York in early November. The bullies got the venue – the Priory Street Centre, whose management should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves – to cancel with a few hours notice but the event organiser, Venice Allan, managed to find a better venue so the meeting went ahead as planned. Here is Linda’s contribution. Pay particular attention to the bit where she says: “If any one of those bastards comes near me I’ll take my glasses off and fucking…anyway.”
To those of us in attendance, it was a clear reference to the violent thugs at Speakers Corner who had, after all, been the ones to escalate an already volatile situation into violence, but her detractors chose to interpret it as “promoting violence against trans people” and complained to both the Labour Party and the police about her. It’s not clear how they managed to interpret a feisty 66-year old woman’s declaration that she will defend herself as “promoting violence”. Call it a sign of the times and be very afraid.
Her other speaking invitation came from a newly-formed group called A Woman’s Place, who decided to host an event in Cambridge in late November 2017. They invited Linda Bellos to speak alongside three other women who’d challenged trans ideology and suffered for it. Three of the speakers can be seen on A Woman’s Place’s youtube channel and an account by the organiser of how the bullies again tried but this time failed spectacularly to prevent the success of the event can be read here: Making sure A Woman’s Place is on the Platform.
If feminist Linda Bellos is seen as a risk, progressive politics has lost its way Claire Heuchan in The Guardian
“In recent years, gender has become an increasingly explosive subject. If anything, it was brave of Bellos to propose to address this schism between queer and feminist principles when so many seasoned activists shy away from the issue. And there is an issue: that women can’t even question queer gender politics without being viewed as suspect highlights an underlying problem with the ideology behind them.”