It was curious to see Julie Bindel's take on the Sheridan affair. It probably goes without saying that I am not a fan of the aforesaid journalist. But what was revealing was the way that she saw it as a gender war. Having been on a discussion list with Catriona Grant, the woman she quotes in her article, her brand of feminism does not appeal to me. The women in her faction (which Sheridan called a 'gender based discussion group) wish to criminalise the purchasers of sex, seeing all the sellers as being victims. From what I could gather their feminism has hardly moved on since the 1970s, or rather it is a rehash of it. All women are oppressed and men are by definition the oppressors.
But interesting what Grant had to say, namely that this was not about class but about gender. Really? Would any serious socialist (or feminist for that matter) testify for News of the World, that right wing and misogynist rag? Is Rupert Murdoch suddenly a champion of women's rights?
While Bindel may speak some truths about the macho behaviour of men on the hard left, and the sexist treatment in court merited to Fiona McGuire, I neither support the brand of feminism espoused by Bindel and Grant (the latter being an admirer of the former and her style) nor do I think it a principled stance for alleged socialists not to stand by their comrades, whatever their faults.
Bindel's article seems to further confirm my suspicion that it was a faction who took advantage of the situation. Nothing was mentioned about the truth or non truth of the allegation, even whether the sex life of Sheridan was relevent to his conduct as a politician. Bindel's ire was focused on Sheridan's wife and mother for standing by him, for not being the kind of women she would deem as politically correct. Which speaks volumes about her -and those with her policies.
A good rebuttal is in today's paper