Beardy left ‘wanting to weep’ by no-platform trolls, signs letter of opposition

Beard says no to no-platforming

cisphobia mary beard no platform observer letter transphobia whorephobia

Cambridge academic and fellow of Newnham College, Mary Beard, is in trouble after signing an open letter opposing the tactic of ‘no-platforming’ controversial speakers. 

The letter, published by The Observer on Sunday, highlights the recent campaign that criticised the decision to give feminist academic, Germaine Greer, a platform to speak following accusations of transphobic views.

It also condemns Cambridge Green Party candidate Rupert Read who was accused of transphobia by TCS after an unfortunate Twitter exchange where he appeared to question the use of the term ‘cis’. He has since apologised for those remarks.

Lean green allegedly transphobic machine

Other public figures who signed the letter that cites “a worrying pattern of intimidation and silencing of individuals whose views are deemed ‘transphobic’ or ‘whorephobic’” include LGBT+ rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell and feminist campaigner, Caroline Criado-Perez.

“Last night I went to bed wanting to weep,” Professor Beard wrote on her blog after she was trolled on Twitter and accused of transphobia.

“I was NOT signing up to an attack on the trans community. Nor was there any remote suggestion that I was.”

Who would dare leave our regional sweetheart “wanting to weep”?

In a comment to PinkNews, campaigner Tatchell issued a forceful rebuttal to accusations of transphobia: “I have a 40 year record of supporting trans people and rights, starting in the early 1970s when many people did not.

“I am now told that my support for the trans community is not wanted. These critics claim to represent the trans community but I doubt they do.”

CUSU’s LGBT+ and intersex rep, Robin Cummings, issued this statement to TCS last night:

“I agree that everyone has a right to freedom of speech; to express their opinions, which will sometimes be disagreeable to those hearing them.

“However, being given a platform from which to share those views more widely is more active than just allowing speech; thus being denied a platform does not equal censorship.

Free speech, what free speech?

“In the cases of Germaine Greer and Julie Bindel, these two women had previously expressed undeniably transmisogynistic views on multiple occasions – views which amount to denying that trans women are women and deserve acceptance as women and a place in women’s spaces.”

CUSU’s LGBT+ campaign deny actions taken against the invitation of Germaine Greer were “a case of straightforward no-platforming.”

They argue: “The event was not a debate involving Greer, it was simply her being invited to speak on an unspecified topic in the same venue as our event [LGBT+ drinks], which people understandably found threatening.”

If it wasn’t a formal debate Greer was invited to, is it still a case of no-platforming?