WomCam CONDEMNS the Union over tonight’s prostitution debate

The Facebook statement contained a condemnation of Julie Bindel, who will not be appearing at the debate.

CUSU Julie Bindel luke gittos the cambrigge union transphobia Union WomCam

CUSU Women’s Campaign have issued a statement over social media about the debate  “THW Liberalise Prostitution” at The Cambridge Union, taking place this evening. They also condemned two of the speakers invited, only one of whom will be speaking.

Julie Bindel and Luke Gittos, the former who “profits from transphobia” and the latter “a rampant rape apologist”, were the areas of critique in the Facebook post, but a statement issued by the Union pointed out that “Julie Bindel will not be attending this evening’s debate.”

According to WomCam, the purpose of issuing the statement is to express “our disappointment with various aspects of this debate, and our solidarity with students who will be harmed by it,” arguing that their position as “the representative body for all women and non-binary students at the University of Cambridge” means others should know what they think on matters that concern the student body.

The debate will take place tonight

In the statement, the WomCam said that the Union “diminish certain issues that tangibly affect human lives to formal debate” before launching into critiques about the nature of debating prostitution, and the background of the speakers.”

The background of Julie Bindel and Luke Gittos is what WomCam addressed most, arguing that “the Union seem to have felt obliged to invite “controversial” speakers to balance the conversation and draw a wide audience.” The controversy surrounding Bindel, according to the statement, is her “sex-worker exclusionary feminism” as well as the fact that she has “built part of her career on blatant transphobia”.

Luke Gittos, the solicitor and editor of Spiked magazine branded by WomCam a “rampant rape apologist”, authored “Why Rape Culture is a Dangerous Myth: From Steubenville to Ched Evans.”

CUSU Women’s Campaign also condemned “the wholly outdated and unnecessary use of the word “prostitution”, as well as expressing their solidarity with sex workers.

The Cambridge Union issued the following statement:

“We have tremendous respect for the Women’s Campaign and the work that they do protecting vulnerable students. The Union would like to respectfully point out that Julie Bindel will not be attending this evening’s debate and would encourage students who are interested in hearing from sex workers to approach the three of them in this evening’s debate.”