An argument has kicked off on Twitter within the last few days, although I know things have been brewing for weeks between two of the main players and I’ll explain why as I go. My own reason for wading in with my not-so-large size five’s is simple enough; I’m sick of fucking wankers maintaining a good social standing.
Who is Peter Tatchell and What’s He Done?
Peter Tatchell is a prominent campaigner on the LGBT scene, and he’s known in the human rights arena. I’ve seen his name come up on two previous occasions within the last month. The first time: He was mentioned in an online group I like; the comment was something akin to ‘even Peter Tatchell agreed with the judgement‘. The case was the highly publicised gay wedding cake fiasco which saw Christian bakers hauled through the courts for refusing to ice a cake with the words ‘Support Gay Marriage‘. The recent appeal at the Supreme Court saw previous decisions overturned on the basis that ‘nobody should be forced to have or express a political opinion in which he does not believe‘.
Julie Bindel Enters the Arena
The second time takes a little more explaining. Julie Bindel, a writer, radical feminist, and co-founder of Justice for Women was no-platformed at an event, the Truth to Power Cafe, established by Jeremy Goldstein, which celebrates free speech. Index on Censorship, a UK based international campaigning publishing organisation for freedom of expression, gave open support to Julie and withdrew their support from the event in protest. In the meantime (oct 27th), this happened:
Tatchell was asked to clarify or confirm he didn’t know of Bindel’s no-platforming and then asked to condone the incident and follow through with a show of support by declining the invitation. He didn’t do either of those things. Although, in the end he didn’t get to speak. The event host cancelled because of the controversy citing ‘due to the changing nature of this event, we feel we can no longer guarantee it as a safe space, particularly for our young artists‘. At the time of writing, social media for Truth to Power Cafe was still not active. I’ll assume they took some heavy hits from the backlash that ensued after Julie, quite rightly, called them out on their hypocrisy.
Fast forward to the 8th of November and we have arrived at:
Posted at the link we find this:
The trigger for a reaction from Julie Bindel was this tweet by Peter Tatchell:
Bindel reacted because she knows Tatchell understood full well that white feminists such as herself have been speaking out against all of those issues; often facing accusations of racism when they do. Julie Bindel knew he was having a dig at people like her for voicing valid concerns regarding the trans debate in this country.
The Apologist Mentality & The Backdoor Acceptance of Abuse – Structural Defects
It needs to be made clear there’s no evidence that Peter Tatchell is a paedophile; other than his blatant campaigning to lower or remove the age of consent, there’s no suggestion he has committed any offences against children. Back in 2000, he campaigned to get the age of consent for homosexual sex lowered to 16 to bring it in line with the heterosexual age of consent; I can fully understand and support that action. However, it was only two years after that he joined/made an attempt to further lower the age of consent to fourteen – I find that slightly disturbing. That he has repeatedly made references to knowing adults, who as 9-13 year olds enjoyed sexual contact with adults, adds a further layer of mistrust in his ability to think critically and also his ability to pass healthy judgement. He’s certainly not the kind of person who should be considered safe around children because he seems unaware of safeguarding risks.
I’ve got to be honest here; I do think people can be stupid and ignorant enough to support ideas which are clearly abusive yet not be abusive in that same regard themselves. That being said, I’d rather not see those people in positions of trust due to a high likelihood of them turning a blind eye to said abusive behaviours. The bottom line for me is, I simply wouldn’t trust them to do the right thing if they’re mentally fixed on supporting a specific position. The likes of Peter Tatchell are commonplace and it’d be rare to find a human who hasn’t made the mistake of justifying the shitty actions of a friend, but where do we draw the line?
People who have got away with sexual abuse and rape off the back of their reputation in other areas are being exposed far too late in their game. I’m thinking of rapists such as Harvey Weinstein, Roman Polanski, and Jimmy Saville. We’ve been saturated with examples of men who commit widespread abuse whilst retaining and enjoying the benefits of their high social status. We have a small number of abusers and many times more people who are prepared to justify abusive acts despite not being outwardly shitty themselves. How many people knew about Weinstein, Saville, Polanski? For fucks sake, Hollywood was STILL praising Polanski even after he was convicted for anally raping a 13-year-old girl. If we’re serious about tackling child rape and sexual abuse this has to stop. One way it can be stopped is by removing the support network and that DOES mean the likes of Peter Tatchell and others of his ilk. The apologists and excusers need to be publicly criticised when it is known they’ve stayed silent; or worse, when they have publicly endorsed an abusive person. Why shouldn’t they be ostracised for being complicit?
Peter Tatchell should never have been allowed to retain his social position once his views were known. The fact he uses his public role as a champion of human rights to downplay his apologist stance towards paedophilia is a clear sign of system failure. The Peter Tatchell Foundation reeks of a personal agenda to secure himself as a champion. I mean come on, how fucking arrogant do you need to be to set up a foundation in your own name – doesn’t someone else usually do that after you’re dead? The man is out for glory and clearly wants his name to be remembered as something which represents something. In his case, champion of LGBT rights and whatever else he claims to be a defender or champion of. The likes of Peter Tatchell, who can hide behind a position of trust and esteem whilst undermining efforts to protect vulnerable humans are a blight, on society and should never be considered an asset.
The Guardian, The Green Party and the Labour Party have all openly endorsed Peter Tatchell despite knowing his standpoint on the age of consent, that he wrote a chapter in a book written and published by paedophiles, and that he wrote a glowing obit for a known paedophile. This post isn’t saying anything about Tatchell that hasn’t already been said for years; the question for me, and my reason for writing is – how are we ever going to arrive at a point where we have zero tolerance for the sexual abuse of minors if people like him are allowed to continue building their reputations whilst simultaneously undermining the moral and ethical foundations on which we are basing the protections we have in place?
Resources & further reading:
Peter Tatchell wrote the obituary for Ian Dunn, a founding member of PIE (paedophile information exchange) – it’s here. Not even a slight hint towards the fact he was a known paedophile… (1998)
An article on an interview he had with a child. At best, highly inappropriate – at worst, reeks of something far more fucking sinister.
An article Peter Tatchell wrote for the Guardian in support of lowering the age of consent. (2009)
Another Peter Tatchell article setting out his ideas for sex education for children. Once again he hones in on the 8-9 age range as an early starting point. (2016)
Bindel wrote about the wider problem of child abuse and mentioned Tatchell’s attitude in this article back in 2001.
The Sambia Tribe Tatchell mentions as being a possible ‘role model’ for western attitudes towards child sexuality. Notice the lack of detail regarding ‘healthy adult relationships’ between men and their wives.