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, which Chelsea Manning was recently punished for reading in prison.
Casey helped to organize a protest outside the talk. She got up during the Q&A and cited a piece Greer had written for in which she writes that trans women “do as rapists have always done.” Greer didn’t acknowledge that. Greer took one look at Trish Salah and said, “All the trans people I know are such exhibitionists! ” The moderator asked the two trans women to sit down. Trish Salah deserves an answer, not to be told to sit down and shut up simply on the basis of seeming recognizably trans. Basically, the National Union of Students is a British confederation of different student organizations.People asked why she wouldn’t go in, to debate Greer. But when a guy from Canada’s national TV station put a ticket in her hand, she figured—what the hell. And so, in the wake of the recent flurry of op-eds regarding the attempted no-platforming of Germaine Greer, at the University of Cardiff in the United Kingdom, I have to ask—the thinkpiece peanut gallery keeps talking about silencing. And that confederation has a list of people whom no student organization may allow to speak, because they feel that their ideas are repellant to the United Kingdom’s community of students as a whole.This is a controversial strategy for dealing with ideas you don’t like, but at the least, its logic is clear to me.The official NUS no-platform list is mainly populated by white nationalists and other people prone to rhetoric inciting violence. She’s not even on a smaller list of people that the Cardiff Student Union no-platforms.(To my knowledge, there is no such list.) Here’s what actually happened: Cardiff University’s Women’s Association had a conversation with its members about Greer’s planned lecture on November 18, 2015.
They decided they couldn’t welcome Greer’s unapologetic transphobia into their community.Bearing in mind the way that ideology like Greer’s materially affects trans women—by limiting their health care options as a result of Janice Raymond’s report to the American government on trans health care, by pushing trans women out of domestic violence shelters even though trans women are disproportionately affected by domestic violence—that choice makes sense.It is also worth mentioning that this is an issue of money.Greer doubtless demands a hefty fee to speak at an institution. Sara Ahmed, a feminist academic, wrote about a similar incident recently, in which a woman comic with anti-sex work feminist politics was protested at the Goldsmith’s Student Union, and ended up canceling of her own volition.The Cardiff University Women’s Association seems not to want to line her pockets with money that might otherwise go towards what they view as more worthy goals. After her choice to cancel, a number of British feminists published a letter in recapitulating the comic’s anti-sex work ideas and bemoaning the “censorship” of feminists who are anti-trans and anti-sex work.Germaine Greer then wrote an op-ed for , and she talked about how she’d been silenced and censored. Certainly, more people read this letter than would ever have seen the Goldsmith’s Student Union Show.