It censored its interview with Judith Butler when an inconvenient truth emerged about a trans sex offender.
This week the Guardian published an interview with prominent gender theorist Judith Butler. Butler has haunted the ivory tower for decades. Her impenetrable style and nonsensical assertions have secured her a place as one of the academy’s most influential theorists. (Though her writing is so impenetrable that in 1998 she was awarded first place in a ‘bad writing contest’ run by academic journal Philosophy and Literature.)
In the interview, queer historian Jules Gleeson asked Butler for her view on ongoing Wi Spa controversy in Los Angeles. Back in June, a woman complained to the Wi Spa receptionists that someone with a penis was in the women’s changing rooms, parading it in front of women and children. A video of the woman complaining went viral and protests were organised outside the spa to defend women-only spaces.
Gleeson put it to Butler that, ‘It seems that some within feminist movements are becoming sympathetic to these far-right campaigns. This year’s furore around Wi Spa in Los Angeles saw an online outrage by transphobes followed by bloody protests organised by the Proud Boys. Can we expect this alliance to continue?’
The Wi Spa protesters were not mindless fascists. People of all political stripes attended. Some were left-leaning, lesbian feminists (I know of three who attended). Others were evangelical Christians. They united to defend the apparently radical principle that male flashers ought to be kept out of women and girls’ spaces, no matter what gender they identify as. Nevertheless, they were mobbed by ‘Antifa’ counter-protesters.
Rather than challenging Gleeson’s dishonestly framed question, Butler opined that ‘anti-gender ideology is one of the dominant strains of fascism in our times’. Over three paragraphs of bollock-munchingly dull pontification, the esteemed academic confirmed what 4Chan trolls have always claimed – that ordinary, grassroots feminists are in fact ‘feminazi.