Members of Feminist Fightback were amongst the speakers at the Women’s Liberation at 50 conference in Oxford yesterday.
Misinformation has been circulating that Feminist Fightback pressured the organisers of the conference to disinvite Selina Todd. Feminist Fightback had been due to participate in a panel with Hilary Wainwright and Lola Olufemi. The day before the conference Lola Olufemi decided to withdraw on the basis that Todd was speaking earlier in the day. Feminist Fightback is a collective that works on a consensus-decision making process, we therefore called a meeting to discuss what to do next. The question for us was never whether we were opposed to Selina Todd’s views on trans issues (we are); rather the question was whether continuing to participate in a conference at which she was one of many speakers would make us complicit with those views, or whether it was better to attend to ensure that trans-inclusive feminist voices were heard.
We were still in the middle of this meeting on Friday evening, and had not reached a conclusion, when we saw via social media that Selina Todd would not be attending. Whilst we are really sorry that the conference panel did not include the important contribution of Lola Olufemi, we were delighted to join a revised panel with Melba Wilson, Stella Dadzie and Hilary Wainwright, from whom we have learnt a great deal over the years and yesterday as well.
We are trying to resist a culture where those active on the Left are pressured to offer instant responses to complex political questions. If you would like to discuss this further, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org