Ah the smell of warm cake…. Could there be anything nicer? How about talking to Julie Bindel on twitter?
You all know I’m a trans activist, but I thought I’d blog about my other great passion, the lovely things I like to cook. This new direction was meant to appeal to food-lovers and be totally unconnected to trans stuff. After all, gender doesn’t define me completely.
But life is rarely so discrete. Something I’ve learned – and which I believe to be a particularly feminine viewpoint – is that everything is connected. Not in a weird New Age way, but in the sense that events, feelings and ideas tend to overlap; and that this is a good thing. So it is that my inaugural cooking blog comes to mention Julie Bindel.
Bindel recently wrote a feature in response to Channel 4’s My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, which she felt unfairly portrayed the traveller community. I haven’t watched it, so can’t really comment, but I have seen criticisms of the series and feel that Julie’s idea to interview a broader range of Gypsy women was very noble.
However, it really infuriated me that Bindel would work so hard to get to know this marginalised community when she has made no such equal effort with trans people.
Trans people, I might add, who have provided fodder for her career in the past 7 years. Sure, she’s met various intelligent trans people who’ve tried to engage with her but, as lovely as she apparently seems to be in person, poison can flow when she has a pen in hand. Bindel repeatedly revisits trans issues and, though she hasn’t done so for a while, her previous articles are all online and easily accessible.
Which is fine, because she can write about whatever she wants, right? Hmm, but if she’d written something racist – and were truly sorry for it – I would have imagined she’d ask for it to be taken down. Or make a very grand, unreserved apology. Or have her name removed from it. I wouldn’t expect this:
“Think about a world inhabited just by transsexuals. It would look like the set of Grease.”
To be to be defended on grounds of censorship and free speech any more than something which read:
“Think of a world inhabited just by blacks. It would look like the set of Coffy.”
So, she’s fair game. Anyone who makes money through attacking one of the most hurt, harassed, and humiliated groups in society should be challenged frequently – so long as her pernicious output remains public.
That said, Julie has been very polite and kind to me on Twitter. So I’ve invited her – and a few trans women, with varied gender expressions – over to mine for high tea. And seeing as the lemon drizzle cake I made last night was such a success, I’ve promised to do another.
I expect the meeting, like the cake, will be all sweetness. Let’s just hope there’s no sour aftertaste.
How to make Julie Bindel’s-Coming-To-Tea Lemon Drizzle Cake:
Seriously folks, this is SO frigging easy – even my cat could make it, drunk.
- Take 285g of unsalted butter – just over half a normal sized bar (what is ‘normal’?) and soften it with fork in a large mixing bowl. Microwave it for a few seconds if necessary.
- Open your Twitter and start tweeting about the feminist everyone loves to hate, Julie B.
- Mix in 285g of granulated sugar to the butter (I just guess the weight, personally.) Begin online rant about Bindel.
- Right, now crack an egg in and stir it really well. Do this with 3 more eggs.
- Receive friendly message from Bindel stating that she’s open to discussion and really ‘not what you think’ she is.
- Stir in grated rind of a lemon (or lime – I used tangerine skin) and sift in 285g of flour. Again, I guessed this amount. It worked for me.
- Pour mixture into loaf tin lined with greaseproof paper. Admonish Bindel for her ‘set of Grease’ comments in the paper.
- Pop in an oven pre-heated to 180 degrees. My oven’s a bit shit so it only goes to 200. I therefore created a small gap by jamming a wooden spoon in.
- Ok, now you’re waiting to get a rise. Out of the cake of course! Leave it for 45-50 mins, while you check your social networking sites.
- Invite Bindel round for high tea. Add half a cup of sugar with the juice of 1-2 lemons. (Mine was a lemon-tangerine compromise. Sometimes it’s good to compromise and also to remember things are seldom straightforward, and frequently incorporate various elements.)
- When your cake is ready, a skewer stabbed inside should come out clean. Whilst it’s still warm, prick holes over the top and pour the sugar-juice over it. Allow everything to cool.
- Now you’re ready for Bindel. And she’s gonna love this moist, tangy, rich sponge. But will she love you? And will she see the yummy yellow thing as further evidence that trans women are caricatures of traditional femininity?
To be continued…