August 22, 2014
August 7, 2014
July 28, 2014
From the New Yorker:
“On May 24th, a few dozen people gathered in a conference room at the Central Library, a century-old Georgian Revival building in downtown Portland, Oregon, for an event called Radfems Respond. The conference had been convened by a group that wanted to defend two positions that have made radical feminism anathema to much of the left. First, the organizers hoped to refute charges that the desire to ban prostitution implies hostility toward prostitutes. Then they were going to try to explain why, at a time when transgender rights are ascendant, radical feminists insist on regarding transgender women as men, who should not be allowed to use women’s facilities, such as public rest rooms, or to participate in events organized exclusively for women.
The dispute began more than forty years ago, at the height of the second-wave feminist movement. In one early skirmish, in 1973, the West Coast Lesbian Conference, in Los Angeles, furiously split over a scheduled performance by the folksinger Beth Elliott, who is what was then called a transsexual. Robin Morgan, the keynote speaker, said:
I will not call a male “she”; thirty-two years of suffering in this androcentric society, and of surviving, have earned me the title “woman”; one walk down the street by a male transvestite, five minutes of his being hassled (which he may enjoy), and then he dares, he dares to think he understands our pain? No, in our mothers’ names and in our own, we must not call him sister.
Such views are shared by few feminists now, but they still have a foothold among some self-described radical feminists, who have found themselves in an acrimonious battle with trans people and their allies. Trans women say that they are women because they feel female—that, as some put it, they have women’s brains in men’s bodies. Radical feminists reject the notion of a “female brain.” They believe that if women think and act differently from men it’s because society forces them to, requiring them to be sexually attractive, nurturing, and deferential. In the words of Lierre Keith, a speaker at Radfems Respond, femininity is “ritualized submission.”
In this view, gender is less an identity than a caste position. Anyone born a man retains male privilege in society; even if he chooses to live as a woman—and accept a correspondingly subordinate social position—the fact that he has a choice means that he can never understand what being a woman is really like. By extension, when trans women demand to be accepted as women they are simply exercising another form of male entitlement.”
READ MORE HERE:
July 28, 2014
*Breaking News* Lesbians stage protest of heterosexual male keynote speaker at London Dyke March 2014 , threatened with arrest
June 21, 2014
After weeks of online protest surrounding the controversial appointment of former LibDem Councilor Sarah Brown, a male transgender, as keynote speaker at the London Dyke March, a group of courageous lesbians staged an effective demonstration today at the march, raising awareness of how Dyke Marches worldwide have been aggressively colonized by “male lesbians”.
Many readers will recall former Councilor Brown as the male self-identified “polyamourous dyke with one male partner” who launched a public campaign to name the foul smelling drainage created by his surgically inverted penis (what he describes as “the smegma-like mixture of dead skin cells, gynaecological lube, stale urine (gives it its distinctive smell) and sweat that is sometimes present as a white residue on the end of a dilation stent when a post-operative trans woman withdraws the stent after dilating her neovagina.”) with the name of a prominent Lesbian Feminist anti-trafficking activist. Brown finally removed this disgusting campaign from his blog this spring, and responded to complaints by falsely claiming he had removed it “years ago”. I personally read the above quoted post on his blog at this link (http://auntysarah.livejournal.com/175926.html) on February 24 of this year.
While still an elected official, Councilor Brown made public posts on “The F Word” blog supporting the creation of legislation that would eliminate the rights of women to meet in women-only feminist political gatherings.
Brown, who calls himself “aunty sarah” next posted a series of ugly, misogynist, anti-gay and anti-feminist rants on his twitter account, the full details of which you can easily google, including statements that lesbian bodies are “off putting”, and “political lesbians must be sexually frustrated”, that he is a “better” lesbian than women because men “have longer fingers” (eww!), and telling lesbians to “suck my balls”. When the former Councilor failed to be re-elected this year (along with many others in the LibDem party) he claimed that “lesbian feminists” caused his political loss as well as a “nervous breakdown” by complaining about his grotesque and disgusting public comments. He violently warned that feminists might someday criticize a man “who has entirely the wrong kind of sense of humor failure”.
Sarah Brown’s outrageous behavior towards lesbians and feminists has a long and colorful history. Which is why women in the UK were stunned to discover that the organization of the London Dyke March had been fully taken over by the “male lesbians” that had been aggressively colonizing it for years, AND that they had invited Mr. “Suck My Balls” Brown to appear as this year’s Keynote Speaker! Insult to injury and all. There followed a flurry of online protest from women who were deeply offended, and alarmed that a purportedly lesbian event had become so thoroughly compromised. The male representatives of the now thoroughly male “Dyke March” responded to the outcry by banning all women from their Facebook page for “inferences that trans women are men”. Not only did the Dyke March ban women from discussion of the politics of elevating a male keynote speaker at a lesbian event, now the mere “inference” that transwomen are, well, “transwomen” (ie. male persons!) caused lesbians to be banned from a LESBIAN PROTEST MARCH ABOUT LESBIAN VISIBILITY. Wow!
It gets worse.
The male London Dyke March organizers then issued a statement informing the lesbians that the “male dykes” had engaged a “police liaison” that would arrest any lesbians who made political statements or spoke publicly against male leadership of the protest march for increasing lesbian visibility. Any lesbians who protested would be arrested and prosecuted for “discrimination” against men! Whew!
In this jackboot climate of male suppression of lesbian rights to gather, seek representation at LESBIAN events, and our right to protest the male erosion of LESBIAN VISIBILITY, under threat of ARREST, at a DYKE MARCH (!!!) it is surprising that any women showed up at all. But some did- and they risked the threat of harassment and ARREST by MALE AUTHORITIES and staged a kick-ass protest, complete with signs and informative literature for any other actual lesbians who showed up. KICK ASSSS! Great job LESBIAN WOMEN!
The following is excerpted from a related post at Sisterhood Is Powerful:
“In hindsight, the most powerful step taken by feminists towards liberation in the 60s-80s, was a recognition of the political power of women-only spaces. It began with CR groups. Groups of women recognised that men have made our traditional place in the home and away from societal decision-making. Over these decades, women fought men’s psychological warfare games aimed at stopping them meeting together in women-only spaces. Women were called ‘man-hater’ and ‘ugly’ and ‘lesbian’ (ha!). They steadfastly continued to pursue political goals in the interests of the female class within those spaces.
It always begins and ends with our own political spaces – only there can we think, dream and plan for a future with freedom. The concept of our own space to escape male supremacy was so successful that a whole women’s sector was built by radical (many were lesbian) feminists.
The idea that women could meet to make things better for all women was becoming so well-established that male supremacy found a way to attack, discredit and destroy it. What better way to do that than from an incredibly regressive ideology disguised as the new progressive way forward. We can’t possibly tell who is a man or who is a woman, the argument goes, (without a degrading look at those genitals down there and that’s unthinkable bigotry). We must, therefore, stop “policing” boundaries on gender lines. We must hold lesbian marches that are open to anyone who identifies any way they like, and we cannot have meetings where we ourselves define the boundaries unless men tell us it’s ok and we’re not “bigots” for our attempts to do so. In one short generation, women-only space is under attack again. As (some liberal etc) feminists are beginning to find out, the use of queer ideology in feminist spaces is a way to silence and control all women; not just those scapegoated for naming the way gender hierarchy oppresses women for the benefit of men.
On 21 June 2014 it feels fitting to dedicate this blog post to all the women who marched for their freedoms in 1908 in Hyde Park London, 106 years ago exactly. They believed that the right to vote would end their oppression. We now know it was barely even the beginning of our fight for liberation but it is entirely understandable that they risked so much to achieve that one main goal. It is also dedicated to UK radical lesbian feminists who cannot go on a ‘Dyke march’ around ‘visibility’ (oh the irony) in London today because men are more welcome than us and to the brave radical lesbian feminists who went anyway and demonstrated their concerns. #takebackdykemarch The two events falling on the same day is embedded in irony.”
Read more of that post here:
*Links to further related posts will be added here as they appear.
June 14, 2014
Originally posted on giagia:
On the 30th of July Laurie Penny is taking part in a discussion with Mary Beard entitled ‘Why Are We Afraid of Outspoken Women?’
From the Ancient Roman forum to Twitter, women have long had to fight for freedom of speech. In 2014, women are still fighting for this basic human right. Online abuse directed at women crosses all forums of the internet. Few women writers and campaigners have not had their views or arguments mocked online at some point. More worryingly, women online also regularly face abuse, harassment, intimidation and violent threats. The purpose of this abuse is to silence women and remove them from public debate.
Sadly, I am not immune to abuse, harassment or threats online (hint: I’m female). Because over the past several months I have talked about gender and biological sex, I have got all kinds of crap from trans activists and…
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