February 18, 2014
February 11, 2014
“Last night a friend and I were discussing the rise of SWERF and TERF, insults that are increasingly used against feminists who attack, not sex workers nor trans people, but gendered structures of oppression. Fear-based feminism would deny that these are insults at all. It would argue that the word “exclusion” is never used in vain. It would send tweets to itself and the world at large, using capital letters: TERF IS NOT A SLUR TERF IS NOT A SLUR TERF IS NOT A SLUR. It would say “it’s descriptive,” all the while making note of the latest unsayables (gender is a construct, reproduction is a feminist issue, misogyny is associated with hatred of the female body). It would watch as all space for discussion and compassion collapsed in on itself. It would think “as long as I am safe. As long as I am neither SWERF nor TERF.”
Fear-based feminism is all about attacking individuals, not intersecting structures of oppression. “Kick up, not down.” Just as long as you’re kicking someone, and as long as the person being kicked isn’t you. As long as you are the one saying “STFU” and “sit down” and “cis white feminist tears” and shaking your damn head at someone else’s supreme ignorance. As long as you are not creating (because you might create the wrong thing!). As long as you are knocking down.
A critique of gender, objectification, sex work and reproductive oppression within the context of “being a woman” should be within the scope of anyone’s feminism. And yet, if I were a younger feminist – if I didn’t already have the support of other feminists — I would be too frightened to have written that sentence. I would think it was easier left unsaid. Best focus on the surface and the individual. I would not trust myself with more, and I’d be scared of ever wavering from this. I would want to be a good girl, one who swears and fucks in all the right places, wishes suffering on the right people, says “sorry” to those she fears and “die, scum” to those whom she doesn’t want to be. I would tweet SWERF IS NOT A SLUR SWERF IS NOT A SLUR SWERF IS NOT A SLUR. I would have no faith in my own ability to listen and make my own moral judgments. I’d be bloody terrified of ever getting this wrong, and I’d be right to be.”
Read the rest of this post by clicking the link above.
Transgender Activists plan protest against Day of Remembrance for Women Murdered in the L’Ecole Polytechnique Massacre
November 20, 2013
Vancouver male transgender activists (“Transwomen”) spent today organizing a protest against the scheduled upcoming Day of Remembrance for the fourteen women slaughtered during the horrific 1989 L’Ecole Polytechnique Massacre.
Organizer Natalie Reed previously collaborated with Abuzar Chaudhary (who has a restraining order against him by the University of Toronto Women’s Center for violent behavior and threats) in mounting a public protest outside a Vancouver private residence where women met to discuss feminism.
Reed believes that all males can become female if they simply claim to be, and has lobbied for the right to have a state-funded medical procedure to insert a surgical “neovagina” near his penis, so that he can have the appearance of having two sets of genitals. Reed and his “transwomen” co-organizers are offended by any feminist or women’s event that addresses the issues that affect women because they feel that such events discriminate against them as males.
In a shocking lapse of sensitivity and respect, Reed and co-organizers seek to disrupt a solemn event – one remembering the cold-blooded mass-murder of fourteen women by a man who targeted feminists for death because he believed feminism discriminated against his interests as a male- on the grounds that feminists also discriminate against THEIR interests as males.
From the Vancouver Rape Relief website:
1989 – A lone man walked into an engineering class at L’École Polytechnique at the University of Montréal. He separated the men from the women and told the men to leave. After the male students complied, the man declared his hatred of feminists and began to shoot the women with a semi-automatic rifle. While police forces stood outside, Marc Lépine went on a rampage, shooting and stabbing the women at the school. He then shot himself.
He left behind a note that included a list of prominent Canadian feminists whom he planned to kill. It was clear that these women engineering students symbolized the progress of women’s equality. Lépine’s actions could have pushed back women’s demands for increased equality through social change. However, women organized in defiance of his attack.
Women rose up to demonstrate in towns and cities across the country. They connected Lépine’s acts of violence to the everyday sexism to which women are subjected. Women dedicated themselves to feminist organizing to bring into reality their expectations of freedom for the present and the future.
You can read more here: https://radicalhubarchives.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/december-6-1989/
This bizarre upcoming protest may be the most terrifying, grotesque, and shocking incident yet to emerge from the transgender movement’s decade-long war against feminism and women’s rights.
The following post, seemingly lacking all grasp of reality, and without any sense of the basic humanity of the massacred women being memorialized, was authored by Natalie Reed and is being circulated on Facebook and various blogs:
Vancouver Rape Relief invited Janice Raymond to speak at the Vancouver Public Library Nov. 30, 2013
11/20/2013 — Suzan
This is from a Facebook post. More Info will follow
Natalie Reed 11/19/2013
So… VANCOUVER TRANS PEEPS (and allies)… as many of you know Vancouver Rape Relief has invited Janice Raymond to speak at the Vancouver Public Library (presumably the downtown location) on November 30th, as an event memorializing the massacre at L’Ecole Polytechnique. Given VRR’s trans-exclusionist policies, history of trans-misogyny, ongoing support of transphobic feminism, dismissal of Kimberly Nixon, subsequent legal defense, and role in setting legal precedent that permits anti-trans discrimination in Canada, and Janice Raymond’s own history of extraordinary trans-misogyny and central role in the development of transphobia within feminism, we can’t really consider this coincidental or benign, nor can we assume the talk will simply be about L’Ecole Polytechnique, misogynistic violence or women in STEM fields.
In all likelihood, it will almost certainly be an openly cissexist, trans-misogynistic talk, probably based around arguing for trans-exclusionist policy to “protect” the “safety” of “womyn-born-womyn”.
Many folks are trying to prevent VPL from hosting the event, especially given that VPL’s own policies insist upon events being inclusive and respectful towards marginalized groups and identities (and IIRC, gender identity is specifically mentioned). *Hopefully* the talk being prevented from taking place at VPL is what will happen, or at least VPL inviting members of the trans community to respond / debate. BUT IF THE VRR / JANICE RAYMOND TALK PROCEEDS AS PLANNED… I would very much like if we could organize a counter-event to take place at VPL the same day (with or without explicit approval from VPL… library square’s status as public space should permit us to gather there regardless of prior approval- at least long enough to stage the response event- as long as we aren’t being destructive or harassing anyone or anything).
I was thinking of organizing speakers to talk on four topics that would serve as a useful counter-point to the trans-misogyny of Vancouver Rape Relief and Janice Raymond:
1) The consequences of trans-exclusionist policy, and/or trans people being unable to safely access services like rape/abuse/DV support services, homeless and emergency shelters, sexual health services, police services, medical care, etc. …with a definite focus on the rape/abuse/DV stuff (I could take this up as a topic myself, if needed, based on my experiences as a trans rape survivor and my ongoing inability to find any suitable support or resources).
2) The consequences of transphobic, cissexist and trans-misogynistic feminism, as exemplified by writers like Janice Raymond, Sheila Jeffries, Mary Daly, etc., and the consequences of exclusion of or unwelcoming attitudes towards trans women in women’s spaces, organizations, communities, etc. (perhaps tilted towards trans women’s exclusion from feminist space and queer women’s space).
3) Trans-misogynistic violence (which can tie into TDoR and recent events).
4) How trans women are impacted by misogyny and misogynistic violence, like that of the L’Ecole Polytechnique shooting, and how trans-misogyny, transphobia, cissexism, etc interrelates with misogyny, patriarchy, etc.
I think these topics will make a compelling point (ideally to ppl who are there for the Raymond talk, or who have uncritically supported VRR in the past, or who are associated w/ VPL, or who are simply unaware of these issues)… particularly if our event manages to round up better attendance than the Raymond talk itself.
If interested in helping organize this event, or interested in speaking, or interested in helping out in any way at all, please please comment or message me or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org Also, even just expressing interest in ATTENDING could help give a good idea of whether this works as an idea.
Hopefully none of this will be necessary, but given that it’s less than two weeks away, we should start organizing ASAP.
(also my FB is being slow so I can’t tag everyone… so help me get the word out?)
Here at GenderTrender I very seldom post asking readers to consider taking a specific action. Generally I feel it is a bit presumptuous to advise other adults on the specifics of their activism. I am going to make an exception here and ask you to strongly consider whether it may be possible for you to donate some funds to Vancouver Rape Relief. Even if you can only afford five or ten bucks. Or collect five bucks from all your friends and send that in. Whatever you can to support them and the work they do against such outrageous assaults. They need support and (apparently) will- shockingly- need security from the transgender community for this memorial service. Please don’t forget. You can send your donation here:
Montreal Massacre Memorial
Saturday – November 30, 2013
10:00am – 6:00pm
Vancouver Public Library (350 West Georgia St. Vancouver, BC)
Professor Collette Oseen – Sexism within the Police Force
Executive Director of Southwest Center For Law And Policy, Hallie Bongar-White – Tribal Law and Vioelnce Against Aboriginal Women
Immigration Lawyer Peggy Lee –The Impact of Recent Immigration Reforms on Women Escaping Male Violence
Professor Emerita Janice Raymond – Prostitution: Not a Job, not a Choice
Family Lawyer Amanda Rose – Battered Women, Child custody and the New Family Relations Act
Professor Elizabeth Sheehy – Defending Battered Women on Trial
10:00 a.m. The State’s Sexist and Racist Response to violence against Women
12:00 p.m. Feminist Responses to Rape on Campus
2:00 p.m. Organizing Women to the Feminist Movement
4:00 p.m. Beyond “Not My Daughter”: How Prostitution impacts all Women.
10:00 a.m. Buying Sex (Canada, 2013)
Formerly prostituted women, policy-makers, lawyers and male buyers present conflicting views on prostitution. watch trailer
12:00 p.m. Status Quo? The Unfinished Business of Feminism in Canada (Canada, 2012)
How much progress we have truly made on key concerns such as violence against women, access to abortion, and universal childcare? watch trailer
2:00 p.m. Power and Control: Domestic Violence in America (USA, 2010)
the film explores the shocking persistence of violence against women, as refracted through the story of Kim, a Duluth, MN mother of three. watch trailer
4:00 p.m. It Was Rape (USA, 2013)
Eight women tell their diverse personal stories of rape, from a Midwestern teenager trying alcohol for the first time to a Native American woman gradually coming to terms with her abusive childhood. watch trailer
October 21, 2013
August 31, 2013
Authenticity of – Forbidden Discourse: The Silencing of Feminist Critique of “Gender”- statement has been confirmed
August 21, 2013
The authenticity of following statement, now censored from Pandagon.net which was among the first sites who published it, has been confirmed. Some question of its authenticity arose in the initial period after its distribution for issues you can read about Here. However, many women have contacted various signatories and the authenticity of the document has been confirmed. Not only that, but more women have, and are currently, co-signing the document. Thank you to all the women who contacted me and provided verification over the last twelve hours. The entire statement is published below. Heart at Women’s Space has provided biographical information on the original signers Here, and what an impressive group of women they are. If you would like to have your name added as a co-signer of the document please contact Carol Hanisch here: http://carolhanisch.org/
The original statement in full:
Forbidden Discourse: The Silencing of Feminist Criticism of “Gender”
An open statement from 37 radical feminists from five countries.
August 12, 2013
We, the undersigned 1960s radical feminists and current activists, have been
concerned for some time about the rise within the academy and mainstream media
of “gender theory,” which avoids naming men and the system of male supremacy
as the beneficiaries of women’s oppression. Our concern changed to alarm when
we learned about threats and attacks, some of them physical, on individuals and
organizations daring to challenge the currently fashionable concept of gender.
Recent developments: A U.S. environmental organization that also calls itself
radical feminist is attacked for its political analysis of gender. Feminist conferences
in the U.K., U.S. and Canada are driven from their contracted locations for asserting
the right of women to organize for their liberation separately from men, including
M>F (male to female) transgendered people.
Deep Green Resistance (DGR) reports1 that queer activists defaced its published
materials and trans activists threatened individual DGR members with arson, rape
and murder. Bookstores are pressured not to carry DGR’s work and its speaking
events are cancelled after protests by queer/transgender activists. At “RadFem”
conferences in London2, Portland3 and Toronto4, trans activists accuse scheduled
speakers of hate speech and/or being transphobic because they dare to analyze
gender from a feminist political perspective. Both MF transgender people and
“men’s rights” groups, operating separately but using similar language, demand
to be included in the Rad Fem 2013 conference in London called to fight against
women’s oppression and for liberation.
How did we slide back to the point where radical feminists have to fight for the
right to hold women-only conferences and criticize conventional “gender roles”?
The rise of Gender Studies may be part of the problem. Language is a wonderful
human tool for thinking, understanding, cooperation and progress, so it makes
sense that when people fight for freedom and justice against those who are
oppressing them, the use and misuse of words—of language—becomes part of
the struggle. Originally the term “gender” may have been a useful way around
the communication problem that the word “sex” in English has several meanings.
“Sex” refers to the reproduction of a species, as well as acts bringing about sexual
pleasure AND the simply descriptive division of many plants and animals into
two observable categories—the “sexes.” Using “gender” instead of “sex” allows
feminists to make it clear that all kinds of social relations and differences between
the sexes were unjust, not just sexual relations between the sexes. “Gender”
also covers the artificial, socially-created differences between the human sexes,
the overwhelming majority of which are politically, economically and culturally
disadvantageous to female humans.
“Gender Studies” has displaced the grassroots women’s liberation analysis
of the late 1960s and early 1970s. An early embrace of the neutral idea of
“sex roles” as a major cause of women’s oppression by some segments of the
women’s liberation movement has morphed into the new language—but the
same neutrality—of “gender roles” and “gender oppression.” With a huge
boost from the “new” academic theory coming out of those programs, heavily
influenced by post-modernism, “gender identity” has overwhelmed—when
not denying completely—the theory that biological women are oppressed and
exploited as a class by men and by capitalists due to their reproductive capacity.
Women often can no longer organize against our oppression in women-only
groups without being pilloried with charges of transphobia. But, as a UKbased
radical feminist “Fire in My Belly” wrote in her blog, “Radical feminists
recognise that an individual’s ‘gender identity’ cannot, in a fair society, be
allowed to ride roughshod over biological sex, which cannot be changed.”5
We do not view traditional sex/gender roles as natural or permanent. In fact,
criticizing these “roles” is valid and necessary for women’s liberation. Radical
feminist analysis and activism focus on unequal power relations between men
and women under male supremacy, with real, material benefits going to the
oppressor group (men) at the expense of the oppressed group (women).
The system of male supremacy comes down hard on non-conforming men and
women, as movingly described online by members of the trans community.
While switching gender identity may alleviate some problems on an individual
level, it is not a political solution. Furthermore, a strong case can be made that
it undermines a solution for all, even for the transitioning person, by embracing
and reinforcing the cultural, economic and political tracking of “gender” rather
than challenging it. Transitioning is a deeply personal issue associated with a
lot of pain for many people but it is not a feminist strategy or even individual
feminist stance. Transitioning, by itself, does not aid in the fight for equal
power between the sexes.
There will have to be many advances in science and technology before the
bodies of female humans will no longer be needed for the complicated
and dangerous jobs of supplying eggs and gestating and bearing ongoing
generations to carry on the work of the world. There will also, no doubt, be
struggles to ensure that women are not oppressed in new ways under these
Not all feminists agree that ‘gender’ should be done away with, nor do
we agree with one another on pornography or prostitution or a radical
transformation of our economy or a number of other issues. But our movement
has a history of airing serious differences in speeches and distributed position
papers, not in physical attacks, threats of bodily harm and censorship of such
analyses. DGR and RadFem stood up for the right to think, speak and write
freely on the question of gender.
Although we may not be in total agreement with DGR’s analysis of gender, we
welcome it as an important contribution to radical feminism and commend
the courage it has taken to stand against the threats and attacks it brought
upon them. We defend the right of RadFem to exclude men, including M>F
trans people, from their feminist meetings and to invite speakers who analyze
gender from a feminist perspective. We also commend CounterPunch online
for publishing the DGR material, which brought similar attacks for transphobia
upon them, including from Jacobin magazine online.
We look forward to freedom from gender. The “freedom for gender”
movement, whatever the intentions of its supporters, is reinforcing the culture
and institutions of gender that are oppressing women. We reject the notion
that this analysis is transphobic. We uphold the radical feminist principle that
women are oppressed by male supremacy in both its individual and institutional
forms. We continue to support the radical feminist strategy of organizing an
independent power base and speaking the basic truths of our experience out of
earshot of the oppressor. We hold these principles and strategies essential for
advancing toward women’s liberation.
Initiated by Carol Hanisch (NY), Kathy Scarbrough (NJ), Ti-Grace Atkinson (MA), and Kathie Sarachild (NY)
Also signed by Roberta Salper (MA), Marjorie Kramer (VT), Jean Golden (MI), Marisa Figueiredo (MA), Maureen Nappi (NY), Sonia Jaffe Robbins (NY), Tobe Levin (Germany), Marge Piercy (MA), Barbara Leon (CA), Anne Forer (AZ), Anselma Dell’Olio (Italy), Carla Lesh (NY), Laura X (CA), Gabrielle Tree (Canada), Christine Delphy (France), Pam Martens (FL), Nellie Hester Bailey (NY), Colette Price (NY), Candi Churchhill (FL), Peggy Powell Dobbins (GA), Annie Tummino (NY), Margo Jefferson (NY), Jennifer Sunderland (NY), Michele Wallace (NJ), Allison Guttu (NY), Sheila Michaels (MO), Carol Giardina (NY), Nicole Hardin (FL), Merle Hoffman (NY), Linda Stein (NY), Margaret Stern (NY), Faith Ringgold (NJ), Joanne Steele (NY)
WARNING: The authenticity of this letter has been called into question. Since its distribution none of the signatories have made public comment. While I have been provided with a copy of an email from a person claiming to be Carol Hanisch I am withholding judgement until further confirmation. We have seen many times trans/MRA activists (like Daryl/Sophia Banks) impersonate known feminists in order to harass them. Until further confirmation I am leaving this warning here.
*UPDATE* THE AUTHENTICITY OF THIS DOCUMENT HAS BEEN CONFIRMED. Read full document HERE.
“We, the undersigned 1960s radical feminists and current activists, have been concerned for some time about the rise within the academy and mainstream media of “gender theory,” which avoids naming men and the system of male supremacy as the beneﬁciaries of women’s oppression. Our concern changed to alarm when we learned about threats and attacks, some of them physical, on individuals and organizations daring to challenge the currently fashionable concept of gender.
Recent developments: A U.S. environmental organization that also calls itself radical feminist is attacked for its political analysis of gender. Feminist conferences in the U.K., U.S. and Canada are driven from their contracted locations for asserting the right of women to organize for their liberation separately from men, including M>F (male to female) transgendered people.
Deep Green Resistance (DGR) reports1 that queer activists defaced its published materials and trans activists threatened individual DGR members with arson, rape and murder. Bookstores are pressured not to carry DGR’s work and its speaking events are cancelled after protests by queer/transgender activists. At “RadFem” conferences in London2, Portland3 and Toronto4, trans activists accuse scheduled speakers of hate speech and/or being transphobic because they dare to analyze gender from a feminist political perspective. Both M>F transgender people and “men’s rights” groups, operating separately but using similar language, demand to be included in the Rad Fem 2013 conference in London called to ﬁght against women’s oppression and for liberation.
How did we slide back to the point where radical feminists have to ﬁght for the right to hold women-only conferences and criticize conventional “gender roles”? The rise of Gender Studies may be part of the problem. Language is a wonderful human tool for thinking, understanding, cooperation and progress, so it makes sense that when people ﬁght for freedom and justice against those who are oppressing them, the use and misuse of words—of language—becomes part of the struggle. Originally the term “gender” may have been a useful way around the communication problem that the word “sex” in English has several meanings. “Sex” refers to the reproduction of a species, as well as acts bringing about sexual pleasure AND the simply descriptive division of many plants and animals into two observable categories—the “sexes.” Using “gender” instead of “sex” allows feminists to make it clear that all kinds of social relations and differences between the sexes were unjust, not just sexual relations between the sexes. “Gender” also covers the artiﬁcial, socially-created differences between the human sexes, the overwhelming majority of which are politically, economically and culturally disadvantageous to female humans.
“Gender Studies” has displaced the grassroots women’s liberation analysis of the late 1960s and early 1970s. An early embrace of the neutral idea of “sex roles” as a major cause of women’s oppression by some segments of the women’s liberation movement has morphed into the new language—but the same neutrality—of “gender roles” and “gender oppression.” With a huge boost from the “new” academic theory coming out of those programs, heavily inﬂuenced by post-modernism, “gender identity” has overwhelmed—when not denying completely—the theory that biological women are oppressed and exploited as a class by men and by capitalists due to their reproductive capacity. Women often can no longer organize against our oppression in women-only groups without being pilloried with charges of transphobia. But, as a UK- based radical feminist “Fire in My Belly” wrote in her blog, “Radical feminists recognise that an individual’s ‘gender identity’ cannot, in a fair society, be allowed to ride roughshod over biological sex, which cannot be changed.”5
We do not view traditional sex/gender roles as natural or permanent. In fact, criticizing these “roles” is valid and necessary for women’s liberation. Radical feminist analysis and activism focus on unequal power relations between men and women under male supremacy, with real, material beneﬁts going to the oppressor group (men) at the expense of the oppressed group (women).”
Read more here:
Trans vs. Feminism : Video footage of Queer/Trans activists at the ‘Law and Disorder’ conference following last weekend’s Portland attack
May 16, 2013
The following is the first video to emerge of events that took place at last weekend’s Portland University “Law and Disorder” conference, where two feminists were assaulted by angry transgender and “queer” activists who were enraged that women were offering materials which presented the feminist belief that sex-roles or “gender” are harmful to women and girls. The attackers believed that sex-roles must be supported and that women should not be permitted to voice opinions or write books critical of gender. The queer/trans politic (as seen in this video) believes that uttering such opinions is so offensive that feminists who express them should be silenced by any means necessary, including threats, censorship and violence. In Saturday’s attack the feminists were threatened and terrorized, their books were destroyed, and one of the women was marked up with a magic marker by one of the men. Read the previous post here: http://gendertrender.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/feminists-assaulted-in-transgender-attack-at-portland-conference-for-social-change-womens-books-destroyed-and-bodies-defaced-with-permanent-magic-markers/
This two-part video captures some of the events that took place at the conference the next day, when feminists and some of the male members of DGR attempted to again present materials from Deep Green Resistance – including feminist materials critical of gender.
Again: this is NOT footage of the violent attack. This is footage of queer/transgender activists surrounding the table of Deep Green Resistance the day AFTER the Saturday attack. Footage from Saturday has not yet emerged. To GenderTrender’s knowledge, NONE of the people in this video are accused of committing the violent attack and destruction of feminist books the day before. (More information including the identity of those attackers is emerging and will be posted shortly.) Regardless, this video shows the timbre of the male-centric queer/trans community’s approach to feminist theory and activism which is critical of sex-based social roles or “gender”.
Deep Green Resistance have issued a public statement about the attacks. Here it is:
Three incidents occurred at the “Law and Disorder Conference” in Portland May 11 and 12 concerning DGR and transgender/queer activists. A lot of lies have been told about these incidents. We need to tell the facts of what physically happened.
Two women were tabling, handing out DGR literature and selling books. A group of five transgender/queer activists came up to the table. One of the male queer activists began shouting at the women, using aggressive language. This man made threatening gestures toward the women. He grabbed and defaced table materials. When one of the women went to protect the materials, he marked her arm and hand as well.
This conference states it has a policy of safe spaces, but “safe spaces” evidently doesn’t apply to women, because although most people in the room had no choice but to hear the shouting, no one, including the organizers, intervened to stop this man and his aggressive behavior.
A half an hour later, a male DGR member tried to engage in respectful conversation with these queer activists. They began chanting at him and insulting him, culminating in them throwing trash and food at his head.
The next day, Sunday, the DGR crew went back, for more tabling, and an angry mob of queer activists again approached the table, yelling and cursing at them, and demanded that they leave. You can watch the video of this. Once again, for all their talk of “safe spaces,” the organizers did not intervene, nor provide a safe space.
You will see that throughout all of this, the DGR members were respectful and courteous. They tried to de-escalate. Nonetheless, they were the recipients of bullying, threats, and silencing.
One of the organizers, Brandon Speck, witnessed much of this, and at least pretended to express concern for the women. He originally said that the perpetrators would not be invited back next year. He also promised that he would write up a statement of solidarity with the victims condemning the attacks. He further promised to run this statement by the victims before publishing it. He was not telling the truth. He did not run the statement by the women, and the statement he did publish indeed blames the DGR members for their own victimization. Women from all over responded en masse to this by pointing out that this was the classic victim-blaming that characterizes patriarchy and misogyny. The thread was deleted, and the organizer falsely claimed this was because of “violently transphobic comments.” This was as much a lie as their original release blaming the victims. The only violence in the comments was directed at DGR members.
DGR has never threatened anyone, and has a code of conduct that disallows making threats against people. Any DGR person who behaved as violently as any of the queer activists did at this conference would be immediately banned from DGR. Instead, what has happened is a barrage of threats against DGR members, up to and including mass beheading. And yet these comments are allowed to remain.
We ask everyone to stand in solidarity with all victims of patriarchal, male-pattern violence, starting with the women who were subjected to this at the Law and Disorder conference.
Feminists assaulted in Transgender Attack at Portland conference for Social Change: Women’s books destroyed and bodies defaced with permanent magic markers
May 13, 2013
Breaking News: In what has been described as a “horrifying” incident two women were attacked by a group of men who identified themselves as “transgender women” at the Portland State University “Law and Disorder Conference” which billed itself as a “provocative space for comparative critical dialogue between activists, revolutionaries, educators, artists, musicians, scholars, dancers, actors and writers”.
The women were attacked in a coordinated assault as they sat at a table which sold feminist books and literature. The men destroyed the books and marked up the table display with permanent markers. One of the women was also marked up by the men. Predominantly male conference onlookers by all reports allowed the attack to take place, watching in stunned silence. Two males affiliated with the same group as the feminists -Deep Green Resistance- were also in attendance and the “trans women” threw a projectile at the head of one of them.
According to reports, the transgender males or “trans women” took issue with the feminist content in the Deep Green Resistance materials. Specifically, a portion of the materials reflected the feminist position that social roles based on sex are undesirable and harmful to women.
The transgender males believe that social roles based on sex are natural and innate and that it is instead the unchanging nature of biological sex that is undesirable. They believe that women should not criticize social roles based on sex, in deference to the feelings of men like themselves who embrace such roles. The men reportedly stated that all feminist writing and voices should be silenced by males with force if necessary, and they then proceeded to do just that.
Conference organizer Brandon Speck posted a statement on Facebook today following yesterday’s attack. He claimed that women should not be able to disseminate materials that might offend those men who support sex-roles. He claimed that the women deserved to be attacked for offering materials that contained feminism. He stated that no feminists should be permitted to sell books that men might not like. He said that as a man he had no authority to dictate the behavior of other men who might choose to assault women who offend them. Here is his statement:
Here is the link to the page where his statement is posted:
The attached comments include threats by transgender activists to continue violent attacks against women who promote feminist thought.
I am withholding the names of the women who were attacked until they issue a public statement, which will be published here. The feminists are reported to be terrorized but did not require medical care. No arrests have yet been made. Stay tuned for updates.
*UPDATE* the statement and thread referenced above have been entirely deleted. Here is a link to the page where the former statement was posted:
Lawrence University invokes shocking last minute BAN on Earth Day Keynote Speaker Lierre Keith due to her Feminist views on Gender
April 22, 2013
In a shocking last minute decision Lawrence University representatives no-platformed Deep Green Resistance founding member Lierre Keith from her scheduled Earth Day appearance due to previous feminist comments she has made about gender. Specifically, she was banned from speaking at the university due to her belief that Gender is socially created and not biologically innate.
Keith is the author of The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice and Sustainability and a well known writer, Radical Feminist, food activist and environmentalist. Her scheduled speech “Stopping Civilization’s Violence to the Earth” was booked as part of Lawrence’s Greenfire Earth Week Speaking Series.
An event organizer contacted Keith on April 11 with the disturbing news that Lawrence University faculty lecturer Helen Boyd (pen name of Gail Kramer) who is identified in emails as “Professor Helen Boyd-Kramer, a well-known transadvocate” was organizing a campaign to censor Keith’s environmentalist lecture. Boyd-Kramer is the heterosexual wife of transgender and long-time crossdresser, actor Jason Crowl. Boyd-Kramer is the author of “My Husband Betty: Love, Sex and Life with a Crossdresser” and appears on the transgender circuit as a paid speaker describing her experiences as the wife of a transgender man, as well as lecturing in the Gender Studies and Freshman Studies departments at Lawrence. The organizer informed Lierre Keith that Boyd-Kramer was threatening to mount a public protest at the Earth Day event as well as publish an article in the Lawrence University newspaper damning the event unless Lierre agreed to meet with her “in order to have a private conversation about the issue”. Although Keith’s scheduled Earth Day talk had nothing to do with the transgender issue, the organizer stated his fear that “They would diminish the impact of your talk by making you look close-minded and mean, and by shifting the focus of discussion and re-framing your appearance completely.” Lierre was repeatedly asked if her feminist views on gender had “changed”: “we’d love to hear that and the issue will end there.”
No stranger to controversy, and with the strong support of those in the Wisconsin environmentalist community Keith intended to proceed with her appearance as scheduled on Sunday April 21. Two days before the event she was informed that her environmentalist program had been no-platformed at Lawrence University due to her unwillingness to retract her previous, unrelated feminist statements expressing her belief that gender is socially constructed and not biologically innate.
Lawrence University Earth Day organizer Adam James Kranz posted the following message on the event Facebook page announcing that he would personally replace Keith as speaker and present the aspects of Keith’s ideas that he finds “compelling”:
by Greenfire (Notes) on Friday, April 19, 2013 at 2:06pm
From their website “Deep Green Resistance is an analysis, a strategy, and a movement being born, the only movement of its kind.” DGR’s writings have strongly influenced my perspective on environmental issues, and I think their ideas have a lot of valuable contributions to make. They draw deep connections between violence against the land and violence based on class, race, gender, etc. Their analysis puts modern ills in historical context, comparing the tribulations of agricultural life to the hunter-gatherer systems dominant for most of human existence. They make incisive critiques of mainstream modes of activism and reform. Their appraisal of reform-based activism asks us whether we can afford to wait, and, if not, whether we have any alternatives.
There are plenty of intellectual critiques one can and should make of DGR – I did two independent studies last Spring doing just that. However, I feel that DGR’s perspective is very valuable and poses some tough questions to the conventional brand of activism. Lierre is one of the three main leaders and authors behind DGR, and I hoped her lecture would provoke some interesting discussion. The broad, inclusive resistance to oppression and hierarchy that DGR advocates was my own entry point into activist causes beyond environmentalism. I largely relied on their positions on issues I hadn’t bothered to study myself – especially feminism.
This is why I was so disappointed and betrayed to learn that Lierre doesn’t support the trans community in their fight against the same oppressive forces Lierre spends her life combating. In fact, Lierre’s views are deeply offensive and actively transphobic. If anyone is interested in reading her hate-speech, it is quoted here:
and a deconstruction/rebuttal:
Lierre’s views are products of an old trend in eco-feminism that I can’t claim to understand. However, it is not defensible under the shield of intellectual freedom of thought. Her statements go well beyond an analysis that is merely wrong to a level that is actively offensive and disregards the lived experiences of millions of people.
Greenfire is committed to maintaining a safe space for everyone on campus. Hosting Lierre, knowing her opinions and knowing that members of the community know them as well, would disregard the feelings of members of our community, and this is unacceptable. I personally apologize for not making this decision sooner.
Instead of Lierre’s lecture, Greenfire will now host a lecture and discussion forum on radical environmental activism. I will present aspects of DGR’s ideas that I find compelling and try to ask questions that create a productive dialogue about our own tactical choices and analyses. Everyone is welcome to join us. The event will still take place on Sunday, 4/21, at 1 PM, in Steitz 102. Adam Kranz
Lierre has issued the following statement directed at the President of Lawrence University:
I am writing to tell you about an incident on your campus about which you should be concerned.
I am the author of multiple books on environmentalism. A student at Lawrence, xxxxxxx (cc’d here), invited me to speak for Earth Day. The lecture was scheduled for tomorrow, April 21. Yesterday, I received an email from Mr. xxxxxx (pasted below), canceling my appearance because some students take issue with my ideas.
I will get into the content of this disagreement later. My overwhelming point of concern is the purpose of higher education and the defense of the liberal tradition itself. I don’t know if I can state this strongly enough. Universities are supposed to be institutions founded on the bedrock principle of an open and robust exchange of ideas. I am appalled that anyone would be barred from speaking at your school over a disagreement. Intellectual engagement is the entire reason universities exist. It’s also why institutions of higher learning are vitally important to a pluralistic society. The young adults in your care need to understand this principle. If they learn one thing at your school, it should be this: ideas qua ideas are our only defense against the human tendency to fundamentalism with all its attendant horrors.
Mr. xxxxx’s email (pasted below) stated my appearance would be “threatening” and “offensive” to some students. Given that I have threatened no one, and that I am a middle-aged woman with a degenerative disease and no upper-body strength, I think we can set aside the notion that I pose a physical threat to anyone. What they mean is “uncomfortable.” But people don’t go to college to feel comfortable. They go to be challenged. They go—or, they should go—to learn to engage with new ideas, to examine themselves and the world, to interrogate their beliefs and the society around them as deeply as possible. Some of your students are not preparing themselves for citizenship in a pluralistic democracy, which by definition means a civic society of people who hold differing–often, profoundly differing–beliefs. The entire project will rise or fall on how we as a society negotiate those differences. That some of your students don’t understand this–and are, in fact, actively rejecting it–leaves me gravely concerned for the future. That is why I am bringing this to your attention. I hope you share my concern.
To the details of the disagreement. I will try to be brief. I am a feminist. I have spent three decades fighting male violence against women. My analysis is informed by a century and a half of feminist theory and activism. My views are in no way unique. I believe that a social system of male domination starts with human beings who are biologically male or female and creates two social classes of people: men and women. Socialization to either group can be a brutal process.
Men are made by socialization to masculinity. Being a man requires a psychology based on emotional numbness and a dichotomy of self and other. This is also the psychology required by soldiers, which is why I don’t think you can be a peace activist without being a feminist.
Female socialization is a process of psychologically constraining and breaking girls—otherwise known as “grooming”—to create a class of compliant victims. Femininity is a set of behaviors that are, in essence, ritualized submission.
I see nothing in the creation of gender to celebrate or embrace. As a feminist, I am an abolitionist. Patriarchy is a corrupt and brutal arrangement of power, and I want to see it dismantled so that the category of gender no longer exists. This is also my position on race and class. The categories are not natural: they only exist because hierarchical systems of power create them (see, for instance, Audrey Smedley’s book Race in North America). I want a world of justice and equality, where the material conditions that currently create race, class, and gender have been forever overcome.
There are, of course, people who disagree with feminism. In their view, men and women display domination and submission, respectively, not because of social conditions, but because we have different brains. Gendered behavior is natural, they say, a function of our biology. Boys are naturally aggressive and active, while girls are naturally emotional and passive. The claim is often that prenatal hormones create these propensities, and that the wrong hormones can produce the wrong brain. Hence it is possible to have a man’s body with a woman’s brain (which adherents like to call a “lady brain”). Cursory research will reveal the variations and disagreements amongst the genderists. Some, for instance, believe that gender is a matter of costuming—what they call “presentation.” The problem with gender isn’t gender per se, but that there are social constraints on what men can wear. On the other extreme are people who argue that their genitals are a “birth defect” that require surgical removal.
I can’t do justice to the range of genderist beliefs in an email. My point is that I disagree with them, and because of that disagreement I was disinvited from your school. I don’t know what could be more important in a college environment than an examination of social reality and ideas about justice, but that examination has been shut down at Lawrence.
I would urge you to encourage the opposite in your students, for their sakes, certainly, but more importantly in defense of the values central to the liberal tradition. Encountering ideas that differ from one’s own has never hurt anyone; indeed, it is the only way to a better world.
I would be happy to send the text of the talk (which frankly had nothing to do with the subject discussed above) I had planned to give if you have further interest.
Please take a moment to show your support for Lierre Kieth and your support for the great tradition of academic free speech by dropping your own message to Jill Beck, The President of Lawrence University expressing your concern at the following address:
The Press Complaints Commission has issued its ruling following an inquiry into the Julie Burchill article. Transgenders called for the criminalization and censorship of Burchill when she described trans activists who use threats of rape and murder against feminists as “bedwetters in bad wigs”. The title of the article “Transsexuals should cut it out” referred to the ubiquitous harassment, violent threats, and bullying against feminists by transgender activists. You can read her censored article in full HERE.
Commission’s decision in the case of
Two Complainants v The Observer / The Daily Telegraph
The complainants were concerned about a comment article which responded to criticism of another columnist on social networking sites. The article had first been published by The Observer. Following The Observer’s decision to remove the article from its website, it had been republished on the website of The Daily Telegraph. The Commission received over 800 complaints about the article, which it investigated in correspondence with two lead complainants, one for each newspaper.
The complainants considered that the article contained a number of prejudicial and pejorative references to transgender people in breach of Clause 12 (Discrimination) of the Editors’ Code of Practice. They also raised concerns under Clause 1 (Accuracy) that language used by the columnist was inaccurate as well as offensive, and, furthermore that the article misleadingly suggested that the term “cis-gendered” was insulting. Additionally, concerns had been raised that the repeated use of terms of offence had breached Clause 4 (Harassment) of the Code.
The Commission first considered the complaints, framed under Clause 12, that the article had contained a number of remarks about transgender people that were pejorative and discriminatory. It noted that the Observer had accepted that these remarks were offensive, and that it had made the decision to remove the article on the basis that the language used fell outside the scope of what it considered reasonable; however, the Observer denied a breach of Clause 12 because the article had not made reference to any specific individual. Clause 12 states that newspapers “must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual’s race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability”. However, the clause does not cover references to groups or categories of people. The language used in the article did not refer to any identifiable individual, but to transgender people generally. While the Commission acknowledged the depth of the complainants’ concerns about the terminology used, in the absence of reference to a particular individual, there was no breach of Clause 12.
The Commission also considered the complaint under the terms of Clause 1, which states that “the press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures”. Complainants had suggested that the terms used in the article to refer to transgender people were inaccurate or misleading. Whilst the Commission acknowledged this concern, it was clear from the tone of the article that these terms were being used to express an opinion. Whilst many people had found this opinion deeply distasteful and upsetting, the columnist was entitled to express her views under the terms of Clause 1(iii), so long as the statements were clearly distinguished from fact. The same was true in relation to the columnist’s assertion that the term “cis-gendered” is offensive. Viewed in the context of the article as a whole, particularly in light of the fact that the article had been deliberately identified as a comment piece, this was clearly distinguishable as an expression of her opinion about the term rather than a statement of fact about how it is perceived more broadly. This did not constitute a failure to take care over the accuracy of the article, for the purposes of Clause 1(i), and neither was there any significant inaccuracy requiring correction under the terms of Clause 1(ii). There was no breach of Clause 1.
The Commission turned to consider those concerns raised under Clause 4, which states that “journalists must not engage in intimidation, harassment or persistent pursuit”. It made clear, however, that the publication of a single comment piece was not conduct which would engage the terms of Clause 4. There was no breach of the Code.
The Commission acknowledged that the complainants found much of the article offensive. Nonetheless, the terms of the Editors’ Code of Practice do not address issues of taste and offence. The Code is designed to address the potentially competing rights of freedom of expression and other rights of individuals, such as privacy. Newspapers and magazines have editorial freedom to publish what they consider to be appropriate provided that the rights of individuals – enshrined in the terms of the Code which specifically defines and protects these rights – are not compromised. It could not, therefore, comment on this aspect of the complaint further.
Too bad, bedwetters.
[bolding by me-GM]
January 26, 2013
When WordPress.com moves to censor your feminist speech and posts they DO NOT send you an email notification. Instead, they post the notification on the Dashboard of that particular blog when you log in. I would encourage feminist bloggers who have not recently logged into your account to do so and check your Dash for such a notice (like the one I received here at GenderTrender).
Otherwise your blog will be deleted seemingly “out of the blue”. Please check all your blogs at your earliest convenience so that a public campaign can be mounted to save your blog as was done for GenderTrender. Thank you.