Dear Laurie Penny

June 14, 2014

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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58 Responses to “Dear Laurie Penny”

  1. New Reader Says:

    Mary Beard and Laurie Penny–a pair of trendoid Aunt Thomasinas perfectly willing to sell women out in order to maintain their PC bonafides and keep those lucrative BBC appearance fees rolling in!

  2. Jane Says:

    Sheesh, what a drama queen:

    If radfems didn’t exist, these ninnies would have to invent them.

    Laurie made a hasty retreat, claiming Twitter was too “toxic” for this conversation.

    I like Gia. She gets a lot of shit from the Twitter trans mob and their handmaidens but I’ve never seen her stoop to their level. She’s always respectful and argues in good faith.

    • Jane Says:

      I’m seeing Bette Davis in Baby Jane – “Radical feminism is murdaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!!

    • Ashland Avenue Says:

      *sigh* Yet another trannie blaming the violence on women. Doesn’t have the guts to confront the violent men, I guess. Coward.

    • shediogenes Says:

      their definition of rad fems is as much a seedy, shitbrained invention as their definition of woman. to acknowledge us as anything more than terfs would require addressing generations of feminist analysis that rightly condemns their genders as oppressive to women. there is no way they can give that kind of credit to a movement that casts them, and in which they cast themselves in the role of oppressor. my concern is that we are cast as oppressor because we are not defining ourselves and our own image broadly enough in the face of all the media attention tranz have at the moment.

      thus the great value of this blog
      and gm’s work

      I’ve written here previously that terf didn’t bother me, but I’m coming around

  3. gg Says:

    Amazing what has happened to gia gia. She didn’t start out trying to be a feminist spokesperson against trans idiocy. She started out by trying to have a dialog! A forum! She had very little idea of what she was wandering into. These fuckers RADICALIZED her with their death threats and their suicide threats and their abuse. And this is how they will be defeated. They create new opponents everyday. They have completely underestimated the strength of women — rational, strong women.


    • Their are their own worst enemy. There is only so much women can take before turning against them.


    • You know, you have a good point there. I know for myself I barely knew they existed. I always considered myself a feminist, and I knew about radical feminists, but I didn’t know all that much about it. I spent most of my activism fighting against the fuckery that assaults black women every day in the black community. And I haven’t done much work in that area of late as I’m working full time and have two young children and I’m also a writer. It wasn’t until that crazy photographer on twitter claimed I had privilege over him, and a well known black feminist blogger agreed that I realized I was dealing with a level of crazy I’d never dealt with before. It doesn’t help that every time I turn around one of my favorite online magazines for black women is promoting this fuckery and publishing one of their sob stories about being “humiliated” in the bathroom.

      I’ve spent an insane amount of time researching these people and feel like I’m gearing up for battle. I’ve read every article on this blog. I’ve started following radical feminists on Tumblr and others who’ve been victimized by these head cases, including at least one FTT who was raped by a MTT (and they claim this never happens). Black women are already raped in disproportionate numbers. The last thing we need all up in our private spaces is a bunch of porn-sick “women” packing peen hopped up on male privilege with a heavy garnish of histrionic personality disorder while they use their military training for a “cotton ceiling” safari. Just no. No motherfucker, no.

      These people are dangerous sociopaths who have the whole world misled and hoodwinked. I’ve been working hard on an article I intend to post on my own blog. An expose (pulling heavily on resources posted here) specifically for black women to explain just what level of crazy (and danger) they’re supporting. So yeah, I too have been RADICALIZED in a way I never anticipated. Frankly, I’d decided that activism was a young woman’s gig. I simply don’t have time for it these days, but damn, somebody’s got to before these freaks get what they want and we all end up deader than hell.

      • Ashland Avenue Says:

        “Black women are already raped in disproportionate numbers. The last thing we need all up in our private spaces is a bunch of porn-sick “women” packing peen hopped up on male privilege with a heavy garnish of histrionic personality disorder while they use their military training for a “cotton ceiling” safari. Just no. No motherfucker, no.”

        Wow, Roslyn, that was goooood. And I’m right behind you on how I became aware of the fuckery of the trans movement – they did it themselves! I actually had sympathy for trans people, until it became clear that it was nothing but men servicing their fetishes – and steamrollering women in the process. (As well as completely appropriating our experiences and lives.) I too never thought I’d feel this strongly about this issue…but their own asshole-ish and abusive behavior changed my mind.

        Your whole post just really resonated with me. Thank you.

      • Lizzy Shaw Says:

        I want to say thanks for this post too! I started out sympathetic towards trans people too. I hung out with an LGBT group when I was in college and I got along really well with one of the FTTs in the group. There were some MTTs too, who I didn’t know very well but most of them seemed to like men so they may have not been autogynophiles and none of them were jerks.

        However, then I started seeing the way most MTTs act online and how they harass women (and any MTT or FTT who isn’t on-board with their agenda). I started getting suspicious when I saw the same people who would claim that it’s racist for a white person to identity as a black person be okay with a man identifying as a woman and use that self-identification as a reason to say that women who want female-only spaces are “bigoted” and on top of that make the racist claim that black women were privileged over white men who wanted to be female! I knew this woman on tumblr who got a ton of messages (from a white MTT) calling her an “Aryan” and a “Nazi” for calling out the bullying, even though it says right on her blog that she is black. (You see, if you disagree with their definition of gender or think it’s wrong to bully women, you magically become white.)

        Not to mention, there is this phenomenon on tumblr of self-censorship when reblogging from “terfs” even if the post in question has nothing at all to do with gender or trans people. Hell, there are a lot of cries from people who have never read the books to “remove” (read:censor) “terf literature”. It’s intellectually dishonest and they remind me of the fundies who wanted to ban Harry Potter. I would say that they have definitely radicalized me with their behavior.

        Anyway, I agree completely with what you just said, especially the part that Ashland Avenue quoted. I wish you good luck with your expose too.

      • Lizzy Shaw Says:

        Thank you for this comment and I hope your expose goes well. I’m a lesbian and I hung out with the LGBT group when I was in college. There were some trans people there and I got along with someone who was a FTT very well. In spite of having those experiences, I can see that the vast majority of trans activism involves invading women’s spaces and sending rape and death threats to anyone who disagrees until they shut up. Obviously, the vast majority of targets are women, but I’ve seen them turn on MTTs and FTTs who didn’t toe the party line.

        It’s very true that black women are raped in disproportionate numbers and not to mention under-reported in the media. In Victorian England, women campaigned for women’s public toilets because there were none and the lack of bathrooms discouraged women from participating in public life. I’m starting to think this is a big evil conspiracy to make it as hard as possible for women to participate in public life by making sure all bathrooms are “male” and “other”.

        I would say their behavior definitely radicalized me. I work at a Community College and we had a sexual harassment seminar where they kept talking about “gender-based” sexual harrassment. I asked them if they meant “sex-based”, as in biological sex, male, female, and sometimes intersex. They are basically using gender to mean sex and they happily informed me that technically transgender people were protected.

        Yet, there were no protections mentioned on the basis of sexual orientation. Trans people claim to be the most oppressed, but considering how popular and how much consideration they’ve gotten in mainstream society and what used to be the lesbian and gay movement, I’m not buying it and I wish other people wouldn’t either.

      • born free & female Says:

        “cotton ceiling safari” – so perfect. Thank you for posting this.

      • Maureen Says:

        Roslyn’s excellent post is up now on her site and it is a MUST READ for anyone interested in these issues. http://roslynhardyholcomb.com/2014/06/16/stop-taking-crazy-pills-they-only-have-one-look/

        Thanks to both Roslyn and Gallus for their smart, truthful, feminist writing on this issue that so many others aren’t willing to tackle. We need women like you.

    • LJ Says:

      Yes. I think Gia is someone intelligent and honest who came to the whole thing with an open mind, has weighed the evidence and expressed where what she has seen has taken her. And here’s the result. I think anyone who came to this without an agenda in the first instance and was honest and not biased in what they reviewed would get to the same point. I know I did. Gia has received abuse for asking questions, and she has refused to shut up. I respect her. Unlike a lot of “feminist” writers, she has no interest in regurgitating what is popular and throwing around “TERF”, “cis” or “bigot” for ally cookies.

      • Comment Says:

        I think most women sympathetic to feminist ideas are sympathetic to trans ideas at first as well. It’s like these feminists saying “Yes, ideally, we wouldn’t need non-mixed groups, because not all men deserve to be shut out, while some women get in that are worse than some men”. It’s a will to mean well and to be nice that drives so many ‘allies’.

    • hearthrising Says:

      When I first heard about the dialog she was trying to get together I thought it was incredibly naïve and reflected a lack of understanding of the territory. Also, that it reflected the arrogance that goes along with trying to facilitate compromise without a clear understanding of radfem analysis. But she’s getting a crash course in radical feminism via these bullies. Radical feminism: read it or learn it all by living.

  4. Anon Male Says:

    http://www.salon.com/2014/06/15/celebrating_fathers_day_as_a_transgender_parent/

    trans get mother’s and father’s day. Also, “gay people oppress us!” Never forget!

    • Adrian Says:

      Ha. I came in here wondering if anyone had posted this yet.

      Two big quotes from the article I found the most interesting:

      For children raised from birth in same-sex households, it is assumed there is no sense of loss over a parent’s gender role. If you grew up always having two moms or two dads, that is your own normal. There’s no sense that your family has gained or lost something. It just is. But for a transgender parent who transitions, there is a new normal that has to be embraced.

      and

      In the process of transitioning, I had given up a lot of the worst baggage that came with trying to be Dad when I was trying to method-act my way through the role. But transitioning also meant that the best promises that come with being “Dad” had changed for our family. We understand and embrace the changes, but they also saddened [my wife].

      Both of those quotes strike me as completely reifying gender roles like nothing else. They’re soaked in this idea that “a man does this, a woman does this, and if you ‘change’ from one to the other now your behavior changes.”

      This guy comes off as feeling that as long as he is a man, he has to conform to some stereotypes that he doesn’t like or possibly feels inadequate at, but hey, as soon as he gets his plastic surgery and the “F” on the ID, suddenly he’s free to behave completely differently.

      …if that’s the case, why not “man up” (as it were) and just do your own thing while still keeping your original body and admitting that you were born with the Y chromosome?

    • Mar Iguana Says:

      As the mom of a son whose father abandoned him just short of his first birthday, I get to celebrate both Mother’s and Father’s Day. I didn’t come up with the idea myself. My son did when he began sending me Father’s Day cards too several years ago. Makes me all verklempt.

    • gg Says:

      I am glad when they point out that gays and lesbians do not support them. I’m personally horrified to be lumped in with them as are most people I know. One thing that worries me is that as the backlash against them gains momentum, that gays and lesbians will suffer. After all, we’re all supposedly one big happy “LGBT” family, fighting for “our” rights. The average person has no idea.

    • Lizzie Says:

      This is still going on. Lily remains adamant that she wants to make lesbian porn and not trans porn and doesn’t want dick (even after it’s been cut off)

    • Ashland Avenue Says:

      So not wanting to suck dick is “…so so so so so so so transphobic”, according to tranny “Chelsea” Poe.

      Keep up the good work, guys! You’re doing our work for us. Let the light shine good and bright on your narcissism and overwhelming sense of entitlement. There is absolutely no difference between you and Elliot Rodgers, who felt that he was “owed” sex with whomever he wanted, whenever he wanted.

      NO. DIFFERENCE.

      • GallusMag Says:

        Philadelphia Trans Health Conference graphic:


      • Omg Gallus is THIS REAL? Holy shit!

      • morag99 Says:

        God, that poster. “We all deserve to get the sex we want.” Yes, it’s straight from Elliot Rodger’s manifesto.

        You’re right, Ashland: “NO. DIFFERENCE.” Except is this case, the right to whatever sex men want is a “health” matter! Like wholesome food, clean air, and access to medicine, sex should just BE there, a part of one’s environment, for the taking?

        And here I thought that sex involved people. Silly me, I thought that sex (ideally) involved mutual desire between free human beings, rather than being some substance or thing a person could just go out and “get,” much less “deserve” to get.

        This is rapist thinking, of course. But in a specific way: trans-activists have made a movement out of being stuck, on many levels, in an infantile stage of development. That “I’m the centre of the universe” stage, where other people exist only to meet their every physical and emotional need and urge.

        “Get.” Jesus. Brings to mind dirty, sticky, grabby hands. Except they’re grown-up, hairy man hands. Sorry for that disgusting visual. Me want! Me deserve! Me get!

      • Jane Says:

        Imagine the response if this were from an MRA conference.

      • Lizzie Says:

        Fun fact: Lily may have inspired the cotton ceiling. Drew came up with it after Lily refused to shoot porn with Drew.


      • Also Gallus are there more pictures of this?

      • Ashland Avenue Says:

        Holy shit, that poster! Morag and Jane already said everything I’m thinking, only better, especially this: “And here I thought that sex involved people. Silly me, I thought that sex (ideally) involved mutual desire between free human beings, rather than being some substance or thing a person could just go out and “get,” much less “deserve” to get.” YES.

        How, how, HOW can the so-called feminists at the leading feminist sites ignore this shit, these obvious correlations? It’s willful blindness.

    • lin Says:

      Chelsea is so degendered and harmed and transphobicized that he can’t let it go, it’s so distressing that he just has to come back for more and more — just like most spurned males, the only reason they will accept you turning them down is if you have a boyfriend, because they don’t respect the woman they want to get with but they respect a guy.

      In this case no bf will materialize so poor Chelsea will be harmed and degendered again and again and it’s all her fault! Never will it occur to him to just give up because how can someone turn him down? There is no explanation that will suffice.

      “She’s not attracted to me”? Can’t even parse that sentence. Explain again! Keep at it until she says something nasty so he can be a victim.

    • kesher Says:

      That glosswitch news is a damn shame. She’s an amazing writer, regardless of the subject.

    • born free & female Says:

      Holy shit. A bunch of guys suggesting they take legal action for employment discrimination in order to force a lesbian to have sex with them and their penises.

      Can you even imagine clearer proof of male entitlement? “I want to fuck her but the bitch says no. The law will obviously be on my side!”

      There must be a thousand straight guys in porn who won’t have sex with trans women with dicks, and there are obviously plenty of porn actresses who like dick. but one woman in porn says “I’m a lesbian, no dick for me, never” and that’s the one and only person that gets targeted.

      Anyone who doubts that the trans* movement is about entitlement to women’s bodies, and the idea that women never have a right to say no to cock, should take a look at this story.


  5. I know you’re not supposed to get personal in politics, but my God this woman has been getting on my nerves for years. I knew she was no good when she wrote a long, rambling, bad science pro-trans essay for the F-word about how women have no right to define women. That was just before the “F-word” got taken over by trannies and effectively became the “Trans word”, no thanks to Laurie Penny.
    It’s a shame because Laurie Penny has a certain charisma and has quite a following among women from what I can gather. I watched her speak on youtube for an Oxford Union conference, but it was again very rambly and incoherent. I’m not sure why she’s got such a platform. Perhaps she’s well connected. Oh yeah, and of course, there’s the fact she doesn’t rock the boat, stick her neck out, or upset the patriarchy!

    • Jane Says:

      She’s another rich kid (posh public school, Oxford) who should ask herself whether she should be hogging the spotlight as actual working class people generally don’t get to be professional leftists. The female equivalent of Julia Serano, in other words.

    • red Says:

      I believe she single-handedly destroyed feminist Mumsnet, the U.K. women’s forum, by spreading vicious lies about women under her various socks and creating distrust and worry among the women toward each other. Who else does that? Oh yeah. Men.

    • red Says:

      The umbrella forum has several smaller forums. The Feminist forum is now T and fun fem. Yes, I have sources.

      • Donkey Skin Says:

        I post on the Mumsnet Feminism/Women’s Rights board and it is definitely not pro-trans and funfem. You get a wide range of views, of course, but many of the women are either radical feminists or open to radical feminist ideas.

        I don’t understand the charge that Penny ‘destroyed’ the forum – obviously it is still going, and I’ve never seen or heard of Penny posting there.

        As for Penny herself, I sometimes feel sorry for her, as she is a favourite punching bag for men and women on the uber-misogynist liberal left, but really, if she had any sense or notion of solidarity with women, she’d have extricated herself from her cool-girl liberal feminist image and started taking a more courageous and intellectually honest stance (as Sarah Ditum and Glosswitch did). Instead, she’s backed herself even further into a corner, tries desperately to appease her attackers, and regularly lashes out at other women with misogynist slurs like TERF, prude and whorephobe. She has no integrity and no real feminist consciousness, and is thus the perfect ‘feminist’ for the malestream media to promote.

  6. RobAlister Says:

    This ongoing debate needs to be handled differently. The more you guys swear and name-call, the more power they get. I’m starting to wonder if this blog is really a false flag type deal. If you guys really have logic, reason and science on your side, all you need to do is present it in a reasonable fashion. Because as of right now you all come off as a bit bigoted and angry. Also I think that both sides need a better place to make discussions rather than twitter and Facebook where people just shout back and forth at each other. There needs to be some kind of live debate where people can have a real discussion.

    • GallusMag Says:

      Women really do cause our own oppression with our naughty talk, don’t we Rob. Piss off.

      • morag99 Says:

        Exactly. Women have, and have always had, lots of reason and logic. So much that it’s burning holes in our pockets. But when we try to spend it, most places treat it like some kind of impossible-to-convert foreign currency from some foreign land. Womanlandia, maybe. Not on the map. Clearly spoken English suddenly becomes gibberish because the point-of-view is female. Sorry, no speaka.

        But, still they insist that “all you have to do is …” or “why don’t you just …” or “have you tried …?”

        And if you have done all that, and none of it worked in your favour, then the problem is with YOU.

        It’s like, budgeting works for middle-class people, so it should work exactly the same for low-income people. That working-poor single mother who picks up a Happy Meal for her kid on her way home, on the bus, because she’s exhausted and has to do laundry before bedtime? Why doesn’t she “just” go grocery shopping with coupons? Then she wouldn’t be so poor, and she would get as much respect as that married mom zipping around to all the best sales in her reliable sport utility vehicle.

        The arrogance! The condescension! And the utter failure of imagination to see the whole scene. Instead, it must be that we silly, angry, damaged women are just doing it wrong. Yeah, that explains it!

      • RobAlister Says:

        This is exactly what I’m talking about. You won’t get taken seriously if all you do is bite people’s heads off. The more aggressively you attack them, the more they’ll play the victim.

      • GallusMag Says:

        Is that what you’re doing Rob? Bye troll.

      • Mar Iguana Says:

        “…all you do is bite people’s heads off.”

        Yum. Soft on the outside. Crunchy on the inside.

    • GallusMag Says:

      “Look how many people will say: “This argument makes sense, but I’m not going to listen to it because …”

      Because tone. Because women won’t use the right words for men. Just call us what we want, do what we want, and we’ll start listening to you, feminists. We promise.”

      http://culturallyboundgender.wordpress.com/2014/06/19/a-brief-note-on-the-topic-of-erasure-and-identity/

    • Teal Deer Says:

      We women need to be sweeter and more submissive as we fight against our oppression, right?

      Thank you, sir. I don’t know what we’d do without you and all your manly wisdom.

    • A Woman Says:

      Men need a shut off button. I know it was just sound advice and meant to be “helpful.”And women should listen to the male clarion call. Live debate. Why. Penny is uncritical, pandering rich girl. She is everything I hold in contempt. She is anti women. What’s to debate–who Jimmy Choos vs Payless shoes?

    • AreUSayingWhatUThink Says:

      LOL – “the more you guys swear” “if you guys really have logic…” We’re not GUYS. We’re WOMEN.

      Let’s rewrite: “the more you women swear” tsk tsk

      “if you women really have logic” tsk tsk

      tsk tsk tsk. We don’t CARE if you like how we talk, we don’t give a shit. “real discussion” “live debate” LOL – haha – women get no-platformed, petitioned, disinvited, threatened with physical harm, but the problem is we need “real discussion.” LOL HAHAHA “live debate”

    • as Says:

      > If you guys really have logic, reason and science on your side, all you need to do is present it in a reasonable fashion
      > Also I think that both sides need a better place to make discussions

      You poor, naive bastard.


    • @Rob–you are mistaken about the purpose of GT. You seem to believe we are searching for ways to make ourselves acceptable/attractive to males. Nothing could be further from the truth. So why don’t you take your dick in your hand–oh, I see you have already; silly me–and run along back to da menz. You will no doubt be cheered and high-fived for having told those goddam dyke bitch cunts what’s what.

      Go the fuck away, dickhead. (Yes, I swear. If it displeases you and your bros, be damn fucking sure I will goddam continue until your collective asses feel well and truly fucked.

      HTH,
      Fare

      • joyakin Says:

        That doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. Please stop trying to bait me into saying something sexist. I won’t give you that pleasure. I will however say that you all make yourselves look ignorant. Hey gallus, can you block/ban me or something? I don’t want to be tempted into responding to you guys anymore.

      • GallusMag Says:

        Joyakin/Rob Alister- your lack of self control is terrifying.

  7. shediogenes Says:

    why is it when we swear and name call, we’re giving them more power, but when they swear and name call, they are just empowering themselves as trans activist and outspoken ‘women’? could it be… privilege? Rob didnt come for the feminism, he came for the free sugar and spice and everything nice. wrong party, Rob, we dont serve that here.

    • BadDyke Says:

      Hey, we all KNOW that the lovely trans laydees do talking softly and being POLITE so much better than us nasty shrill feminists! See, yet again, THEY know better how to be proper laydees.

      “Because as of right now you all come off as a bit bigoted and angry…” I’m surprised he didn’t just blame it on our raging hormones and have done with it!

      Condescending little gobshite.

      • shediogenes Says:

        I feel so much better knowing Rob is out there somewhere clutching his pearls on our behalf. *with quivering lip* “Oh, no. They’re doing it ALL wrong. I must save them from themselves” Sheesh

  8. Bob Doublin Says:

    Oh Rob, Are you really that naive or just uninformed? Or are you just being obtuse? WHAT do you think Radfem Respond in Portland,OR USA WAS last month except just such an attempt as you so mansplainingly/imperiously demand radical feminists do? And what was the SOLE response? Death threats,rape threats, the original venue was canceled by the bullying and threats of the trans activists. They were going to storm the public library to stop the event,but in a truly classic Keystone Kops turn of events,no one showed up to protest because they gave the wrong meet up location…..Are you for real?


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