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)