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Nasty and Nice: The F-Word covers the Transsexual ‘debate’

May 14, 2012

Recently the F-Word, with much trepidation, interviewed Sheila Jeffreys and Lee Lakeman, for their feminist analysis and insight into the issue of transgenderism. They also interviewed Barb Besharat and a man called Susan Stryker, who are both involved in transgender activism. Sheila Jeffreys was brilliant and incisive in expanding the understanding of the historical development of transsexuality as a medical diagnosis to cure/treat homosexuality and also the truly scary situation that we as women and radical feminists face with the political and social ramifications of the queer and trans activism upon our movement today. Her interview was hopeful and inspiring but very conscious of the desecration of lesbianism and women-only organising that has been wrought by the trans activists. Lee Lakeman provided a diplomatic overview of the situation that Vancouver Rape Relief faced in being taken to court by a man who refused to respect women’s right to safe, separate space.

I couldn’t actually listen to the interviews with Susan Stryker and Barb Besharat. Neither of them seemed to have a feminist analysis of the phenomenon of transsexualism and it wasn’t clear at all to me why they were interviewed or the point of their interviews. But what bothered me personally the most was the concluding discussion by the members of the F-Word collective; Nicole Deagan, Meghan Murphy and Ellie Gordan-Marshall.

First off Ellie begins rambling about how best to be an ally to transsexual people without specifying how that has anything to do with being a feminist. She doesn’t make any points relevant to feminism or women’s liberation so I will spare you the details.

Next Nicole and Meghan have a conversation on the difficulties in even talking about transsexualism within feminist circles.

Nicole: “These reactions are so strong that they essentially feel like we’re banned from having these conversations, and it becomes like censorship.”

Meghan: “Yeah, totally and that happens on both ends of the debate. I wouldn’t put that blame on either end or far end of the debate…There have been some really serious attacks on feminists who are critical of anything to do with transgenderism, you know even threats of violence and death threats… I’m sure on both ends. And then I’ve often felt like from the radical feminist end of the argument there is little room for discussion too.”

It really disturbs me to see that the women from the F-Word collective are making false implications that radical feminists are threatening and behaving violently towards transactivists. I have been involved in discussions with feminists on the issue of transsexualism for years and I have never seen any evidence of this. It would be good if the F-Word collective could substantiate these claims with evidence.

We do, however, have copious evidence that transactivists and males who identify as women are threatening women and feminists with violence on a regular basis. On the issue of threats and violence, this is a one way street, with males in drag being the instigators and women being the victims. Why is the F-Word inaccurately portraying this as though women are equally responsible for the violence and threats that are directed our way when we stand up for our rights to organise as females? How does this further our quest for women’s liberation?

Meghan expresses that she is unhappy with having to choose a side or take a position on the issue of transsexualism. “I’m attacked or others are attacked for not taking a position and not taking sides, for not wanting to engage in the conversation.”

Unfortunately, if you call yourself a feminist, you have already taken a position. Your position is on the side of women and in opposition to male supremacy. To blame feminists for the threats and violence they receive at the hands of men in dresses with unfounded accusations of equivalent behaviour is an anti-feminist position.

The discussion then delves into the name calling which Meghan and Nicole are quite upset and offended by. This is not the first time radical feminists have been tut-tutted for our tone. To be honest, I don’t think any of us really cares about being respectful to men in general. And I really don’t understand why there is a different set of rules about behaviour when we are talking about men in dresses. I have never seen any feminist involved in radical feminist politics berate women for being disrespectful to any other group of men. For example, it would be ludicrous to suggest that radical feminists be respectful when talking about, or to, groups of MRAs. So why are lesbians and radical feminists told off for being disrespectful towards this particular group of men (transsexuals) who have harmed us and our communities in very real and horrific ways? I really don’t get it.

Also, it is blatantly untrue that all conversations within feminist discourse about transsexuality are overrun by name-calling, abuse, hostility, anger and aggression. There have been numerous discussions on the Rad Fem Hub, in radical feminist facebook groups and on individual blogs that critically analyse transsexuality from a feminist perspective and the conversations are civil and respectful.

On the glitter-bombing of Germaine Greer, Nicole says, “I don’t think we should be violating each others’ physical space like that. And you know I also don’t think we should be calling someone a man if they define themselves as a woman or vice versa, I find that equally offensive. I think these kind of things cross the line into denying someone’s freedom to choose their name or pronoun and its really disrespectful and it’s just like crossing the line into someone’s physical space around their body, I think, it’s really disrespectful as well.”

And Meghan agrees, “Yeah, definitely. And as I said earlier, that stuff happens on both ends.”

Again, Nicole and Meghan are claiming that radical feminists are compromising the physical boundaries of transactivists without a shred of proof or evidence. When, where, how and who is what I would like to know, because I have never seen or heard evidence of this. When have radical feminists ever stalked and hounded transactivists? When have we ever thrown anything at them… other than logical arguments? As far as I am aware this has never happened.

As for refusing to participate in some man’s delusion that he is a woman being just as disrespectful as throwing glitter onto someone, well I guess we are going to have to disagree. Using the words, ‘he’, ‘male’ and ‘man’ to describe a male human is simply an accurate representation of reality, nothing more, nothing less. There is nothing disrespectful in stating a fact.

In actuality, the fact that men think they have the right to define themselves into womanhood and in the process redefine what it means to be a woman is HUGELY disrespectful of every single female on the planet. Moreover, it is an act of colonisation. Radical feminist resistance to this doublespeak needs to be nurtured, supported and applauded. It is clear that we disrespect this system that men have created to erase us and our collective right to self-determination. And this can only be a POSITIVE thing for women.

The interviews with Sheila and Lee produced a wealth of insights into the issues, both ideological and concrete, that impact us as women, as lesbians and as radical feminists in relation to the contemporary product of male supremacy called transsexualism. The F-Word collective could have chosen to have a relevant and meaningful discussion on the way that the phenomenon of transsexualism has impacted upon our lives, our politics and our communities. It is nonsensical to me that they chose instead to make false implications about the way that radical feminists conduct themselves towards transactivists. And unbelievably call on us to be nice and respectful to men who threaten our lives because they disagree with our politics!

This ain’t the way that feminism works, and as our sisterhood grows stronger, so will our resistance to the trans pushers and the genderists. Our disrespect for men who try to invade and destroy our communities is directly proportionate to our respect for ourselves and our sisters.

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Gender Identity

January 11, 2012

“I-dentity (aka trans) politics is fundamentally LIBERTARIAN and INDIVIDUALIST. It is ahistorical and acontextual. It essentializes sex stereotypes by renaming them consensual “gender identities.” It invisibilizes power structures that give rise to female oppression. It is anti-feminist.” – Bess Hungerford

Via UP, also posted by Sargasso Sea, Lishra, Gallus Mag, No Anodyne, Cathy Brennan, Lucky, audaxille, gorrilerof4b, saltnpeppa, iameatingblueberries, Smash, Davina, Zeph, Sex Matters

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Occupy Perth = Colonising Women (anarcho/socialist/leftist style)

October 31, 2011

DUDE SPOTTED AT OCCUPY PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

When confronted (I took his picture and called him a fuckhead with all the venom I could muster), dude says, “Hey, you are being violent to me!!!” Poor little man attacked by nasty feminists for not doing anything at all! He valiantly tried to defend himself saying that his father bought him the t-shirt from Thailand! And the t-shirt WAS NOT VIOLENT in the slightest. Not like us nasty, mean feminists.

Misogyny? I’m loving it! Are you?

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Reclaim the Night Speech

October 31, 2011

This is a speech I gave at Reclaim the Night Perth, 28th October 2011.

Women are a colonised people. Under male supremacy, our original selves are forcibly buried and we are reshaped, our Selves conditioned for use and abuse by the men who occupy us. And this is a truly encompassing occupation. They not only occupy our time and energy, they infiltrate and invade, they alter what it is we believe about ourselves, they construct our identities from birth into being for them.

Under male supremacy, rape and sexual violence is the fabric of the culture in which we live. Women’s purpose is shaped according to what men value about us. We are valued in accordance with our fuckability, our submissiveness, our conformity to their value system which posits women as whores. We are vulnerable, we are penetrable, we are for use and abuse, we are colonised and we are for men.

Men construct the world around this value system. They buy and sell women and girls as sex and call it prostitution. They create degraded images of women being hurt and fucked and raped and call it pornography. Women and girls survive this occupation. We see ourselves starving and trussed up in shop windows, on the sides of buses, on newsstands and in the grocery store. And we survive this. We see little girls wearing Playboy bracelets, young women and girls being branded by the sex industry, stamped as whores, stamped as being owned. And we are still surviving this.

Tonight we are reclaiming more than the night. We are reclaiming ourselves. We are saying, loudly and clearly, “no woman is a whore”. And we are standing with every woman who has been beaten, every woman who has been raped and we are reclaiming ourselves. Men have shaped our realities for far too long, it is time we take back what is ours.

see
that no matter what you have done
i am still here.
and it has made me dangerous, and wise.
and brother,
you cannot whore, perfume, and suppress me anymore.
i have my own business in this skin
and on this planet.
Gail Murray

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SCUM Conference Program *UPDATED*

July 24, 2011

PLEASE EMAIL US AT: scumconference@hotmail.com FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT REGISTRATION/LOCATION ETC.

Thursday 22nd September *note* the launch is not part of the official SCUM program

13:00 Feminist Book Launch @ Parliament House: Big Porn Inc: Exposing the Harms of the   Global Porn Industry: Spinifex Press

        Abigail Bray, Melinda Tankard Reist (eds.)

Friday 23rd September: Theme – Women Revolting and Revolting Women

9:00               Conference overview, acknowledgement of country, breakfast, board games and hang out with other A-Mazing thrill seeking females.

11:00       What does feminism really mean? Eva Harper + Lyn Ariel

             The first session of the conference will explore what feminism really means and whether there are distortions and misconceptions of feminism currently being perpetuated throughout society.

12:00              Women keeping peace through men’s war time:  Noushin Arefadib

Solutions to critical feminist issues of rape and violence against women during war.

1:00         Lunch

2:00        Revolution Revisited: Framework for a Radical Feminist Future      Betty McLellan

              Questions and discussion about the future of feminism and the role of radical feminists in that future. Is a feminist revolution still on our agenda? If so, what would such a revolution look like? Is a feminist revolution even possible in today’s socio-political climate? My emphasis will be on the need for us to embrace today’s challenges and push ahead with courage and determination.

3:30            Afternoon Tea

4:00         Revolting Women Go Public:  Lyn Ariel

Session on reasons behind and meanings of slogans.   

5:00         Drinks and Social Time

 Saturday 24th September: Theme – Creative and thrill-seeking Hags

9:00        “Heart of Feminism” expressive workshop with creative writing and construction:  Georgi Stone

11:00       Morning Tea

11:30       RadLesFem conversations about goddesses and lesbians too sacred to mention: Spider Redgold

1:00         Lunch

An Afternoon to Re-Member Valerie Solanas:

2:00       Up your Ass – Kat Pinder

             An overview of the life and work of our well loved civic minded, responsible, thrill seeking sister.

2:30        A look back at the SCUM Manifesto – Chris Sitka
What the SCUM Manifesto meant to me (and other radical feminists) at the time and a look back at it from our current perspective

3:45       Fem-manifesto-ing – Susan Hawthorne

             An examination of feminist manifestos and comparisons to the SCUM Manifesto

5:00        End of session

7:00            Creative Hags Performance Evening (food + wine provided)

Sunday 25th September: Theme: Re-Membering Sisterhood + Feminist Identity

9:00        From Skipping-Rope to Splitting-Hairs : Women in Conflict: Rain Lewis

Many feminist/lesbian groups will go through “splits”.  This presentation will explore various ways and means of girls and women-only conflicts for discussion from both political and personal perspectives.

10:15          Morning Tea

10:30             Radical Activist Strategies: Samantha Berg

Zero risk through high risk acts of resistance and reclamation.

11:45                Telling Lies about little girls: porn scripts:  Ryl Harrison

This presentation will look at how porn scripts work in the everyday lives of girls aged between 9 and 13 years.

12: 30        Lunch

1:00        Womyn Only: Re-claiming Sister Space: Dani Tauni

Reclaiming our womyn’s spaces, festivals and communities and Re-membering Our Positively Revolting Lesbian Feminist Identities.

2:30            Afternoon Tea

3:00        Open Space session

learn more about and discuss the work of some of our favourite feminists from around the world: Bring your favourite feminist books!

4:30        Closing Session and debrief

5:00        End of Conference

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SCUM Radical Feminist Conference

May 2, 2011

Amazon ManCrusher and I are organising a conference!!!

THRILL SEEKING FEMALES UNITE
Life in this society being, at best, an utter bore, this
THREE DAY RADICAL FEMINIST CONFERENCE
is for civic-minded, responsible, thrill-seeking females who want to overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation…….and destroy male supremacy!
Workshops, guest presenters and social activities, plus a space to celebrate and re-member the life and work of Valerie Solanas and other radical feminists.

Costs:
Early Registration (before 8th March 2011) – $70
Normal Registration (before 1st Sept 2011) – $100
We will try to support women on low wages or traveling afar

Dates:
23 – 25 September 2011

Location:
Perth, Western Australia (venue provided on registration)

Contact:
scumconference@hotmail.com

SCUM Conference Facebook Event Page

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Family Courts: Australia

April 11, 2010

I’ve spent the day watching youtube vids and researching the situations of the Family Courts in Australia. I don’t think that I could write anything coherent on the subject… it is just too horrific and disturbing. I’ll let you watch the evidence yourselves.

I saw the real ‘Beth’ speak at a protest in Perth about a year ago. Her story will haunt me always.

We just need to look after these children. This is our duty. It’s my moral obligation as a mother and I believe it is the community’s obligation to start speaking up against this. Kids don’t need to die. Parents don’t need to suicide. This does not need to happen. But the courts need to change the way they’re hearing us. They don’t need to hear hysterical. They need to hear women who are screaming for help. Please help us.

I don’t even know why I’m telling you this again. I mean I’ve told so many people… I’ve told this 1000 times but no one seems to listen to what I have to say… I mean, really listen to what I have to say.

I went to the authoritative bodies that I thought could help my son… who all believed me and they believed my son. But when we got to the Family Law Court I was told that they were under-qualified to give evidence… When we went to the law courts no evidence of my son was listened to… I wasn’t listened to. I was told I was a pathological liar, and a lunatic, for believing my son. All the bodies that are in place to help children and help people in my situation were completely disregarded.

…and we were safe for about 3 months. Then the Federal Police came and they took her and they said… “oh, you’ll get her back in about a month”. That was 10 years ago. They’ve said I’m obsessive and compulsive. I keep writing reports. I keep trying to plead with them and give them evidence and they ignore everything. She’s now self-harming and has been for a long time. And since the age of 6 she’s been sexually abused by her step brother in the presence of her father… that’s family protection in Australia.

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