This article quotes and pictures obscenities, threats, and violent ideations.
A few weeks ago, eight lesbian feminists jumped in to lead the London Pride parade to protest sexism and anti-lesbian hate in the LGBT movement. Men across the Left in several countries have been losing their minds about it ever since. They claim it was an intimidating act of “invalidation,” in a collective tantrum of man-baby fury.
Can you imagine? Lesbians at Pride! Protesting sexism! The nerve.
Women, including many feminists and lesbians, have been making news in the United Kingdom lately for having a series of peaceful political actions to protest the Conservative Party government’s proposed changes to the 2004 Gender Recognition Act, which would eliminate any need for medical diagnosis to be able to change all of a person’s legal documents to conceal his or her birth sex.
Women criticizing this gender identity policy have been accused for many years of being puppets of religious conservatives, an accusation newly revived, even as it has passed beneath comment that its UK fortunes now depend on a good, working relationship with Britain’s Tory Party, and their conservative prime minister.
Women have raised concerns in meetings across the UK about how this would affect all single-sex accommodations, including prisons, domestic violence refuges, women-only recreational facilities, homeless shelters, and the privacy and safety of female patients in some medical settings. Gender activists say it’s “violent” to voice these concerns, and to say aloud that male people can’t be women.
Attendees and speakers at these meetings have been intimidated, assaulted, had their employment threatened, been kicked off of their political party rolls, been subjected to police inquest and disciplinary hearings for making statements of biological fact, and had a recent bomb threat made against one of their meetings. The “violence” of women’s recognition of biological sex is invoked to excuse this as a “proportionate response” from transgender people.
This has all generated considerable press coverage, at last, and I am amazed. When some of the same types of persistent harassment were covered in the U.S. media in 2014, in one New Yorker feature by Michelle Goldberg, the conversation on the political left was mainly about how much of a faux pas she had committed by speaking to radical and gender-critical feminists and reporting what they said. The threats and harassment against women’s events that she reported were roundly trivialized.
Here’s what it’s been like being a woman on the U.S. Left over the last few years, if you refuse to accept the new dogma that biology is a “social fiction.”
- A feminist organized a small, gender-critical women’s gathering to talk about violence against women in 2012. They had to move twice because of a bomb threat, and other threats. A stalker infiltrated their meeting, scaring a homeless woman who was fleeing domestic violence and attending with an infant. After that, further events the organizer and her friends set up, in Portland, Toronto, and London, also faced bomb and arson threats, or threats against venue staff.
- Another feminist faced a disciplinary hearing at the progressive political organization she worked at, because she said in a diversity training that she didn’t like washing menstrual blood off her hands at the sink in the all-gender restrooms.
- A lesbian, female academic at a women’s college has talked about being afraid to note that all the girls who used to come through her classes identifying as butch lesbians are now identifying as trans men.
- A female journalist was forced to make a public apology for using the phrase “sausage fest,” as that is now considered transphobic for equating penises with maleness.
- Lesbian women have been pushed out of LGBT events and social groups, including groups they founded, for saying they wouldn’t consider male sex partners.
- Women have had events cancelled or been shut out of Pagan groups and events, including Dianic Wicca and Red Tent rituals, for wanting women-only religious events.
- Many women have been forced to resign, or were fired, like I was, or writers blacklisted, for dissent from a male-centered line on gender identity and the sex trade.
- During Pride month this year, a lesbian was beaten up outside of a drag show for being unwilling to lie about another woman’s biological sex.
- The weekend before London Pride, a small group of lesbians marched in the San Francisco Dyke March with gender-critical signs. They were assaulted, knocked over, their signs were stolen and torn. The march committee and the National Center for Lesbian Rights blamed the victims for the assaults.
While all of that has been going on (and I have omitted so much), this is some of what we were seeing happen in the public spaces where we formerly felt welcome.
- Several LGBT organizations filed amicus briefs supporting a sex change for a man in prison for strangling his wife to death; the operation would likely have forced the state board of prisons to move him to a women’s prison for his own safety, and to the expressed terror of the female inmates.
- The American Civil Liberties Union and Southern Poverty Law Center push the idea in numerous court cases that women’s demands for bodily privacy from men are bigoted.
- The Obama administration ended the effective right to single-sex accommodations for women in all crisis shelters, prisons, immigration detention centers, and publicly funded schools.
- A trans-identified male writes on a feminist site that the fictional killer Buffalo Bill, from “Silence of the Lambs,” is his “auntie” and a hero, and describing his copycat tattoo. This man has previously written that lesbian attraction to other women is discriminatory.
- A feminist site interviewed a male prison inmate who was convicted for the rape and murder of a little girl, to ask him what he thought about mean feminists who didn’t agree that he was a woman.
- A trans-identified male who appeared at several White House events and held a position on a NYC Young Women’s Advisory Council wrote a Medium article describing himself raping a trans-identified female to try to get her pregnant. Cherno Biko’s name disappeared from progressive spaces without comment.
- A trans-identified male who protested the Michigan Women’s Music Festival, as a leader of “Camp Trans,” murdered two lesbians who used to attend the festival, and their son. A site that started as a lesbian media outlet used its coverage of the charges to remind readers to call him “she.”
- A respected Canadian doctor who runs the nation’s premier gender identity clinic for minors was fired, and his entire clinic shut down, after a relentless campaign of lies and sustained harassment by gender activists, because he advocates “watchful waiting” with gender dysphoria, instead of affirming and leaping to medicalization.
- All of us became nearly numb to the death threats, rape threats, directives to commit suicide, doxxings, and calls for women to be fired over gender politics, over social media.
It has been lonely to face this, to have old friends avoid us, or say that they worry for us, if we are “outed.” In reproductive health, environmental, and LGBT politics, women get messages saying that “TERFs” (a derogatory description for feminists critical of trans ideology) aren’t welcome, that we “should be hung,” or saying “f-ck TERFs.”
Before I was fired for my views, before I had made them known publicly, a former colleague said on Twitter that women like me were “worthless pieces of sh-t” who should “drown themselves.” Our boss knew and didn’t do anything about it.
Last week, Brynn Tannehill wrote a broadside against gender-critical feminists in the Huffington Post, as a means of suggesting that we —that is, left-leaning U.S. women involved with Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) and the Hands Across The Aisle Coalition — were responsible for the London Pride protest. Tannehill suggested that, through us, liberal women who’ve worked with conservatives, all gender-critical feminists, were therefore doing the bidding of U.S. conservatives.
It’s as if Tannehill thinks that none of us have any ideas or will of our own. He doesn’t even seem to know that feminists have long observed that men on the Left usually support abortion for libertine, rather than feminist, reasons, reducing the whole of women’s politics to that one issue in men’s self-interest. For decades, such libertine leftist men have marginalized feminist concerns about the sex industry, demonizing any woman who dared to make an issue of it as “conservative” or a prude.
To answer Tannehill’s main claim directly, though, we in the United States had nothing to do with the London demonstration. The women whom trans activists have attacked in the UK include many longtime political organizers. They don’t need to phone a friend to plan meetings and protests.
Tannehill, a heterosexually married father who enthusiastically advocates for sterilizing minors, said, “Real feminists, lesbians, queers and bisexual woman should ask what sort of woman or feminist would align themselves with these right-wing organizations.”
What sort of women are we, sir? We are women that your violent, evil-minded fellow travelers have made bomb and arson threats against, harassed, assaulted, gotten fired, stalked, doxxed — gotten excommunicated, if you will, from every left-leaning political space in the United States, for refusing to pretend that you are a woman.
We are the women of whom the trans-identified male, Avery Edison, said on Twitter this week that, “if you ever see a collection of screenshotted posts containing things like ‘f-ck all TERFs to death’, bear in mind that this is a community which is constantly provoked by bigots who wear us down and take any aggressive response as proof we need the abuse” (obscenity altered).
It is, according to this popular transgender pornographer, just blowing off steam for a man to say that he wants to punch me, or rape me to death, because I am a “TERF,” and my words, my opinions, made him angry. It’s so common for people Edison knows to say things like that, that he knows the topic has to be addressed, and he chooses to excuse it. It isn’t the first time I’ve seen a response like that.
This must be fine with Tannehill, and all of the people who’d rather stand with him than with the disobedient women. None of them have said a thing to stop any of this, and we know that they know, because we told them.
I, and other women who know how babies are made, are the women Tannehill’s compatriots say it’s fine to talk about beating, raping, murdering, or executing. It’s a popular joke of theirs to say that we should “get the wall,” as in, be first against the wall for execution when the revolution comes.
In this terrifying climate that gender activists have benefitted from, the source of their power, and the reason that they can pretend only religious conservatives disagree with the doctrine that penises can be female, a man dares to ask why we have decided to work with people with whom we agree on almost nothing else? From the perch of the multimillion-dollar, corporate-backed organizations that support him, he questions a $15,000 grant accepted after the fact, for work we conceived, planned, and executed ourselves? Is he really curious why?
It’s because we have tried everything else, but gender activists wanted to drive us home in silence. The conservatives I’ve talked with are the only ones standing up for me, and they aren’t pretending to be feminists when they aren’t. It’s because gender politics is destroying children’s health, and people’s lives, and women’s most basic rights, and it should be opposed.
If I, or any of my gender-critical friends, were attacked by someone who has said I deserve “the wall” for disagreeing with them, I expect the Left would pretend it didn’t happen. Maybe that seems harsh, but they’ve demonstrated time and again that they care more about the pronouns of trans-identified male murderers than they do about the safety or privacy of women.
None of them will speak out when, as happened again last weekend, the most disgusting threats are made against our lives, because they’re demanding partisan loyalty from women to whom they have refused even the most basic decency or consideration.