Author Archives: Jeanne Neath

Confronting the Trans/Queer Culture of Attacks on Women

By Jeanne Neath

I am continually puzzled at how so many feminists and feminist groups and organizations whole-heartedly endorse the politics of “gender identity” and “inclusion” when trans and queer (TQ) activists have created a culture that promotes verbal and physical attacks on women.

Attacks on Women by TQ Activists

I was shocked earlier this year when I saw the saw the video and read the accounts of a male transactivist in Argentina physically attacking Ana Marcocavallo, a radical feminist who was trying to speak at a Ni Una Menos event on February 15th, 2019. Equally disturbing about this violent episode was the response of many in the audience. Before the attack, even before Ana began to speak, the audience chanted “kick her out.” After the male transactivist was pulled off Ana, the audience then chanted “trans resistance lives here.”
Transactivist attacks radical feminist

I guess I shouldn’t have been shocked because this is just one of a string of episodes where TQ activists have physically assaulted a feminist at a political event. Here in the U.S. last June (2018) two lesbians marching with a small group of old lesbian feminists were physically attacked at the San Franciso Dyke March. Here too, the crowd verbally assaulted the old lesbians, continually yelling slogans such as “TERFS go home.” Eventually, greatly frightened, the lesbians did manage to escape from the jeering crowd. One lesbian said afterward that she was more scared by this incident than when she had been “chased by police with machine guns in her home country.”

The TQ Culture Promoting Attacks on Women

There are many incidences of violence of a male to transgender (M2T) individual toward female targets, but the ones I’ve described are all very public incidences taking place where feminist activists are at a contested political event. These outcroppings of physical violence against women and lesbians by TQ activists may seem like isolated incidences. Degenderettes posing with batsBut, the physical violence of a few was supported by surrounding crowds of trans and queer, mostly young, people. This crowd support for physical violence is one terrible example of the culture promoting attacks on women that permeates TQ activism. I won’t describe that attack culture right now – most or maybe all of you are familiar with it anyway – but I will point out that the accusations of TERF, the t shirts saying “I punch TERFs,” transactivists training with weapons and posing and marching with bats, the silencing of feminists, the de-platformings, the “otherizing” of those who disagree with trans ideology, the death threats, are all part of this culture promoting attacks on women.

Breast bindersThe TQ culture likewise damages the girls and women who join that culture. Lesbians are pressured into sexual encounters with M2T persons wanting validation for their claim to be Lesbian. Transitioning females are encouraged to harm their own bodies by breast binding, taking risky hormones, undergoing mastectomies of healthy breasts and surgery to remove reproductive organs (creating irreversible sterility).

And They Accuse Women of Hate Speech?

TQ activists and their supporters justify their attacks on women by claiming that those who question their claims to be the “other” sex are invalidating them and perpetuating hate toward trans people. The problem here is actually with trans ideology – no one can change their sex. Anyone who pretends that they have changed their sex cannot help but have an insecure sense of self that can never be validated. With its dependence on the concept of “gender identity,” a completely subjective “sense of being a man or a woman,” and its purposeful confusion of sex and gender, trans ideology cannot withstand critical thinking. Accusations of hate speech and hatred of trans people – “transphobia,” “transmisogyny” and so on – is the defense TQ activists have resorted to.

The accusations of hate and hate speech have actually been an offense and a very useful political ploy for transactivists. Everyone on the Left can understand that hatred of a minority group is wrong. The problem is that sound byte thinking does not work well in a complex situation where one minority group – trangender people – is claiming the identity of another minority – women – and is screaming “hate speech” over any criticism. Recently, one woman in a women’s/lesbian organization I belong to (that has a few trans members) claimed that just using the term “woman born woman” is hate speech. She said, “It is hurtful to some of our members … and is like using the ‘n’ word or ‘spic’.” Another woman said she couldn’t “support the WBW [women-born-women] having meetings … because of the anti-trans hate speech and public exclusion of some folks. What if WBW Nazis wanted to meet [here]?” These accusations of hate speech are not only used to justify attacks on women, but they are attacks on women and part of the TQ culture promoting attacks on women. Not long before the attack on Ana in Argentina, a left wing newspaper published this comment: “we will put you [radical feminists] on trial, just like we did with nazi genocides, and wherever you are, we will seek you out.” (see the final sentence in the original Pagina 12 article in spanish, quoted in english in Feminist Current.)


Some males who identify as transgender probably resisted socialization into the conspiracy of violence, but others did not. Those who joined the conspiracy of violence are trained dominators and and there is every reason to think they are dominating the direction of transactivism, hence creation of a culture promoting attacks on women. These males may not be lashing out when their “manhood” is shamed, but they certainly are when their “womanhood” is questioned.


Why the woman hating, threats and attacks against women? There are other ways that trans people could handle invalidation of a shaky self. Carol Gilligan and Naomi Snider in their book, Why Does Patriarchy Persist, describe a “conspiracy of violence” that many boys and men become part of during their socialization. These boys and men “turn away from relationship, turn women into objects, and lash out when their manhood is shamed or their vulnerability exposed.” Some males who identify as transgender probably resisted socialization into the conspiracy of violence, but others did not. Those who joined the conspiracy of violence are trained dominators and and there is every reason to think they are dominating the direction of transactivism, hence creation of a culture promoting attacks on women. These males may not be lashing out when their “manhood” is shamed, but they certainly are when their “womanhood” is questioned.

Feminist Inconsistencies

Why the unquestioning support for transgender ideology among so many feminists? Why are some feminists going beyond providing support to transgender people and whole-heartedly supporting the transgender movement and its TQ culture of attacks on women?

One of the chilling characteristics of trans ideology is its demand for complete agreement – otherwise you are transphobic or a transmisogynist, or maybe even a “TERF” and you deserve to die. In contrast, feminism has always been based in wildly diverse, highly contested points of view. It is therefore not surprising that some feminists think trans ideology is A-OK while others view the invasion of M2T persons into women’s spaces as a very real threat to women’s liberation. What is surprising is the close-mindedness and unwillingness to civilly discuss and debate differences of opinion about trans ideology by many feminists who subscribe to trans ideology.

It is possible to support trans people and advocate for specific trans rights, like freedom from job discrimination, without endorsing trans ideology and acquiescing to the ever-expanding demands of transactivists. Many radical feminists do this. However, many feminist trans supporters have abandoned critical thinking and are unwilling to see how harmful trans ideology is for women, including females who transition. (Others may be toeing the line established by transactivists in fear of TQ attacks.)

Still, women who have been true believers in the trans narrative do sometimes reach “peak trans,” the moment when they realize that there are problems with trans ideology. Alicia Hendley recently provided a very thoughtful description of how “I Supported Trans Ideology Until I Couldn’t Anymore.” Hendley had been one of those women vehemently defending trans ideology against any feminist (or other) criticism.

For Hendley, the first “tiny crack in my previously impenetrable armour” came when she learned about the behavior of the M2T person, JY, who filed human rights complaints against 16 Canadian women who refused to wax his male genitals and went on to brag about his predatory behavior toward young girls. Hendley was appalled when she learned that women discussing their concerns about JY’s behavior were banned from Twitter due to accusations that they were “misgendering” him. Hendley wrote, “How was it acceptable that those sounding the alarm about egregious actions were the ones being reprimanded?”

Then Hendley contacted Morgane Oger, the Vice President of the ruling party in British Columbia about her concerns about JY. Oger seemed concerned, but then commented that a recent event at the Vancouver Public Library on gender identity ideology and women’s rights was “like 1933 Berlin.” Hendley, whose husband and children are Jewish, found this simile to be extreme, especially coming from a well known representative of a political party. Hendley had reached her breaking point as a believer in trans ideology: “It was at that point — when I was told challenges to and questions about gender identity ideology in defense of women’s rights were equal to the lead up towards one of the worst genocides in human history — that I had my “WTF?” moment, and I began to tip.”

An Experiment

Degenderettes on the shooting rangeWhat inconsistency could be more dramatic for a feminist than the realization that the TQ movement she strongly supports has created a culture promoting attacks on women? I tested the waters by talking to a small group of women who are hard core believers in the trans narrative about the San Francisco Dyke March and the TQ culture of violence against women.

I have been part of an ongoing task force with these women at the women’s and lesbian center I mentioned earlier. At a meeting I pointed out that unreservedly supporting the trans movement meant support for a culture of violence against women and led to incidences like the physical attack and threatening crowd at the San Francisco Dyke March. The immediate response of many of the women was to say that the trans people they knew weren’t like that and to demand local examples of a TQ culture of violence against women. They tried to discount the local example some of us gave them (see the description of the de-platforming that took place in Fayetteville Arkansas at the Goddess Festival.) The conversation stayed relatively calm with some participants making an effort to hear each other.

One woman was apparently troubled enough by the discussion of the TQ culture of violence against women to do some research, but her research included only the trans propaganda about the SF Dyke March. She felt that the TQ activists who surrounded the old lesbian feminists were completely in the right because they were chanting slogans she agreed with like “transphobia’s got to go!” I don’t know if her one-sided research failed to uncover the words in other chants like “TERFs go home” or if she just doesn’t care that TQ activists are verbally and physically assaulting lesbians. She actually commented that there wasn’t a problem with the surrounding crowd chanting so long as the words of the chant expressed something she (and others) agreed with.


I don’t know if her one-sided research failed to uncover the words in other chants like “TERFs go home” or if she just doesn’t care that TQ activists are verbally and physically assaulting lesbians. She actually commented that there wasn’t a problem with the surrounding crowd chanting so long as the words of the chant expressed something she (and others) agreed with.


I count this encounter as a half success. The women who heard me talk about the TQ culture of violence against women were made aware, even if briefly, that there is a problem with unreservedly supporting the TQ movement. And the one woman was troubled enough by the inconsistency of being a feminist and a supporter of the TQ culture of violence to seek out trans propaganda in an attempt to justify her existing belief system. I haven’t (yet!) had the opportunity for follow up. I would like to present this woman with the actual words of some of the women attacked at the SF Dyke March and see if she is able to dismiss them.

Final Thoughts

Like much else in the trans movement, thinking about the TQ culture of attacks on women leaves me wondering: however do they get away with this? This is a social movement that seriously proposes that a person can be born in the wrong body! And then millions of other people take the idea seriously? This is a minority group whose male members are claiming the identity of another minority group, women! And liberals and progressives let them get away with this theft? Anyone other than a M2T person would be challenged for cultural appropriation. Look at what happened when the white woman, Rachel Dolezal, claimed to be Black! So maybe it isn’t that surprising that transactivists get away with threatening and attacking women.

There may be a relatively small number of trans extremists leading campaigns against “TERFs,” making rape or death threats, or physically attacking feminist activists, but many, many transgender and queer people join in and fully support the culture of attacks on women, as do so-called progressives and the feminist women I’ve focused on here. All of these groups of people are responsible for their own misogyny and the continuation of the TQ culture of attacks on women.

There is only one ethical choice available for trans supporters. They must take a stand to demand that the threats, the de-platformings, the name-calling, the campaigns against women-only spaces, the hostile crowds, and the verbal and physical attacks on women end immediately. Yes, support trans people and trans rights (where those rights are not harmful to women), but end the TQ threats and attacks on women.

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Sign the Open Letter to PantheaCon in Solidarity with Max Dashu

From Max Dashu:

Join us in signing this statement opposing no-platforming, defamation and intimidation, forged by a council that began meeting after I was banned from the Witches Confluence and PantheaCon conferences last year. These purges were in turn fueled by smears spread after the hounding of old lesbians at the SF Dyke March last June. You can read the whole statement at the link, and I hope you’ll sign and share it, helping form a new consensus that misogynist bullying, sexist insults and character assassination are unacceptable. Here’s the bottom line takeaway:

“It is urgent for us to dialogue with each other in good faith. We cannot afford not to, under the current direness the world is facing—the attacks on human rights, on the Earth, and all living beings. We need a coalition more than ever before. This cannot be accomplished by demonizing, name-calling, or by sowing fear and intimidation. We seek justice for everyone, across all the axes of oppression. To do so, we need to re-learn what the ancients knew: how to hold council on a foundation of mutual respect.”

See the full text and sign the petition.

See the full text and sign the petition.

Posted by Jeanne Neath

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How Trans-Ideology Harms Women and Girls

By Jeanne Neath

1. The word woman is in danger of losing its meaning, an adult human female who has had the experience of living as a girl and a woman. Transactivists want their term, “gender identity,” to replace sex in defining “woman.” Male transgender people (“transwomen”) want to be considered women. They can’t change their sex – they can never become female – so want to use “gender identity” instead. Anyone can claim the “gender identity” of “woman” because “gender identity” is a person’s “internal sense” of being a woman or man. With self-identification laws, a male can be considered a woman just because he says he is.

2. The movement for the liberation of women is at serious risk. Women are oppressed on the basis of our sex, not gender identity. Many social structures, including gender, are created by patriarchal societies to justify and carry out that oppression. If women can’t organize as women, meet in women only groups and speak freely there can be no liberation of women. See #10 and #11 below.

3. Harmful sex role stereotypes are strengthened by acceptance of the practice of transitioning. Even young girls who violate norms of femininity (by liking toy trucks or boys clothes) are targeted for transition. Changing bodies to match “gender” is a conservative approach that says sex, a biological reality, is easier to change than “gender identity,” a feeling that can change over time and that the two have to match. Girls and women should be free to act in masculine or feminine ways.

4. Women and girls lose their rights to privacy and safety in public places where they undress and sleep. This includes battered women’s shelters, girls’ locker rooms in public schools, nursing homes, hospitals, homeless shelters, prisons, and public restrooms.

Bathrooms according to trans

5. Women and girls are being shamed for our female bodies. We are being told we shouldn’t talk about the functioning of our female bodies because to do so makes male transgender people feel left out. Like other males they do not menstruate, can’t get pregnant and have a penis instead of a vulva.

6. Male transgender people have an unfair advantage when they are allowed to compete in women’s sports due to the structure of their male bodies and testosterone levels higher than women.

7. Crime data becomes inaccurate and women appear to be more violent than we are when demographic data lumps transgender people with male bodies together with women.

8. Medical data is compromised. Feminists had to fight to force medical researchers to study women’s medical conditions and symptoms. Now research may categorize male-born transgender people as women or female.

Quote about trans superiority to genetic women from 1977

9. Females who transition (i.e. “transmen”) engage in painful and harmful practices. These can include hysterectomy, double mastectomy and binding of breasts. Breast binding commonly results in back and chest pain, bad posture, shortness of breath, and itchiness. Many report numbness, dizziness, and fatigue. At Fenway Health Clinic, females taking testosterone therapy sign a consent form acknowledging possible permanent baldness, facial and body hair growth, and sterility. Risk is increased for diabetes, endometrial and breast cancer, liver damage, heart attack, and stroke.

10. Women who speak of these consequences or criticize transgender beliefs or practices are at risk of threats, including death threats, physical violence, de-platforming, being fired, and silencing. This repression is a direct attack on feminist thought, an attempt by transactivists to control what is permissible for feminists to think and say.

11. Feminist and other female only groups are forced underground through hostile campaigns by transactivists. Venues refuse to allow women only groups to meet for fear of transactivist attack.

Gerda Lerner on women only space

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Quiz for Liberals

By Jeanne Neath

XX Amazons is setting out to snare liberals. Much of the power of the transgender movement comes from the support of liberals. Some of this liberal support is from liberal trans allies who are deeply immersed in the transactivist version of reality. But, many of the liberals supporting the transgender movement are barely informed about transgender ideology and have no knowledge whatsoever of what radical feminists and other gender critical folks have to say. Let’s call them “No Know Libs.” The No Know Libs don’t want to think through this difficult question. They just want to do the “right thing” and give their support to every minority group. They have been taken in by the line, “everybody knows transgender people are more victimized and oppressed than anyone else.”

Here’s where XX Amazons’ new quiz, “Do You Discriminate Against Transgender People,” comes in. Our quiz asks whether the respondent agrees with seven simple statements that almost anyone who is not a hard core transactivist or over-the-top trans ally would agree with. For example, the first question, written for heterosexual males states, “I am a heterosexual male and I have never dated and would rather not date ‘transwomen,’ especially if they still have male genitalia.” (See the graphics in this blog for more of the quiz questions or view a downloadable PDF file of the entire quiz.)

Questions 1 and 2 from the quiz

Questions 1 and 2 from the Do You Discriminate Against Transgender People? Quiz

The vast majority of people taking our quiz are going to agree with at least one of the quiz questions. When they find out (and they do find out because we tell them) that the transgender movement considers their belief(s) to be discriminatory, most people will experience emotional distress and a realization that there is either a problem with what the transgender movement is saying or with their own belief system.

Some could decide that their own beliefs are problematic and go the way of the devoted trans ally. That would be unfortunate. We believe that many quiz takers will be jarred into a willingness to start thinking more deeply about the problems with claims made by the transgender movement.

At the end of the quiz we do our best to lead No Know Libs into this questioning state of mind. We ask “What’s the score?” and say, “If you checked yes on any of these questions, then the transgender movement would say you are discriminating against transgender people. But is this really discrimination?” We point out that there is a conflict of rights between women and the transgender movement. We invite respondents to the XX Amazons’ website to find out more about the unexpected consequences of claims made by the transgender movement. We have enlightening explanations of the radical feminist viewpoint for each of the questions that should dispell any concerns they have about discrimination.

Quiz questions 3 and 4

Questions 3 and 4 from the Do You Discriminate Against Transgender People? Quiz

Can we transform No Know Libs into the well-informed and questioning people we need them to be? These liberals are victims of the transactivist campaign to silence radical feminists and other gender critics. The “Do You Discriminate Against Transgender People?” quiz can help us help them begin to do some much needed questioning.

Here are some things you can do to help this educational process along. They don’t require very much effort or risk, but should get important thinking and conversation going. Start by acquainting yourself more with the quiz and give some thought to the explanations of the quiz questions. If you want, use this graphic or this smaller graphic to help spread the word about the quiz on Facebook or other social media.

Download the PDF file of the quiz and print copies. If you don’t want people to associate you with the quiz, casually put copies of the quiz out at locations like your public library, health food store or anywhere that has a place to set out literature. If you can risk people associating you with the quiz, give it to your friends or pass it out at events. People have a hard time resisting the chance to take a quiz. Use this quiz as a conversation opener and you can do your own educating about what is happening to women, girls and lesbians.

Postscript: XX Amazons is very interested in knowing about what kinds of responses you encounter when you distribute the quiz. Please let us know how it goes. We always like hearing from you and your feedback about the quiz will be very helpful. Thank you!

Quiz questions 5 thru 7

Questions 5 thru 7 of the Do You Discriminate Against Transgender People? Quiz

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Identity Theft: Transgender Movement Takes Wrong Turn (Part Two)

By Jeanne Neath

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From Part One… Over decades of activism, not a single marginalized group tried to claim any identity other than that of their own group. What does it mean that a newly-created minority group, transgenders, is now asking for something that no other minority group has ever asked for? When male transgenders claim that they are women, they are attempting to usurp an identity that very clearly belongs to another oppressed group of people – women. This is not a legitimate claim! What does it mean that the transgender minority group is not satisfied to simply and proudly claim its own identity as “transgender”? This is all any other minority group has ever wanted.
************************************************

THE TRANSGENDER MOVEMENT appears to be very strong, but that strength largely comes from its outside support: big Pharma, the medical industry, extremely wealthy trans supporters, funding from philanthropic organizations, and run of the mill liberals who are not (yet) thinking beyond their concern with the prejudice and discrimination faced by transgender people. The transgender movement itself has a critical flaw – the refusal of the movement and its members to be satisfied with the transgender identity that they can legitimately claim.

Consequences for the Transgender Movement

A misdirected social movement. By taking a wrong turn from the path established by other minorities, the transgender movement has created strong opposition among many people who otherwise would have been allies. Almost anyone outside the right wing would support transgender people claiming a transgender identity. But, when transactivists insist that male to transgender (M2T) people have the right to usurp the identity that belongs to women, feminists who think through the implications for women, girls and lesbians become strong critics of this illegitimate claim.

Graph showing increasing referrals to gender clinic in London

Referrals to children’s gender clinics have increased from very few in 2010 to around 2000 in 2017. Data shown are for the Tavistock clinic in London.

A great mix of gender critics have emerged, many concerned with the harm inflicted on children and adults by the practice of transitioning (i.e. claiming the identity of the “other” sex instead of claiming a transgender identity). Gender critics can include anyone from parents who don’t want their children subjected to hormone treatments, to concerned teachers, men opposed to patriarchy, detransitioners, and transgender people who don’t buy the party line. Gender critics find radical feminist understandings of sex roles and gender of great use. As GenderCriticalDad writes:

“I had to learn from feminism, it was the only discourse that made sense of a transcritical perspective, but also forced some hard questions about myself and how I live my life. Encounters with feminism on my journey as GenderCriticalDad have made me realize how deep sexism goes, how it leads me to be a misogynist sometimes and how this limits me. The Radical Feminism I found teaches me that I need to reject masculinity, not as a grand gesture to the world, but in life and actions with those I care about.”[1]

The transgender movement does not respond well to criticism. Transgender people with their “shaky” selves and easily hurt feelings (as discussed in Part One) require an unusual amount of social validation. Transgender ideology is shaky too because it is based in the defense of illegitimate claims and the need to protect the insecurities of transgender people. Transactivists are desperate to silence critics, prevent open discussion, and censor deviations from the party line. As a result, radical feminists and gender critics are the primary targets of the transgender movement, instead of the dominant society. Every other social movement has had great clarity about the need to fight its actual oppressors.

The Radical Feminist Threat: Get Rid of Gender! Radical feminists understand that gender is deadly for women and girls. Training in ‘masculinity’ creates male dominators; training in ‘femininity’ creates females who will submit to male domination. Without male dominators there could be no patriarchy, so patriarchy depends on gender for its existence. Gender does not just harm transgender people, but constricts everyone’s behavior. Gender is socially constructed; gender can, and must, be abolished.

The conflict with transideology is obvious. Radical feminists want to do away with gender while transgender people base their lives on the belief that their own gender preferences (and “gender identity”) are set in stone. They believe their only option is to change their sexed bodies to try to match their “gender identity”. Transgender people need gender to exist or “transgender” makes no sense at all. They need sex role stereotypes to provide the script for the act of appearing as the “other” sex.

The Radical Feminist Threat: Sex, Not Gender Identity.

Several years ago I ran across the “Spectrum of Spectrums” chart created by the trans-friendly Rhizome Consulting Project which depicted many forms of oppression, including colonialism, race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, age, religion and more.[2] The chart included “gender,” but this referred to the oppression of transgender (and intersex) people by “cisgender” people. I was stunned to find that sex oppression and male domination of women were nowhere to be found!

Sex oppression is not included in this chart showing types of oppression

The Spectrum of Spectrums chart of many, many oppressions completely leaves out sex oppression. For gender, “cisgender” oppresses transgender. This is a small slice from the entire chart.

The absence of sex oppression on that chart was no accident. The transgender movement tries to erase concern about sex oppression and replace the concept of sex with their own concept, “gender identity.” Transgender people can claim whatever “gender identity” they want to because “gender identity” is a concept made up for and by transgender people. Sex is a big problem for transgender ideology because transgender people cannot, despite all efforts, change their sex. Most don’t even try very hard: transgender males usually want to keep their “ladysticks” and “bottom” surgery has never been very effective for transgender females. The cost is prohibitive for most. Transactivists just want people to stop paying attention to that pesky sex concept.

Who stands smack in the way? Radical feminists are not about to let go of our own understanding that women are oppressed on the basis of sex and that men (males trained in masculinity/domination) oppress women. Many radical feminists are not shy about saying that women are female and that transgender males can never be women. Is this threatening to transgender people? Off the charts!

Transgender movement attacks another minority group – women! The transgender movement is not the only misogynist social movement, but transactivists have taken misogyny to an extreme with its erasure of females, erasure of sex oppression, and attacks on its critics, many of whom are women and radical feminists. Transideology has taken and twisted words of power from feminism and the gay and lesbian movement and transactivists hurl accusations like “transphobe” and “transmisogynist” at its critics to silence them.

Anti-terf children's t shirt

Anti Terf Kids Long Sleeve T-Shirt Design. This t shirt is for children!

The transactivist’s invented word, “TERF” (i.e. Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist) targets radical feminists. Slogans like “shoot a TERF today,” “kill all TERFs” and “I punch TERFs” appear all over the Internet, on t-shirts and in an exhibit at the San Francisco Public Library in 2018. Threatening language and behavior has spilled over into physical violence, as happened at Hyde Park in London on September 13, 2017 and at the 2018 San Francisco Dyke March.

Transactivists feel threatened by the most basic understandings of feminism and their response has been a desperate, vindictive attack. Sadly for those in the spell of transideology, radical feminism is the only system of thought that offers people troubled by sex roles and gender (everyone!) an understanding of the the roots of these problems and directs resistance at the actual enemy – patriarchal society.

Consequences for Girls, Women and Lesbians

We have here an odd case study. What happens to the targeted minority group – women – when another minority group lays claim to its identity? What happens when the intruders are, yes, a minority group – transgender – but also male (i.e. M2T) and therefore part of the dominating group in this patriarchal society? The consequences for girls, women and lesbians unfortunately could fill a book, but here is a partial overview:

  • Women and girls lose their rights to privacy and safety in public places previously reserved for females: public restrooms, locker rooms, shelters for battered women and homeless people, women’s prisons, semi-private hospital rooms, nursing homes, services for women who have been raped.
  • The grassroots women-only groups that are the backbone of the Women’s Liberation Movement are harassed, invaded, prevented from meeting, and forced underground.
  • Feminist women are silenced, censored, de-platformed, erased, threatened and physically assaulted by transactivists, most of this with the strong backing of liberals.
  • Male-bodied transgenders unfairly outcompete women in women’s sports and win scholarships and awards meant for female athletes.
  • Lesbian culture is disappeared and lesbians are accused of discrimination for wanting sexual/emotional relationships only with females.

Conclusion

What would the transgender movement be like if it fought a legitimate battle for the rights of transgender people and its members claimed only their transgender identity? There would be an end to dangerous medical treatments for transgender people. Transgender people could proudly embrace their own biological sex as male or female. If they did not want to identify as a man or woman, they could proudly proclaim they are transgender.

Blood and Visions booklet of stories by detransitioners

Blood and Visions contains the stories of detransitioners.

Anyone experiencing gender dysphoria could use coping techniques pioneered by detransitioners. Transgender people could stop performing an act and be free to be themselves, behaving in whatever “masculine,” “feminine,” or other ways come naturally to them.

The transgender movement would be able to turn its full attention to ending prejudice, discrimination and violence against gender non-conforming children and adults. Instead of viewing sex roles and gender as immutable, transgender people could join feminists in changing society so that no one is forced into “masculine” or “feminine” behaviors on the basis of their sex. The movement could follow the lead of gender critical transgender people, like Miranda Yardley, who reject transgender ideology as it exists today. Yardley sounds like a radical feminist:

“Here are some of the things that transgender ideology needs to do so that it may support the lives of women: …Accept that innate gender identity is based on ideas with such a tenuous link to observed science it is barely a conjecture. The transgender claim to womanhood (or manhood) is completely dependent on this concept of an innate gender identity, and taking this away strips the movement of its cloak of being a civil rights movement, championing the fight of an oppressed minority… [A]ccept that sex and gender are not the same thing. Sex is a biological reality based on reproductive potential, and gender is a social system that harms women through stereotyping behaviour, by giving women the negative stereotypes and men those that are positive; gender itself is oppression, not a civil liberty. All transwomen by definition are biologically male…”
(From “Transgender Ideology Does Not Support Women by Miranda Yardley”)

Transactivists could develop a new ideology based in an understanding that the dominant patriarchal society is the problem. The movement and many of its members (and supporters) would need to do some serious work dealing with their sexism and misogyny. The transgender movement would then be free to fight against its actual enemy instead of attacking radical feminists. When radical feminists criticize the transgender movement we are extending a hand to assist transgender people back on a time-tested path toward liberation. We could become powerful allies in the fight to end patriarchy and free everyone from sex roles and gender.

Footnotes

1. Quote from GenderCriticalDad is taken from “I’m not a hideously bigoted parent who doesn’t ‘get’ it’” in Transgender Children and Young People: Born in Your Own Body edited by Heather Brunskell-Evans and Michele Moore.

2. “Spectrum of Spectrums,” by Rhizome Consulting Project. In Earth First, March-April 2015, p. 20-21.

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Identity Theft: Transgender Movement Takes Wrong Turn (Part One)

By Jeanne Neath

What does it mean that a newly-created marginalized group, transgenders, is now asking for something that no other marginalized group has ever asked for?

Over many decades Western societies have come to a clear understanding that members of minority groups should be able to live free from discrimination and be free to embrace their own cultures, ways of life and self-expression, provided no one is harmed. As one of the newest groups to claim minority status and rights, transgender people clearly deserve:

  • Freedom from discrimination in employment, education, housing, public accommodations
  • Freedom to express masculinity and femininity as they wish, regardless of their sex

But, transgender people are demanding far more than an end to discrimination and freedom of self-expression!

“Taking Back Our Hair”: Activism and Self-Love

One of the terrible effects of prejudice and discrimination is the way members of minority groups are made to feel ashamed of themselves and their own group. Sometimes group members go so far as to hide their own identities. Just think about all the lesbians and gay men who have lived or are now living in the closet. Other examples include how ethnic group members may feel embarrassed about and reject family and cultural traditions, racial minorities may desire and seek to appear similar to the dominant group (as Toni Morrison portrayed in The Bluest Eye), and women may prefer spending time with men and think men are superior to women.

Rosa Parks at front of bus

Rosa Parks’ refusal to relinquish her seat on a public bus to a white man precipitated the 1955–56 Montgomery Bus Boycott in Alabama. Her action was the spark that ignited the U.S. civil rights movement.

One of the excellent results when a marginalized group organizes and fights for its rights is that group members develop a strong identification with and pride in their group. Pride in the group leads group members to develop love and respect for their own selves. The lunch counter sit-ins, bus boycotts and marches of the Civil Rights movement, the gay pride parades, dyke marches, and disability rights activists wielding wheelchairs and protest signs in front of the Supreme Court and Congress all forced change on society. Participating in, or even knowing about, these activities changed the internal experiences and self-expression of many minority group members.

By the late 1960s and 70s the Civil Rights and Black Power movements stimulated a celebration of African roots and pride in African American history and culture. Even the physical appearance of many African Americans, such as adopting the natural afro hairstyle, began to reflect the pride they felt in being Black. As Ebony magazine explains:

“In the 1960s, Black folks finally said, “To hell with that!” After decades of subjecting ourselves to European beauty standards, we decided to take back our hair. This newfound self-acceptance was widely known as the Black Is Beautiful movement, which sprang from the Black Power movement.

With political activists such as Angela Davis, Huey P. Newton and Jesse Jackson proudly rocking Afros while fighting oppression, the hairstyle quickly emerged as a symbol for Black beauty, liberation and pride.” (From Princess Gabbara’s Ebony article on The History of the Afro)

Angela Davis with afro

Angela Davis with afro.

In the same time period women flocked to consciousness-raising groups and took to the streets. We then expanded our grassroots movement to include everything from self-health groups where we learned about our own female bodies to goddess spirituality that replaced a male god with the original female goddesses. Feminism made women proud to be women. Feminism helped us to love our female bodies. Women who’d assumed they had no choice but to be heterosexual came out as lesbians and loved each others’ female bodies.

Disability activists demanded society accommodate disabilities, but also came to value their own capabilities and what they learned from their own disabilities. They proudly claimed their identities as people with disabilities.

The pattern held true across every marginalized group – activism helped group members shed shame they felt in themselves and their group and become proud of their group and their own identities.

A Special Minority? Transgenders Ask Too Much

Over decades of activism, not a single marginalized group tried to claim any identity other than that of their own group. Each minority group was very simply proud of their own identity and demanding an end to the oppression against their group. African Americans did not claim to be Asian. Native Americans did not claim to be Black (though mixed race individuals might legitimately claim more than one identity). Lesbians did not claim to be gay men. Gay men did not claim to be women.

What does it mean that a newly-created minority group, transgenders, is now asking for something that no other minority group has ever asked for? When male transgenders claim that they are women, they are attempting to usurp an identity that very clearly belongs to another oppressed group of people – women. This is not a legitimate claim! What does it mean that the transgender minority group is not satisfied to simply and proudly claim its own identity as “transgender”? This is all any other minority group has ever wanted.

What about females who transition (i.e. F2T or “transmen”)? The situation is different for women because they are transitioning into the dominant group – men. They are not claiming to belong to an existing minority group, but most of them support the male to transgenders’ (i.e. M2T or “transwomen”) claim to be women. Thus, both the male and female camps in the transgender movement must be considered responsible for the attempts by the M2Ts to usurp the identity of women.

The primary concerns addressed in this blog are the illegitimate claims made by M2T people and the consequences of those claims for transgender people, the transgender movement, and for women and girls.

Consequences for Transgender People

The transgender movement has stepped off the well worn path travelled by other marginalized groups with serious consequences for transgender people. Other social movements have been very clear that society is what needs to change, not the members of an oppressed group. But, what transgender people seem to want most is to change themselves enough to appear as the “other” sex or “gender.” Here we have a social movement strangely advocating change in individuals. The consequences are not pretty. Transgender people could be like other minorities and celebrate their transgender identities. Instead their impossible attempt to take on an identity that does not belong to them is destructive for transgender individuals and their movement, as described below. Even when the transgender movement does work for social change, its activity is misdirected when it targets radical feminists and other gender critics, instead of the dominant society.

Lupron bottle

Lupron is a hormone blocker prescribed for gender non-conforming children.

Changing vs. celebrating the natural body. Transgender people reject their biological sex and their own physical bodies. Other minorities celebrate their bodies and reject damaging physical regimens like hair straightening, girdles, high heels, plastic surgery, and dangerous psychiatric medications. The desire to make changes to their bodies so as to appear as the “other” sex is so strong that transgender people risk their health to take cross-sex hormones and hormone blockers and undergo risky surgical procedures. Girls as young as sixteen are subjected to double mastectomies, removing perfectly healthy breasts. Pre-adolescent children are prescribed very expensive and dangerous hormone blockers like Lupron, used to delay puberty. All these hormonal drugs are prescribed off label, untested and unapproved for use by transgender people. They all have dangerous side effects. Remember what happened to menopausal women when they were routinely prescribed hormones!

Passing vs. celebrating a transgender identity. No one can change their sex. M2T persons can never be women because women are female and they are male and they have had the life experiences of males from birth on. A large percentage of M2T persons still have a penis! Transitioning is an impossible dream. No matter what lengths transgender people go to they cannot become the woman or man they want to be.

The ethics of usurping the identity of another minority group are terrible. The psychological consequences of taking on that false identity are not much better. When M2T persons claim to be women they inevitably create for themselves a “shaky”, insecure self. They become locked in an impossible attempt to convince themselves and everyone else that they are something – a woman, female – that they can never be. Transgender people choose to transition for many different reasons, but for some males the desire to appear as female is driven by an insatiable discomfort with one’s male body. As Andrea Long Chu describes in his essay, “My New Vagina Won’t Make Me Happy”:

“Dysphoria feels like being unable to get warm, no matter how many layers you put on. It feels like hunger without appetite. It feels like getting on an airplane to fly home, only to realize mid-flight that this is it: You’re going to spend the rest of your life on an airplane. It feels like grieving. It feels like having nothing to grieve.” (From Chu’s New York Times essay, My New Vagina Won’t Make Me Happy)

Instead of simply acting as they naturally feel, M2T people go to great lengths to imitate women in their attempt to pass (or “blend” is their currently preferred term). They have to think about how they walk, their mannerisms, their speech. Some pay for voice lessons or for apps like the Exceptional Voice App (EVA), sold in 55 countries, that teach them how to sound more like women. Others hire “femme coaches” like Monica Prata of Nouveau She who assists with a complete makeover:

“For around $130 an hour, Monica’s standard rate as a stylist (“I’m not going to upsell them just because they’re trans”), she will provide hair, makeup, and wardrobe makeovers, not to mention guidance on facial feminization and gender reassignment surgery, vocal training, home redecoration, and “comportment.” (From Alex Morris’ article on How Exactly Do You Teach Femininity?)

Transgender people may obsess about how they appear and can feel desperate for confirmation from others that they have successfully “blended”. All the efforts to appear as female may just increase feelings of discomfort with one’s body, as Chu describes:

“Like many of my trans friends, I’ve watched my dysphoria balloon since I began transition. I now feel very strongly about the length of my index fingers — enough that I will sometimes shyly unthread my hand from my girlfriend’s as we walk down the street. When she tells me I’m beautiful, I resent it. I’ve been outside. I know what beautiful looks like. Don’t patronize me.” (From Chu’s essay, My New Vagina Won’t Make Me Happy)

Other minorities learn to value their natural appearance and identity, while transgender people, male and female, are caught in a lifelong act.

The act could be dropped. Transgender people can stop trying to pass and claim only their transgender identity. Then no acting is required. Transgender people would be able to just be themselves and express “femininity” or “masculinity” in the ways that come naturally to them. Those with gender dysphoria would still need to find ways to handle those feelings (as detransitioners do), but they would no longer be trapped in an act or in the false hope of transitioning. What a relief!

Like other gender non-conforming people (such as butch lesbians) transgender people would face the risks of violence and disapproval from an intolerant society, but they would do so feeling secure in who they are – transgender.

Coming soon! Part Two of this blog asks (and answers) these questions:

  • How is the transgender movement burdened by its illegitimate claims and the “shaky” selves of its members?
  • What happens to the targeted minority group – women – when another minority group lays claim to its identity?
  • What would the transgender movement be like if it fought a legitimate battle for the rights of transgender people and its members claimed only their transgender identity?

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OMNI Center Claims To Be “Fair”? Apparently Lesbians and Women Don’t Count

By Jeanne Neath

In 2017 the OMNI Center in Fayetteville Arkansas and the Goddess Festival de-platformed the XX Amazons, Paula, Susan and Jeanne, preventing us from giving our workshop on “The Disappearing L – Lesbians Rise Up”. This was the result of transactivists and their supporters protesting the workshop. (See “The Story of the Goddess Festival” for details of the de-platforming and our resistance.) A few days ago I received the OMNI Center’s weekly newsletter touting itself and its members on their fairness: “You and your neighbors are right here, working our tail ends off to make the world FAIR, FREE and HEALTHY.” OMNI always advertises itself as the “Center for Peace, Justice, and Ecology.”

I find OMNI’s continued absolute favoritism toward the transgender community difficult to stomach on an ordinary day, but this kind of self-congratulatory lie coming from a group that is so unfair and unjust made me angry enough to email the OMNI director and OMNI Board of Directors the following statement.

Jeanne Neath’s Letter to the OMNI director and Board

OMNI is not doing everything it can to make the world “fair, free and healthy” (as you pretend to be at the top of your recent newsletter) when OMNI will not even allow women-only groups to meet at OMNI and you host a so-called Goddess Festival that silences and excludes radical feminist voices. OMNI has taken sides in the conflict between transactivists vs lesbians and all the many women who want and need women only space. This is an incredibly unfair position.

I don’t think the OMNI board has a clue as to what a woman hating and lesbian hating position it has taken (or if they do understand, then I am even more appalled at OMNI’s behavior). I suggest that OMNI educate itself on the harm that transactivists and their supporters are creating or at least stop pretending to “work its tail off” to make the world fair. Women only space is an essential prerequisite for a women’s liberation movement to exist. OMNI is acting to prevent the liberation of women and at the same time pretending to be fair. Pretty appalling!

Lesbian's sign attacked

Lesbians attacked at 2018 San Francisco Dyke March.

For starters, I suggest you inform yourselves about the attacks by transactivists on lesbians at the 2018 San Francisco Dyke March. (See the accompanying image showing what happened to a lesbian’s sign at the SF Dyke March which said “You can’t silence us with violence. Resist Lesbian Erasure.”) I also suggest reading the blogs (including one about the SF Dyke March) and other materials on xxamazons.org, reading relevant materials on feministcurrent.com, and reading the book Female Erasure, edited by Ruth Barrett and now available at the Fayetteville Public Library. There is no excuse for OMNI Board members to be informed only by the transactivist political perspective!

I don’t particularly want to hear back from you about this correspondence until OMNI is prepared to start making things right in its policies and practices toward women. I would appreciate an invitation for women’s groups to once again be able to hold women-only events at OMNI (and women-only means no “transwomen”). I am still waiting for a real apology from OMNI regarding the events around the 2017 Goddess Festival.”

Jeanne Neath, Former OMNI Board Member

OMNI Director Responds

The director of the OMNI Center responded in a semi-private, personal email to me saying only that she was sorry I was badly hurt. This was not an official OMNI response. I have no idea if the OMNI Board of Directors will even read or discuss my communication to them or respond in any way.

However, members of a local group of women who are resisting transactivist domination and fighting for women only space jumped into the fray with their own comments to the OMNI director.

Darlene Clubb writes to the OMNI director

What kind of response is this? This is a dismissal in my opinion. Please do not lay this at Jeanne’s feet like she is some isolated, wounded individual. From where I stand, OMNI has totally been positioning itself in support of the trans view of reality and appears to have dropped all pretense of concern or interest in the issues raised by lifelong lesbians and radical feminists concerning serious violence against women and the destruction of women’s legal standing/rights that the trans ideology poses. Billionaires are funding the trans agenda. Billionaires from corporate, pharmaceutical dynasties are funding think tanks that are designing and coordinating this homophobic and misogynistic social engineering project that is having devastating effects on lesbians and women’s very basic concerns in general (such as the ownership of the legal term “woman”, issues concerning birth and midwifery, menstruation,etc.)

Paula Mariedaughter’s comments to the OMNI director

Your crass dismissal of Jeanne’s concerns is an indication of your own loyalties. The war on women includes the war on women only spaces! Omni is a collaborator in the efforts to silence women and our strong political differences with all of you so ready to redefine woman.

Female ErasureIn Female Erasure, edited by Ruth Barrett, she wrote, “Political disagreement is an opportunity for discourse that is part of a free society, and should be encouraged. When any questions or concerns are written off as hate speech, bigotry or ‘transphobia’, discourse cannot take place.” This is the situation here in Fayetteville, Arkansas where your “fair-minded” organization refuses to sponsor any opportunity for discourse that differs from your political decision to support trans activist’s version of reality.

“As part of the conservative backlash, segments of the left have shifted away from political and structural analysis of oppression and injustice, towards an individualistic politics whose primary demand is for the recognition and validation of individual identities. Gender becomes an identity based on an internal set of feelings that must be believed and accepted without question, and that is unrelated to biological sex. They claim that one set of traits is inherently masculine and another set of traits is inherently feminine, and our identity is dependent on how we align with those traits. Gender identity is seen as innate, and being transgender is entirely a matter of self‑identification. They do not see gender in our patriarchal society as a hierarchical construct of a male supremacy.” This is a quote from Pelican Lee written on the XX Amazons website.

We will not be silenced by the exclusions and expulsions and the threats. Women and girls, our children and our grandchildren are depending on us women!

Linda Barnes writes to the OMNI director

The fact that we are even having to discuss who is a woman is really unbelievable to me. A man can never be a woman and vice versa. We know that is biologically impossible. The confusion seems to be with the word sex and gender. A person may change their appearance to look like a woman (in some cases) because society says a woman should look and dress a certain way and men should look and dress a certain way, but that is not sex, that is gender straitjacketing. We know from the beginning of time there was a man and a woman because otherwise there would not have been anyone else. So we know there are two sexes, but race has been a social construct, yet when Rachel Dolezal tried to present herself as a black person and was found out to be white, she was removed from her job and highly criticized for trying to cross a racial barrier. And, yes, blacks have been and still are an oppressed race, but women have been oppressed and held back and their long history of matriarchy almost erased from history. The black man got the vote before women did. And yet the left and the many trans sympathizers seem to have no problem with men saying they are women. Yes, let them go into women’s bathrooms and changing areas, even though most of them still have penises. They are now trying to develop uteri to implant into male bodies so they can have children. The midwifery is eliminating mother from their vocabulary and using birthing parent instead. Have you read “Female Erasure”?

The Disappearing LHere is a quote from Jenn Smith, a male to trans person, “It is my contention that young people today are being brainwashed and turned into Orwellian servants of the state for a much larger agenda. It has been suggested by others that the assault on sexual distinctions and on the perception of basic biological reality is part of a game to give absolute power to the state in the interpretation of reality itself. If the state can force people to admit that men are women, they can force them to believe anything. War is peace. Slavery is freedom. Men are women. All of these are equally contradictory.” I truly believe there is much more to this trans movement than we know and it is really scary. Have you questioned how this has come about so fast and tracked down where the money is coming from? Many lesbians and gays feel that the T should be removed from LGBT because they are just out for themselves and care nothing about gays or lesbians, except to try to force lesbians to have sex with the male to trans so they can feel more validated.

I think you and Omni are going to be on the wrong side of history when this mess gets straightened out. When people try to change the very definition of half of the world’s inhabitants then they are trying to distort reality itself. If the trans people had really wanted to be non-controversial they should have called themselves what Ruth Barrett suggested, “gender non-conforming men, a no less sacred expression of humanity.

Jeanne Neath Sends a Second Communication to OMNI

After reflecting on the OMNI director’s condescending response and the obvious ignorance of the OMNI Board about gender critical thought, I decided to send a second communication in an attempt to educate the OMNI leaders about just how deadly the transgender ideology they are supporting is.

Jeanne’s second communication to the OMNI Director and OMNI Board:
Everyone – women, lesbians, “transgender” people, OMNI, you and me – is being seriously harmed by the misunderstandings about sex and gender that transactivists are proclaiming as a truth that no one is allowed to question. OMNI is not doing itself, or anyone else, including “transgender” people, a kindness by unthinkingly subscribing to an inaccurate view of reality AND silencing the women who have legitimate criticisms of the transactivist position on sex and gender. What does it mean for OMNI and you, its director, an organization and woman concerned about justice, about “fairness”, to take sides in a conflict between oppressed groups and act to silence lesbians, radical feminists and me, a former OMNI board member with over forty years of experience as a feminist activist investigating the problem of sex and gender in patriarchal society? Every day you and OMNI continue on this misogynist path you are on and then congratulate yourselves on how “fair” and just you are, you stray further and further from your mission of “justice.”

“Gender,” the sex-typed behaviors and characteristics society trains males and females to perform, is constructed by society. The behaviors considered masculine and feminine change over time within a society. Do you think that girls were showered with pink clothes and toys one or two hundred years ago in this society? Gender is set up differently in different societies around the world too. The transgender movement is built around the notion that people have an innate, biological “gender identity,” but this is impossible because what is masculine and feminine is set up by each society. Do you think that our foremothers living in gathering and hunting societies over the millenia prior to the development of agriculture wore pink? But, more important, do you think OMNI should be silencing women who want to talk about gender and the ways that patriarchal societies use gender to maintain male power over women?

People who identify as “transgender” are being terribly hurt by their own movement and ideology. Feminists have fought for decades to eliminate the constrictions of gender for everyone. Since gender has been created by society, society has the power to do away with gender and free girls and boys, men and women from being forced into harmful sex roles. But, transgender ideology insists that gender (and “gender identity”) is not changeable and that, instead of changing (eliminating) the social institution of gender, the people who are unhappy with the gender prescribed for their biological sex must become transgender. This would not be problematic – many lesbians, for example, identify as butch and act in so-called masculine ways – but the transgender movement advocates changing one’s body to correspond to (socially constructed) gender (as well as confusing sex and gender and appropriating – stealing – the identity of being a woman). Because trans ideology is supported by progressive organizations like OMNI, by powerful national non-profit organizations like the Human Rights Campaign, and by obscenely wealthy individuals, many of whom are tied to the pharmaceutical industry, being transgender has become “cool” and more and more children and young people are identifying as transgender, especially girls and young women. Many of these children and young people are taking hormone blockers and hormones and having irreversible surgeries to remove breasts, testicles and to reshape genitals. Children are being sterilized and given off label drugs with unknown long-term effects. When OMNI supports the transgender movement and silences lesbians, silences radical feminists, silences me, OMNI supports all of these dangerous, often irreversible medical treatments and the sterilization of children, children who probably would outgrow their desire to become “transgender” (a likelihood demonstrated by the scientific evidence).

______, you were seriously off-track in your comment about being sorry I am (supposedly) hurting so badly. Stop trying to dismiss my concerns! OMNI took a serious wrong turn when it bowed to pressures by transactivists and their supporters to de-platform Susan, Paula and me at the 2017 Goddess Festival for our workshop on the “Disappearing L – Lesbians Rise Up”. Your attempt to have a “dialogue” group to bring transgender people and gender critical women into discussion was deeply biased from the start when you selected two trans supporters who were completely ignorant of gender critical thought as moderators. I am asking the OMNI director and OMNI board members to educate yourselves about gender critical/radical feminist perspectives and to make reparations to the women and lesbians you have silenced. Making space at OMNI for women to hold publicized women-only events (that exclude “transwomen”) is a necessary part of these reparations. I, personally, would like a real apology from OMNI once your organization has educated itself enough to understand the great harm you have done to women, to lesbians, to the people who identify as transgender, and to everyone else who is being harmed day in and day out by the pressures to conform to “gender” prescriptions

Conclusion

I am proud of all the women in northwest Arkansas and at XX Amazons who are resisting the silencing of women, transgender ideology, and transactivist attacks. We stand together fighting these patriarchal forces attempting to control women.

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Domination by Trans Rights Activists at Dyke March in San Fransciso

By Jeanne Neath

Twelve old lesbians marching in the June 23, 2018 San Francisco Dyke March were verbally harassed and two of them physically assaulted by transgender rights supporters. Instead of supporting the lesbians being harassed, both the Dyke March and the National Center for Lesbian Rights are falsely claiming that the old lesbians were the ones acting in a threatening and violent manner. As I understand it, the dyke marches across the country have been largely taken over by persons who are not lesbians. How has this happened?

Bats carried by transactivist group at marches

Bats carried at marches by the Degenderettes, an international transactivist group active in San Francisco. Local chapters of the Degenderettes are forming.

In her XX Amazons’ blog last week, Paula Mariedaughter described how “Lesbians [are] Not Welcome at a Women’s Center started by Lesbian Feminists.” That unnamed women’s center in Fayetteville, Arkansas is under the spell of lesbian trans supporters who have abandoned lesbian feminist politics in favor of the transgender politics of so-called “inclusion.”

So far, the board of directors there is all female and may be all lesbian. Some board members support women only space, but are unable to allow women only events due to the power of the trans supporting faction (and the fear of attack on the center by transactivists and their liberal, progressive, and “feminist” supporters). It looks to me like the Fayetteville center is in the early stages of losing its female and lesbian identity and sliding into trans domination. If they are successful in becoming increasingly “inclusive” it may just be a matter of time until lesbians who value women only space are purposefully excluded from the board and a male to transgender person is invited to join the board. Read Paula’s blog for more details of the situation there.

I believe this process of liberal lesbian trans supporters gaining increasing sway over a lesbian organization, adopting a policy and politics of “inclusion”, welcoming transgender persons into the organization, and, finally, welcoming male to transgender persons who claim to be lesbians onto the board of directors has become commonplace. Once this process has been completed, what was once a lesbian organization begins to put the interests of transactivists front and center. If the lesbian organization is considered a valuable enough target, powerful forces from outside the organization may become involved, perhaps training transactivists to infiltrate the organization’s board, providing advice on strategy, or supplying funding.** Some are calling this kind of trans takeover a “transjacking”. Whoops, there goes another piece of our once thriving lesbian culture!


Male to transgender persons are not only appropriating our identity as women, but are stealing our organizations.


Male to transgender persons are not only appropriating our identity as women, but are stealing our organizations. Many women and lesbians are doing our best to stop these thefts. Awareness of what is transpiring is a key part of our resistance.

We offer below links to several personal accounts by lesbians of what happened to them at the San Francisco Dyke March, the Women’s Liberation Front’s (WOLF’s) open letter to the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and a link to a Change.org petition from one of the women whose sign was torn up by the trans rights activists at the San Francisco Dyke March (see photo below).

WOLF’s open letter to the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) demands that the organization retract its slanderous and false allegations against the 12 lesbians who were harassed at the 2018 San Francisco Dyke March. In a classic reversal, “demonstrating a stunning degree of anti-lesbian bias”, NCLR falsely claimed that the lesbian marchers had “chanted transphobic slogans and violently harassed and threatened other marchers.”

See Max Dashu’s account of what happened at the San Francisco Dyke March. Max Dashu writes: “All of the old lesbians in our group were quickly surrounded, subjected to chants of “TERFs go home!” and blasted with hatefulness for the entire course of the march. Young queers berated, hounded, and crowded in on us. Most of them refused to speak with us, only glaring, chanting, and screaming.”

In “Young Women Attack Dykes their Grandma’s Age” Lavenderjoan writes: “It was a nightmare scenario. Imagine the Lavender Menace meets Lord of the Flies. Twenty-something participants in the Dyke March swooped down on our small contingent of old lesbians like crazed predators thirsty for blood…”

Here is Sherri Golden’s petition calling for The San Francisco Dyke March, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Bay Area Reporter to retract their “defamatory and libelous statements” claiming that the lesbian victims of threatening and violent behaviors by trans rights activists were instead the attackers. See Sherri Golden and what happened to the sign she carried saying “You can’t silence us with violence – Resist lesbian erasure” in the photo below.

Lesbian's sign attacked

Lesbians attacked at 2018 San Francisco Dyke March.

By Jeanne Neath

** Interview with Mary Lou Singleton, Women’s Liberation Radio News Edition 16 transcript

** Sue Donym, Inauthentic Selves: The modern LGBTQ+ Movement Is Run By Philanthropic Astroturf And Based On Junk Science

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Women Giving, Males Taking: Who Thinks This Is A Gender Revolution?

“However patriarchies began originally, they are recreated in every male child that is born because of our practice of educating boys into a gender category opposite to that of their mothers, even at a time when mothers are intensely practicing gift-giving towards their children. Then mothers, as well as their girl children, adapt to care especially for boys who are learning to be non-giving human beings. But, actually gift giving is the basis of our humanity – men’s as well – so this gender distinction sets up some basic, important, and pervasive paradoxes that influence our lives at all levels, and which are at the root of patriarchy and capitalism.”
By Genevieve Vaughan1

Thinking about gender in terms of giving and non-giving provides considerable insight into the conflict between feminists and transactivists.

Radical feminists often think of gender as the institution in patriarchy that trains males to become dominators/exploiters and females to submit to domination. I agree. If you think about some of the characteristics associated with masculinity such as aggressiveness and competition its easy to see how these qualities are important for carrying out acts of domination and exploitation. And feminine qualities like being nice and agreeable certainly predispose girls and women to submit to domination. These feminine qualities are often instilled in girl children through abuse by men and boys.

However, a critical part of femininity and women’s role in society is as mothers and, even if never bearing or raising children, girls are trained to have the skills needed by mothers including gift-giving, nurturing, and care-giving. Patriarchal societies depend on women to give birth and mother children, but patriarchy always exploits women’s work, including women’s care-giving. Gift-giving is, nonetheless, crucial for human societies, as Genevieve Vaughan says, “the basis of our humanity.” No society, including this capitalist patriarchy, can survive without an active subsistence economy based in gift-giving, cooperation and care. (See footnote 2 for more on the subsistence economy.)

Matriarchal societies take women’s role as mother as the model for all human behavior, so in matriarchies both female and male children are taught to give, not to take. Not so in patriarchy. Genevieve Vaughan views gender in patriarchy through a lens of gift-giving (feminine) vs. non-giving (masculine). Given all the exploitation carried out largely by men in our current society, I think it is instructive to think of the “non-giving” Genevieve Vaughan associates with masculinity as taking.

Male to transgender (M2T) persons claim to have a feminine gender identity. But, are they givers or takers?

Offering vessels from Crete

These tiny offering vessels were made of clay by human hands about 3,600 years ago. Each of the bowls filled with food was left as a gift to the great mother. The bowls were found in caves, mountain top crevices, by springs and other places sacred to the ancient peoples of Crete, the largest of the Greek islands. The bowls were photographed by Paula at the Heraklion Archeological Museum in Heraklion, the capital city of Crete in October 2017.

Women are constantly called on in our daily lives to provide emotional support for others – often men. We give up time for ourselves to focus on the needs of the people we care about. We spend endless time listening to other people’s concerns and problems. Men are often so emotionally unskilled that they are completely dependent on women’s help in finding ways of handling their own emotions or any emotionally difficult situation.

I wonder how many M2T (male to transgender) persons have taken on the feminine role of giving emotional support to others. I am thinking about this question after reading an experience described by Carey Maria Catt Callahan (a biological female) when she was first considering de-transitioning and couldn’t find any de-transitioned women to talk to. She tried to get support from a M2T friend (referred to in the quote below as “she” and as a “woman”):

“I told a trans woman friend of mine this, a woman I’d lent money to and talked down from suicidal threats, and she laughed. It was clear to me, regardless of an internal felt sense of gendered self, I’d done the caretaking work in the friendship and she couldn’t even conceive of herself as owing me same in return.” (See footnote 3.)

In this patriarchal society boys and men are given center stage and they have a lot of self-centeredness, privilege and even selfishness to overcome if they want to learn to be care-givers.

Recently I’ve started telling people that “woman is an identity that is already taken.” What does it mean for one oppressed group to claim the identity of another oppressed group? I’m not sure this has ever happened before. Certainly cultural appropriation is a big problem when, for example, white people start taking over Native American spiritual practices without permission. But M2T persons appropriate (take over) the actual identity of being a woman. As XX Amazons says in our “Who Is a Woman? Who Gets to Decide?” brochure:

“Today male to transgender persons are claiming to be women but they have never asked whether or not women want them. They want to be considered women regardless of how many women object. Where is their respect for women?”

Which gender role are M2T persons acting out when they take what belongs to women?

I was one of the lesbians de-platformed by transactivists at the Goddess Festival in March of 2017. I have to say that what I experienced from transactivists at that time – the unrelenting Facebook, phone, and email campaign, threats of picketing and invading our workshop – in no way resembled any form of giving. I certainly experienced caregiving and support from lesbians and other feminist friends. But, transactivists, both M2T and F2T persons, did everything they could to take from me my rights to speak in public and meet with other women.

M2T persons not only want to take women’s identities, they want to take from women our ability to speak about our experiences and understandings. They want to take away from us and take over for themselves the narrative of what it means to be a woman. I have heard from a reliable source that transactivists once wrote “Real Women Have Dicks” in large letters on the outside of a public tent at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, so I guess that is their narrative for “Who Is a Woman?” According to this version of reality we women no longer qualify as women!

M2T persons do not seem to be very good at giving, at performing the most basic acts associated with the feminine gender identity they claim.

Radical feminists are resisting the attacks of the TEAFS (Transactivist Extremists Attacking Feminists) and fighting for women and girls. But what of the other women, including many mainstream feminists, who are far more concerned with supporting transactivists than they are with the pain experienced by their sisters who are under attack from those same transactivists?

There are probably many reasons for the ways that trans-supporters prioritize M2T (male to transgender) needs, but why not look at their actions in terms of giving and taking? If there is one form of caregiving that women are most programmed to do in patriarchy, I expect that would be taking care of men. Many women so prioritize taking care of men that they fail to take care of their own needs.

What males could need women’s caretaking more than M2T persons? Just like other males, many M2T persons are emotionally unskilled. Many of them are experiencing gender dysphoria and gender (or gender identity) confusion, as well as emotional difficulties or crisis. They experience prejudice and discrimination on a daily basis.

Usually liberation movements are able to help their members grow strong as they fight for their group and learn to embrace their authentic selves. This strengthening process could work for transgender people, but cannot while the transgender movement pushes its members to falsely claim more than the transgender identity they have clear rights to. When males claim to be women or females claim to be men they become trapped in an endless pursuit of an identity can never have because they have the wrong biology. The result is a needy, shaky, inauthentic self forced to constantly perform a role and desperate for external validation.

Enter all the female caregivers drawn to help a movement full of males who need help and can’t give each other the help they need because of their socialization as “non-givers.” Many women trans-supporters empathize so strongly with transgender people that they put transgender personal and political needs ahead of women’s needs. They collude to end women-only and girl-only spaces because they don’t want to hurt the feelings of M2T persons by excluding them. I know feminist women who understand that M2T persons are “non-givers,” but want to invite M2T persons into women-only groups in order to teach them how to act like women – to stop dominating meetings, to stop being self-centered, to learn to be care-givers. Seriously! How could radical feminists, with our strong authentic selves, no matter how assaulted we are by TEAFs, even begin to compete for the care and concern of the women who give too much to males!

The irony here is that radical feminists offer an important gift to male and female transgender persons. We radical feminists understand that gender is a patriarchal trap. We know that nobody is naturally “masculine” or “feminine.” Males have to be forced into adopting “masculinity”, females forced into “femininity”. Transgender people try to find their way out of this gender trap by switching roles, but following any gender role prevents free self-expression. Transgender people become stuck trying to perform a gender role they weren’t even trained for. Gender roles were created by patriarchal society for the purpose of controlling women for the benefit of men (especially elite white men). The gift radical feminists offer to transgender people is the understanding that gender has been purposefully constructed by patriarchal society and that this deadly institution of gender can be just as purposefully dismantled.

Feminists and transgender people have a common enemy – gender!

Who has more to offer gender-confused and transgender people: their “yes-woman” supporters or the radical feminists whose critique of the transgender worldview offers a life-affirming path out of the gender maze?

Footnotes

1. From Genevieve Vaughan’s article, “Matriarchy and the Gift Economy,” in Societies of Peace: Matriarchies Past Present and Future edited by Heide Goettner-Abendroth.

2. For many societies, including most matriarchies and tribal societies, the subsistence economy – based in production that has only the goal of creating, re-creating and maintaining life – is the only economy. Capitalist patriarchy has installed an exploitative market economy on top of the core, gift-giving, subsistence economy. The capitalist economy would quickly falter and fail without all the work women give for free bearing and raising children, caring for households and men. See Maria Mies and Veronika Bennholdt-Thomsen’s book The Subsistence Perspective.

3. From Carey Maria Catt Callahan article, “Unheard Voices of Detransitioners,” in Transgender Children and Young People: Born in Your Own Body edited by Heather Brunskell-Evans and Michele Moore, p. 169.

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