Please feel free to use these letters as a basis for your own letters to your representative in Congress, your local newspaper or other media, a LGBTQ+ organization, or anywhere else. Use the text as is or modify it in whatever ways work for your situation. Send us your own letter and we may be able to publish it here for others to use as inspiration or a template for their letters.
Letters to Congress about the U.S. Equality Act
Sample Letter from the Coalition for the Feminist Amendments
Note: Please personalize this letter so it will have a greater impact.
I am writing to urge you to amend the Equality Act, which was just introduced in the House of Representatives, by adopting the provisions in the Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act (https://feministstruggle.org/faea/). I fully support the Equality Act’s goals of ensuring that LGBT people are protected from discrimination, harassment, and violence. These protections are long overdue. However, the bill as currently written would eliminate sex as a protected category under federal law — a move that would have dire consequences for the sex-based rights of women and girls. This redefinition would also erase the basis for same-sex attraction, undermining the very protections for sexual orientation that the Equality Act claims to enshrine.
Eliminating sex as a protected class, as the Equality Act currently proposes, would mean removing the ability of the law to ‘see’ sex — including sexual orientation — and thus remove the ability of the law to address injustice, discrimination, and inequality rooted in sex and sexual orientation. By making self-declaration what determines whether someone is considered male or female, the Equality Act would radically remake US law, making gender self-identity the criteria for accessing all female facilities, being housed in female domestic violence shelters and prisons, competing in female sports, representing female people, and defining ‘same-sex’ orientation.
Sex, gender, and sexual orientation refer to different characteristics, different experiences, and refer to distinct groups with different needs. These differences matter. And the law—and our lawmakers—should not pretend otherwise. In settings where sex matters, the law needs to make it clear that how a person identifies is not conflated with nor should it override biological sex. In settings where sexual orientation matters, sex must be the basis on which same-sex attraction is defined. That’s why the language has to be clear.
For these reasons, I urge you to take a closer look at the Equality Act, hold hearings and support sensible amendments to the Equality Act so sex remains a recognized and protected class under law. We support amendments that would protect sex (biological sex), sexual orientation, and sex-role nonconformity separately, as put forward by the Coalition for the Feminist Amendments (https://feministstruggle.org/category/feminist-amendments-to-the-equality-act/). It is simply not necessary to redefine sex in the law in order to protect transgender and other gender non-conforming people from discrimination and harassment, as the Equality Act seeks to do. The Feminist Amendments provide a more equitable way forward that protects everyone’s rights.
I also urge you to call for an open dialogue as we navigate these complicated issues and seek to develop protections that will work for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, as well as women and girls. Unfortunately, the process so far — including previous iterations of the Equality Act introduced and passed in the House of Representatives, and the intention of the House to move directly to a floor vote without further inquiry — have not met this standard, failing to consider potential unintended consequences of erasing sex in the law and shutting out the perspectives of lesbian, gay, and bisexual advocates. The current Equality Act is not the product of democratic debate and public inquiry but of policy capture, written by lobbyists working out of the public view. This is part of a worldwide lobbying effort that tethers radical changes — the erasure of sex in the law — to popular and necessary reforms like extending protections for LGBT people. Equality for LGBT people doesn’t look like this.
We believe that we can and must amend the Equality Act to protect the human and civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to safety, dignity, and freedom from discrimination while preserving the sex-based rights of women and girls and the ability of the law to ‘see’ sex. Please help facilitate an open dialogue about how the Equality Act can best advance the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, with a full airing of how the rights of other protected classes, especially women and girls, will be affected.
For more information, please visit https://feministstruggle.org/faea/.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Remember to Add Your Name
Letters about Biden’s Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation
Send the letter below or your own letter on the contact page at the White House
Note from Pelican Lee about her letters to the White House and Congress below I started with some wording from the sample letter put out by the Women’s Human Rights Campaign US, written by Kara Dansky, a lawyer who was first with WoLF and now with WHRC. I also incorporated analysis and comments made by several Radical Feminist scholars. The original letter I wrote, complete with references, was too long to fit into the allowed field for comments to the White House, which apparently includes VP Harris, since I could find no separate way to send comments to her. I did send the long version to my Congressional delegation, and then cut the long letter down to fit for the White House
To the White House
What a relief on Inauguration Day that the 4-year nightmare is over, only to be shattered the next day by hearing about the Executive Order about Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation.
I support the order insofar as it protects lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals against discrimination, and insofar as it protects transgender people against discrimination that does not change sex-based classifications or the political identity of women as the female sex.
It is not OK to trample on the rights of women and girls in the name of transgender rights. We must protect women and girls’ sex-based need for sex-segregated spaces.
Male-bodied persons who undergo body modification and medical treatments in order to identify as female still have male bodies which give them an unfair advantage over biological females in sports, allowing them to unjustly claim titles, trophies and scholarships. Girls I know tell me that they have decided to not even try high school athletics because they do not want to compete with male-bodied individuals who are claiming to be female.
Biological males who identify as women do not belong in women’s prisons, shelters, and bathrooms. Male sex offenders are doing this in order to get into women’s prisons and shelters so that they have access to yet more victims. It is well known that a majority of males who identify as females do not undergo genital reassignment surgery. Research has shown that males identifying as women commit sex offenses at the same rate as non-transgender males.
The law must maintain the category of sex in relation to women’s and girls’ right to be safe from sexual assault and discrimination. The inclusion of males who claim to have a female “gender identity” in the category of women in law, policies, and practice constitutes discrimination against women by impairing the recognition of women’s sex-based human rights.
Please uphold sex-based classifications and single-sex spaces when necessary to uphold our rights as a sex.
To Senators and Representative in U.S. Congress
What a relief on Inauguration Day that the 4-year nightmare is over, with the added victory of the first woman and first woman of color Vice President, only to be shattered the next day by hearing about the Executive Order, “Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation.”
I support the order insofar as it protects lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals against discrimination, and insofar as it protects transgender people against discrimination that does not change sex-based classifications or the political identity of women as the female sex. We are still fighting for an unfinished agenda of liberation from male supremacy. Thank you for acknowledging that there may be limitations to non-discrimination based on gender identity, by including, “So long as there are no indications in the laws to the contrary.”
It is not OK to trample on the rights of women and girls in the name of transgender rights. Transgender people deserve rights, just as all people do, but not at the expense of women and girls. We must protect women and girl’s sex-based need for sex-segregated spaces.
This Executive Order reverses Title IX, instituted to give female athletes a level playing field through female-only teams. Male-bodied persons who undergo body modification and medical treatments in order to identify as female still have male bodies. Bone density, muscle mass and lung capacity of female-identifying biological males give them an unfair advantage over biological females, allowing them to unjustly claim titles, trophies and scholarships. This is already happening. Girls in my neighborhood tell me that they have decided to not even try high school athletics because they do not want to compete with male-bodied individuals who are claiming to be female.
A recent study suggests that male-to-female trans athletes retain physical advantages over their female peers after testosterone suppression. [Timothy A Roberts, Joshua Smalley, Dale Ahrendt. “Effect of gender affirming hormones on athletic performance in transwomen and transmen: implications for sporting organisations and legislators.” British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2020; bjsports-2020-102329 DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2020-102329] Biological males who identify as women do not belong in women’s prisons, shelters, and bathrooms. Male sex offenders are identifying as female in order to get into women’s prisons and shelters so that they have unrestricted access to yet more victims. It is well known that a majority of males who identify as females do not undergo genital reassignment surgery. Research has shown that males identifying as women commit sex offenses at the same rate as non-transgender males. [Kirpal Kaur Sahota, “Transgender sex offenders: gender dysphoria and sexual offending.” Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, ISSN: 2056-3841, 20 May 2020.]
The law must maintain the centrality of the category of sex in relation to women’s and girls’ right to be safe from sexual assault and free from discrimination. The inclusion of males who claim to have a female “gender identity” into the category of women in law, policies, and practice constitutes discrimination against women by impairing the recognition of women’s sex-based human rights.
Please uphold sex-based classifications and single-sex spaces when necessary from the perspective of women to uphold our rights as a sex.
Letters to NPR
Link to NPR comment page: https://help.npr.org/contact/s/
To Terri Gross on Fresh Air at National Public Radio
December 6, 2020
Yesterday I heard the interview about Dusty Springfield . I continued to listen, in part because the music took me back to my college years. Gross was interviewing Vicki Wickham, friend and manager of Springfield. I heard Gross say, “something that you learned about her was that she was a lesbian. And this was at a time  when virtually no performers were really out of the closet, certainly not in pop music. How did you find out about that?” Wickham responded in a positive manner, then Gross asked if she was gay too? Wickham answered “Yes. Absolutely.”
As a lesbian, I was pleased to learn the information and to hear the conversation. But I found my self wondering, “When was this interview done? I wondered, because of the respectful attitude accorded to being lesbian, and because there was no reference to “queer”–today’s buzzword for the trans-dominated gender-identity ideology. Then I learned that the interview had taken place in 2002–almost two decades ago! This fact, about the date almost twenty years ago, made it so clear that gender-identity ideology has transformed the landscape for lesbian women.
Let them know what we want to hear–a respectful attitude to lesbians and to our observations about misogyny.
Letters to the Southern Poverty Law Center
Dear Southern Poverty Law Center:
December 6, 2020
I have protested for years the fact that you refuse to keep track of hate crimes against female-born-women. Yet, you carefully track hate crimes against transgenders. Is that because it’s easier to ignore women because of the statistics? Is it because you simply don’t care about women? Or maybe, you want to leap onto the bandwagon of publicity that transgenders attract, and get more recognition for your organization.
I find it difficult to come up with your reasoning. At any rate, I’ve written before about this troubling issue and found no response from you. I feel that as a long time donating member who is vitally interested in the issues you do follow, I deserve an explanation.
The Violence Policy Center, vpc.org, found nearly 2,000 women murdered by men in 2018. These are hate crimes, yet SPLC can’t be bothered to keep track of females.
Your February 20, 2019 Intelligence Report states, “At least 29 transgender people were murdered in 2017, 23 in 2016 and 21 in 2015. Since 2003, 117 transgender people died in violent attacks.”
The SPLC web site reports “SPLC will continue to fight for transgender equality, and we will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our transgender brothers and sisters in our march toward justice for all.”
How about it SPLC? Will you stand shoulder to shoulder with me and my sisters in our march to end violence against girls and women?
Southern Poverty Law Center
403 Washington Ave
Montgomery, AL 36104
December 20, 2020
After receiving your request for money, in a letter headed, “2021 Action Plan, Vision for a Just America,” I began to study your website. One question emerged: Why doesn’t SPLC track sex-based hate crimes? I suggest SPLC’s current policy keeps crimes against women hidden because hate crimes against women are not considered “hate crimes.” Therefore, those crimes against women are not counted. Violence directed at women occurs because of their sex. Period.
Sex is personified in the female body. Sex is the target with which men oppress, attack, brutalize, and murder women. Crimes against women must be counted: domestic violence, sexual assault, rape, trafficking, and murder. Our community standards protecting women and female children are weak; they fail to protect women and girls. And yet, hate crimes against women are not recorded because “sex” is not listed as a target of crime. Unbelievable. Who benefits when these crimes are not noticed by a well-established hate-tracking organization like yours?
Despite some women’s rights legislation, women are, even in 2020, considered property and second-class citizens. Women remain unprotected and invisible—year after painful year. Women are—legally, economically, physically, socially, and sexually—not considered worthy of protection. Unfair institutional policies (public and private) are built into our current capitalist, imperialist system.
Pornography is rampant (40 million American people regularly visit porn sites). Domestic violence is ubiquitous (1 in 3 women). Sex trafficking is a huge, billion-dollar industry (71% are women and girls). Rape statistics in the United States show that in 2019, 406,970 rape victims were women. Marital rape statistics are 10-14% of married couples (unacknowledged until 1993); birth control was inaccessible until the 1970s; and abortion is, once again, on the verge of abolition. Women living in poverty, in 2018, were counted as 56%—or 21.4 million (part of the big picture, one result of sex-based violence); more than half of female homicide victims were killed in connection to intimate partner (male) violence. I object to the current view that Trans people are the most oppressed people as a group. This is not true: Women are.
Women-hating actions from males continue because sex-based crimes are ignored. Sex matters. By not documenting sex-based hate crimes, SPLC contributes to this problem. Don’t be complicit here. Remaining silent on this issue is not helpful to women and girls. Think of how much good SPLC could do if crimes against women were counted. I am sure it is difficult to study violence against women. In our current social system, it is like counting something as common as blades of grass. This is precisely the point. Women and girls need your help. Women would benefit from your organization tracking sex-based hate crimes against them. Women are targets of hate. I am baffled by your lack of involvement in categorizing violence against women as a hate crime because of their sex. I am begging you to change your policy and start immediately to begin tracking and documenting sex-based hate crimes against women.
Letters about the Equality Act
To Jeff Merkley, Senator from Oregon
I find the Equality Act far too broad. This is to convey, most sincerely, that most women and girls do not want just anybody who says they are a woman to be allowed to enter womens spaces, including bathrooms, dressing rooms, women’s prisons, women’s shelters, competing for women’s scholarships athletically etc.
When the rights of one group requires another groups rights to privacy be erased, this is not an ethical solution, nor my idea of progressive.
Women and girls expect inclusion in this conversation.
When “inclusion” means intrusion, euphemism endangers women and girls.
I hope we can do better than this moving forward.
Letters to the Editor
Privilege or Biology?
What is the deal with the new use of the word “privilege”? It seems a person is privileged if they have anything that another person covets.
Webster’s Dictionary defines privilege as “a right, advantage, favor, or immunity specially granted to one; esp. a right held by a certain individual, group, or class, and withheld from certain others or all others.” To me that definitely points out how wrong it was for segregation to ever have been OK, how wrong it was to withhold the right to vote from women, and how wrong it was for marriage to be withheld from gays and lesbians when it was being granted to another group. So privilege is something that is granted by another person or group to a person or group.
So when transgender people call women born women a privileged group, who was it that granted us the right to be women? You see, it is not granted by any person. We are born with a body that can, in most cases give birth to children, bleeds monthly and is anatomically different than a man’s body. That is not a privilege, it is just biology.
I have nothing against the transgender people until they start telling me what I can call parts of my own body and saying women cannot meet together as women unless they include male-to-transgender persons (men who say they are women). I don’t think all transgender people are so adamantly opporsed to women-only spaces, but there is a very vocal group of transgender people who have shut down women-only spaces all over this country, including in Fayetteville at the Goddess Festival this past March.
Written by Linda Barnes
Published July 24, 2017 in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette
Minority View Should Not Define what ‘Woman’ Is
Transgender people should be protected by law against discrimination and should certainly be as free as anyone to serve in the U.S. military. But, some in the transgender movement make demands of society that go well beyond bringing an end to discrimination. Over the past ten to twenty years a small minority of the population has begun to insist that a woman is anyone who claims to be one. The Transgender Law Center in San Francisco says that only 15% of transgender people reported having any kind of surgery, so apparently anatomy is becoming altogether irrelevant to being a woman.
Where is the public discussion over who is a woman? My 1991 dictionary defines woman as “the female human being.” Does the public really want to abandon that definition? Laws that change our understanding about who is a woman are already being considered and passed in some states, but there has been very little free and open public discussion among Americans about this question. I certainly want transgender people to live their lives free from discrimination and free to express their femininity or masculinity. But, I’m not ready to change the definition of who is and isn’t a woman on the say so of this small minority.
What do women want? Can there be a public discussion about who is a woman? Is the public going to allow a minority of transgender people to prevent women from discussing important questions like this one, as happened when transgender activists de-platformed speakers at the Goddess Festival and OMNI Center in Fayetteville last March? This silencing of women is happening all across the U.S.!
Where is the public discussion over who is a woman? Who is a woman? What do you think? What do women want?
Written by Jeanne Neath
Published August 6, 2017 in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette
Silencing of Women
Perhaps you have been hearing the unusual sounds broadcasting from some of Fayetteville’s most valued institutions. First, there were the soft but persistent “RIPs” as event posters were targeted and torn off public bulletin boards. More recently, the noise escalated to more of a “CRASH” as all the bulletin boards were torn down by one community establishment, an establishment that I care deeply about. Until now that organization had provided a central space for community communications for decades. What is causing all the stir?
First, here is a little background information. Since the 1970s feminists have organized and publicized “women only” events in Fayetteville and across the U.S. Like other groups that are discriminated against, women require opportunities to meet just with each other to ensure our safety, the freedom to speak openly with others who share similar experiences of discrimination, to organize to end the discrimination, and just to relax together away from the male gaze. The oppression of women in the U.S. has not gone away. Women still don’t even have equal pay for equal work, despite 50+ years of struggle. The #MeToo campaign is making it quite clear that male violence and sexual harassment of women is epidemic.
But, now when women put up posters for “female only” meetings those posters are ripped down, over and over again, in Fayetteville. What is the political debate that the transgender movement and its supporters are attempting to control by tearing down posters, erasing, and silencing women? The debate is over the question of whether males who become transgender (i.e. “transwomen”) have the right to call themselves women and insert themselves into spaces reserved for women only, such as public restrooms, girls’ locker rooms at schools and feminist meetings.
Do you have an opinion about who is a woman and who should be welcomed into spaces traditionally reserved for women and girls? Have you had the chance to hear and understand the arguments on every side of the debate? Is this debate so settled that feminist voices should be silenced? Should women’s voices, any women’s voices, ever be silenced?
Written by Jeanne Neath
Submitted to Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on December 26, 2017
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette declined to publish this letter
Discussion About Hate
I have a two-part reply to Shirley Roe’s letter to the editor. First, there is a big difference between hating a person, country, etc., and disagreeing with a person, country, etc. The fact that so many countries disagreed with Trump’s statement to recognize Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel and move our embassy there does not mean they hate our country. I think it means what so many have stated, that it puts an end to any peaceful negotiations between Palestine and Israel. But this idea that someone hates you because they disagree with your stance on something is really widespread. That seems to be the ploy of anyone who wants to shut down any reasonable discourse between thinking people. For example, if you believe women should have their own sovereign space, you are called hateful and trans-phobic, but that is for another letter.
Back to the subject, the second part of my reply is why the U.S. continues to send money to countries who “hate us.” I want to say our government do anything that is not in the “national interest” aka “corporate interest.” You can bet if they are giving money to a government than we are getting something back in return. People like to think our government is so kind and generous, but that is very seldom true. It is the people of American who are generally kind and generous, not the government.
I agree with Ms. Roe that we do need to spend our money on the infrastructure of this country more than we need to exert worldwide monetary influence, but until the people can take back this country from the control of the corporations and the super-rich, there isn’t much chance of a change in how things are done in Washington, D.C. We must take the money out of politics or we will always have elected officials who are more beholden to their big-money donors than they are to the people they are supposed to represent.
Written by Linda Barnes
Published January 5, 2018 in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette