Most Oppressed or Center-Staged?

Fueled by our outrage last June at the “inclusive” policy that excludes gender critical women from local Pride events we created a Lesbian Story Time event at the Fayetteville Public Library. We had learned that Northwest Arkansas Equality, Inc is exclusively authorized by the City of Fayetteville to operate the NWA Pride Parade and the associated events.

We are not an associated event. We are lesbians demanding lesbian visibility as our right to be free human females. In reading our flyer, note that the word lesbian appears fifteen times! We are women identified women who thrive in the company of other like-minded women. We invite lesbians and allies to share time meant to honor lesbian women. Our lesbian culture is our lifeline.

Our lesbian and gay liberation movement has been hijacked. The T, standing for transgender, now dominates every lesbian and/or gay organization I know about except Old Lesbians Organizing for Change (OLOC). And OLOC has been severely damaged by the controversy about including males who identify as lesbians in their membership.

Many transgender activists attempt to dictate terms of gendered politics to the rest of the world. Liberals and progressives are continually asserting that the transgender community is the most oppressed among us! Liberals and progressives see no harm in the bullying tactics used by transgendered activists to insert themselves into women only spaces and to attempt to insert themselves into lesbian only space. Radical lesbian feminists who object to the erasure of lesbians and other women are dismissed and slurred with the invented label of TERFS (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists). Violence and threats of violence against women and lesbians are common.

My own observation is that our gay pride events no longer highlight the oppression of lesbians and gay men. The interests of male to trans persons now dominate the agenda and the funding of most major lesbian rights organizations. The needs and desires of transgendered individuals now dominate. The desires and assertions and feelings of transgendered people are now center-staged!

Pride 1974

Contrast this photo from 1974 of a grassroots Lesbian/Gay Pride Parade with the corporate sponsored glitz of today. I see “people power” here, not corporate and government controlled media events.

As I wrote last June in this column, “We who are fiercely loyal to lesbians and to the long term interests of women and girls have been demonized both locally and nationally for our carefully thought out criticisms of the trans gender movement. The symbolism of removing Gay Pride and becoming Pride events parallels the stigma now attached to gay young people. Young women who do not fit the stereotype for girls and young men who do not fit the stereotype for boys are now the prime candidates for transitioning. This generation of youths are the innocent victims of a questionable social experiment which will leave many young people sterile and hormone/drug dependent for their entire lives. The medical and pharmaceutical industries will thrive.”

Let’s talk about the history of women. Our history is one of the oppression of women by men and a history of women’s resistance to that oppression. Rain and Thunder: A Radical Feminist Journal of Discussion and Activism is a favorite place for me to study about the lives of women and girls. In reading the latest issue, I found this, “Patriarchy, or the colonization of the sex class of women by the sex class of men, is the oldest form of oppression known to the human species. Over a period of at least 6,000 years, men have established various systems by which to suppress women’s agency, exploit and control women’s bodies, and extract unpaid female labor.

Author Thain Parnell continues, “In the latest twist, the patriarchy is attempting its most ambitious feat yet, to disappear its crimes via the erosion of the sex classes themselves. Trans activism is a trojan horse designed to force Western women back in their place, and in other countries serves as a useful wedge….” Her article is “War Games:The Many Guises of Male Brutality” in the Summer 2019 issue of Rain and Thunder.

Our place, as lesbians, this weekend of “Pride Celebrations” is with other LESBIANS! If you live in Northwest Arkansas, come join us at the Fayetteville Library. Invite any allies. If you live elsewhere, call your local public library today and reserve a space for a June 15th Lesbian Pride Celebration. Keep it simple. Invite lesbians to share their stories. Last year we had several young lesbians drop in and join us for our celebration. Use our flyer as a prototype. Lesbian visibility depends on lesbians willing to be visible. We all have our stories to tell. Listening to one another is a great gift.

Atlanta, Georgia in the 1970’s. That huge Lesbian Feminist Alliance banner would not be permitted at today’s “inclusive” Pride parades which exclude radical feminist groups!

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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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Acknowledge Lesbian Existence

Hey everyone,

Here is a link to a petition I’ve started re Lesbian erasure.

http://chng.it/T77YDp7GsW

I decided to write and circulate it not so much because I’m optimistic about changing oppressors’ behaviors, but because I’m optimistic about us. I think that we are amazing, I think we are worth celebrating, and this is an opportunity to remind ourselves of that, for us to give each other the dyke nod.

Also the information in the petition is a nice short concrete example of what we are experiencing to pass on to allies and potential allies, while providing them with an opportunity to be supportive.

I am not on social media so PLEASE PLEASE use your skills to post/ pass on this petition in any way that you are willing. Thank you.

Center on Halsted, Chicago Illinois

Center on Halsted, Chicago Illinois

Here’s the content of the petition:

Acknowledge Lesbian Existence

We exist. Lesbians exist. We and our allies are calling upon the Midwest’s largest LGBTQ community center, the Center on Halsted in Chicago, to acknowledge and change its practice of Lesbian erasure.

The Center on Halsted reports a budget of $7,000,000 for FY2018 and 1,400 daily visitors. In honor of Women’s History Month, it is hosting events in March and beyond “to celebrate womanhood in the LGBTQ community”. And what is this womanhood? ‘Lesbian’ does not appear in any event title or description. Lesbian, and any of her sister words, are gone. Yet we exist. And we resist having our sex and sexuality erased. We call upon the Center on Halsted to acknowledge and change its practice of Lesbian erasure. We exist.

In sisterhood
Anne Leighton

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Allies Everywhere by Susan Wiseheart

Stephanie Davies-Arai is honored for her educational work at Transgender Trend

It is always exciting to find our work, whatever form it is taking and wherever it is happening, being recognized and applauded.

There is a prestigious science prize in England called the Maddox Prize. Based on what they call “sense about science”, it is awarded to one or two people each year for challenging the misrepresentation of science and evidence in public life. This year Stephanie Davies-Arai, the founder of a website we really like called Transgender Trend (transgendertrend.com) was nominated for standing up for science in the face of difficulty or hostility. Davies-Arai had this to say about her nomination.

“… I believe that children and young people deserve nothing less than our dedication in ensuring healthcare and education policies which are based on robust scientific evidence. Through Transgender Trend I will continue with my commitment to disseminate clear, factual, research-based information to support parents and educators in making fully-informed choices regarding the children in their care, despite the continued allegations that we are a ‘hate’ group.”

The website went on to say:

“At Transgender Trend we believe that facts can never be transphobic, that the school curriculum must be science based and that public debate on this issue must be facilitated without fear. The honour of being shortlisted for this prestigious science prize we see as a validation of everyone who is risking defamation, bullying and their very livelihoods by speaking out to establish evidence in the face of ideology.”

Sometimes it seems we are short on allies in our push to support and create female-born spaces and to discuss the issues raised by the reality of people transitioning and the ones detransitioning. In this xxamazons space, we have a firm belief that men do not become women ever, nor do women become men.

This group in the UK (United Kingdom) is a good resource some of us have relied on to help with our thinking on the issues. Their website subtitle is: “Parents questioning the trans narrative.”

I wish the parents of some of the children I’ve known or known of who have transitioned had read and paid attention to the site.

Here are a couple of statements from their welcome page. The rest are well worth reading.

“This site is for everyone who is concerned about the social and medical ‘transition’ of children, the introduction of ‘gender identity’ teaching into schools and new policies and legislation based on subjective ideas of ‘gender’ rather than the biological reality of sex…

It is for feminists and allies who are concerned about the erosion of sex-based rights and protections for women and girls.”

This site was behind the book many of us have read either in full or in part. The title of the book is Transgender Children and Young People: Born in Your Own Body edited by Heather Brunskell-Evans and Michele Moore. It is a collection of essays about the current theory and practice of transgendering children.

Some excellent thinking is represented.

There are many wide-ranging issues about the practice of transitioning. It is good to know that we are not alone in challenging what is going on.

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Actions Speak Louder Than Words!

by Paula Mariedaughter

Creative actions by strong radical feminists always intrigues me! On the morning of January 29, 2019 feminist activists across the United Kingdom (Britain and Wales) and across Ireland had dressed various female statues with black t-shirts and a strong message. The t-shirts these uppity women used quoted from the dictionary: “Woman, noun, adult human female”. How simple, clear and direct.

Organizing such a coordinated action could not have been simple. Read what these determined women wrote about the action organized by ReSisters United. Here is the strong statement from the home page of their website https://resistersunited.org/
“ReSisters United was formed by women across the UK and Ireland, because we recognized the assault on our hard-won rights and freedoms that gender identity ideology could pose. Resisters United is therefore a feminist movement focused on women´s rights, centering women´s interests and experiences, and for this we make no apology.”

More than fifty cities and towns had this new chance to read the clear definition of who is a woman. Our gallery of photos was pulled from over 100 photos displayed on the ReSisters United website here: https://resistersunited.org/gallery/
One of my favorite photos showed a statue of Sappho wearing one of the ReSisters t-shirts. Sappho was a lyric poet from antiquity who wrote about love between women. Sappho lived in the Mediterranean including Lesbos during the sixth century BCE and was widely known. Her poems were performed to the accompaniment of the musical instrument called the lyre, thus she was a singer/songwriter of her day singing about love and desire between women.

Sappho is a Right-On Woman, Still! Do you know the book I am referring to here? Sappho Was A Right-On Woman: A Liberated View Of Lesbianism by Sidney Abbott and Barbara Love published in 1972 was a treasure for many of us who came out as a woman-loving woman in the early 1970s!

message from Liverpool ReSisters https://twitter.com/LiverpoolReSis1
“The temporary addition of t-shirts and banners to notable female statues around the UK – such as Cilla Black in Liverpool – was a coordinated effort with women on a national scale. The simple definition of “woman: adult human female” on the t-shirts was to show how diluted this word has become in recent times and our concerns about the impact this has on every woman’s life. If “woman” is not clearly defined, law and policies cannot be written or enforced to best serve women. In September 2018, one representative of Liverpool ReSisters spoke to Liverpool City Council, asking for its mayor and councillors to consult women’s groups on retaining single-sex provisions in the city. This request was denied. The women of Liverpool and in many other places across England, Wales and Scotland will not allow ourselves to be silenced.

As ReSisters United, we take to the streets to create a dialogue among our citizenry. We use peaceful means of protest in order to encourage discussion and debate, so that women’s voices can be heard and our privacy, dignity and boundaries are maintained.”

Positive newspaper responses”
Members of a Herts feminist group have joined a UK-wide campaign to “reclaim the definition of women”, which involves dressing iconic female statues in T-shirts which have a dictionary definition of ‘woman’ on the front. from The Comet https://www.thecomet.net/news/letchworth-and-harpenden-statues-campaign-1-5870335

Negative newspapers:
from Wales Online:
T-shirts labelled ‘transphobic’ left hanging on statues across Wales
They have been spotted in Newport, Cardiff, Swansea and Pembrokeshire

(see more below)

from Inews.co.uk

Here’s why some trans people have said the ‘definition of a woman’ campaign is transphobic from Inews.co.uk

A group of anti-trans activists have been condemned for spreading “transphobia” in “a desperate grab for headlines” as they vandalised statues of feminist leaders with anti-trans slogans across the UK. The group, named ReSisters United, were spotted attaching t-shirts, bags and banners to feminist statues in Sheffield, London and Liverpool with the definition of the word “woman.” The items, which were draped across the likes of Cilla Black in Liverpool, Millicent Fawcett in London and Amy Johnson in Kent on Saturday featured the words ““Woman, noun. An adult human female.”

The group tweeted: “Overnight, women all over the UK came together, organised with one purpose – to define ourselves and our boundaries. Woman is not a feeling.” The vast majority of the signage has since been removed due to its offence to the transgender community. But why does the definition evoke offence, and how have members of the transgender community responded?

‘A desperate grab for headlines’ One transgender woman, who works as a developer and whose name is not disclosed said the action was part of “a desperate grab for headlines.” “This is from a group viscerally aware of the failure of their ‘movement’,” she said. “They’re doing this because it’s one of the only ways left for the cause to get publicity.” Trans woman Natacha Kennedy said that the t-shirts are a “coded threat” to the trans community. “By sticking to the dictionary definition, these transphobes can say, ‘but it’s only the dictionary definition!’, except we know it isn’t just that. Context matters and in my opinion, these t-shirts are being used as a symbol of hate. Trans women are adult human females,” she added. Because they do not use hate speech, a lot of passersby might dismiss what they are intended to mean, she argued. “For trans women it’s a coded threat, designed to sound innocuous to most people, but designed to make trans women, who routinely face abuse for not being ‘real’ (or even human) feel intimidated,” Ms Kennedy added.

One parent of a trans male teenager has said that the offence of the t-shirts is all about context. She likened the incident to one that plagued black footballer John Barnes during his career, which saw someone from the crowd throw a banana onto a pitch during a game at Everton in 1988 in an act of racism. “A lot of people will say it’s only a dictionary definition on a t-shirt, how can you get upset over a statement of fact?” she said. “But it’s like when you say if it’s only a banana, how can you get upset over a piece of fruit?” “Context matters,” she added.

Resistance movements in action

Other members of the public who have spotted the t-shirts have updated them to include a more diverse set of definitions for what it means to be a human – and a woman. Lecturer Jane Francesca Fae is one of the people who tweeted a picture of one of a modified t-shirt. Listing “cisgender”, “trans” and other diverse identities, she questioned the “bigots” defining womanhood. “After the local bigots/fascists turned up and stuck a WomanStandUp t-shirt on our (kneeling) Sappho statue, some other folk seem to have nicked it and put this up instead…Other members of the public who have spotted the t-shirts have updated them to include a more diverse set of definitions for what it means to be a human – and a woman. Lecturer Jane Francesca Fae is one of the people who tweeted a picture of a modified t-shirt listing “cisgender”, “trans” and other diverse identities as woman, she questioned the “bigots” defining womanhood.(end of negative newspaper article)

As a woman proud to be a biological female, like the majority of the world, I’d like to add two more powerful images with clear messages!

Graffiti from an unknown Americqn feminist expressing our truth!

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She kept a picture of her breasts in the drawer beside our bed (On loving someone with transgender surgery regret)

“You can terrorize a woman with her own body, and then she’ll torture herself”.
Carolyn Gage, The Second Coming of Joan of Arc

She always kept a picture of her breasts in the drawer beside our bed. She had removed them over a year before we met. But she kept the picture there, and asked me over and over again if I wanted to see them. She asked me heavy with self-doubt and focused on my response, for any answer the lines of my face might give her, any disapproval of her shape I might express. To her constant querying I always responded, no. I love you like you are. I love you how you are. All of you. As you are here and now.

She showed only carefully designed cutouts of herself to everyone else in her life…I was shocked at how skilled she was at slicing and folding herself up…for her closest friends, her most loved family members. What made me different than them, I saw, was that I was the one with whom she’d share all of herself, the secret corners of herself, every unfolded edge.

She learned this art of folding herself up, cutting herself into pieces as a child. She was trimmed and formed into whatever made her parents look good, then she learned to bend herself into shapes that would gain their approval, because narcissistic parents love you (or hate you) for how you make them look.

Hathor and NeferitiAre you sure you don’t want to see them, she would ask. Wouldn’t you love me more if I still had them? No, I said. I love you like you are and how you are. I want you to also love yourself as much.

She also learned shapeshifting to cope with the abuse. Screams in her face at drunken midnights- what, are you going to cry about it, you little pussy? So she learned not to cry. She was so, so small. What child endures beatings and incest and emotional torment without questioning their worth? …maybe if you change shape again your mother will finally love you…?

My love for her was never something she felt sure and worthy to accept, without checking in, to see if I approved of her shape. Don’t you want to see a picture of the breasts I used to have, she would ask? You are not an object for other people to approve of, I would respond. You are the person I love, you in relationship with me.

The lifelong experience of twisting herself around and cutting herself up meant she knew the medical industry like a safe and familiar aunt. The safe place to run to when things at home were unbearably bad. Doctors and hospitals gave her care and love, nurtured her with drugs and surgery. She had to rest up, though, and gather strength before returning home. Home placed a harsher diagnostic criteria on her person. Home demanded conformity of herself into shapes foreign to what she would imagine on her own. Drugs and surgery, she learned, could maybe sometimes provide relief with this struggle. When she told me she was taking testosterone, I said, I’m worried about your health…have you asked your doctor if that is safe? She was flabbergasted- that’s your only concern?! she asked, in disbelief……..I can’t believe all you care about is my wellbeing……..she hung for a pregnant pause, thinking maybe, just maybe, she could deliver a new and happier self with someone that loved her like she is.

I’ll ask my doctor, she said. And she did.

I do want you to be happy with who you are, he said, but changing your sex is bad for your heart. Don’t change. He wasn’t speaking in metaphors. Soon she could no longer walk up the stairs- her heart couldn’t breathe through this new cut out of who she had thought she should become. And just a few months after that, she had a heart attack. The change she underwent had started to shut down her arteries. Testosterone, it turns out, is great for shifting your shape, but not so great for empowering your heart to give you life. Look it up, the heart surgeon said. It’s dangerous, and it will kill you. And we did. There’s a very big chance that changing your body with hormones will kill you.

She asked me again about the picture
She still kept
In the drawer beside our bed.

After surviving what we might consider the attempted suicide,
or maybe the long, drawn-out torture of her body,
I acquiesced.

Show me the breasts this one time, I said, so I can get back to loving you as you are now.

Slowly she reached for the breasts in the drawer.

They were beautiful, beautiful breasts. They seemed perfect.

They’re just breasts, I said, maybe a little smaller than mine. Now put that away, please.

And I loved her a little more.

Then, in the silence of our cut up embrace, my questions also unfolded. Did you really have the experience of not feeling right in your body, I asked. No, she said. That’s just something I said to the therapist to get the surgery. Did you not love your breasts, I asked. I did, she said. I loved making love with my breasts and my wife loved them too. Then why did you remove them, I asked. Because I hated how people looked at me, she said. I hated what people thought about me. I wished for my mother to be proud of me. I wished for her to believe that my daughter would feel proud of her parents.

border

Who’s responsible for this violence? Of the body and of the heart? It must be a survival tactic, I think, to cut off the pieces that don’t fit into the mold that other people insist on. To shift your shape so that you are no longer the target of other peoples’ hate.

But also, there has to be a better way, to remove the weight of the hate of others, and to love and heal our broken selves.

border

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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

************************************************
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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