Push Progressives to Protect Women’s Sex-Based Rights: Sign the Petition

By Jeanne F. Neath

In February 2020, the Georgia Green Party endorsed the very feminist “Declaration of Women’s Sex-Based Rights.” Immediately, the LGBTQIA+ caucus of the Green Party (Lavender Caucus) called for the expulsion of the Georgia Greens from the Green Party of the United States. A group of Greens are now calling for democratic discussion about the issues involved in this conflict. If you are interested in getting progressives in the Green Party talking about gender critical and radical feminist perspectives, you can sign the petition sponsored by Greens for Dialogue Not Expulsion. You do not need to be a member of the Green Party to sign.

What Did the Georgia Greens Do?

Georgia Green Party logoWhat is going on between the Georgia Greens and the Lavender Caucus? At their February meeting, the Georgia Greens modified their platform stating that policy makers should find nuanced approaches that can both protect trans-identified individuals and protect the sex-based rights of women. Among other changes, their Human Rights plank now concludes:

“The Georgia Green Party here endorses the Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights, as developed and publicized by the Women’s Human Rights Campaign, and encourage our members, our national party, policy makers and the general public to do the same. We will regulate access to gender-affirming therapies to protect Georgia children from medical experimentation, prosecuting ethical violations involved with subjecting children incapable of fully informed consent to such life-changing and irreversible procedures. We will protect women and girls from unfair competition in sports by male bodied athletes. We will protect girls and women in the enjoyment of female-only facilities, programs, or services, particularly in places where women have a need to be in a state of undress, or where their privacy may be compromised or their safety may be at risk from male-pattern violence.”

Lavender Greens Go Over the Edge

Lavender Green CaucusAs you might expect, the Lavender Greens were a bit ticked off! On February 28th in an “Open Letter to the National Committee of the Green Party of the United States” this LGBTQIA+ caucus argued that the Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights would “force children to undergo permanent physical changes that exacerbate their dysphoria, inflicting trauma that could last the rest of their lives.” (Note that the “permanent physical changes the Lavender Greens are concerned about are those of going through a natural puberty!) The Lavender Greens go on to say they can’t “stand by while one of our state parties aligns itself with a hate group.” (And now note that the “hate group” they are speaking of is the Women’s Human Rights Campaign.) The Lavender Greens demand that the Georgia Greens:

  1. Rescind its endorsement of the Declaration of Women’s Sex-Based Rights.
  2. Apologize to transgender and gender nonconforming members of the Green Party and commit to “centering trans people who have the relevant experience and are directly affected by gender affirmation policy before issuing a statement.”
  3. Commit to educating themselves and their membership about the necessity of gender affirmation to protect the lives of trans youth and trans adults. Any member of the Green Party of Georgia Coordinating Committee who does not undergo this training must resign.

The Lavender Caucus called on national Green Party to disaccredit and disavow the Georgia Green Party unless that party grovelled as requested and met all three demands.

Georgia Greens: No Way!

Dario Hunter criticizes Georgia GreensA letter on April 7th from the Georgia Greens to Dario Hunter provides a look at the unfolding conflict. Hunter is the delegate of the Lavender Caucus to the Green National Committee. He is also seeking the 2020 Green Party presidential nomination. Although Hunter published a video condemning the Georgia Greens, he still felt he could propose a “reconciliation retreat.” The Georgia Greens found Hunter’s terms unacceptable, replying:

“The private nature of the conversation you have framed, and its stated design to limit participation to a handful of participants seem better designed to brow­beat and re­educate the single spokesperson of the Georgia Green Party your proposal invited to this reconciliation retreat; or at best to engage him in an ad hoc group therapy session to assuage the hurt feelings of Lavender Caucus leadership over our refusal to comply with an ideology we understand as destructive to the rights of women and children.”

The Georgia Greens described the hostility directed toward them by the Lavender Caucus, including “incessant namecalling,” sexist slurs, actual threats of violence, and efforts to silence and censor their voices on social media channels of the Green Party. They note that:

“Many folks, including those far beyond Georgia, have noted that the often heated exchanges in party channels on this subject seem to be driven by the hostility of people who demonstrate no familiarity with the document we endorsed, and which they dismiss as hateful, bigoted and transphobic.”

In their letter to Hunter, the Georgia Greens invite discussion of the Declaration of Women’s Sex-Based Rights, and especially a written critique from the Lavender Caucus.

“We welcome an opportunity to participate in dialogue on the issues raised by the Platform amendment which has been the subject of this recent controversy. But we would prefer to do so with people who have actually read the language we have adopted, and the document we have endorsed, not just the hyperbole and derogatory misinformation being spread about it.”

Declaration of Women's Sex-Based Rights

Georgia Greens call for engagement of the entire Green Party on the issues raised by this conflict:

“Georgia Greens feel many in our party might benefit from a Feminism 101 refresher course, a reminder that feminism, as bell hooks taught us, is ‘a movement to end the sexist oppression of women’. We believe it is important to remind ourselves that as feminists, we understand gender as a social construct and a tool for the patriarchal oppression of women; that we see gender not so much as a spectrum but more of a hierarchy which limits the lives of both women and men; that as feminists it is our job to abolish not celebrate gender…”

Greens for Dialogue Not Expulsion

Greens for Dialogue Not Expulsion: Sign Their Petition

A new caucus of the Green Party, Greens for Dialogue Not Expulsion, has formed to support the Georgia Greens and promote democratic discussion on issues such as sex, gender, gender identity and women’s sex-based rights among the Greens and their supporters. The Greens for Dialogue Not Expulsion Caucus has already issued an invitation to Dario Hunter and the Lavender Caucus to discuss these issues through a public forum and a well-moderated online discussion bulletin.

To support and promote these discussions you can sign their petition. You don’t have to be a member of the Green Party to sign. There is also an option to join the Greens for Dialog Not Expulsion caucus if you want to be more involved. Expect to work with a wide variety of people having a wide variety of opinions if you do join the caucus.

Having a large number of signatories on this petition is important to getting the Green Party to take these issues seriously. I see influencing progressives to understand gender critical and radical feminist thought regarding sex, gender, gender identity and women’s sex-based rights as a top priority and this is a chance to impact the conversation taking place in a national and progressive political party.

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Justice for Women in the New Burning Times! The Earth is “On Fire”

By Jeanne F. Neath

We are living in strange times. We are facing a future of ecological disaster and probable social collapse. Our best hope is that resistance movements will succeed in forcing drastic change on global societies. The Earth is On FireWe are standing up against the powerful people and corporations determined to maintain the deadly and profitable status quo.

I can’t help wondering if the peculiar ideas pushed by the transgender movement are related to the ways many people in the industrialized world live in denial about the climate and ecological chaos underway. Why expect transgender people to respect the realities of their male and female bodies when they are living in a society where politicians, media, pundits and Internet “influencers” routinely distort and deny reality? Perhaps in a world that wasn’t on the brink of collapse, M2T (male to transgender) people would not be making the impossible claim that they can become women and there would be no conflict between transactivists and radical feminists. Yet, thanks to transactivists, here we are with our women’s voices suppressed to the detriment of women, the Earth and all of life.

Justice for Everyone

On Fire, The Burning Case for a Green New Deal by Naomi KleinIn her book, On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal, Naomi Klein makes it clear that building a social movement based in justice for everyone is the only way to stop the social forces bent on delivering us to disaster:

“To change everything, it takes everyone….

[J]ustice in the here and now is the only thing that has ever motivated popular movements to throw heart and soul into struggle…. It’s the thirst for justice – the desperate bodily need for justice – that builds movements like that….

There is no climate change breakthrough without justice.”
(p. 202, Naomi Klein, On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal)

I believe that the women who fought for women’s liberation in the early second wave felt, as I did, the profound desire for justice that Klein describes so beautifully – and had great hope that they would succeed in achieving that justice!

Justice for everyone is a tall order in a society based on turning people into “others” and setting them against one another, all for the benefit of the people hoarding power (mostly wealthy white males). Again, from Klein:

“We cannot play ‘my crisis is more urgent than your crisis’ – war trumps climate; climate trumps class; class trumps gender; gender trumps race. That trumping game, my friends, is how you end up with a Trump.”
(p. 194, Naomi Klein, On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal)

Second wave feminists have been fighting against the many forms of oppression inflicted on women for half a century now.[1] As Barbara Smith wrote many decades ago:

“Feminism is the political theory and practice that struggles to free all women: women of color, working-class women, poor women, disabled women, lesbians, old women – as well as white, economically privileged, heterosexual women. Anything less than this vision of total freedom is not feminist, but merely female self-aggrandizement.”
(p. 49, Barbara Smith, in All the Women are White, All the Blacks are Men, But Some of Us Are Brave)

But Some of Us Are BraveAfter all these many decades, feminists continue to struggle, as social divisions have proved incredibly difficult to bridge in societies rooted in privilege and division. Creating justice for all within the powerful global network of social movements envisioned by Naomi Klein and within the myriad of global societies is, perhaps, a task for a truly desperate people. Yet, desperate is what we are with the Earth at high risk.

Trans Trumps Everything Else?

No one seems to have notified transactivists about the need to work with and respect women, all women, even the women who don’t buy into transideology.

The trumping game is being played by transactivists when they make transgender people, especially M2T people, out to be more oppressed than anyone else. For example, many people now believe the trans propaganda that says there is more violence against transgender people than anyone else.

While the number of murders of transgender people is high for Brazil (103 in 2011) and some other South and Central American countries, a total of 17 transgender people were murdered in the U.S. in 2011. In that same year 3,240 U.S. women were murdered. With a population of 158 million women and perhaps 700,000 to 1.4 million transgender people, the murder rates for the two groups are roughly equivalent, perhaps higher for women. (Estimating precise numbers of transgender people is difficult.)[2]


A total of 17 transgender people were murdered in the U.S. in 2011. In that same year 3,240 U.S. women were murdered.


Fair Play for Women looked at the murder rates for transgender people in the UK and found no real differences between the murder rates for women (.64 per 100,000, 185 annual murders) and transgender people likely to want medical treatment (.68 per 100,000, fewer than 1 annual murder.) The murders of transgender people and women are all terrible. Ranking oppressions is not helpful in creating justice for everyone.

Transactivists are not just asking for justice. The transactivist false claim that “my crisis is more urgent than your crisis” is bad enough. But, the ideology and activities of the transgender movement demonstrate a complete failure in their ability to respect and work with other oppressed groups, women in particular.

Transactivists make death threatsTransactivists verbally attack women (and anyone else) who disagrees with transideology with screams of “TERF” (i.e. Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist). At times, these attacks include death threats and have spilled over into physical violence against women. Transactivists routinely and cruelly use tactics that should never be used against members of another minority, including intimidation, campaigns to discredit women or to get women fired, de-platforming, and silencing.


The ideology and activities of the transgender movement demonstrate a complete failure in their ability to respect and work with other oppressed groups, women in particular.


Even worse, the central premise of transideology encourages M2T people to claim that they are women.[3] This is an illegitimate claim, a theft of the identity that belongs to another oppressed minority, women. Cultural appropriation of the traditions of racial/ethnic minorities is a clearly understood ethical breech, so why should transgender people be permitted this identity grab?

Must Males Have Whatever They Want? M2T Persons Have Male Privilege!

Transactivists try to justify the claim that M2T persons can become women by attempting to remove biological sex (being female, not male) from the definition of woman. Sometimes M2T activists try to claim that they are female, but this is a tough sell since sex is biological and males lack the XX chromosomes needed to be female.

In western and most, probably all, societies, the primary qualification for being a woman is being of the female sex. Societies need the social category of “woman” in order to make a social distinction between the female and male sexes. The other qualification for being a woman that makes sense is having the experience of living as a girl or woman in a female body. M2T people can never be female and even if they attempt to live as women, their life experiences are those of a male pretending to be a woman.

Some people, including many in the transgender movement, consider adherence to female sex stereotypes to be relevant to being a woman, but this is problematic since sex stereotypes are made up (socially constructed) and are different in different societies and different time periods. For example, pink is now considered a “feminine” color, but this association only came about following World War II. In some cultures, now and in the past, sex roles have had survival value. In modern western industrialized societies sex stereotypes are useless and are limiting and harmful to everyone. The only possible claim that M2T persons have on womanhood is their compliance with harmful female sex role stereotypes.

Vintage photo of lesbians not complying with sex stereotypesIf males can be women (or female!), then being a woman loses any meaning other than being a person who complies with female sex stereotypes (and that leaves out many females who refuse to comply with those stereotypes). The transgender self-id laws currently being considered or passed in some states and countries essentially allow anyone who wants to say they are a woman to legally become a woman (and female).

Hey! If males want to say they are women, then we can’t deny them what they want, can we? After all, they have male privilege!

Without Women’s Liberation, Everyone Loses

A big problem here is that women – the real women – are oppressed in western (and many other) societies based primarily on our biological sex. We (most of us women) are the ones who have the power to reproduce! The attempt to control human reproduction by controlling women is at the very heart of patriarchal society. Stop forced sterilizationThis is why abortion laws are highly contested, why contraception is under fire, why some societies are sterilizing women of color against their will. And much more.

How are women to organize and resist our oppression if we no longer have a name and identity for our own group – women? The oppression of females will not disappear even if the category of “woman” becomes meaningless (because it includes males). Only our ability to recognize and resist our oppression will be eliminated.

Look at what is happening when women attempt to meet in women-only (female) groups! The closing down of women-only meetings and events is a primary goal of transactivism! And the transactivists are succeeding – most women-only events have been forced to move underground or semi-underground. The Women’s Liberation Movement is not even free to hold a public meeting!


The closing down of women-only meetings and events is a primary goal of transactivism. The Women’s Liberation Movement is not even free to hold a public meeting!


Klein tells us:

“Either we fight for a future in which everyone belongs, starting with those being most battered by injustice and exclusion today, or we will keep losing. And there is no time for that. Moreover, when we make these connections among issues (climate, capitalism, colonialism, white supremacy, and misogyny), there is a kind of relief. Because it actually is all connected, all part of the same story.” (p. 194, Naomi Klein, On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal)

Transactivists want to stop women's liberationHow are women to maintain our own liberation movement, let alone be powerful participants in coalitions to break the power of the forces destroying the earth? The social-economic system that is creating ecological disaster and human misery is primarily a product of the male imagination because that system has always been heavily male dominated. This system is not going to be undone without the contributions of radical feminists, the women who are specialists in understanding patriarchy. The use of the slur, “TERF,” against radical feminists is an assault against every resistance fighter and against the Earth since a broad resistance cannot succeed without radical feminism. Women’s hands must be untied if the resistance is to be successful.

Where is the justice for women?


The social-economic system that is creating ecological disaster and human misery is primarily a product of the male imagination because that system has always been heavily male dominated. This system is not going to be undone without the contributions of radical feminists, the women who are specialists in understanding patriarchy.


“Trans is Trans” and Nothing More

Transwomen are menHow will women get the justice we deserve with a rogue minority group at our throats and a misogynist Left helping transactivists tear into us? Klein is correct that we all need justice and that we all are needed in the fight to stop the capitalist, colonialist patriarchy destroying the planet. This need for justice includes transgender people, of course. Every feminist I know supports transgender people’s right to live free of violence, free from discrimination in jobs and housing, and free to act in any masculine or feminine way they want.

The problem is that M2T transactivists are not asking for simple justice, but to take more than is rightly theirs – women’s identity. As I’ve explained in an earlier blog, transgender people deserve exactly what every minority group deserves – fairness, together with an unspoiled group identity that allows them to claim power for their group and love and value themselves as members of their minority group. The transgender movement has missed the mark. The identity that rightly belongs to M2T people is their transgender identity, not women’s identity.

Fortunately transgender people and their movement are not all of one mind. Transgender people who disagree with the trans party line are subjected to nasty tactics from transactivists, but some are identifying as gender critical and speaking out. For example, the author(s) of the Transrational Manifesto say that “[w]e believe that the wisest course of action is to seek recognition in our own right – as trans people.” There’s more:

“1. Trans is Trans

Principally, we have chosen to build our philosophical foundation on the idea that trans people are neither men nor women, but a third category….

Transmen are transmen. They’re not men, and they’re not women.

Transwomen are transwomen. They’re not women, and they’re not men….”
(Transrational Manifesto)

Transrational clarifies their position about sex by saying, “Transwomen are not a variation of females, but of males.”

Working Together

The earth is on fireThe feminist movement and a movement of transgender people embracing their transgender identity (and not grabbing anyone else’s identity) would have many concerns in common, especially with undoing harms caused by patriarchy and sex role stereotypes. Women and transgender people could be natural allies, just as gay men could be allies to Lesbians. But, these alliances require everyone under the GBTQ umbrella to drop their misogyny and focus on dismantling patriarchy (along with capitalism, racism, colonialism…). Women could certainly use the help in getting the entire network of resistance movements working with us to end patriarchy. The assaults on the Earth come from patriarchal social systems and patriarchy must be undone if we are to avert ecological disaster.

I’ll let Naomi Klein close up here (with a few asides from me in [brackets]):

“The bottom line is this: As we get clean [avert ecological disaster], we have got to get fair. More than that, as we get clean, we can begin to redress the founding crimes of our nations: Land theft, genocide, slavery [and gynocide] [4]. Yes, the hardest stuff. Because we haven’t just been procrastinating climate action all these years. We’ve been procrastinating and delaying the most basic demands of justice and reparation. And we are out of time on every front.”
(p. 201, Naomi Klein, On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal)

*****

Footnotes

1. See, for example, Radical Feminism: A Documentary Reader edited by Barbara A. Crow; This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua; Nice Jewish Girls: A Lesbian Anthology edited by Evelyn Torton Beck; Shadow on a Tightrope: Writings by Women on Fat Oppression edited by Lisa Schoenfielder and Barb Wieser; Out of the Class Closet: Lesbians Speak edited by Julia Penelope; With the Power of Each Breath: A Disabled Women’s Anthology edited by Susan E. Browne, Debra Connors and Nanci Stern.

2. The 1.4 million figure is an estimate of the transgender population in the U.S. provided for 2014 by the pro-trans Williams Institute at UCLA. According to the Williams Institute, studies using data collected from 2003 through 2009 estimated about 700,000 transgender people in the U.S. I used 2011 because data were available about murder of both transgender people and women in the U.S. in that year. See https://transrespect.org/en/map/trans-murder-monitoring/?submap=tmm_2011 for murder statistics by country of transgender people from 2008 through mid 2016. See “Homicide in the U.S. Known to Law Enforcement, 2011” by Erica L. Smith and Alexia Cooper for homicide data on women and men in the U.S.

3. Females who become transgender are also falsely claiming an identity – being a man. However, this claim does not injure a minority group since men are the dominant group in this society. The situation of females and males who become transgender have very little in common. This blog post focuses primarily on the dynamics that result from males claiming to be women.

4. Definition of gynocide: “The fundamental intent of global patriarchy: planned, institutionalized spiritual and bodily destruction of women; the use of deliberate systematic measures (such as killing, bodily or mental injury, unliveable conditions, prevention of births), which are calculated to bring about the destruction of women as a political and cultural force, the eradication of Female/Bio-logical religion and language, and ultimately the extermination of the Race of Women and all Elemental being; the master model of genocide; paradigm for the systematic destruction of any racial, political, or cultural group.” (p. 77, Mary Daly with Jane Caputi, Websters’ First New Intergalactic Wickedary of the English Language)

Good-bye to Gender Identity!

By Jeanne Neath

What distresses you most about how the transgender movement is hurting women, girls and Lesbians? For many of us, it is the loss of our women-only or Lesbian-only spaces – from our festivals, to feminist organizing meetings, to Lesbian lands, to goddess circles and more.

Cotton ceiling = rape

M2T persons not only think they can become women, but also that they should be accepted as Lesbians. When Lesbians refuse to consider them as sexual partners, they accuse us of creating a “cotton ceiling” that shuts them out. The poster is saying that these demands for Lesbians to have sex with males is a form of rape. The photo is from a ReSisters United radical feminist protest at Lancaster Pride in the UK.

We may feel enraged that male-bodied transgender people are allowed to compete in women’s sports and take trophies that rightly belong to women. Knowing that M2T (male to transgender) people are pushing their way into girls’ locker rooms and women’s domestic violence shelters may worry us terribly. Personally, it makes me crazy that Lesbians are being shamed and accused of discrimination in the queer/trans world for not being willing to have sexual or intimate relations with M2T people. Lesbians are supposed to want to have sex with males just because they become transgender, even males with a penis?

Now, ask yourself, what do all these assaults on women, girls and Lesbians have in common? Every single one of these losses for women (and there are many more) is the result of the transactivists’ claim that males can become women and the widespread acceptance of that claim. If it were recognized that males can never become women, M2T people would have no claim on women’s identities or women’s spaces. There would be no basis for them to demand entry into women-only spaces, to compete in women’s sports, to invade girls’ locker rooms, to complain that Lesbians don’t want to have sex with them, and so on. Please take a look below at the informational chart that XX Amazons has developed. You can easily see the central role that the M2T claim that “transwomen are women” plays in harming women on The (Trans) Gender Problem chart displayed below. (Or see a large, easy to read copy of the chart.)

The claim that “transwomen are women” is a preposterous claim. How have transactivists managed to make this strange idea believable to so many people? You can probably guess where I am going with this and, yes, “transideology” and its concept of “gender identity” is the answer.

Trans (Gender) Problem Chart

Click on the chart above to see the (Trans) Gender Problem chart in an easy to read size. The M2T claim to be women shown in the green circle at the center of the chart creates all the many harms to women displayed on the bottom row of the chart. “Gender identity” ideology provides the rationale for the M2T redefinition of who is a woman.

The Fabrication and Selling of Gender Identity

Gender identity is defined by the American Psychological Association (APA) as “a person’s deeply-felt, inherent sense of being a boy, a man, or male; a girl, a woman, or female, or an alternative gender…” (listed under their Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People). Transgender people (not intersex people) are male or female, as determined by their biological sex. Their only claim to being the “other gender” is that they feel like they are that “gender” and that they present with the “appearance, mannerisms, or other gender related characteristics” prescribed for the other sex (i.e. they conform to sex stereotypes, just the supposedly wrong ones for their sex). Take away the concept of gender identity and M2T people no longer have any basis for their claim to be women.

Origins of “Gender Identity”
Gender Hurts by Sheila JeffreysSheila Jeffreys traced the origins of the concept of “gender identity” in her book, Gender Hurts. In the 1950s and 1960s the medical profession became increasingly engaged with males who wanted to take advantage of advancing medical technologies in endrocrinology and surgery to become transsexual. At that time, the medical profession could not agree on what kinds of treatments were ethical. Some medical professionals strongly believed that treatment should be limited to psychological methods. The sexologists who offered physical treatment hit upon the use of the word “gender” to justify the harms they were inflicting on healthy bodies. Jeffreys quotes Bernice Hausman, who explained in her book, Changing Sex, Transsexuality, Technology and the Idea of Gender, that this justification required “construction of a rhetorical system that posits a prior gendered self.” (p. 27, Gender Hurts) Hausman described gender as “the idea of an identity prior to and within the body that theoretically should dictate the appearance of the subject.” (p. 27, Gender Hurts) (Note: the word “gender” was being used then, but today, “gender identity” would be used.)


The sexologists who offered physical treatment hit upon the use of the word “gender” to justify the harms they were inflicting on healthy bodies.


Jeffreys emphasized the impact that transsexuals had on the medical profession with their demands for medical services. These “demanders” were quick to see the usefulness of the idea of an innate “gender” as a justification for their desire to become transsexual. At the time, cross-dressers and transsexuals were easily seen as sexually motivated, having a “paraphilia.” Jeffreys explains:

“The association with sexuality created problems for their access to treatment, and to the seriousness with which they were regarded in the public world. The idea of a ‘gender’ mistake, in which they mysteriously incorporated a ‘feminine essence’, washed them clean of sleaze and enabled them to constitute themselves as a confident rights-bearing minority who were just born different.” (p. 28, Gender Hurts)

According to Jeffreys, the change in language from “transsexual” to “transgender” was likewise motivated by the wish to avoid association with sex and sexual motivation. (p. 28, Gender Hurts)

Is Gender Identity a Ruse?
We have come a long distance from the sexologists of the 1950s and 1960s, but the idea of an innate gender identity has become the centerpiece of transgender ideology. The “born that way” explanation has served to garner public sympathy for both the gay and transgender movements for decades now. Today’s transactivists are well aware of the effectiveness of their essentialist argument, and use it, even though some do not believe it is true. Listen to Emi Koyama, a M2T person who identifies as a so-called “transfeminist”:

“As trans people begin to organize politically, it is tempting to adopt the essentialist notion of gender identity. The cliché popularized by the mass media is that trans people are “women trapped in men’s bodies or vice versa. The attractiveness of such a strategy is clear, as the general population is more likely to become supportive of us if we can convince them that we are somehow born with a biological error over which we have no control. It is also often in tune with our own sense of who we are, which feels very deep and fundamental to us.” (The Transfeminist Manifesto, Emi Koyama)

Koyama and, no doubt, many other transgender people understand that transgender people are not “born that way”, but instead are “made that way” by social forces and by their own choices. Here’s Koyama again:

“Transfeminism believes that we construct our own gender identities based on what feels genuine, comfortable, and sincere to us as we live and relate to others within given social and cultural constaints.” (The Transfeminist Manifesto, Emi Koyama)

Where would the transgender movement be today if the public understood that transgender people are not victims of a “biological error”?

Born or Made?
Dragon trapped in human bodyThe “born that way” ideology still provides many medical practitioners and researchers with a meal ticket. The work of these professionals props up gender identity ideology. Consider Milton Diamond’s study of transgender identical and fraternal twins published in the International Journal of Transgenderism in 2013. In Diamond’s study of 110 transgender twins (74 identical and 36 fraternal twins), 33% of the male identical twins had a transgender twin. The percentage was smaller for female identical twins; just 23% had a transgender twin. These data are damning for the “born that way” argument. Since identical twins have identical genetic makeup, all of the transgender identical twins should have had a trans twin, if the “born that way” argument were true.

Diamond did find a very low rate of “concordance” for the fraternal twins in his study (one out of 21 for male twins and zero out of 15 for female twins were both transgender). Expected discrepancies in the genetic makeup of the fraternal twins could explain these extremely low rates, far lower than that of the identical twins. But, who can say what role differences in the life experiences of identical vs fraternal twins played? Are identical twins (who typically look very similar) expected by others to be similar? And do some of them then become similar?


Finding that only 23%-33% of transgender identical twins have a trans twin suggests that the snare for “transwomen trapped in men’s bodies” is primarily set by social forces.


Finding some degree of genetic component to transsexuality would not be surprising – almost any human characteristic is influenced by both biological and social factors. But, finding that only 23%-33% of transgender identical twins have a trans twin suggests that the snare for “transwomen trapped in men’s bodies” is primarily set by social forces. Yet Diamond would have you believe that genetics are extremely important. Much of the discussion section in his research report was geared toward explaining away the role of environmental factors and then advancing genetic arguments, including his pet theory that “transsexualism will eventually be seen as an intersex variation due to brain (nervous system) intersexuality.” (See “Transsexuality Among Twins: Identity Concordance, Transition, Rearing, and Orientation” by Milton Diamond)

The American Psychological Association, despite its nearly wholesale acceptance of transideology, has come to acknowledge the importance of social forces in forming gender identity. The APA Dictionary of Psychology (2nd edition, 2015) explains gender identity as:

“[O]ne’s self identification as male or female. Although the dominant approach in psychology for many years had been to regard gender identity as residing in individuals, the important influence of societal structures, cultural expectations, and personal interactions in its development is now recognized as well. Significant evidence now exists to support the conceptualization of gender identity as influenced by both environmental and biological factors.” (See listing for “gender identity” under APA Dictionary of Psychology)

The APA would probably like to stick 100% to the trans party line, but data like that of Diamond’s twin study make it impossible to deny the role of social factors in creating a transgender identity. The rapidly growing number of detransitioners likewise cannot be accounted for by biological theories. As Carey Callahan recently wrote in The Economist:

“When I first detransitioned, my community consisted of online groups of fewer than 100 women. Five years later the detransition discussion-forum on the popular site Reddit has just hit 7,000 people of both sexes.” (See “Gender identity is hard but jumping to medical solutions is worse“)

Those numbers are set to balloon even further. As transideology gains in popularity, social factors like Internet exposure and social contagion are contributing to the new phenomenon of rapid onset gender dysphoria in teenage girls (as has been documented by Lisa Littman).

Yes! Do Away With Gender Identity (and Gender)!

Since ‘gender identity’ is influenced by social/environmental factors, this throws open the question of just where in society a transgender person’s “deeply felt inherent sense of being” the “other” gender comes from. As feminists, we know the answer to this question. The short answer is patriarchy. It’s clear that male violence plays a key role for many girls and women who become “transmen” in order to avoid being a target for males. But, a transgender gender identity could not even exist without sex stereotypes, the patriarchal standards of masculinity and femininity that no one can measure up to. Since transgender people cannot change their sex, their only means of appearing as the “other” gender is to take on the sex stereotypes associated with the desired gender, including sometimes mimicking physical appearance.

Purposeful adoption of sex stereotypes is not an innocent undertaking. But, it gets worse. As radical feminists understand, standards of masculinity and femininity result from the needs of a patriarchal social system to maintain itself. Males are trained to have “masculine” characteristics like aggressiveness so they can serve as dominators of women (and others). Females are trained to have “feminine” characteristics like submissiveness so that they will be subservient to men. No wonder feminists want to free everyone from sex stereotypes by bringing an end to gender! Yet, when transactivists push the idea of an innate gender identity, they are pushing the idea that some people are destined to dominate and others to submit. What a pernicious dogma!


When transactivists push the idea of an innate gender identity, they are pushing the idea that some people are destinedto dominate and others to submit. What a pernicious dogma!


The trans movement depends on the concept of an innate gender identity to sell itself to the public, just as the sexologists needed that frame to justify sterilization and surgery for transsexuals in the mid twentieth century. Take away the concept of an innate gender identity and the ideological underpinnings of their lie/line about being a “woman trapped in a man’s body” disappears.

rhino trapped in human body

Rhino trapped in a human body? Hmm! I thought it was a dog.

Take away the concept of gender identity altogether (including even versions like Koyama’s that emphasize choice) and M2T claims that they are women disappear. Eliminating gender identity does not mean the elimination of transgender people.There is no reason that transgender people cannot act like every other minority group and claim and celebrate their transgender identity (and abandon their efforts to steal women’s identity). If we should be so fortunate as to eliminate gender itself, then the whole idea of transgenderism would lose its meaning (though perhaps the emphasis would then return to transsexual body modifications).

There are times when radical feminists and others resisting transdomination must fight back against specific assaults on our spaces and our existence as females made by TEAFs (transactivist extremists attacking feminists). But, I believe that we can be most effective by focusing on invalidating the ideology that is allowing males to make their claim that they are women. That claim is supported by transideology, specifically the concept of gender identity. If we want to go to the root of the problem (and that is what radical feminists usually strive to do), then invalidating and eliminating the concept of gender identity is a key goal.

One excellent means for invalidating the concept of gender identity is to educate people about feminist understandings of sex stereotypes. With that strategy we are working toward two critical goals: the elimination of gender and gender identity. I remain a novice in the art of framing, but I believe that a focus on gender and gender identity would be a fruitful area for radical feminists skilled in framing to explore.


One excellent means for invalidating the concept of gender identity is to educate people about feminist understandings of sex stereotypes. With that strategy we are working toward two critical goals: the elimination of gender and gender identity.


This blog began when I wrote about the modifications to the Equality Act recently developed by Feminists in Struggle (FIST). The version of the Equality Act currently under consideration in the U.S. Senate would entrench the concept of gender identity in U.S. law, making gender identity equivalent to sex and essentially eliminating female only public spaces. We need an Equality Act to protect Lesbians, gay men and transgender people, but the Senate version is a disaster for women, girls and Lesbians.

FIST’s feminist version of the Equality Act is, on the other hand, a brilliant advance for women. In FIST’s Equality Act, transgender people (and everyone else) are protected from discrimination on the basis of sex stereotypes. I was so very pleased when I discovered that gender identity is never even mentioned in the FIST document. Women-only spaces are explicitly protected. FIST has taken a critical step forward with their model Equality Act. We each now have the opportunity to support their Equality Act and the feminist goals put forward there. Good-bye to gender identity! Good-bye to gender!

I am lesbian

by Rand Hall

lesbian – a woman
a woman not defined by man
or
by her relationship to man, any man
but by her
her love of woman

lesbian goes against the grain
strong, defiant, female
by birth
not by feminine description
or restriction

lesbian is outside the lines
the girl definition that binds
she is self-defined
so fine

may be
soft on the outside
or hard
ly soft
but always soft on the inside

may be high femme
or drag butch
or an androgyne
or none of the above
but she can love
and when she does
she loves
a woman

she is
a lesbian
being

Rand Hall

Rand Hall

I am not gay, though I am queer (different from the norm), I am not unclear. I claim my birthright as a woman for there is nothing stronger or more powerful on this earth than a woman.

I claim lesbian, a womon-loving-woman. I give thanks every day that I was not born a man, needing a d**k to make me feel “bigger than, better than,” always aware of and needing to take care of my d**k. Creator was kind and I was born a woman.

Woman – the essence and the word is still vilified in this man-centric civilization. Every strength, intelligence, ability, sense of self, sense of power, demand for freedom and independence — we are conditioned to believe must be a “masculine” trait. No wonder that young dykes and “butches” feel they can not be women, can not identify as “woman.” Better to be “other” or anything but weak, useless women.

I am 60 years old and I am no boy, no matter how you spell it (boi), no insignificant, irresponsible, unthreatening child – no immature male child. Hell no! I am a woman. Fully grown and taking my own. I do not have to redefine or rename me because I do not fit their definition of woman. I am a woman, this is what woman is. Strong, capable, powerful and able – I am a woman. Tender, loving, alive – woman. Stand up in your face, take my full space, know its ALL my place – woman. I am a woman-loving-woman – I am lesbian.

Lesbian is not a queer, not a gay woman, not a “bisexual” not an “in transition” person. Lesbian is a woman who defies patriarchal definition and thinking. Lesbian loves women, including her woman self.

Feeling like there is a “place” for each of us is critical for our spirits to soar. Many of us fought hard for lesbian space, had to create it, are still fighting to maintain it. I am a lesbian and I want lesbian space, I want a lesbian conference. I want to share readings and writings with women who identify as lesbian.

I do not want to give up Womonwrites: A Southeastern LESBIAN Writer’s Conference (1) to males, to male energy, male thinking, male beings, to those who were born or raised male or who claim male privilege, to women whose experience or focus is male, to women who accept male definition.

Centuries of male dominance have not been able to erase women-loving-women, women identified women, lesbians, amazons.  I love seeing and hearing the younger women sharing with, growing with earlier feminists, lesbians, landykes, survivors and pioneers. Will those we welcome into our homes and our hearts succeed where the men have failed.

Perhaps if we do not surrender our identity as a Lesbian gathering, young women will not come and Womonwrites may eventually die. Better to die naturally than be murdered. When there are no longer any Womonwriters left that identify as lesbian, there will be no need for Womonwrites.

If some younger women feel that “lesbian” does not include them, perhaps they will start new gatherings that meet their needs and their sense of identity and community. But do not come to a LESBIAN gathering and try to erase the lesbian.

*****

Footnote

1. The Womonwrites conference recently split into two conferences. One, Dykewriters Southeast Lesbian Writers Conference, continues the Womonwrites tradition of womyn-born-womyn-only space. Dykewriters will have its first conference in December, 2019. Here is their description of Dykewriters: “Dykewriters create space for womyn-loving-womyn who are born female, still live as female, identify as lesbians, and love to write, read, and listen to lesbian words. We are primarily for lesbians in the southeastern region of the United States, but lesbians from other regions are welcome. We celebrate womyn, affirm our herstory as lesbians, and work together to find avenues of creativity and expansion.” For more information see the Dykewriters website.

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Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act – Support FIST Campaign

By Tina Minkowitz

Feminists In Struggle, a U.S. radical feminist network, has developed a model bill to illustrate how the rights of gender nonconforming (including transgender) people and lesbians, gay men and bisexuals, can be protected while strengthening the rights of women as a sex. The model bill is a feminist response to the Equality Act, a bill introduced in the US Congress that would amend civil rights legislation to include under the category of ‘sex’, subcategories including ‘a sex stereotype,’ ‘gender identity’ and ‘sexual orientation’. By proposing feminist amendments to that bill, FIST hopes to advance the debate about how to resolve conflicts between women’s rights and claims regarding subjective gender identity.

List of sex stereotypesThe central feature of the FAEA is that it protects everyone against sex stereotyping, broadly defined to include ‘the expectation that individuals will manifest behaviors, appearance, dress, grooming, interests and personality stereotypically associated with their sex and refrain from manifesting those associated with the other sex. Discrimination based on an individual’s nonconformity with such expectations constitutes sex-stereotyping discrimination. Sex stereotyping also includes the notion that sexual orientation will be heterosexual for both sexes (i.e. part of the stereotype of masculinity is being attracted to women, and part of the stereotype of femininity is being attracted to men).’

The definition of sex stereotyping is at the same time narrowed to prevent sex classification itself from being treated as a pernicious stereotype. ‘Sex stereotyping discrimination does not include merely recognizing or referring, accurately or in good faith, to the biological sex of an individual, or seeking to ascertain an individual’s biological sex for legitimate reasons consistent with this Act, irrespective of whether that person holds a deeply personal sense of identity that conflicts with or denies their biological sex.”’

boy and girl stereotypic shoesThe FAEA model bill defines sex as being female or male, based on reproductive structure and function, with the potential to adjust determinations made about intersex persons. It contains findings that address the systemic nature of sex-based discrimination and the need for sex classification ‘in order to separate biological differences from socially assigned stereotypes and to name, reject, and ultimately dismantle the system of disadvantage and advantage, domination and inequality of power and resources that society has created with respect to these biological differences…. Affirmative recognition of the different biology of females and males is furthermore necessary to combat discrimination against women, since male-dominated institutions have routinely failed to adequately take account of women’s biology on an equal basis with that of men when formulating policy and practice that deals with the human body, in areas such as health care, design of goods and services, provision of adequate sanitary facilities, and competition in some sports. When doing so, the ultimate goal should be equalizing power and resources between women and men.’

Furthermore, specific rules of construction are included that preserve single-sex spaces and programs for women and girls, for reasons of privacy and safety and also for advancement and development.

Finally, the FAEA agrees with the original bill that claims or defenses under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act cannot be raised against civil rights law obligations. FAEA also agrees with the original bill that discrimination based on pregnancy and related conditions should be included under ‘sex’, and FAEA adds ‘lactation’.

Feminists In Struggle LogoHere are my slides for a presentation on the FAEA that provide more detail related to the explanation here.

The full FAEA and related materials, including a comparison summary and a tracked changes version, can be downloaded from the FIST website.

Please contact FIST to support the FAEA and otherwise become involved.

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FIST Fights for Women With Equality Act Rewrite

By Jeanne Neath

Feminists In Struggle LogoGood news can be hard to come by in the U.S. fight against trans domination. But, it is time to celebrate! Radical feminists and gender critical allies just made a quantum leap forward!

On October 2, 2019 Feminists in Struggle (FIST) finished preparing and adopted their own feminist version of the U.S. Equality Act. The Equality Act (U.S. Senate Bill 788) currently in Congress enshrines transgender ideology and will take away critical women’s rights. This bill is supposed to be legislation to protect Lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender people from discrimination. The Equality Act was passed by the House on May 20th, 2019, but is unlikely, at this time, to pass the Senate (and would surely be vetoed by Trump). Nonetheless, the Equality Act is headed toward becoming law and, if passed in anything resembling its current form, will be a disaster for Lesbians, women and girls.

Over the past year I started seriously worrying about the Equality Act, but when I went to the Internet to try and find out what exactly the legislation included, I discovered that the Equality Act involves a rewriting of federal Civil Rights laws, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964. If your eyes just glazed over at mention of such complicated and important legal documents, you are following in my footsteps. I quickly realized that, not being a lawyer, coming to an understanding of the Equality Act on my own would be too large an undertaking. I didn’t even know how to go about finding a copy of the current bill! There was simply no way I had the time or enough motivation to overcome these obstacles. My worries about the Equality Act multiplied, but all I could do was wait and hope that other U.S. feminists would take the Equality Act on. And, thank the goddess for Feminists in Struggle and their legal team, we now have the “Proposed Model U.S. Equality Act Incorporating Feminist Amendments,” a detailed and truly feminist rewrite of the Equality Act (hereafter referred to as the FIST feminist Equality Act).

House passes Equality Act

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the so-called Equality Act on May 20, 2019. Note the LGB rainbow on the left and the equal size transgender rainbow on the right in the graphic. The version of the Equality Act passed in the House gives transgender people rights at the expense of Lesbians, women and girls.

And what a rewrite! I found it to be a fascinating document, even with all the (necessary) legal language. Tina Minkowitz, a member of the FIST legal team, explains that one of FIST’s primary aims was to “articulate a feminist position that addresses challenges to women’s political existence and rights, as a result of gender identity ideology.” Despite all the discussions I’ve participated in about female erasure, I had not put it together before hearing Tina’s statement that our legal existence as women is at stake with the Equality Act. When the law ensures that gender identity trumps sex, transitioned males become women legally, and the legal category of women as biological females is disappeared. I was impressed at how the FIST authors were able to take essential ideas from radical feminist critiques of transideology, then hone those ideas down into simple premises that then became the bases of the FIST feminist Equality Act.

FIST Conjures Up an Equality Act That Lives Up To Its Name

Let’s look at one example of how FIST’s legal team transformed the Equality Act. The Senate bill explicitly defines sex to include gender identity and finds that discrimination can occur “on the basis of the sex, sexual orientation, gender identity … of an individual, as well as because of sex-based stereotypes” and then goes on to say that each of these factors “is a form of sex discrimination.” Here is where women are erased! Gender identity is made synonymous with sex and discrimination for both gender identity and sex are considered to be sex discrimination. Over and over again, when the Senate’s version of the Equality Act mentions “sex” it uses the phrase “sex (including ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’).” FIST points out that when ‘sex’ and ‘gender identity’ are defined as synonymous terms, this eliminates “female only spaces by allowing access based on gender identity.” The Senate’s Equality Act explicitly states that there can be no female only private personal spaces: “[A]n individual shall not be denied access to a shared facility, including a restroom, a locker room, and a dressing room, that is in accordance with the individual’s gender identity.”

Support only a Feminist Equality Act

I couldn’t find images on Google that supported a feminist Equality Act, so I created a simple one. We’ll need many more of these!

FIST’s feminist Equality Act takes an entirely different approach that protects women, LGB, and transgender people by creating two new protected classes – sexual orientation and sex stereotypes. These are in addition to and separate from protections based on sex, allowing each of the three classes clear and uncomplicated protection. FIST eliminated all mention of gender identity from their document, but still addressed the legitimate claims of transgender people by providing protection from discrimination on the basis of sex stereotypes. By focusing on sex stereotypes, gender non-conforming people who are not transgender, including Lesbians and gay men, are also protected when they do not comply with sex role norms (demands).

The FIST feminist Equality Act includes the stated purpose of strengthening “sex-based rights for women and girls,” ensures that classification by sex remains legal and explicitly protects female only spaces. FIST explicitly states that the various laws being modified should not be construed “to prohibit places of public accommodation, schools, government entities or employers or other covered programs, services, establishments and activities, from establishing or utilizing female-only facilities, programs, or services such as transportation services, multi-stall toilets, locker rooms, changing rooms, communal showers, battered women’s shelters, refuges, homeless shelters, rape crisis centers, jail cells, bedrooms in residential facilities, hospital rooms, facilities providing intimate services such as massage or intimate grooming, or other places where women are sharing private facilities or are in states of undress and/or where their privacy may be compromised and.or their safety may be at risk from male-pattern violence against females.” (p. 17, FIST feminist Equality Act) FIST likewise explicitly protects female-only programs, services and activities that advance women’s status, development and well-being, including sports programs, scholarship programs, clubs, political programs and more.


The concept of gender identity made it possible for a M2T person to claim, not just his identity as a transgender person, but the identity of a woman. If we want to go to the root of the problem (and that is what radical feminists usually strive to do), then invalidating and eliminating the concept of gender identity is our goal.


When I heard that FIST was working on a feminist version of the Equality Act, my biggest hope was that they would find a way to eliminate all protections based on gender identity. I wanted transgender people to be safe from discrimination in hiring and housing practices and so on, but I was aware that existing laws protecting gender identity often gave M2T (male to transgender) persons access to women-only and girl-only spaces, such as school locker rooms. The concept of gender identity made it possible for a M2T person to claim, not just his identity as a transgender person, but the identity of a woman. If we want to go to the root of the problem (and that is what radical feminists usually strive to do), then invalidating and eliminating the concept of gender identity is our goal. I could go on and on about gender identity because it is such a serious problem, but I’ve moved most of those thoughts into a follow up to be published here soon. I celebrate FIST’s decision to keep gender identity out of their feminist Equality Act, while still protecting transgender people from discrimination on the basis of sex stereotypes.

Grassroots Campaigning for FIST’s Feminist Equality Act

There is much of interest to radical feminists and gender critical people in the FIST feminist Equality Act and I recommend reading through it, as well as the various supporting documents, available on the FIST website. We also have materials available on the XX Amazons site. I also recommend endorsing FIST’s feminist Equality Act.

FIST has done an outstanding piece of feminist work. Now it is our turn! Get involved with FIST to find out and support their strategies for advancing their Equality Act. We can also each unleash our own creativity in starting or getting involved with grassroots campaigns on every level, small and large. Even the simple graphic I created (above) is one small step toward an Equality Act that does what we need it to. (Feminist artists! Send copies of your feminist Equality Act graphics to XX Amazons and we’ll put them on display on this web site and make them available for grassroots campaigns. FIST may well be interested as well. XX Amazons can also display copies of your letters to the editor and other campaign materials that you’d like to make available.) The Equality Act is a federal law and that means that radical feminists and gender critical allies all over the U.S. can have a common goal of promoting FIST’s feminist Equality Act and sending the Senate’s (in)Equality Act straight to the trash bin.

Resources

View or download the PDF document containing FIST’s “Proposed Model Equality Act with Feminist Amendments

View or download FIST’s PDF document “Comparison of Original Equality Act (SB 788) and Proposed Model Act Incorporating Feminist Amendments

View or download a slideshow presentation prepared by Tina Minkowitz that highlights key points about the “FIST Model Equality Act: Feminist Amendments to HR5/S788.” Available as a Powerpoint presentation or as PDF file.

Coming soon on XX Amazons! Watch for the blog on the “Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act” written by Tina Minkowitz, one of the members of the FIST legal team.

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Who Becomes Transgender and Why?

By Llora Coatrischie

male-female symbol with arrowDo you believe that men who fetishize the female body need and deserve the same types of social support as women and men who have been hurt by homophobia, harassment, and violence? As girls and women who have been harshly criticized and degraded for breeching the expectations of traditional femininity? As victims of childhood sexual abuse who have come to dissociate how they feel in their bodies? If you feel that these very distinctive experiences conjure unique social solutions, then it is vital to think critically about how very different types of people with different needs and experiences come to embrace transgenderism. It is crucial to ask how transgenderism fails to address diverse social problems. It is important to consider how the growth of transgenderism creates new harms and constraints for people who want freedom from traditional gender roles.

In an expanded article, “Understanding the Many Pathways to Transgender”, I explore some of the most documented reasons different people choose transgenderism as a solution to very different social experiences. These include a resurgence of traditional gender roles, internalized and coercive heterosexism and homophobia, a male-festishized ideation of the female body (by men who fantasize about participating in lesbian spaces), and the expanding social contexts of gender trending and lucrative big pharmaceutical interests.

Transgender individuals have become an increasingly visible and vocal class among the LGBT spectrum. But people come into transgenderism for very different and sometimes contradictory reasons. And the experiences of women who transition to male and men who transition to female are dynamically different as are the effects of these changes. Transgenderism is not a sexual minority sui generis. It has become, over time and through much effort, a widely embracing ideology, that presents a common solution to a diverse range of very different social problems. Poorly understood problems are rarely helped by radically transformative solutions that sweep differences and complexities under the rug. I invite you to consider more carefully why many different types of social experiences have led different individuals to adopt transgenderism as a solution and how this most often fails to really address the root of those social problems.

Oppressive Gender Roles

Gender dysphoria may be one form of dissociation from oppressive gender roles rigidly imposed on individuals for whom these roles rarely fit perfectly, but it is also commonly confused with other forms of dissociation and more importantly, its causes as likely deeply social, are being overlooked. Beyond the idiosyncrasies of gender role socialization, severe childhood abuse, for example, creates dissociation that can look like and manifest as gender dysphoria. One study of female to male transitioners found that 60% of the interviewees reported one or more of several types of severe child abuse. For clinicians to offer sexual body modification and not treat underlying forms of trauma could be a risky, ethical, and damaging misstep. Clinicians with long-standing experience treating gender dysphoria have also begun to rethink how many other serious psychological disorders are being lost to this quick catch-all, consumer driven diagnosis. The trans movement is encouraging these diagnoses, and individuals are walking into clinics requesting them.

Heterosexism and Homophobia

With so many young men and women who have de-transitioned recounting experiences of homophobia and repressive sex roles factoring into their decisions, the question has been raised if increasing pressures to transition should not also be considered a human rights issue: the cultural and biomedical erasure of young butch women and effeminate men. In one gender clinic in London, there has been a 4000% increase in the number of girls seeking treatment for transgenderism, with parents supporting their requests for double mastectomies.

Embodied Objectification

By far, the most visible and well-known transgender celebrities are men who have biomedically transitioned to embody what has long been stereotypically considered ‘sexy’ female bodies. They are thin and curvy with perky breasts, wear revealing form-fitting clothes and are slathered in make-up, fingernail polish and hair extensions. To celebrate these presentations as displays of idealized femininity contradicts women’s autonomy over defining what makes a woman beautiful. Feminists are deeply concerned that supporters of trans-rights have failed to call out the misogyny and toxic masculinity of some of the movement’s most visible public advocates. Furthermore, in a world with rampant rates of violence against women, sexual assault and sexual harassment, feminists find it gravely troubling that men who desire the experience of becoming a sexually appealing female do so according to misogynistic standards. We must ask the question of whether these men are contributing to and not working against rape culture.

The Market-driven Approach of Big Pharma and the Medical Industry

The pharmaceutical industry has consistently been the largest industry to lobby Congress, clearly demonstrating it‘s political agenda. Just as pundits charge that the industry and its close collusion with lawmakers is “feeding the Opioid crisis”, it is now feasible to say it is also “feeding the transgender scramble”, as a growing number of supporters argue for expanded ways of getting these drugs and surgeries to transgender patients and pharmaceutical companies donate millions of dollars to LGBT causes. Who benefits from all these high cost lobbying ventures? Investigative reporting traces the money to “exceedingly rich white men and women”.

A ‘Social Contagion’ Effect and the ‘Gender Revolution’

Finally, individuals who may have been distantly supportive of transgender surgeries, or moderately curious about the process of socially transitioning one’s body into a new gender identity, are going to be much more likely to do so the more those around them are doing so, and the more transitioning becomes visible and accepted as a way of confronting the limits of traditional gender roles. Lisa Littman’s 2018 publication in the journal Plos One, “Rapid-onset gender dysphoria in adolescents and young adults: a study of parental reports”, documents a process of social contagion among young persons who transitioned following one or several close friends’ transition. Statistics collected in the study indicated that 82.8% of the children reported on were female at birth with a median age of 16. In 36.8% of friendship groups, all members of the group transitioned.

For Those Considering Transition or How to be an Ally to Someone Considering Transition

Transitioning does not alleviate the sexism that constrains how certain forms of behaviors, preferences, interests, and tastes are associated with very stringent gender roles. To the contrary, stringent gender roles are now upheld by medically transitioning bodies to make personalities match traditional notions of man and woman and sexuality that complies with heterosexual norms. When young girls are now among those most frequently taken to gender dysphoria clinics for their inability to conform to traditional displays of femininity, it suggests transgenderism is, in part, responsible for conversion therapy and the widespread elimination of butch lesbians, what some consider a “genocide of lesbians”.

If you are considering transitioning, if everyone around you would support your personal choices in who you love, in how you choose to dress, in your preferences and tastes, would you still feel the need to transition? If you live in and around others who criticize you and pressure you to be different, how can you find safe and supportive relationships where you are loved and respected for who you are in your body and in your life? Do you really want to give full power over defining and maintaining your gender to a lifetime of medical management?

If you are wanting to be an ally to an oppressed minority, then support solutions that undo sexist gender roles, homophobia, the objectification of bodies, and the domination of the pharmaceutical industry in defining and controlling gender. Support women and girls to realize their full potential beyond traditional notions of femininity. Support all human beings to become better human beings, beyond how their accessories match their genitals.

With heartfelt thanks to Jeanne Neath for many helpful comments, insights, and suggestions.

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Trans Ideology: The Newest “Trojan Horse”!

by Paula Mariedaughter
The Trojan Horse is one of history’s most famous tricks. The Greeks were laying siege to the city of Troy, and the war had dragged on for ten years. The Greeks built a wooden horse, which they left outside the city. The Trojans believed the horse was a peace offering and dragged it inside their city. Later the Greek soldiers, hidden in the horse, killed the guards and opened the city gates to their army. The war was won with this clever trick.

Browsing at my library, I found this book, Misogyny: The New Activism by Gail Ukockis (Oxford University Press 2019). Both curious and wary I brought it home. I was wise to be wary. Much of her anaysis of sexism is quite valuable. But, reader, beware! Read her words and note her strong bias, evident when she willingly refers to gender-critical feminists as TERFS!

“Trans issues were weird to me as a child, and it took me years to develop enough knowledge and sensitivity to become a trans advocate. Hopefully, my story proves that positive change is possible. Gloria Steinem also went through a similar change of heart regarding trans women. In 1977, she had publicly attacked Renee Richards as a ‘frightening instance of what feminism could lead to’ and “living proof that feminism isn’t necessary”. She asked, ‘If the shoe doesn’t fit, must we change the foot?’ She even praised the book Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male in 1983. Today, though she is a strong advocate of trans rights. Some of my readers may be trans-exclusionary radical feminists (TERFS) who believe that trans women are not “real” women. However, I posit that it is a human rights issue for people to claim their own gender (or nongender) identity.” p.224

This is followed by three pages of glossary of “Terms and Issues” all from the trans-inclusive perspective! We know the trans ideology is ubiquitous! Young lesbians report having been involved in the queer/trans community and have put aside their own doubts and questions in the name of “inclusiveness.” Young lesbians are not encouraged to read earlier feminist writings and to then decide for themselves. (Note: Radical Feminism: A Documentary Reader, edited by Barbara A. Crow, would be a valuable place to start because it is comprised of pivotal documents written by U.S. radical feminists in the 1960s and 1970s.)

This author describes herself as an educator and a social worker. She has taught a course on Women’s Issues for over a decade and authored a textbook, Women’s Issues for a New Generation: A Social Work Perspective. Young people are continually exposed to the misogyny of instructors and texts that pretend that biological females are irrelevant in any definition of woman. She is educating with a strong anti-radical feminist bias! She dares to write a book about misogyny that will please the patriarchial institutions which published it and who will then use it to instruct young people. Let’s remember that her livelihood in academia depends on her endorsement of the trans ideology.

I see the acceptance of the trans ideology as a modern “Trojan horse”! One source explains that a “Trojan horse” is anything that looks innocent but, once accepted, has power to harm or destroy. In a similar vein, the Trojan horse effect is described as any disastrous result of an anticipated gain; or, the masking of a dangerous agent within an innocent garb.

The “innocent garb” here is the pretense of inclusiveness. Women and Lesbians who value women’s spaces and organizations and festivals are denigrated, threatened and dismissed. Our thoughts and feelings are not considered worthy of “inclusion”. Perhaps with enough “knowledge and sensitivity” (as the book author said earlier about her conversion), the woman-hating of the trans ideology will become clear and that awareness will create the next generation of trans critical feminists.

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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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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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