Hearings on Equality Act: Call Senators Now!

By Jeanne Neath

According to the Coalition for the Feminist Amendments, hearings in the Senate about the Equality Act ( H.R. 5) are happening on Wednesday this week (March 17th). The Coalition for the Feminist Amendments asks that we call members of the Judiciary committee, especially Senator Tillis (NC), and ask that the Senate allow representatives from the Coalition for the Feminist Amendments and the LGB Alliance to testify at the hearings. You can reach Senator Tillis at 202-224-6342. See my recent blog for background information about the Equality Act.

Here’s a short message I came up with for my phone call to Senator Tillis based on information the Coalition for the Feminist Amendments sent me. You are welcome to use it or modify it as you wish.

“I do NOT support H.R. 5, the Equality Act, as currently written. At the Senate Judiciary Hearing please call for representatives from the Coalition for the Feminist Amendments and the LGB Alliance to speak as witnesses, including M. Lynette Hartsell. and Dr. Callie Burt. The Equality Act must be amended and M. Lynette Hartsell and Dr. Callie Burt will provide substantial information for the Committee and Congress on the fatal flaws that exist in the current bill. The bill as it currently exists is harmful to women, to Lesbians and to gay men. I am a Lesbian myself and I oppose H.R. 5, the Equality Act, as currently written. Please make sure that this bill is amended. Thank you!”

You can find contact information for U.S. Senators at this address: https://www.senate.gov/senators/senators-contact.htm. You can email Senator Tillis at: https://www.tillis.senate.gov/email-me

Here is a letter written by M. Lynette Hartsell that the LGB Alliance is providing for anyone to modify and then send to Senator Tillis (and other members of the Judiciary Committee):

“Sen. Tillis, I am writing concerning H.R.5 pending in the Judiciary Committee set for a hearing on Wednesday. I am requesting that the Committee call by remote means the following witnesses: Dr. Callie Burt and M. Lynette Hartsell. We oppose the act as written and ask that you propose the suggested amendments. We can provide substantial information for the Committee and Congress regarding the fatal flaws within the bill. Dr. Burt is an Associate Professor at Georgia State University who has written extensively regarding the Equality Act. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/341804412_Scrutinizing_the_US_Equality_Act_2019_A_Feminist_Examination_of_Definitional_Changes_Sociolegal_Ramifications and https://callieburt.substack.com/p/the-inequality-of-the-equality-act?r=h1zw9&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web&utm_source=copy. I am a retired attorney in North Carolina and a spokesperson for LGB Alliance USA which is part of an international LGB organization. Dr. Burt and I are also part of CoFA (Coalition for Feminist Amendments). You should have received our letter regarding the Feminist Amendment to The Equality Act several months ago. https://feministstruggle.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/FeministAmendments.EqualityAct-FINAL12.14.19.pdf I’m certain that Sen. Tillis would join us in our desire to pass a well-written bill that protects the rights of all citizens. Please review the documents cited in this message and call M. Lynette Hartsell and Dr. Callie Burt as witnesses for the hearing Wednesday. Thank you for your consideration in this matter.”

Why doesn't the proposed Equality Act Protect Women and Girls?

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Stop Passage of the Flawed U.S. Equality Act: Amend!

The struggle of gender critical feminists to stop the passage of the Equality Act – and amend the Equality Act – now moves to the U.S. Senate. Last Thursday the House of Representatives passed the U.S. Equality Act with a 224-226 vote. Three Republicans voted in favor of the bill. If ever there was a time for everyone concerned with the rights and well being of women to get engaged with the U.S. political system, this is it!

I’ll explain what is at the root of the problems with the Equality Act below and provide an introduction to the Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act developed by Feminists In Struggle (FIST) . But, first, here are two actions you can take right now!

Reach Out to Let Women in Your Community Know About What’s at Stake

XX Amazons has developed a flyer that can be used for outreach to women all over the country to alert them to what is happening in Congress right now. Please print out copies of the flyer (shown below) and put these flyers up anywhere you can think of. Even during the pandemic, women everywhere are still going to grocery stores!

Why doesn't the proposed Equality Act protect women and girls?

Spread the Word on Social Media

Here’s a graphic that you can copy and use in creating a Facebook or other social media post to spread the word even further.

Why doesn't the proposed Equality Act Protect Women and Girls?

Write your Senators

The Coalition for the Feminist Amendments (CoFA) has prepared a sample letter that you can personalize and email to your Senators. View and copy the sample letter here. Calling your Senators can be especially effective. You can find your Senators’ phone numbers and other contact information using a simple look-up form.

XX Amazons is part of the Coalition for the Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act. See the information below or on FIST’s website to find out more about the Feminist Amendments.

The Crux of the Problem with the Equality Act

The crux of the problem is that the Equality Act enshrines the concept of “gender identity” into U.S. law. Males base their claim that they are women on this concept which was invented by medical professionals in the 1950s and 1960s (Jeffreys) and latched onto by the transgender movement. Using “gender identity” males are able to say they “feel like” women and, with the Equality Act, the recent executive orders issued by Joe Biden and local legislation, PRESTO, their feelings are turned into what we are supposed to believe is reality.

As Tina Minkowitz, one of the authors of the Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act, has explained, with the Equality Act our legal existence as women is at stake! Here’s how this works. The Senate bill explicitly defines sex to include gender identity, saying that each of three factors – sex, sexual orientation, gender identity – is a form of sex discrimination. Here is where women are erased! Gender identity is made synonymous with sex. Discrimination on the basis of gender identity is considered to be sex discrimination.

Thus, the Equality Act makes it illegal to deny males who say they are women access to what have always been female only facilities. 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.”

Giving any male who wants to the right to claim to be a woman has far reaching circumstances that goes far beyond his entry into female spaces, as is documented throughout the XX Amazons website.

Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act

FIST’s Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act protects women, LGB, and transgender people by cleverly creating two new protected classes – sexual orientation and sex stereotypes – while leaving existing protections for sex in place. Each of the three classes are given clear and uncomplicated protection. The Feminist Amendments eliminate all mention of gender identity, providing protection to transgender people 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 Feminist Amendments explicitly protects female only spaces from intrusion by males claiming to be women including “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, Feminist Amendments Equality Act) Sports programs, scholarship programs, clubs, political programs are likewise protected.

For more information on the Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act, please see:
https://xxamazons.org/feminist-amendments-equality-act/

https://feministstruggle.org/2019/10/19/feminists-in-struggle-fist-launches-campaign-for-feminist-amendments-to-the-equality-act/

Time is Short – Act Now!

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“All Beginnings are Dark! Womb Dark!

Our ancient sacred symbols surround us every day…

“… the Old European sacred images and symbols were never totally uprooted; these most persistent features in human history were too deeply implanted in the human psyche. They could have disappeared only with the total extermination of the female population.” This assertion is from Marija Gimbutas in her book The Language of the Goddess.1

Our ancient sacred symbols surround us every day…
All beginnings are dark! Womb dark. Life begins in a woman’s body. “For just as the child is conceived in the womb and there takes shape, so time begins in darkness, when the leaf gives up the ghost and the seed dreams in the ground and each night is longer than the last. All beginnings are dark. The world was without form and void and darkness brooded over the deep.”2

I now believe my own deep, dark motherline extends back thousands of years into the extensive cultures of Old Europe and Old Anatolia. My roots on the North American continent are relatively shallow. My female ancestors lived on the group of islands now known as the British Isles. My bloodline, as is your bloodline, is ancient.

Some women, like me, have been disconnected from our ancestral roots. We are seeking a spiritual tradition and lineage directly connected to our ancestral birth line. I have reason to believe that my own bloodline reaches back to this world described by archeologist and anthropologist Marija Gimbutas.

“The woman’s body was regarded as parthenogenetic, that is creating life out of itself. This ability was celebrated in religion. In Neolithic times and earlier in the Upper Paleolithic, religion centered on the feminine power, as shown by the abundance of female symbolism. Just as the female body was regarded as the goddess creatress, so too the world was regarded as the body of the goddess, constantly creating new life from itself. The imagery of Neolithic art is overwhelmingly feminine: the female body, and particularly the generative parts–vulva, uterus, or womb—are predominant. These symbols appear not only on figurines or larger sculptures of goddesses, but also on vases, cult equipment, and in tomb and temple architecture.

The goddess is nature and earth itself, pulsating with the seasons, bringing life in spring and death in winter. She represents continuity of life as a perpetual regenerator, protectress, and nourisher.”3

Our lives are guided by the symbols we hold dear whether we acknowledge this fact or not. As Z Budapest, witch, tarot card reader, hereditary priestess, and one of my early teachers declared, “Religion controls inner space; inner space controls outer space.” Patriarchal religion and the other patriarchal institutions seek control of all the symbols we build our lives around from designer labels to business logos, from academic credentials to sports team loyalties.

Please consider the possibility of reclaiming the term religion from the patriarchal versions we know all too well! Margot Adler reminds us in her 1979 book Drawing Down the Moon, the root of the word religion “means ‘to relink’ and ‘to connect’, and therefore refers to any philosophy that makes deep connections between human beings and the universe.”4

Claiming the ancient goddess religion as my own
As a consequence of my deep engagement with the women’s liberation movement, which I embraced in the early 1970s, I became a woman seeking an authentic spiritual tradition connected to my own ancestral birth line. How to start such an enormous undertaking? One inspiration came during the 1978 keynote address by Carol Christ at the Great Goddess Re-emerging Conference, Santa Cruz, CA. This astute observation from Carol struck me, “Symbol systems cannot simply be rejected; they must be replaced. Where there is no replacement, the mind will revert to familiar structures at times of crisis, defeat or bafflement.”

I’d already begun my own self-education learning to love women and to reclaim the history of women’s resistance erased by the institutions of patriarchy. The clarity of these directions and the warning that our minds “will revert to familiar structures at times of crisis, defeat or bafflement” has echoed in my consciousness for decades!

I find it interesting how our intuitive selves are drawn to symbols before our “knowing” mind catches up. When I look around my decorated house today I see multiple depictions of reindeer, both large and small. In late December, I happened upon Judith Shaw’s article about the reindeer goddess of Northern Europe where my paternal line originated in Denmark. Shaw wrote, “The Reindeer was a sacred animal to our ancient ancestors of Northern Europe. The doe was seen as the giver of light and life. Their horns were associated with the tree of life and often times they were depicted carrying the sun, the giver of life, in their horns.”5

One of my favorite parts of the article: “Reindeer are the only members of the deer family whose females have horns and are stronger and larger than the males. The males shed their antlers in winter, leaving it to the Deer Mother to fly through the long, dark night of Winter Solstice. The Reindeer was a sacred animal to our ancient ancestors of Northern Europe.”6 Please visit here for more discussion.

We are now a week past the winter solstice. That longest night of the year births the short days of midwinter (at least in the northern hemisphere). Life begins in the dark interior of a woman’s body. The vulva, our external genitalia, is seen “as the concentrated life-producing part of the Goddess in her birth-giving functions”. This symbol of the Mother Goddess is encountered by archaeologists on rocks around the globe including an engraving on a one-and-a-half ton limestone rock at Abri Castanent, a collapsed rock shelter in France dating to about 37,000 years ago (reported in Archeology Magazine January, 2013).

Respect for women and respect for the earth cannot be separated. Vulva, uterus, womb are the essential source of human life. Pornographic representations of women and our genitalia deny this basic reality. Disregard for our interconnections, the web of life on planet earth, is yet another pornographic lie.

Other women, and people living in other cultures, especially native cultures and indigenous cultures, have not been disconnected from their ancestral roots and ancient homelands allowing them to claim their spiritual traditions and their understandings about the central place of women in “the processes and patterns of continuous creation”. I value and respect the knowledge these indigenous women are willing to share. I can glimpse my own past in their present. Katsi Cook shares her vision as a midwife.7

“In my vision as a Mohawk midwife, reproductive justice and environmental justice intersect at the nexus of women’s blood and voice; at the very centrality of woman’s role in the processes and patterns of continuous creation. Of the sacred things that there are to be said about this, woman is the first environment; she is an original instruction. In pregnancy, our bodies sustain life. Our unborn see through our eyes and hear through our ears. Everything the mother feels, the baby feels, too. At the breast of women, the generations are nourished. From the bodies of women flow the relationships of those generations, both to society and to the natural world. In this way our ancestors said, the earth is our mother. In this way, we as women are the earth.”7

“…we as women are the earth.” Those ancient cave drawings found in different areas of old Europe and Old Anatolia and around the world appear to be expressing the same understanding. A community of women and their clan gathered to press their hands along the rocks of mother earth. This simple, yet complex, understanding existed in our ancient ancestors who learned to honor and cooperate with mother earth. ‘Woman is earth’ is deeply implanted in the human psyche both yours and mine.

Notes
1 The Language of the Goddess: The World of Old Europe 1989 p.318
2 The Return of the Goddess: A Divine Comedy, a novel by Elizabeth Cunningham, 1992 p.19
3 The Living Goddesses, Maria Gimbutas 1999 p.112-113
4 Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today, Beacon Press 1979 p. 12
5 https://feminismandreligion.com/2016/12/18/the-reindeer-goddess-by-judith-shaw/
6 https://feminismandreligion.com/2016/12/18/the-reindeer-goddess-by-judith-shaw/
7 Quote from Katsi Cook “Powerful Like a River: Reweaving the Web of Our Lives in Defense of Environmental and Reproductive Justice” essay in Original Instructions: Indigenous Teachings for a Sustainable Future, 2008 ed Melissa K. Nelson p.155-156
8 https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/ancient-women-artists-may-be-responsible-for-most-cave-art-1094929/

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The Transgender Movement: Unfit for an Ecological Future

By Jeanne Neath

When non-essential surgeries including ‘gender reassignment surgery’ became difficult to obtain during the COVID-19 pandemic, many ‘transgender’ people became distressed. As NBC News reported, 31 year old Katalina Murrie, a Canadian ‘transgender’ male, had scheduled a facial feminization procedure “to soften one’s facial features and bone structure” with a surgeon in Guadalajara, Mexico for March 27th 2020. Even pre-COVID-19, the Canadian health system considered this cosmetic surgery non-essential and would not pay for it. With the pandemic, international travel no longer felt like an option to Murrie. Distraught at having to miss his surgery, Murrie told NBC News:

“What if all the borders closed around the world and I am stuck in a foreign country?” Murrie recalled asking herself. “My face would be covered in stitches. I’d have to travel through popular airports where there have been confirmed reports of staff members with COVID-19. My dream surgery all of a sudden became very stressful.” (NBC News, “Trans surgeries postponed indefinitely amid coronavirus pandemic“)

Murrie considered the facial feminization procedure anything but “non-essential” and groused about his situation, saying “I’m not gonna last to my 40s if I don’t have this surgery.”

facial feminization in Guadalajara Mexico

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced hospitals facing an overload of patients and procedures to prioritize what kinds of care they will provide. Cosmetic surgeries done on the healthy bodies of ‘transgender’ people became clearly inappropriate, impossible to perform in the face of an overload of sick and dying patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic, a result of human-caused ecological disturbances, is providing a preview into an unfolding ecological society. With the overconsumption in the global North the Earth is being pushed to her limits and she is forcing society onto a budget. As a result, ‘gender reassignment’ medical treatments, including surgeries, puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones are likely to become socially unacceptable, even impossible for society to provide as we shift into ecological sanity. Neither the Earth nor society can afford for queer ideology and the Internet driven transgender fad to continue pushing so many young people into a life of medical complications and dependency on medical services.

Insatiable Desires

When Katalina Murrie told NBC News “I’m not gonna last to my 40s if I don’t have this surgery”, he provided a clue to the mental state of many in the transgender movement. ‘Transgender’ people have placed themselves in the very unsettling situation of building a movement and individual identities based in a lie and a theft. The lie, of course, is that sex can be changed. The theft takes place when ‘transgender’ males assume the identity of an oppressed group – women. Since ‘transgender’ people cannot change their sex, all the surgeries and hormones in the world will never give them what they want, will never allow them to feel satisfied with their bodies or secure in their identities.

The impossible goals and insatiable desires of ‘transgender’ people remind me of Robin Wall Kimmerer’s discussion of the Windigo in her book, Braiding Sweetgrass.[1] A member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Kimmerer explains that the Windigo is the “legendary monster” of the Anishinaabe people of the north woods of North America, a human being whose inability to cope with winter’s starvation time drives them into cannibalism. In Kimmerer’s word:

“It is said that the Windigo will never enter the spirit world but will suffer the eternal pain of need, its essence a hunger that will never be sated. The more a Windigo eats, the more ravenous it becomes… its mind a torture of unmet wants.”[2]

Mimi and Eunice cartoon

Of course, the vast majority of ‘transgender’ people are in no way monsters or legendary, but Kimmerer’s description of the “mind a torture of unmet wants” seems to fit. Kimmerer uses the story of the Windigo as a powerful means of critiquing the unrestrained consumption of so many in the dominant society and their complicity in the destruction of the natural world.

“The fear for me is far greater than just acknowledging the Windigo within. The fear for me is that the world has been turned inside out, the dark side made to seem light. Indulgent self-interest that our people once held to be monstrous is now celebrated as success. We are asked to admire what our people viewed as unforgiveable. The consumption-driven mind-set masquerades as ‘quality of life’ but eats us from within. It is as if we’ve been invited to a feast, but the table is laid with food that nourishes only emptiness, the black hole of the stomach that never fills. We have unleashed a monster.”[3]

Insatiable desire “eats us from within” and leads to a person who can’t stop taking, attempting somehow to sate the desire. Like the rest of consumer society, ‘transgender’ people, who want to be what they can never be, indulge in a frenzy of taking – usurping women’s identity, pirating women’s and Lesbian spaces, snatching symbols from Lesbian-feminist culture, insisting on medical services for non-essential needs, taking Earth’s “resources” used in providing those non-essential medical services.


Like the rest of consumer society, ‘transgender’ people, who want to be what they can never be, indulge in a frenzy of taking – usurping women’s identity, pirating women’s and Lesbian spaces, snatching symbols from Lesbian-feminist culture, insisting on medical services for non-essential needs, taking Earth’s “resources” used in providing those non-essential medical services.


What creates the insatiable desire that leads to all this taking? For ‘transgender’ people, an obvious cause is a patriarchal society that forces girls and boys, women and men into suffocating sex roles. In a society that tears apart and builds over nature, society’s sex roles can seem more real, more fixed than nature. Rather than work to change society’s deadly sex role prescriptions, most ‘transgender’ people have elected to deny and reject their own sexed bodies.

Our bodies, of course, are part of the natural world – part of our internal nature [4] – as are our minds, our emotions, our selves. Denial and rejection of the physical realities of one’s body is a sign of a deep and dangerous alienation from nature. The dominant society routinely creates people who are alienated from both internal and external nature and this alienation is another root of the transgender phenomenon.

So-called sex reassignment clinics in Thailand

Western Civilization Creates the Alienated Self

What creates an alienated self? It is not just transgender people who are alienated from their bodies and from nature. The alienated self appeared in Western civilization at least as early as Homer’s era in ancient Greece when “a dominant warlike race established themselves over the mass of vanquished natives.” [5] To understand the creation of the alienated self, I want to turn to Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno’s 1945 book, Dialectic of Enlightenment. These two philosophers can be difficult to read, so Carolyn Merchant can serve as our interpreter in this section. Here’s Merchant on the central character in Homer’s The Odyssey:

“Odysseus represents the struggle to overcome the imitation of nature and immersion in the pleasures of animal life and tribal society. Through the emergence of his own identity as an individual self, he is able to break the hold of the mythic past and control his animal instincts, his men, his wife, and other women. He becomes alienated from his own emotions, bodily pleasures, other human beings and nature itself.”[6]

Where people in more peaceful societies experienced themselves as part of nature, imitated nature, and experienced nature as sacred, Merchant explained that “In the ancient world the emergence of a sense of self as distinct from the external natural world entailed a denial of internal nature in the human being.”[7]

The alienation of self increased dramatically during the European Age of Enlightenment in the 17th and 18th centuries. At this time the elevation of mind, reason, prediction and control resulted in the “disenchantment of the world”[8] (and increasing domination of nature and humans with the expansion of patriarchy, colonialism and capitalism). The deeply felt perception that nature (and women) are sacred was further lost in the West.

Today most people living in cities rarely think of nature as the provider of all the physical materials they need to live – materials for shelter, water, energy, food, medicine. Many don’t know much about the natural world and don’t feel a spiritual connection to nature. Many live “in their heads” and feel deeply dissatisfied with their bodies.

‘Transgender’ people are not that different. But, they do take alienation to an extreme when they deny the physical reality of their sexed bodies. The alienation escalates even more when they take action against their own bodies by undergoing ‘gender reassignment’ treatments. This desecration of ‘internal nature’ leads to the desecration of external nature. As Merchant explained, “The disenchantment of external nature was achieved by despiritualizing a human being’s internal nature.”[9]

Pigs Can Fly? Growth is Green?

Pigs Can Fly? Growth is Green? Males Claim To Be Women? Technology Saves All?

The only strand of the environmental movement compatible with a trans-ideology that pushes ‘gender reassignment’ and medicalization is “ecomodernism” or, more broadly, “green growth.” Environmentalists subscribing to “green growth” philosophies are, like many ‘transgender’ people, stuck in fantasies about an impossible future where technology saves the day and overcomes biological, ecological and even thermodynamic limits. Both “green growth” and transgender ideologies are based in the anti-ecological and old-fashioned Enlightenment perspective that underlies “modernity” and the myth of progress.

Ecomodernists want the living standards of industrialized societies to continue rising and for high consumption lifestyles to spread into the global South. They believe, contrary to all evidence, that economic growth can be “decoupled” from environmental damage. What magic will they use to accomplish the impossible? New and improved technology, of course, with some population reduction and efficiency improvements tossed into the mix. All this “progress” would require an increase in energy production that could only be powered by nuclear energy. The authors of “An Ecomodernist Manifesto” explain:

“Transitioning to a world powered by zero-carbon energy sources require energy technologies that are power dense and capable of scaling to many tens of terawatts to power a growing human economy. Most forms of renewable energy are, unfortunately, incapable of doing so.… Nuclear fission today represents the only present-day zero-carbon technology with the demonstrated ability to meet most, if not all, of the energy demands of a modern economy….In the long run, next-generation solar, advanced nuclear fission, and nuclear fusion represent the most plausible pathways toward the joint goals of climate stabilization and radical decoupling of humans from nature.”[10]

Nuclear energy is a dangerous technological choice to hang your hat on. At least the surgeries and drugs that many transgender people depend on do not have the power to irradiate the Earth. These technologies can never be the “cure-all” that ecomodernists and transgenderists desire. They just avoid dealing with the real problems which are social.

Ecomodernism debunked

Most modern technology has grown out of systems of thought belonging to a patriarchal, colonialist, and capitalist system. These technologies must always be questioned. The transgender project is a crude early step on the techno-utopian[11] path that wants to create humans who are essentially different from the species nature created many millenia ago. For example, researchers are now using CRISPR technology for germline genetic engineering to create superhumans. Researchers studying artificial intelligence may soon have machines that are smarter than humans. All these technologies, including the ones used for ‘gender reassignment,’ would be carefully controlled or outlawed if this society were not based in domination and profiteering.

Ancient Connections

The ecologically unsound transgender project will not withstand the force of nature’s revolt. Already more and more girls and women who ‘transitioned’ are in revolt against the squelching of their female nature. They are detransitioning, re-identifying as female. Nature’s revolt is forcing a paradigm shift on the dominant society and the coming ecological society will not be able to afford the non-essential surgeries, unnecessary medical dependencies, insatiable desires and thefts from women, alienation from nature and use of questionable technologies for questionable purposes. An ecological society will have to be based in hard reality and this will not leave room for fantasies of becoming a different sex.

The way “forward” in these volatile times will include a spiraling “back” toward our species’ ancient connections with Earth and with our own nature. It isn’t hard to start forming these connections. Take a walk and let your feet feel the Earth with every slow step you take.[12] Find out how to use the different species of lichen and mosses to determine direction.[13] Learn what is going on outside your house by becoming familiar with what the birds are telling you. Then listen to the bird’s language every chance you get.[14] The changing Earth and the changing times are unsettling. But this part can be an adventure!

Carolina wren

*****

Footnotes

1. Please note that I am the one making the link between ‘transgender’ people and the Windigo. Robin Wall Kimmerer does not discuss this.
2. p. 305, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants.
3. p. 308, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants.
4. As humans we are, of course, influenced by both our biology and our society in much of what we do and experience. I am using the concept of ‘internal nature’ here to include human biology, but also other aspects of our internal being. In a broad sense human society in all its many forms is part of nature. So-called ‘gender identity’ is a socially created self-perception derived from deep internalization of male or female sex roles and the belief that those socially-created sex roles are fixed, even biological. ‘Gender identity seems to be based in a self-evaluation of how well one’s physical characteristics, preferences and predispositions fit with male vs female sex roles and stereotypes of what male vs. female bodies look like. There is no fixed, essential, biological gender identity as the transgender movement claims. Take away sex roles and sex stereotypes and “poof”, ‘gender identity vanishes too.
5. p. 48, “The Concept of Enlightenment” by Max Horkheimer and theodor Adorno. In Ecology: Key Concepts in Critical Theory edited by Carolyn Merchant
6. p. 3-4, Carolyn Merchant, Introduction to Ecology: Key Concepts in Critical Theory
7. p. 3, Carolyn Merchant, Introduction to Ecology: Key Concepts in Critical Theory
8. p. 44, “The Concept of Enlightenment” by Max Horkheimer and theodor Adorno. In Ecology: Key Concepts in Critical Theory edited by Carolyn Merchant
9. p. 4, Carolyn Merchant, Introduction to Ecology: Key Concepts in Critical Theory
10. An Ecomodernist Manifesto, https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5515d9f9e4b04d5c3198b7bb/t/552d37bbe4b07a7dd69fcdbb/1429026747046/An+Ecomodernist+Manifesto.pdf
11. See Part Three, beginning on page 133 in Bill McKibben’s book Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out for a discussion of chilling technologies under development that will change what it means to be human – unless they are stopped.
12. See Tom Brown’s Field Guide to Nature Observation and Tracking
13. See The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs: Use Outdoor Clues to Find Your Way, Predict the Weather, Locate Water, Track Animals―and Other Forgotten Skills by Tristan Gooley
14. See What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World by Jon Young

American robin

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Coalition for the Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act Kicks Off its Campaign with a Successful Zoom event!

The newly formed Coalition for the Feminist Amendments (“CoFA”), consisting of FIST, the LGB Alliance USA, XX Amazons, the Georgia Green Party and others, kicked off its campaign at a zoom forum on November 14, 2020 attended by over 150 people. The four speakers, Ann Menasche (FIST member and co-author of the FAEA, Tina Minkowitz (FAEA co-author), Callie Burt (Associate professor, Georgia State University), and M. Lynette Hartsell (LGB Alliance USA), gave an in depth analysis of the Feminist Amendments and made a compelling case for joining this effort. The presentations were followed by questions and comments by attendees. After the official program ended, 20 or more attendees were so inspired that they stayed on for another hour and a half and continued the discussion of issues surrounding the struggle to preserve women’s sex based rights.

CoFA’s first action after the forum was to send through U.S. mail to each member of the Senate requesting that they consider the Feminist Amendments and provide us with an opportunity to testify for these amendments. The letter is below. CoFA welcomes more volunteers as this campaign has just begun. CoFA needs feminists and our allies to call their Senators and Congress members and build our base of supporters. If you have not yet endorsed the Feminists Amendments, please sign onto the endorsement page on FIST’s website. And spread the word!

If interested in getting involved in CoFA, please email info@sexbasedrights.org.

Coalition for Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act
*****

Letter to the U.S. Senate

November 16, 2020

To members of the U.S. Senate,

The late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg devoted her life to fighting for legal protections on the basis of biological sex. Congress should honor that legacy, and the legacy of so many other women who’ve fought to secure our rights, but most importantly, Congress has a duty to uphold our most basic human rights protections. The current version of the Equality Act (HR 5), now pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee, will risk erasing sex as a protected class in law, weakening protections and undermining the existing rights of females as a unique class, and the progress that’s been made toward achieving equality.

The Coalition for Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act (“CoFA”) is a national alliance of feminist and LGB organizations and individuals. We write to urge hearings on our proposal to amend the Equality Act (to receive testimony on its many problematic provisions), and to provide vital input on how those issues may be fixed. The Feminist Amendments expands civil rights laws to cover lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender, and other individuals who don’t conform to gender stereotypes (roles traditionally imposed based on one’s sex), while continuing to uphold sex-based protections. In doing so, everyone’s rights are protected.

We support many of the positive provisions put forth by the Equality Act. Federal statutory protections for lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals based on sexual orientation are long overdue. We applaud the closure of the loophole that allows the use of religious freedom as legal grounds to allow any person to flout civil rights laws.

At the same time, the Equality Act’s attempt to protect transgender individuals from discrimination — through the creation of “gender identity” as a protected class — creates ambiguity, confusion, and a conflict of rights that must be addressed. The term “gender identity” is subjective, in that it describes a state of mind that may or may not be manifested in dress, grooming, or behavior. This subjectivity opens a loophole ripe for abuse. As it’s used in HR-5, the term provides no objective test useful to a court, which will ultimately litigate the conflicts sure to arise from this legislation. Failure to address these conflicts will threaten long-settled statutory and case law developed to protect the rights of females as a distinctive class.

More importantly, “gender” or “gender identity” is conflated with “sex” throughout the bill, and risks eliminating sex as a protected class in civil rights law. Merging two distinct groups — who have different sets of experiences, discrimination and marginalization — is detrimental to preserving human rights protections currently afforded to females as a uniquely subjugated class.

Female only facilities are an important legacy of women’s organizing, key to the protection of the female sex against male-pattern violence and to the broader participation of women in public life. It’s vital that these basic human rights provisions remain in place.

Male-pattern violence against females is so well-documented that Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act in an attempt to protect them from sexual and physical assault. However, such predatory violence remains pervasive as demonstrated by the “Me Too” movement and numerous well-documented instances of such violations by males in the entertainment business, the military, and even Congress. A Swedish study showed that this pattern of behavior is not mitigated by male-to-female sex reassignment surgery.

Moreover, the current bill’s “gender identity” provisions require that males who identify as women, including those with intact male genitalia (85-90% of males who identify as women retain male genitalia), must be admitted, solely on the basis of “self-identification,” into female facilities, such as, rape crisis centers, battered women’s shelters, homeless shelters, prisons, hospital rooms, communal showers, changing rooms, restrooms, and nursing homes.

Social scientists and international policy bodies have underscored the importance of maintaining separate statistics based on sex, as a key means of tracking disparities between the sexes, recording accurate data, and measuring our progress on addressing sex-based discrimination. In addition, there are multiple instances, such as within the context of health care, where having accurate information about a person’s sex, is vital, even life-saving.

By eliminating sex as a protected class, the bill, as currently written, would:

  • Undermine targeted remedies for the exclusion or under-representation of women and girls in education, and in jobs and professions traditionally held by men
  • Eradicate competitive women’s sports by undermining Title IX protections
  • Make it impossible to measure (and remedy) disparity between the sexes, such as the pay gap and domestic violence
  • Prevent the gathering of accurate crime and health statistics

See attached fact sheets for more information on the impact of erasing sex as a protected class in civil rights law, by allowing the concept of “gender” or “gender identity” to override “sex.”

The Feminist Amendments eliminate “gender identity” and instead establish two new categories in civil rights law: “sexual orientation” and “sex-stereotyping.” Doing so more effectively protects all classes, while not negating sex-based protections.

These amendments contain clear definitions of “sex” and “sex-stereotyping,” that will preserve female facilities and programs, allowing women and girls to participate fully in public life. (See attached.)

At the same time, the Feminist Amendments protect lesbians, gay men, bisexuals (and all people who don’t conform to imposed gender roles and stereotypes), including transgender people, from discrimination in employment, housing, credit, and in places of public accommodation.

These amendments also allow for the establishment of “gender neutral” facilities for individuals who may feel safer or more comfortable in such spaces, so long as the availability and access to female only facilities is not diminished. Thus, these amendments allow each protected class to continue to make progress toward achieving true equality.

One hundred years after women’s suffrage, women still get paid less, are denied equal opportunities in the workplace, and continue to be underrepresented in many fields and positions of economic and political leadership in our society, because of their sex. Females still suffer disproportionately from domestic violence and rape because of their sex. Discrimination on the basis of sex will not end if we eliminate sex as a stand-alone protected class.

No Senate action should be taken on the Equality Act without hearings to gather evidence on the conflicts outlined in this letter. We offer the Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act as our contribution to this much needed work.

We and members of our constituent organizations are prepared to sit down with you and members of your staff to discuss our concerns and appropriate strategies we might collaborate on to secure the hearing anticipated in the previous paragraph.

It is our fervent wish that you honor the legacy of our most revered jurist RBG by adopting the Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act to continue her fight to protect women and girls on the basis of sex.

Sincerely,

Ann Menasche

Feminists in Struggle

M. Lynette Hartsell

LGB Alliance USA

Co-Chairs, CoFA

This entry was posted in Feminist Resistance and tagged , on by .

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Green Party National Women’s Caucus Bans Feminists from Discussion

Two women were banned from the NWC Listserv for attempting to discuss women’s sex-based rights

By Kerri Bruss

Feminists in the United States are increasingly finding themselves politically homeless. Of the two major political parties, one has made clear its intent to enshrine “gender identity” into federal civil rights law via the so-called Equality Act which as written, would completely negate the existing sex-based rights of women, while the other stands in opposition to the Act, though for what many consider to be the wrong reasons.

This dichotomy has led some left-leaning women to seek refuge in alternative parties such as the Green Party (GPUS) which, in addition to its commitments to grassroots democracy, social justice, ecology, and peace, also includes “feminism” among its 10 Key Values.

Jerri and Thistle protest at DNC

Yet for those of us who assert that a woman is an adult human female, and hold that women are oppressed based on their sex and reproductive capacity (as opposed to whatever sex-based stereotypes they do or do not adhere to) the GPUS has not been particularly welcoming. I would go so far as to say that we Greens with gender critical views, and even those who take no position in this debate but call for dialogue not expulsion as a preferred means of resolving political disputes, have been met with outright hostility in most GPUS spaces.

In mid-September of this year, I and Thistle Pettersen, feminists and Wisconsin Green Party members in good standing, joined the GPUS National Women’s Caucus (NWC) intending to generate support for the Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights, a document which reaffirms commitment to international standards on the rights of women and girls. On September 24, we each responded to a post contributed to the Work List of the NWC which advocated that the NWC host a workshop or panel discussion on what was termed “gender 101.” The workshop would in essence be further indoctrination into “gender identity” ideology, which is in direct contradiction to GPUS’ key value of feminism.

One caucus member diplomatically responded that perhaps a more open discussion that included all points of view on this topic might be more beneficial to the NWC and the Party as a whole. Thistle concurred and asked if caucus members were “familiar with the efforts of WoLF, FIST, and the WHRC USA to protect gender nonconformity while also protecting women’s sex-based rights.” I joined my sisters in their commentary and stated that, “I would very much like to see an open discussion ensue re: the sex-based rights of women and girls and how they are being negatively impacted in the current political climate.”


“I would very much like to see an open discussion ensue re: the sex-based rights of women and girls and how they are being negatively impacted in the current political climate.”


Considering we were contributing to the listserv of the NWC, we assumed that the perspectives of all female caucus members would be valued. We assumed that the NWC’s alleged “respect for diversity” also included respect and tolerance for diverse opinions, particularly in a political party that claims feminism as one of its 10 Key Values, and most importantly in an identity caucus that exists to engage women on issues of personal and political import to them as an oppressed sex class.

We apparently assumed wrong. Co-chair of the Women’s Caucus, Ann Link, immediately asserted that the mere mention of any organization that advocates for the sex-based rights of women “goes against” the Green Party platform plank which states:

“The Green Party affirms the right of all persons to self-determination with regard to gender identity and sex.”

It appears that Link’s stance is that because this particular platform plank exists, and because the NWC has issued a statement “affirming” this principle, (despite the fact that conflicting platform planks also exist that clearly support the rights of women, as well as the fact that the platform is a living document that changes over time), no party or caucus member is allowed to express an alternative point of view without being met with harassment, disparagement, doxxing, threats of violence—or other foul, well- documented, maneuvers intended to silence dissent—and eventual banishment from Green Party spaces, including the National Women’s Caucus.

Our suspicions were confirmed on October 11, when we received notice that Thistle and I had been, “removed from the National Women’s Caucus email list for violating caucus bylaw III.2 – respect for diversity and respect for NWC members.” The email further stated:

“This is because of a series of posts you sent initiating discussion on the Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights and similar content, which denies that people should have the right of self-determination with regard to gender identity and sex. This right is supported by our platform and a statement approved by our caucus. These posts have created a threatening environment in our caucus, which should be a safe and supportive place for all our members.”

To be clear, what did not make for a “safe and supportive place” was simply “initiating discussion” on women’s sex-based rights. This is despite the fact that recent poll results show that an overwhelming majority of registered third-party voters support measures that the Declaration calls for, such as protecting women’s single-sex sports, prisons, and shelters.

Women burned at stake for saying men can't play women's sportsWe were also told that unless we recant our alleged heresy and promise to sin no more, we will not be reinstated to the listserv and would be officially removed from caucus membership—metaphorically burned at the stake. How this provides a “safe and supportive place” for women, lesbians, and those who don’t conform to sex-based stereotypes within the Green Party is unclear.

On October 27, Thistle and I published this open letter in response to our expulsion from the Women’s Caucus Work List. We find the co-chair’s stated position with regard to this matter to be invalid and we request that our full participation in the Work List for the National Women’s Caucus and hence our full participation in the business of this caucus be reinstated without delay and without conditions.

We maintain that defending the sex-based rights of women is not hate and that biology is not bigotry. We further maintain that “respect for diversity” also includes respect and tolerance for diverse opinions, particularly in a party that claims feminism as one of its 10 Key Values, and most importantly in an identity caucus that exists to engage women on issues of personal and political import to them as an oppressed sex class.

We join hundreds of other public signatories calling for “Dialogue Not Expulsion” in response to the silencing of feminist voices within the Green Party of the United States. Their statement reads:

“We ask that all member state parties, caucuses, candidates, and locals of the party take a step back from any suggestion that state organizations or their members be decertified, sanctioned, or silenced for positions they have adopted, or for concerns which they may have expressed on these important issues. We value decentralization, grassroots democracy, and a united Green Party—which will be especially important in this difficult election year. The political principles that unite us remain far more important than the questions where we clash, significant as those questions might be.”

If you are a member, volunteer, contributor or supporter of the GPUS, you can sign the Dialogue Not Expulsion statement (or sign the statement and also join the caucus) to show your support for allowing dialogue on issues affecting women here.

Green Party National Women’s Caucus Bans Feminists from Discussion first appeared on 4W.
It is republished here with permission.

Thistle, Kerri and Freind at DNC

This entry was posted in Current Assaults on Women and tagged , , on by .

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Women’s Revolution! Ending the Crisis of Patriarchal Civilization

By Jeanne Neath

“My friends, do we realize for what purpose we are convened? Do we fully understand that we aim at nothing less than an entire subversion of the present order of society, a dissolution of the whole existing social compact.”
(Elizabeth Oakes Smith, September 8 1852, 3rd National Women’s Rights Convention)

Elizabeth Oakes SmithMillions of women have worked over centuries for the “subversion of the present order of society, a dissolution of the whole existing social compact.” We have wrought vast changes to women’s situation in many parts of the world. Yet now the decades long right wing driven backlash has been joined by runaway misogyny on the Internet and in the real world, as well as “transgender” males trying to take on and take over the identity of “woman.” Transactivists want to define real women out of existence and make it impossible for women to meet in public in groups that exclude males. With the misogynist support of many of the Left, transactivists are fighting to end the revolution of women. Women now face backlash from the right and Left!

How unsurprising that women and the movement for Women’s Liberation should be under such strong assault right at the moment in time when the fate of an entire civilization is twisting in the wind. You know the list of evils that have shaped the world we are living in – from patriarchy and capitalism, to racism and colonialism and on and on. The immediate repercussions for us are growing at exponential speed – from police assaults in Black communities, to the COVID-19 pandemic, to pipeline and other land grabs on indigenous and public lands, to anti-immigration atrocities, to the loss of jobs and homes in a nosediving economy, to climate chaos bringing us record-setting wildfires, floods, and more.


How unsurprising that women and the movement for Women’s Liberation should be under such strong assault right at the moment in time when the fate of an entire civilization is twisting in the wind.


Perhaps the men (mostly white) in power could have continued their exploitation of other humans indefinitely, but their exploitation of the Earth has irrevocable consequences. This civilization faces an ultimatum from the Earth and will either undergo a paradigm shift and end its practices of domination and exploitation or crumble under the pressures of climate chaos and other ecological failures.

Eco-Disaster! Scientists Call for Society’s Basic Structures to Change

Wickedary by Mary DalyAfter reading a recent report about the global state of the natural world, the word “necrophilia” began to haunt me. Defined by Mary Daly as the “hatred for and envy of Life,” Daly considered necrophilia to be the “most fundamental characteristic of patriarchy.” (Wickedary, p. 83 or online) The report, the “Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Summary for Policymakers,” was released in 2019 by IPBES, a U.N. international panel of 150 experts who, with the help of another 350 scientists, reviewed 15,000 publications on the state of nature. (IPBES stands for the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.)

A kind of scientific horror story, the report details the destruction of Life. We learn, for example, that globally, “natural ecosystems have declined by 47 per cent on average, relative to their earliest estimated states” and “the global biomass of wild mammals has fallen by 82 per cent.” (p. 25) If patriarchal hatred and envy of life is not at play, it is certainly difficult to understand how we have come to create this Sixth Extinction of life on earth.

Climate change is the ecological disaster we hear the most about, but IPBES found that the two “direct drivers of change in nature with the largest global impact” were humans 1) taking over land and sea (through agriculture, building infrastructure and expanding urban areas) and 2) direct exploitation of “animals, plants and other organisms, mainly via harvesting, logging, hunting and fishing.” (p. 12) The climate crisis was the third ranked destroyer of nature, though its impacts will inevitably increase. (See cropped Figure SPM 2 below, from the IPBES report.)

IPBES Figure SPM 2, partial

What surprised me most was that these 150 experts recognized that the only way out of this ecological crisis is “transformative” and “structural” change to the economy and society: “Goals for conserving and sustainably using nature and achieving sustainability cannot be met by current trajectories, and goals for 2030 and beyond may only be achieved through transformative changes across economic, social, political and technological factors.” (p. 14) The authors explain what they mean by “transformative”: “A fundamental, system-wide reorganization across technological, economic and social factors, including paradigms, goals and values.” (p. 14, IPBES report’s footnote 4) They continue: “Since current structures often inhibit sustainable development and actually represent the indirect drivers of biodiversity loss, such fundamental, structural change is called for.” (p. 16, italics above are mine)


What surprised me most was that these 150 experts recognized that the only way out of this ecological crisis is “transformative” and “structural” change to the economy and society.


You can be sure that the IPBES authors did not call for structural change without an overwhelming reason to do so. They made projections for the earth’s and humanity’s future by considering three scenarios. The earth fared better in the global sustainability scenario (proactive environmental policy, low consumption and low carbon emissions) than in the economic optimism (rapid growth, low environmental regulation) and regional competition scenarios. In all three scenarios almost all regions of the world did have an increase in nature’s “material contributions to people” (providing food, feed, timber, bioenergy).

But, all three scenarios, including even the “global sustainability” scenario, proved to be deadly for humans and the natural world. Both biodiversity and the ability of nature to provide “ecosystem services” essential to human societies spiraled downward. (See p. 38, IPBES report, Figure SPM 8 for comparisons of the three scenarios for different regions of the world.) Don’t let your eyes glaze over at mention of the term “ecosystem services.” Yes, this is a very human-centric way of looking at Earth’s activities, but these “services,” including crop pollination, crop pest control, natural carbon storage, and protecting the soil from erosion and loss of carbon and nitrogen, are critical to human survival.


Even the “global sustainability” scenario proved to be deadly for humans and the natural world. Both biodiversity and the ability of nature to provide “ecosystem services” essential to human societies spiraled downward.


The important point here is that IPBES is calling for a paradigm change as this is the only way to keep ecosystems functioning well enough to support human life and curtail the Sixth Extinction of life on earth.

Patriarchal Civilization in Crisis: The Paradigm Must Shift

Nafeez Ahmed, a perceptive male journalist, speaks bluntly about the IPBES report: “The report concludes that human civilization is systematically destroying its own life-support systems…” He continues: “The report is by far the most comprehensive to hit home how the collapse of biodiversity ultimately entails the collapse of human civilization.”

Ahmed points out that civilizational collapse is already underway: “Our democracies are in a state of collapse: incapable of addressing the systemic complexity of the crisis of civilization.” What is this systemic complexity? There are the climate and ecological crises we’ve been talking about. Then there is the question of how society can do away with the unending growth and exploitation that drives these crises when its worldviews, value systems, political and economic structures are deeply based in a paradigm of domination and profit-taking. The problems become impossibly complex as ecological and climate disruptions spawn social problems like wars and conflicts, large scale human migrations, and losses in communities wracked by wildfires and floods. As Ahmed explains, “our political leaders are preoccupied with the surface symptoms of this fundamental crisis of civilization rather then the crisis itself.”


“Our democracies are in a state of collapse: incapable of addressing the systemic complexity of the crisis of civilization.”


Ahmed argues that even the most forceful non-violent resistance cannot force fundamental changes on a system that is incapable of handling the extent and complexity of change required: “To break this paradigm requires far more than making demands of broken institutions.” He says that a paradigm shift must overturn the very basis of society, from the economic system to people’s deeply held values and beliefs to how we relate to others and live our everyday lives. Ahmed believes this paradigm shift can be brought on by individuals taking responsibility for changing ourselves, asking “how can I actually mobilize to build the new paradigm,” and taking “radical action in our own place-based contexts to build the seeds of the new paradigm, right here, right now.”

La Via Campesina Campaign to End Violence Against women

And Now…Sisterhood of Women and Earth

I don’t think the IPBES, Nafeez Ahmed, or the vast majority of radicals from the Left are looking for a women’s revolution when they call for paradigm change. It has become very clear with its pandering to the transgender movement that the Left is very willing to toss women and Lesbians under the bus. Any shift in paradigm that is not driven primarily by women would keep patriarchy in place and we know what that would mean for the Earth and for women.

As I see it, we must go further than what Ahmed suggests. Any new paradigm must move out of patriarchy and be based in Female and Earth centered societies. The tasks for women will depend on our what society or societies we are part of. We may be deeply embedded in the dominant society (globalized capitalist patriarchy) or belong, primarily or to a lesser extent, to Indigenous or other societies outside the dominant society.

Existing Matriarchal and Indigenous societies are already living in the new/old paradigm, yet women within them struggle against incursions by the dominant society and, in some societies, with a degree of male domination within. (Male domination within Indigenous societies is often the result of past and present colonization by invading patriarchal societies, but can also derive from “ancestral original patriarchy.”[1])

Women trapped within the dominant society can learn from Indigenous and Matriarchal societies and provide support for those cultures and the women in those cultures, as it is requested. Additional key tasks for women ensconced in the dominant society are to work to stop that society and all its oppressive practices and begin actively creating new Female and Earth centered systems and societies to replace the dominant global patriarchy.


Earth, the most powerful female force, is speaking clearly with every raging wildfire, hellish hurricane, or seething flood tearing at this man-made civilization. Nothing less than an equally fiery movement of women can turn the paradigm that is patriarchy into ashes.


The movement for Women’s Liberation lacks power now, thanks to decades of backlash and the divisions amongst us. The continued belief of many women in reform has always hobbled the movement, but now many reform-minded feminists are supporting transactivists and actively turning against radical feminists. The transactivists’ attempts to erase women and Lesbians and their campaign to label radical feminists as “TERFs” and cancel us are proving to be both an obstacle for Women’s Liberation as well as a consciousness raiser that draws more and more women to radical feminism.

In order to build up the international Women’s Liberation movement we must step up our organizing against queer and transgender ideologies and end the Left’s love affair with transactivism. We must stop the runaway misogyny. At the same time, our focus on a decolonizing ecofeminism, the power of our female bodies and spirits, the wisdom of women from every race and culture, and the creation of new – and defense of existing – Female and Earth centered subcultures, cultures, and societies serves as inspiration and refuge, as well as helping create the needed shift in paradigm. As women’s movement and power builds and ecological understandings come to the fore, support for transgender attempts to use excessive medical (Earth) resources and disregard biological realities will fade.

The Earth herself is now demanding “nothing less than an entire subversion of the present order of society,” the goal of women in 1852 and the goal of radical feminists today. Earth, the most powerful female force, is speaking clearly with every raging wildfire, hellish hurricane, or seething flood tearing at this man-made civilization. Nothing less than an equally fiery movement of women can turn the paradigm that is patriarchy into ashes. Yes, time is short as Earth’s temperature rises, but women are rising too. With the sisterhood of women and Earth teamed up against it, I don’t think capitalist patriarchy stands a chance. As Susan B. Anthony told us, “Failure is Impossible!”

Sisters in Spirit book plus Black Matriarchy Project

*****

Footnotes

1. Here’s a quote from Betty Ruth Lozano Lerma: “Latin American feminisms question both Western patriarchy and the subordination of non-heterosexual women and persons within indigenous and Afro-descendant cultures. They affirm the existence of pre-Hispanic patriarchies, giving rise to concepts such as ‘ancestral original patriarchy’ and ‘low-intensity patriarchy,’ which show how women within the colonial context experienced an entanglement of patriarchies –entronque de patriarcados and, for the Afro-descendant case, ‘a black-colonial patriarchy’…” In “Latin American and Caribbean Feminisms” by Betty Ruth Lozano Lerma, an article in Pluriverse: A Post-Development Dictionary.

Can I Get a Witness: Impressions and Notes

By Woody Blue

Note to readers from XX Amazons: XX Amazons welcomes your comments about all our blogs. We also welcome comments about the “Can I Get a Witness” event, including discussion about any of the speaker’s presentations and your thoughts about the inclusion in the conference of right wing speakers. XX Amazons values discussion of difficult or controversial topics that are of importance to radical feminists.

Aug 8, 2020.
I attended the Zoom conference, “Can I Get a Witness”, a conference devoted to opening up the discussion about the trans movement with those who have studied various aspects about it and have tried to speak out against it. Mostly they were met with backlash, deplatforming and other forms of silencing.

The conference tapped into many aspects of the trans movement and the interviews I listened to were primarily from people in UK or US; others were from Brazil, Canada, Sweden and Australia.

Can I Get A Witness FlyerI tried to take notes on every speaker. The conference was 13 hours long and had 28 speakers, with an occasional video or song between speakers. At times my computer acted up or I had to take a small bathroom or food break and so some things were missed.

In typing up my notes, I looked up the webpages of the various speakers to get a better handle on who they were and how or why they were involved with these issues. I invite you to visit the websites of any of the people here if you want to investigate further.

Joey Brite, a butch lesbian and organizer of the conference, has been watching the trans community decimate her own lesbian world. There is an interview with her on the Women Are Human website. In that interview she states,

“I would like people reading this to understand that this is a secular, self-financed enterprise. This is important. Women who have gone before this event and continue to have fantastic sessions online are constantly getting accused of taking money from right-wing organizations. I’m working class, and I’ve scraped everything I can together to make this happen. It’s taken me more than a year and a half.”

Continue reading “Can I Get A Witness”: Interview with Organizer of Virtual Event on Gender Non-Conformity That Has Social Media Abuzz here.

For a list of speakers and the schedule, go here. The organizers state that in a few months they will have the recorded sessions available for purchase for a small fee.

Can I Get a Witness: Speakers and Notes

By Woody Blue, with help from Sally Tatnall, 8/11/2020

In order of appearance:

1. Abigail Shrier, author of the book “Irreversible Damage: the Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters.” She gave a short introduction of herself and why she wrote the book. She found that no one was willing to publish information, whether an article or book, that criticized the trans movement. This is why there is such little info in mainstream written media.

Sasha Ayad & Lisa Littman2. Sasha Ayad, a therapist for teens and their families specializing in ROGD (Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria). She was very informative and gave statistics concerning the rapid rise of ROGD in the last few years. She referenced Lisa Littman’s experiences and studies a few times. Lisa Littman is a researcher from Brown University who ran into a lot of trouble when she tried to publish her findings on ROGD. She stated that 30% of transitioning children are autistic.

Authenticity seems to come from body sculpture. Using the term “assigned at birth” removes it from biological reality.

3. Jennifer Bilek, author of “The 11th Hour” blog. She has been following the money that supports the trans movement. All the money flows through the Arcus Foundation. There are a few philanthropic billionaires that throw money into the trans movement. The money going into the movement increased in 2014. They work at deconstructing sex by normalizing trans and body dissociation. They claim that sex, (not gender) is on a spectrum using the intersex community as proof. It is social manipulation by the elite.

Jennifer stated that the trans movement is driven by the IT industry. Transhumanism is the result which is basically the concept that technology has the ability to modify bodies. If we aren’t connected to our bodies, we can reduce them to body parts. Thereby a womb can be transplanted, a penis can be built, mothers can have beards, never covering the harms.

The trans movement provides the people and the advertising to promote these concepts. Hollywood is heavily involved as the movie industry glamorizes actors who change gender, and fashion magazines put them on covers. Now it’s fun and cool to be disconnected from your body.

Jennifer BilekJennifer Bilek spoke of the colonizing and commodifying of women. Sex trafficking, prostitution and porn are major players to promote fetishes.

She says the movement is mainly led by autogynes. A women’s body is the object and without women’s biology, trans doesn’t exist. The trans movement unmoors us from our sex, which is where the transhumanism ideology is taking us.

Many of the later speakers referenced Jennifer Bilek and stated that she had compiled and researched this topic extensively. She is highly regarded.

4. Jane Wheeler, President of ReIME, an acronym for ReThink Identity Medicine, a non-profit research and education organization dedicated to improving and optimizing ethical long term care and treatment for gender variant children, adolescents and youth. 

She talked about the rising numbers of teens being referred to clinics dealing with gender. The average age is 14 years old. At this point, 2% of High school students identify as trans.

She explained that the medical world has changed drastically in the past several years due to its monetary value, which is now $3.6 trillion dollars in the US, 20% of the GNP. Some of the ways it has changed is with the advent of patient’s rights, disease advocacy, direct marketing, treatment chat rooms, and over 10,000 advocacy groups. Gate-keeping has been minimized and it has become patient-centered, meaning patients can shop for drugs, treatments, doctors.

These changes are available to adults and minors. The age of consent is between 14 – 16 years old. Marketing to minors has increased. Used to be $100 million annually, now it’s billions.

They are selling gender in very restrictive terms. Democrats are out of sync with this because they want the LGBT’s on their side.

She had more to say but my notes aren’t clear.

Women's Liberation Front logo5. Kara Dansky, lawyer for WoLF. I don’t have much written down, but I recall that she talked about some of the court cases that have happened in the past and a few that are ongoing now. She was asked about the Religious Right in the Q&A, and she didn’t promote their agenda but stated that they have their own reasons for making this their issue. She said there is no support on the Left at all.

6. Don Smith, concerned citizen. This is a Black man who spent most of his worklife in Great Britain, then moved to Sweden. He is married and has been closely watching the trans movement. He views transgenderism as another arm of Colonization. He described the War Model of Transgenderism as a progression. In this case, the boundaries of this war is gender. First comes Invasion, then Annexation, then Assimilation, Domination and Subjugation. These are the progressive steps when one nation is colonizing another.

He expressed a lot of concern about the colonization of women, explaining that as a Black man, these were the steps to colonize the Blacks when they were stolen from Africa. Trans treat women as commodities, similar to Black slaves being treated as commodities. They aren’t considered fully human, perhaps subhuman. Sex trafficking and prostitution are ways that women are treated as property, rather than humans. When slavery was abolished, a free Black was worth only 3/5 of a White man.

He explained that all colonization works this way throughout history and now the trans are colonizing women. This destroys a woman’s humanity and reduces them to objects which can be fetishized.

When confronted, the trans community resorts to DARVO, an acronym for Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender. His observations are that the queer community has become a Men’s Rights Activity.

He feels that the way to disrupt the trans movement is to dismantle pornography, as this is the way men are taught. He brought up sissy porn, which shows feminized men. He says that feminized men don’t look at themselves as women and don’t want to be women. He brought up the example of Hula men in prison and told us to look it up as he was running out of time.

Don Smith is happily married and said that understanding more about women’s issues and the ways they are treated has helped him become a better husband. He feels it’s extremely important to take down the trans movement before it takes down women.

7. Dr. Quentin Van Meter, pediatric endocrinologist. President of the American College of Pediatricians. Dr. Van Meter has spoken out about the danger of puberty blockers. He has been working with children of puberty age for many years and says that puberty is a time when the body starts changing into its reproductive role. This can be frightening but after a year or so, things settle down and the child adapts to the changes. Puberty is not something that should be blocked, as it prevents the person from maturing. 98% of children who are put on puberty blockers go on to enter the trans world and become infertile because their bodies can no longer mature.

He said that gender is a state of mind. There is absolutely no test of any kind that will determine gender.

He told us that doctors who know better don’t speak out because of fear of losing their jobs, reputations and being bullied. He practices in Atlanta, Ga.

Gendercator DVD8. Catherine Crouch, lesbian filmmaker. In 2007, Ms. Crouch made a movie called “The Gendercator.” It was a story about a lesbian who had an accident and woke from a coma many years later. When she woke up, she was informed that the society had changed and sexual relations could only be between a man and a woman. Butch lesbians were operated on and given hormones to make them men. They could choose to be a man or a woman but they had to sexually be with a member of the opposite sex. The purpose behind the film was to point out what an evangelical world would be in regards to lesbians.

Her film was shown in 3 or 4 film festivals. It was accepted in the LA G&L film festival, but the day before it was supposed to be shown, the producers called her and said they had to cancel the show because much objection about it had been raised. It became a huge issue, with some lesbians picketing about the right to show it and others wanting to ban it.

It ended up being shown and Ms. Crouch had to defend her position. Her position was really about having a good discussion about evangelicals, sex stereotypes and body/mind control. She sat on forums and panels with other directors and was harshly criticized by audience members. As the film traveled, the controversy became stronger.

It was the end of her career. She wasn’t able to get funding or grants to make films again. We saw parts of her movie and she now lives in SF. She is soft-spoken and open minded and feels the role of the moviemaker is to explore issues. Her movie, “The Gendercator” is available on DVD.

Vaishnavi Sundar9. Vaishnavi Sundar, filmmaker. This filmmaker is from India and is a feminist. She is well-known but received a lot of backlash. Her sin was that she tweeted that “men shouldn’t be in women’s sports.” She talked about the trans movement in Indian society and the way women are dominated. She is basically making a documentary underground called “Not My Cup of ‘T’.” She showed us the first part which is a talking heads film with doctors, activists, lawyers, etc, talking about the trans movement. She hopes to circulate this movie in various countries to raise awareness.

10. Stephanie Davies-Arai (Transgender Trend) and Julia Long (lesbian feminist activist). This was a conversation to explore the use of language in the trans movement. My computer was acting up and I couldn’t follow the conversation too well, but the gist of it was that we should not be calling people trans. Instead a “transwoman” should be called a man or male when describing them. Because males cannot be female, it would be better to not say “transwoman” if the truth is he’s a male.

Jamila Bey11. Jamila Bey, African American journalist and hosts a weekly radio show called “Sex, Politics and Religion: SPAR with Jamila. She explained that the US doesn’t have a centralized medical system and so it’s hard to get national statistics. The UK has socialized medicine and they document statistics nationally so it’s possible to gather and analyze the medical trends.

As a Black woman she asks, “Isn’t sterilizing a child wrong?” She is told not to ask such questions. That was her experience whenever she was looking for info. Either answers were not there or she was told, “Don’t Ask.” We are being asked to deny reality. This is a dangerous thing to be learning. It’s also going along with the idea that anti-intellectual and anti-science is good.

12. Sydney Wright, detransitioner. Sydney is a young woman and transitioned while a teen. She started to detransition in her early twenties and feels she was pushed into claiming trans. She realized after surgeries and hormones that it didn’t make her feel better about herself but she had made everyone accept her as the opposite sex for years. She had to swallow her pride to admit that she had been wrong and that was difficult. She would like to work with teens to help those with body dysphoria and tell them not to rush into transitioning. She tried to sue but couldn’t find a lawyer who would take her case pro bono and not be afraid to take the case.

13. Eugenia Rodriguez, founder of No Corpo Certo (Brazilian Campaign Against Transing Kids). I don’t have any notes on her. My reception was poor and it was hard to understand what she was saying so I took a short break.

14. JD Ghassan Robertson, Award-winning Author and Senior Editor at The Velvet Chronicle. Julia had many observations about the way butch and femme lesbians are used in the media. Mostly lesbians don’t play lesbians even in shows like The L Word. She points to Lea Delaria in “Orange is the New Black” as the only butch lesbian on mainstream TV that she knows of.

As an author, her experience is “if you don’t believe in gender ideology, you can’t participate in the culture.” Lesbians are excluded in the name of inclusion and PIV (penis in vagina) sex is called lesbian sex. Old, dead butches are being identified as trans. She loudly says, “NO, THEY ARE NOT.”

Writing about trans issues in mainstream media has to be underground.

15. Diana Shaw, Women Are Human. This website focuses on criminalization and politics of the trans movement. 50% of “transwomen” are heterosexual. A large majority are sex offenders. There is a history of them using women’s public toilets.

The Trans movement has tied itself to the Black movement. In reality, Black women are the most heavily raped, sex trafficked, have the highest teen pregnancy and have the highest poverty rate. Black “transwomen” claim all this also, even though they are male. Lowered testosterone levels in men are still higher than those in women.

She relayed a story about a Black “transwoman” making up (fetishizing) stories of violence against himself because he wanted it to happen to him (in his fantasy). The root of the issue is that “transwomen” view women as a collection of parts rather than a whole human being.

Women Are Human

16. Mary Kate Fain, creator of Spinster.xyz, a women-centric social media platform to promote safe space for women to discuss issues. Mary Kate explained that there are very few platforms on the Internet that are focused on women and are safe. She mentioned Fair Play for Women, which is centered on the rights of women in the UK, posting news in politics and other venues. She also mentioned Ovarit, which promotes discussions among women.

I don’t understand much of how social media works, but Mary Kate Fain explained that the IT industry is mainly designed and staffed by men. The Internet tech culture is hostile to women and includes a LOT of porn. Mary Kate has had to fend off attacks on her platform to keep control of content. She explained the term “incel,” short for INvoluntary CELibate, which is a dark, twisted form of internalized misogyny. The majority of incels are those in the IT tech industry whose entire life is sitting behind a computer screen, saturated with porn images. It instills rage in young males, who insist that women are at the bottom of all the insults and lack of sex they get. They spout a lot of violence against women and make the Internet hostile to women.

17. The DeProgrammer, Exposing and connecting the dots…transgender, pedophilia, transhumanism. The producer of these YouTube videos hid her face behind a black stripe in order to protect her identity. The videos are stark graphic images with an overlying narrative to explain the mechanisms, strategies, history and people behind the pedophile/transgender/transhumanism movement. The videos are shocking exposès of the dark elements that influence us through media. They describe the evolution of the porn industry, the sex trafficking world, the child molester ways of thinking and acting.

These videos have been banned from Twitter and Instagram, but the person behind these videos is a young feminist who is adept in graphic arts. Not for the light of heart. Very compelling.

18. Thistle Petterson, radio podcast host. WLRN. Women’s Liberation Radio News. Thistle got her start several years ago by signing up to be a guest host for an hour for WORT, a progressive radio station in Madison, Wisconsin. In that hour, she interviewed Sheila Jeffries. She received a lot of backlash but also caught the ear of feminists. Long story short, she and a group of women created weekly podcasts which have aired once a week for the past few years. The collective is committed to reporting news and conducting interviews for women and by women. They operate with a very small budget and have matured as a group. They are going strong.

Save Women's Sports19. Beth Stelzer and Linda Blade, Save Women’s Sports. These two women teamed up to fight trans inclusion into women’s sports. Beth Stelzer lives in Idaho and is an amateur weightlifter and mother. Idaho passed a Fairness in Women’s Sports Act to protect women’s sports. Immediately a call was put out to boycott Idaho. She created the website Save Women Sports to reach out to NCAA (National College Athletic Association) athletes to voice their opinion by signing a letter to not give in to bullying tactics. Over 300 athletes signed including Olympic superstars and Champions. This was then forwarded to the Idaho Legislature to hold their ground.

Linda Blade lives in Canada and is part of the coalition that works with Save Our Sports. They have drafted a petition to send to the Olympic Committee to address their policy allowing males to participate in female sports because of their identity. Their goal is 25,000 signatures and they are halfway there. They would like you to visit their webpage and sign the petition as well as forward the petition to others.

20. Meghan Murphy, author of Feminist Current. Meghan is a Canadian journalist who has been permanently banned from Twitter and other social platforms. She is outspoken and critical about 3rd Wave Feminism, sex politics, transgenderism, female exploitation and censorship. She spoke about Free Speech. She warned us to recognize how quickly we have lost ground because we don’t pay attention. We must remember the work done previously and galvanize energy again.

21. Lynn Meagher, “Compassion Coalition”. Lynn is mother of 2 transgendered children. She created a support network of mothers who have lost their children to transgender movement. Her talk was very emotional and heartfelt. She says she will never let go of her children because that’s what mothers do.

22. Hacsi Horvath, male detransitioner and epidemiologist. Horvath transitioned when he was older and lived his life as a woman for 13 years. He spoke about the validity of the studies that support transgenderism. He is a Cochrane medical reviewer, specializing in epidemiological studies. This means that he has the highest ranking in reviewing scientific medical papers.

Horvath retold the story of “The Emperor New Clothes” to make his points. The clothes were stitched by the finest craftsmen of many nations. The various craftsmen used the finest materials of high quality and spent many months to create the garment. They presented it to the Emperor and everyone praised it despite the fact that it was invisible.

This is what the studies and testimonies of the trans world amounts to. They don’t hold up to scientific examination but most people don’t look closely at the methodology which is sloppy and inconclusive. There is absolutely no science behind the transgender movement. Nothing.

Lesbian's sign attacked23. Sherri Golden, SF Dyke March, 2019. Sherri joined up with a small group of lesbians to march in the dyke march. Their signs said things like “Puberty Blockers Harm Children” and “Lesbians are Female”. During the march they were surrounded by young female transactivists who shouted “Terf” through bullhorns and pushed them down more than once, tearing up their signs. The police did very little to stop the harassment and the group eventually dropped out. They had to have a police escort to the Bart Station to stay safe. All the women were 60 – 75 years old.

24. Donovan Cleckley, gay male academic. I missed much of his talk but the gist of it is that he agrees that women are being erased. He would like to see more men speaking out about it.

25. Courtney Catearth, midwife from Womb Room, a FB page. Courtney described the stealthy way the trans movement infiltrated the midwifery conferences and associations. The language of birth has been changed so that mothers are ‘parents’ or ‘pregnant people,’ breasts are ‘chests’ and “men can give birth”. Women are oral people and our language is very important to us. Changing language is an anti-female stance. She identifies as a witch and explained that midwifery and female medicine is really the purview of female witches and herbalists.

Alicia Strada26. Alicia Strada, young Black feminist. Alicia was beaten up about a month ago by female transactivists. A male friend of Alicia’s had transitioned and had asked Alicia to use the ‘correct’ pronouns. Alicia is relatively new to feminism and she refused and told him he was still a male. The hostilities escalated and the “transwoman” wanted to physically fight with her, but Alicia said she didn’t fight men.

The “transwoman” sent 3 transactivists to beat her up. She was in the middle of moving from her apartment when they attacked. Fortunately her family was there and was able to intervene, but Alicia walked away with a busted lip, a black eye and several bruises. The story is unusual because all of the participants were Black.

It was hard to listen to this story because Alicia says she no longer trusts anybody, doesn’t look at Twitter or social media anymore and is afraid to go outside her apartment. She is traumatized and still recovering physically from the attack.

27. Sam Reiger, The Terf Exhibit. FB page. The FB page was started as a way to respond to a San Francisco Public Library exhibit called “Degenderette Antifa Art”. The exhibit promoted violence against women who spoke out. The library refused to take it down, so the FB page was created to dispel myths and report misogyny from the Trans movement.

Sam had a slide show that showed several steps to creating a dialogue with someone on the other side. It started With “Listen” and “Find Common Ground” and followed through to the end step which was “It is OK to disengage.” The presentation was aimed at trying to be productive in discussion rather than destructive.

28. Tara, female detransitioner. This was a short video. Tara is 23 years old and would like to sue Tavistock (Gender Clinic in UK) that she feels pushed her into transitioning. She has no money to do this. (A former speaker explained that it’s very hard to sue because of the difficulty of finding a lawyer to take it on at the risk of ruining their career. It would also have to have the “right person” to sue, meaning that the plaintiff would have to be willing to put up with lots of harassment, public shaming for years.) Tara was told her life would get better if she transitioned. No other options were offered.

She stopped taking hormones about a year ago and she is dealing with negative health effects. She regrets her decisions and would like to warn other teens.

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)