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The last two paragraphs from Meghan Murphy writing on the Feminist Current.

 

“The fact that the vast majority of those connecting the word “TERF” to threats of violence, death, and genocide are men is notable. The word has been offered up to those who identify as leftists, who have been, on some level, prevented from making misogynistic statements publicly or otherwise advocating violence against women. Their “progressive” credentials meant that they had to maintain a facade of political correctness. But because women labelled “TERF” have been compared to Nazis and bigots, and because trans activism claims to be allied with the interests of the marginalized (despite its overt anti-feminism and individualist ideology), these leftist men have a socially acceptable excuse. Indeed, they seem to revel in it. It’s as if they were given the green light to scream “bitch” (or perhaps “witch” would be more accurate, considering the targeting of specific unruly women to “punch”… or burn…) over and over again, cheered on by their comrades.

If “TERF” were a term that conveyed something purposeful, accurate, or useful, beyond simply smearing, silencing, insulting, discriminating against, or inciting violence, it could perhaps be considered neutral or harmless. But because the term itself is politically dishonest and misrepresentative, and because its intent is to vilify, disparage, and intimidate, as well as to incite and justify violence against women, it is dangerous and indeed qualifies as a form of hate speech. While women have tried to point out that this would be the end result of “TERF” before, they were, as usual, dismissed. We now have undeniable proof that painting women with this brush leads to real, physical violence. If you didn’t believe us before, you now have no excuse.”

 

Yep.  Same script folks – slapping down the uppity women – who dare oppose having the boundaries of their lives dictated by males.   Male violence is the scourge of our society, how many canaries are necessary before we fix this problem?

 

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Bill C-16 is problematic for women.  Go read the entirety of Megan Murphy’s article on the Feminist Current, I’ve excerpted a key bit here though. :)

Bill C-16 passed at the Senate on Thursday. Under this new Canadian legislation, which follows similar laws in a number of Western countries, a person can determine their gender or sex via self-declaration at any time and for any reason. It’s considered a human rights violation to question it. No criteria, physical markers, or tests have been identified to determine trans status. As an inherently individualistic idea, gender identity isn’t tethered to any external reality and is therefore considered immune from qualification or broader critical analysis.

If an individual’s identity doesn’t impinge on anyone, it’s easy to accept it at face value. But when an individual transitions into a group of people who face different challenges, questions will naturally arise about whether opportunities reserved for those who are marginalized in their own right will be inevitably claimed by these new members, once again making it more difficult for the original members to get ahead. Already, we’ve seen a handful of examples of males who transitioned later in life showered with praise and handed awards reserved for women, who have spent their entire lives enduring patriarchy as females.

Remarkably, troubling philosophical questions remain unaddressed. If gender identities are determined on an individual basis with no parameters around what they mean, it follows that there can be as many genders as there are human beings. If each individual has a purely self-determined identity, then, by definition, these inherently unique identities can’t be shared with anyone else. No one person can experience another person’s thoughts or feelings to verify that they are thinking or feeling the same things. How can males, or anyone for that matter, know that they feel like a woman? Even if, for the sake of argument, we accept the tautology that a woman is a person who identifies as a woman, the logical conclusion is that “woman” can mean anything and therefore means nothing.

And yet women exist.

Despite a lack of clarification and broad consensus on this, women are vilified simply for asking questions. We’re expected to abandon all prior experiences and notions of ourselves, most especially those that relate to our female embodiment and the oppression that stems from it. Sex-based protections have been effectively dissolved. When it comes to female-only facilities, human rights law is clear: a male who claims the identity of “female” or “woman” can’t be turned away. If a woman has concerns or is in a vulnerable position, her options are to somehow get over it or leave. What this tells women and girls who are survivors of male violence is that females’ right to refuge and privacy away from males is negotiable and that they come last. This is an insidious form of grooming that tells women and girls that they are hysterical for recognizing the epidemic of discrimination and violence directed at them and that they must prioritize the feelings of others over their own sense of self-preservation.

Though frequently twisted, the argument here isn’t that trans people in particular pose a threat. The issue is that as long as gender identity rests on self-declaration, it is impossible — and illegal — for females to distinguish between males who simply wish to live as transgender women and other males. This is an unwarranted burden to place on women and girls, who shouldn’t be obligated to have or divulge a history of trauma in order to justify maintaining independent spaces (not that it makes a difference when they do anyway).

Laws based on personally subjective, indescribable feelings are bad news, not only Canadian women, but the rest of society as well.

 

I’m not sure when the definition of  progressive queer activism changed to mean defiling and destroying women’s spaces, but unsurprisingly, the violent men of Queer activism (terrorism) are at it again.   And quite honestly, they (GAG) can fuck the hell right off – violent patriarchal repression of women with a shiny coat of queer paint is still male violence and misogyny – and has no place in a society that claims to value women and stand for ‘equality’.

This violent shit doesn’t raise eyebrows or cause a stir in the media because the targets are only women after all.  Meghan Murphy and the Guerrilla Feminist Collective are on the case though.    Thank heavens.

meghanm1

 

 

“GAG / Gays Against Gentrification have vandalized the building housing the Vancouver Women’s Library. This latest action is prompting the following comparison of this new alt-white group’s activism.

♂ ♂ ♂ ♂ ♂ ♂ ♂ ♂ ♂ ♂ ♂ ♂ ♂ ♂ ♂ ♂ ♂ ♂ ♂ ♂ ♂ ♂ ♂ ♂ ♂ ♂ ♂ ♂ ♂ ♂ ♂ ♂

Protest methods against for-profit business in Chinatown:

* Stand across the street, 1/2 a block away, sing a nice christmas song with the lyrics changed protesting gentrification & racism (as an all white group)

* Inch closer, but remain outside the business, on the far side of the sidewalk so as not to disrupt customers and business operations

* Smile, sing, display signs neatly and respectfully, either laid on the sidewalk or in their hands

* Abide by all common-sense understandings of legal protest on/near private property

* Take responsibility for and pride in their action

♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀

Protest methods against volunteer-run, no-profit, free & inclusive women’s library on the night of their launch:

* Shout and scream slurs at library visitors outside

* Enter and take over the space with outraged entitlement

* Jason, a white male, continually asks which women inside are sex workers, and shouts “we don’t want you in our fucking spaces”, referencing the fact that he outed himself as a “trans person involved in sex work” thereby staking a claim to the area (?) which is a well known hunting ground for Johns seeking children and indigenous women specifically. Jason, are you a John? Can you clarify what you meant by “involved in sex work”? This can have so many meanings. TIA

* Destroy and steal library property: ripping artwork, destroying books, stealing wine, pulling the fire alarm

* Physically intimidate and assault library visitors outside

* Scream sexist slurs at women library visitors outside

* Bar library visitors from entering the space, actually turning people away who travelled in the heavy snow to reach the library

* Steal hand-painted sandwich board outside the library

* Vandalize the building that houses the library. A space shared by a diverse group of artists and artisans, jeopardizing the safety, livelihood, and work of many, not just that of the library.

* Discard all common-sense understandings of legal protest inside or on private property

* Deny any responsibility for their actions although almost every member of GAG was present and engaged

* Repeatedly claim to be committed to engaging in learning and discourse, yet reject, shut down, delete any and all criticisms, coming from a wide range of people and groups.”

So, GAG understands what peaceable protest looks like, but they chose not to when it comes to a library for women.  This is what happens when women challenge the dominant male narrative in society, and this is why we need a feminist movement that is dedicated to fighting for female emancipation from patriarchy.

 

Donate to the Vancouver Women’s Library at this link. 

 

Well, nearly quoted the whole damn article, but so very important.  Go to the national observer for the rest.

 

“In Wednesday’s House of Commons debate on Bill C-16, also known as the Transgender Rights Bill, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, who introduced the legislation back in May, explained:

“Gender identity is a person’s internal or individual experience of their gender. It is a deeply felt experience of being a man, a woman, or being somewhere along the gender spectrum. Gender expression is how a person publicly presents their gender. It is an external or outward presentation through aspects such as dress, hair, makeup, body language, or voice.”

But these statements show a deep misunderstanding of what gender is and how it works. Gender is a product of patriarchy. Ideas around masculinity and femininity exist to naturalize men’s domination and women’s subordination. In the past, women were said to be too irrational, emotional, sensitive, and weak to engage in politics and public life. Men were (and often still are) said to be inherently violent, which meant things like marital rape and domestic abuse were accepted as unavoidable facts of life. “Boys will be boys,” is the old saying that continues to be applied to excuse the predatory, violent, or otherwise sexist behaviour of males.

The feminist movement began back in the late 1800s in protest of these ideas, and continues today on that basis. The idea that gender is something internal, innate, or chosen — expressed through superficial and stereotypical means like hairstyles, clothing, or body language — is deeply regressive.

Beyond misguided language there is the fact that we are very quickly pushing through legislation that conflicts with already established rights and protections for women and girls.

Women’s spaces — including homeless shelters, transition houses, washrooms, and change rooms — exist to offer women protection from men. It isn’t men who fear that women might enter their locker rooms and flash, harass, assault, abuse, photograph, or kill them… This reality is often left unaddressed in conversations around gender identity. This reality is sex-based, not identity-based. Men cannot identify their way out of the oppressor class so easily, neither can women simply choose to identify their way out of vulnerability to male violence.”

[…]

As unpopular as this fact has become, a man or boy who wishes to identify as a woman or girl, perhaps taking on stereotypically feminine body language, hairstyles, and clothing, is still male. He still has male sex organs, which means girls and women will continue to see him as a threat and feel uncomfortable with his presence in, say, change rooms. Is it now the responsibility of women and girls to leave their own spaces if they feel unsafe? Are teenage girls obligated to overcome material reality lest they be accused of bigotry? Is the onus on women to suddenly forget everything they know and have experienced with regard to sexual violence, sexual harassment, and the male gaze simply because one individual wishes to have access to the female change room? Because one boy claims he “feels like a girl on the inside?” And what does that mean, anyway?

Generally, the claim that one “feels” like the opposite sex “on the inside” is connected to a list of sexist gender stereotypes: a boy likes dolls and dresses, a girl plays with trucks and cuts her hair short, a man enjoys wearing pantyhose and getting manicures, etc… There is no scientific foundation for the idea that sex is defined by a “feeling” or by superficial choices. One cannot, in fact, “feel” like a man or a woman “on the inside,” because sex is something that simply exists. It is a neutral fact. Aside from having a mental condition like body dysmorphic disorder, the only reason one could claim not to “feel” like the sex they are, biologically, is because they identify with the gender roles assigned to the opposite sex. Key word: assigned.

It is unlikely any of us feel comfortable with the restrictive roles we are socialized into as men or women. Certainly those who step out of those roles are punished viciously, and that includes trans identified people. But that problem is a social one, and the solution is not to reinforce sexist ideas about gender, but to push back against the idea of gender itself – that is to say, the idea that males and females have innate behaviours and preferences they are born with. As feminists and progressives, we should challenge the idea that superficial things like clothing, toys, makeup, or mannerisms define us.

We live in a time when women and girls are killed every day, across the globe, by men. Things like rape, domestic abuse, and the murder of Indigenous women and girls in Canada are still not considered hate crimes. Yet we have managed to push through legislation that may very well equate “misgendering” to hate speech.

 

Women are protected under the human rights code on the basis that we are, as a group, discriminated against on account of our biology. Employers still choose not to hire women based on the assumption that they will become pregnant. Women are still fighting to have access to women-only spaces (including washrooms and locker rooms) in male-dominated workplaces like fire departments, in order to escape sexual harassment and assault.

Legislation and policies that protect “gender identity and expression” unfortunately set up a clash between women’s rights and those who identify as transgender. There are solutions. It was not always the norm, for example, that public buildings had to be accessible for people with disabilities. It is perfectly reasonable to expect public buildings to install private gender-neutral washrooms and change rooms for people who don’t wish to use either the women’s or the men’s room. We can effect change and ensure people have access to the services and support they need without imposing on already established and still very much needed rights of women and girls.

Women are socialized, from the time they are born, to prioritize the feelings and comfort of everyone else but themselves. We learn that our boundaries will not be respected by men, as we are talked over, leered at, cat called, groped, and raped. Girls’ images are constantly being shared electronically by boys and men alike, against their will. There is a real fear that images of our bodies will be put online in order to exploit and degrade us.

Our fears of men are justified, proven over and over again to be (sadly) rational, not irrational. That is something that needs to be respected, not treated as bigoted or hysterical. Society has disregarded women’s feelings, concerns, and safety for long enough.

  This is an excerpt from Meghan Murphy’s manifesto posted on the Feminist Current titled : ‘We need to be braver’ — women challenge ‘gender identity’ and the silencing of feminist discourse.

     ““Cis” is another term that has been adopted by those who wish to see themselves or present themselves as progressive but that is rejected by radical feminists. “Cis,” we are told, means “a person whose self-identity conforms with the gender that corresponds to their biological sex.” Therefore, a “cis woman” would be a woman who identifies with femininity, which I most certainly do not, nor do many other women. I reject the notion of femininity and I therefore reject the notion that women who have femininity imposed on them are either privileged or are naturally inclined towards their subordinate status. “Cis” is a regressive term, as it pretends as though women somehow identify with their own oppression. Nonetheless, women who reject the term are labelled “transphobic” — yet another way feminist speech is shut down and the general questioning of gender politics is disallowed.”

The current state of gender politics makes raising objections against the trans-narrative dangerous for women.  Any public narrative should be subject to scrutiny and critical analysis – shutting down dissenting voices is not progressive in any sense of the word.

I applaud Ms.Murphy’s stand on gender politics and strongly encourage people to read her website and support her in her struggle to defend the rights of women.

The Feminist Current is a bastion of “not the fun kind” of feminist discourse – Meghan Murphy steps up with this bold article and describes the challenges that women face when fighting for the radical notion that feminism should centre women in its practice.

 

   “Women who challenge discourse around “gender identity” have been largely isolated on the front lines for the past decade. Liberal feminists and progressives have chosen identity politics over feminism many times over and this is no exception. Those who are not invested in women’s liberation are well aware that the power they seek cannot be gained from supporting the independent women’s movement, and most haven’t bothered to think hard enough about the roots of patriarchy to understand what it is we are fighting in the first place. But even many of those whose politics are otherwise rooted radical feminist principles have felt afraid to publicly question the dogma of gender identity discourse. We are only too aware that refusing to accept and parrot back commonly accepted mantras places you on the wrong end of a modern witch hunt.

I don’t deny that I felt afraid, for many years, to take a firm position on discourse surrounding gender identity and trans politics, despite my opinion that women-only space and organizing is central to the feminist movement and to supporting women recovering from male violence.

In fact, for many years, I wasn’t quite sure what my position was, and worried that speaking out against the naturalizing of sexist gender roles that has come hand in hand with support for what is called “trans rights” would distract from my fight against the sex industry and violence against women. Punishments for questioning trans politics include losing one’s job, censorship, blacklisting, being physically and otherwise threatened and attacked by transactivists, and social ostracization — all things that prevent women from speaking out. (I have suffered many of these punishments already, of course, for failing to toe the party line and for allying with women labelled “TERF” or “transphobic.”)

We live in a time wherein basic feminist ideas have become unspeakable, while anti-feminist slurs and smears are widely accepted and even celebrated by those who claim to be social justice activists and progressives.

Regardless of the risks, I cannot, in good faith, support the neoliberal, individualistic notion of “gender identity”  — not as a feminist who understands how patriarchy came to be and continues to prevail or as a leftist who understands how systems of power work. I do not wish to be silent in the face of regressive and anti-feminist discourse, because I know that my silence does not help empower other women to speak out. I do not wish to abandon my sisters who have already suffered immensely for speaking out.”

-Megan Murphy

   Go read the rest of this article at the Feminist Current, it is an important powerful work.

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