A Report from Edinburgh on opposition to transphobia.
(content warning: mention of sexual abuse)
News from a Sister in Edinburgh....
Edinburgh Sisters Uncut called a demo last Wednesday to protest Trans Exclusionary 'Radical Feminists'
(aka TERFS). There has been a sharp rise in transphobic 'feminist' activism around the proposed Gender Recognition Bill(GRA) legislation ,which will give more rights to the trans community, with the TERF organisation A Women's Place currently doing a tour of the UK . A meeting held in Glasgow was praised by two publications of the Scottish Independence movement- The National and Bella Caledonia ,who appear to now be showing their true colours. Reaction follows reaction.
TERFS appear to be popping up all over the map with TERFS in the governing party of Scotland, Scottish National Party , in the Green party , in the 'working class party' Labour party and Women's Equality Party.
After the channelling of some 'psychic powers' to discover the venue, the assembled activists(many anarchists and anti-authoritarian leftists among them) of Sisters Uncut, Edinburgh Action For Trans Health, Edinburgh Antifa and others gathered outside the meeting place of the TERFS at Out of The Blue Drill Hall in Leith. For those who don't know Out of the Blue is a local arts and cultural space which often hosts political meetings including in the past meetings involving two of the aforementioned groups. It did up until now have a fairly good(ish) reputation among the Edinburgh Left, though they did once nearly invite a speaker from SWP who was involved in the Comrade Delta Rape cover up scandal a good few years back, until threats of protests saw the speaker quickly no-platformed.
A noise demo ensured that the protesters outside the hatefest couldn't be easily ignored. Attempts by the TERFS to provoke the activists into a confrontation failed. Local residents who talked with the activists were sympathetic and unconcerned by the noise.
With two police cars and a van standing by to arrest anyone stepping out of line , the pigs were on hand to escort the TERFS out of the building just like they do with the fascists. This help from the police was later celebrated by the transphobes,the irony being lost on them that they were protected by the patriarchal capitalist state and its thugs- the very same thugs who killed Sheku Bayou and who have sent officers in to infiltrate social movements and sexually abuse women in deceitful manipulative emotionally abusive romantic relationships as part of the Spycops operation.
All in all it seems to have been a success with TERFS being so riled up they are spilling bile all across facebook and other social media and the TERF Vonny Leclerc who writes for the National, has penned a 'we're all friends here' paean to bigotry disguised as 'reasonableness' with Out of the Blue seemingly retreating to the liberal defence of "free speech" (aka open season for bigots)
Edinburgh Sisters Uncut are demanding that Out of the Blue publicly apologise for hosting TERFS and donate all money raised during the TERF conference to Edinburgh Action For Trans Health.
Edinburgh Sisters Uncut write,
"We are fighting for the safety of all our siblings, not just our cis-ters, and are in solidarity with the movement for trans liberation. Transphobia and transmisogyny are violent: 4 in 5 trans people have experienced domestic abuse and 2 in 5 trans people have experienced a hate crime in the last 12 months. We demand that The Out of the Blue Drill Hall give the money made from the event to Edinburgh Action for Trans Health and make a public apology".
To put pressure on the venue Edinburgh Sisters Uncut are asking for people to show their fury with the venue by giving them a 1 star review on Facebook. Even without a comment will do.
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Every group has the 'right'
Every group has the 'right' to allow, and keep out people, on their own terms
When radical feminists wanna keep out trans people, than thats their choice
trans people can join a group of non-terfs , so whats the point ?
black people, dont want me in a black only group, whats the point ? Maybe some black people do want me in a black only group ?
But ok, nevermind, people wanna kill me for saying this basic rational stuff....
SWERF is the real ugly word
since how can you be a leftists, an anti capitalist, and be pro the most brutal, semi legal, capitalist industry of the world ? The world of sexploitation, human trafficing, and poverty spurred seks ?
I mean, how can you be libertarian and communist, while supporting colonialist, semi legal, seksindustry capitalism ?
Why is everyone supporting silly liberal issues, these days ?
no, fucking for money cant be empowering
working for money isnt, and fucking for money not at all
Bimbobalimbo wrote: SWERF is
The short answer is that you can't. What libertarian communists can, and indeed should, do is support workers in those industries in organising to make their conditions safer, which involves standing with them against criminialisation measures that will subject them to increased state harrassment, drive them further underground and make it harder for them to establish any kind of safe working conditions.
For the record, I work for a very pointless capitalist business, and I certainly don't "support" the industry I work in, but if I was faced with the prospect of my job being outlawed, meaning I had to either have my income shut off or be driven into the black market with no kind of employment protections whatsoever, I would (reluctantly) oppose that measure, and would hope other workers stand with me; and if you ever have to face the threat of having your livelihood criminalised, and want to stand against it, I'll be glad to join you in resisting it. Happy to help. I'm sorry if you think that supporting organised workers trying to improve their conditions is a silly liberal issue, but I personally think it's actually quite important.
How am i a 'TERF' Im not a
How am i a 'TERF'
Im not a feminist, because im a male, and male feminism is cringy as f
I dont have feminist meeting groups, so i cant exclude trans people from these groups, so im not a Trans excluding feminist.
But i do am 'radical'. Its easy to be 'radical', in this neoliberal era.
R totale Off course its good
Off course its good when seksworkers organize themselves, i am off course not 'against' that, how could i be against that ?
But will their pimps allow it, in the first place ? A lot of force is going on there, in that industry, it isnt a 'normal' world.
But a woman who survived the sekstrade, and who now is a radfem, a 'TERF', i can see her not wanting to deal with seksworkers. She will be like, i dont want anything to do with that, in any way. She will be like, it isn't work, i was forced, a lot of us are forced, dont call it 'work'.
And thats her choice, you cant force her to hang around with seksworkers.
Anarchism is about free association, and free dissociation.
I can start a group for 'real metallica fans' , and exclude 'fake metallica fans'. Its my freedom to form groups, and keep them inclusive.
Bimbobalimbo wrote: Every
Every group has the `right` to allow, and keep out people, on their own terms, When Scottish workers wanna keep out Irish workers, than thats their choice
Irish workers can join a union of Irish workers or get a job in Dublin, so whats the point ?
Lol, trans people don't want to be in "cis only groups" which is what your comparison applies to. They want to not be harassed by others and have the freedom to associate with groups and support networks of their own gender.
?????????????? Someone thinks highly of themselves.
Seriously though, Metallica
Seriously though, Metallica is just the worst.
Many of us have begun to
Many of us have begun to inhabit different worlds thanks to our social and social media bubbles.
Readers of the OP should understand that outside this tiny scene, a lot of normal people believe trying to intimidate, silence and drown out a women talking about her childhood sexual abuse, as happened in Edinburgh, is vile and inexcusable rather than heroic.
What’s noticeable, along with the threats and violent rhetoric directed at Women’s Place meetings, is the demand that people must not listen, speak, read, watch or think for themselves when it comes to trans issues.
If you’re at all skeptical about what’s been written above, take a chance, as a responsible adult, and read something from a different perspective. For example the Vonnie Leclerc article here. Or the articles and videos on the Woman’s Place site. You won’t agree with all the perspectives offered (I definitely don’t) but you might accept that these women are not fascists, are not endangering trans people, and do not deserve to have targets painted on their backs.
One example of the fact-free environment in which Sisters Uncut etc are now sadly operating in is the link at the bottom of the OP. It takes you to a report of an entirely different meeting than the one targeted by this demo. Such sloppiness in thought and deed.
The author of this piece says that ’TERFS’ are popping up everywhere. I dispute that most feminists interested discussing the GRA reforms are actual trans exclusionary radical feminists (there are still very few of those), but it’s true there are now large numbers of women and men, (including trans women and men), taking a more critical view of contemporary trans ideology and/or beginning to speak out against some forms of trans rights activism.
Has the author or this piece asked yourself why that might be? Why are these discussions happening in the press, in Labour, in unions, radical scenes etc? Is it just because the awesome power of TERFS? Or could it be partially to do with the type of brainless and misogynistic ‘activism’ on display outside this Edinburgh meeting, at the Anarchist Bookfair, or at Hyde Park and many other examples? There are hundreds of women (maybe thousands) who will tell you it certainly does.
TERF - hating men of Libcom (and Fleur): ask yourself whether your glee in hunting down so-called TERFS is actually helping the cause of trans rights. There are trans people who want nothing to do with the bullying, misogyny and relentless targeting of women, lesbians and feminists that seem to make up a core activity of this scene.
The ‘post truth politics’ displayed on the Bookfair thread caused a few people I know to give up on Libcom. In my case, apart from the disgust at the misogyny and dishonesty, I also left out of fear. I always meant to come back and say my piece on that thread, but I’ve now seen this one, so perhaps this will do.
Bimbobalimbo wrote: since
By this logic then supporting the working class would be a bad thing. No one is arguing that sex work is a good thing, the whole point is that sex workers should not be stigmatised for their work and that the extremely dangerous conditions should be improved. Imagine making your argument about miners, it doesn't really fit together.
This misogyny argument is a bit tiring. It is not misogynistic to ask for trans women to have the same rights as women. If you attack them, and calling them men is attacking them, then you can't claim that you are being attacked by misogynists.
I read the Vonnie Leclerc
I read the Vonnie Leclerc article Zia linked, it gets some obvious (and important) things wrong:
The implication here is that all women-only spaces are still trans exclusive and that trans people are trying to gain access by calling them bigoted. But this is in fact the exact opposite of the information in the article linked from the opening post:
a thousand flowers
So many womens refuges, some of the places with the very clearest reasons to exclude men, are already trans inclusive. The people painting them as 'hateful and exclusionary' are in fact those campaigning against trans rights, because the fiction that trans women are already universally excluded from these places and the GRA would force refuges to let them in is vital to the narrative that women's rights are under attack that trans exclusive activists rely on.
Sisters Uncut, one of the groups involved in the protest, also manages to be trans-inclusive and exclude men, from their FAQ:
Also the idea that sex segregation in schools is a protection from patriarchy? There have been massive legal cases against sex segregation in religious schools recently: https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/pragna-patel/feminist-victory-fundamentalists-gender-segregation-uk-schools it's only in the '70s they stopped segregating home economics and woodwork.
With sports segregation, a trans boy just won a Texas girls' high school wrestling championship because he was barred from competing in the boys competition (Texas will only recognise gender on birth certificates), was booed in the final, then got attacked for it all over social media and the right wing press. Who does this help? http://www.news.com.au/sport/more-sports/transgender-wrestler-booed-in-texas-final/news-story/b20b171812235958cb68e362d002cd4a
For absolute clarity, when
For absolute clarity, when talking about the misogyny of the trans rights activists who target feminists eg Sisters Uncut in this Edinburgh action, obviously most of them are not themselves trans. Same for the other things I mentioned - the Anarchist Bookfair, Hyde Park, or the Libcom thread on the Bookfair. I assume most of the people involving themselves are non trans ‘allies’.
So Mike you found you can engage (debate, disagree with) Vonnie Leclerc’s arguments. Anything to disagree with on the other side or are you all good with the OP?
Zia wrote: For absolute
Just to be clear, are you're accusing Sisters Uncut, a group campaigning for domestic violence services, which excludes men from the organisation, of misogyny? Do you have anything else to say about them except calling them misogynists?
Also what about actually dealing with the arguments in my comment instead of deflecting to my thoughts the OP?
I think the article here is a bit too brief, it could do with more details about why the event was opposed, but that background is provided by the links (https://athousandflowers.net/2018/01/21/inside-the-transphobic-hate-conference-being-promoted-by-the-scottish-media/ is the other one).
when irish workers wanna keep
when irish workers wanna keep out Scotish people, to me that seems silly, but if they really want to, im not here to prevent them from doing so, im not the police.
I meen, who am i to tell people what to do ?
they want to be not harassed, they dont get harassed, their perception of harasssement is when someone doesnt agree with them, a hundred present, or when lesbians dont wanna date them etc
nobody harasses these people, cause nobody cares.....
these people harass everyone who is so called 'phobic' about them
i think highly of myself, may i ? Or doesnt Jezus allow it , to think highly about yourself ?
can people pleace stop this witch hunt on so called 'Terfs"
admin edit: CN for
admin edit: CN for transphobia in this comment, we've banned this user
Jef , to this Jef
silly, mining isnt the same as getting fucked, by people you think are disgusting. mining isnt the same as consentless seks, if you really dont feel the difference, if you are this clumsy, unsensitive, than i dont know where to start
NOBODY thinks bad about seksworkers. they are victims of capitalism. nobody thinks bad about them, thats your projection
nobody ever said they are vulgar, or evil, or anything....nobody of the radfem community ever used moralist arguments
when you have XY chromosomes, a beard, and a huge ass functioning dick, i will think of him as a him
When he wants to be called a she, i will call him a she, just to pleace 'her'
everyone will know she is a he, its basic reality....
water is wet, the sun is a star , pokemon is fake, my dick isnt a vagina
material reality, as a so called 'leftist' you should get that
are you this dillusioned ?
everyone knows these people are men, but nobody dares to say it, cause they, and their agressive friends intimidate you , even beat you up, threatens you
these people are mentally ill, and you people get along with it, you feed their psychosis
Bimbobalimbo wrote: they
Sorry, are you saying that trans people do not get harrassed and that their only issue is that "lesbians dont wanna date them"?
Because if you are, then you are so utterly clueless its embarassing.
From everything you've said so far, you really shouldn't.
i agree with you a lot Zia
i agree with you a lot Zia
these trans kids, are just afraid of each other, they conform to each other
i can tell, because i was also a little bit brainwashed by their irrational neoliberalism/essentialism
i tried to shut down my basic thoughts, just to pleace their insanity
they function as a cult, and they function within domains of teenage angst, social media, and mindless emotions
nothing is leftist about the 'queer theory' agressors
admin note: Bimbobalimbo has
admin note: Bimbobalimbo has been blocked.
Sometimes Sisters Uncut
Sometimes Sisters Uncut behave like misogynists. The action in Edinburgh stank. I think it was a poor decision by them and they have been making a few recently. I used to support them financially, but stopped, due to a few things, their messed up priorities which recently cause them to them target feminists, trying to prevent and disrupt the WPUK meetings in Bristol and Edinburgh, shout down women talking about sexual abuse, then threaten and try to extort money from the venue. I like to think that there are differences of opinion within Sisters and those choices don’t represent everyone involved but I don’t know. As I said there is a strain of trans rights activism (trans and non trans activists, not representative of trans people) which relentlessly targets women, feminists and lesbians while leaving in peace the Right and the people who actually murder trans women (can you believe it, the murderers are in fact men).
The speakers and attendees of WPUK are not the same speakers as on the ‘We have to Talk’ tour described in the article linked to. WPUK speakers are a mixed bag politically and include a few trans women. What things which make them too dangerous to be allowed to speak? Are they worse than all the male trots and stalinists you might disagree with? Treating a liberal left feminist meeting like you treat fascists doesn’t actually make them fascists. It makes you a brainless ideologue.
As for the Vonnie Leclerc article, I posted that because the author of the OP wrote “ the TERF Vonny Leclerc who writes for the National, has penned a 'we're all friends here' paean to bigotry disguised as ‘reasonableness' “ which is silly. I thought people could read it for themselves. I could get into my opinions about the issues you raise (segregated schools, sports, refuges) because these are normal things that feminists talk about, but the point is none of her opinions warrant the description in the OP. And I don’t really want to get into a discussion about feminism here, because its been made clear that this is not a feminist space.
A tip: if the first time you’ve taken an interest in feminism and debates within it is the time it involves hunting for ‘terfs’ then you may not be a feminist. Engage your brain. I wouldn’t take my opinions from people who find it appropriate to try to silence, abuse and humiliate women speaking about their experiences of sexual violence (and then put a content warning for mention of sexual abuse on an article bragging about their behaviour!).
Zia wrote: A tip: if the
A tip: making assumptions like this is probably something you should avoid. It comes off as extremely patronizing and can be interpreted as "shut the fuck up".
Zia wrote: I could get into
As demonstrated, she literally excludes trans-inclusive women's shelters from the article, completely erased, instead proposing a 'debate' about trans inclusion from the false starting point that shelters are all trans-exclusive. This in an article with the headline "only good faith debate".
Given the premise of opposition is that trans people showing up to women's shelters and being let in is a risk, the fact this is already done, without a breakdown in domestic violence services as a result, seems like quite an important thing to take into account.
If someone said let's have a good faith debate about the fact that all anti-fascism is paid activism by George Soros would you expect people to show up for it?
Meanwhile there are lots of other threats to domestic violence services, like funding cuts, which Sisters Uncut has a good record of opposing.
Hasn't Linda Bellos appeared at both?
Here she is at "We have to talk" saying she's quite prepared to threaten violence against trans women:
And here she is three weeks later at A Women's Place:
The specific speakers at those two specific events might be different, but there's obviously some crossover between the two event series.
As Mike says, the offer of
As Mike says, the offer of good faith discussion is just a joke. They talk about good faith and respectful discussion and then base their arguments on lies, manipulations, junk science and far fetched hypothetical scenarios. How can a respectful discussion take place when actual evidence to counter their, quite frankly, ludicrous ramblings about trans women trying to harm cis women, is just shot down.
Obviously they are fixated on trans women because trans men and non binary trans people don't exist in their fantasy world.
This has been going on for years, certain segments of the feminist movement holding opinions on trans people which more closely align to the preaching of Billy Graham than any form of radical though. Now that people are clapping back, the response is the pearl clutching and swooning victim mentality we have now become so familiar with. It's fucking embarrassing behavior from grown ass women TBH.
I'm not new to feminism and the first trans woman I ever knew was back in the 80s. The way feminism approached trans issues was diabolical then and it's shameful that such ignorant ideas are still floating around now.
As for free association, I really don't want the weirdos from Woman's Place near me. They have a bizarre pervy obsession with genitalia. I wouldn't feel safe around them.
Sisters Uncut misogynists? Lol, what are you on? They're amazing group who do excellent work for the benefit of women, not a bunch of people who waft about yakking about how to best pick on a marginalized group.
FWIW I find arguing with
FWIW I find arguing with transmisogynists to be one of the most frustrating and infuriating experiences. It's like talking to a goddamned cult and no amount of facts, figures, experiences, scientific research or let's be honest rational discussion can get in the way of their weird genital centered belief system. I'm a middle aged cis woman with decades of experience of arguing the toss and I find it awful, so I can only imagine how bad it must be for my trans comrades who have to put up with this shit every day of their lives. They're on the wrong side of history and they know it. Love and solidarity x
Fleur, I think we are near in
Fleur, I think we are near in age, and I first met my first trans person in the 80s too. No big deal, and I was always on the anti-radfem, pro trans inclusion side of those debates too. But, you probably know that some older trans people speak openly about being alienated from some aspects of contemporary transgender activism. For example, violent threats to women disgust plenty of older (and younger) trans people as they disgust me (but apparently not a single Libcom admin, if the Bookfair thread is anything to go by).
Trans people and transphobic feminists are not eternal categories of people locked in an ahistorical battle. Well, some of it feels like the same old to me too, but not all of it. Your assumption that nothing’s changed since the 80s might explain why you feel so assured talking about events based purely on what you see online, even spreading false information as you did on the other thread.
No minority or group of marginalised people is homogenous. Internal differences exist and it’s always worth listening to apostates and dissenters within groups, even you don’t agree with them. That’s the problem with Fleur’s standard demand to stop thinking and discussing, just ‘shut up and listen to oppressed people’ . Sometimes the loudest voices claiming to represent groups are just the shouty people remaining after quieter and more thoughtful voices have been removed or removed themselves from the conversation.
My opinions are based upon
My opinions are based upon the actual lived experiences of trans people I know in real life, including my 16 year old son's trans best friend. I no longer live in the UK but we are not exactly running low on transphobia here either, both from the right and from alleged feminists, who don't appear to have any problems with making strange bedfellows.
Things have improved since the 80s but the likes of Greer and the next generation are still spouting their bigotry, with a huge platform, despite their constant whining about being silenced.
A Woman's Place have had no problem with sharing a platform with a right wing MP. No one can honestly believe he gives a flying fuck about the wellbeing of LGBT people, he just has a convenient crossover of bigotry. Miranda Yardley, the trans woman who trots about with them, has recently doxed a trans child. These people are an actual danger to trans people, not the other way around.
I do very much judge people by the company they keep and a Woman's Place are very much found wanting in this regard.
Obviously there are apostates
Obviously there are apostates and dissenters in any group, there are black Republicans, gay Tories, women who are involved in MRA organizations, all sorts of strangeness but when you have actually witnessed the bullying, exclusion and rejection of a 16 year old trans kid and the deterioration of their mental health as a consequence, I do not care to give any more attention to the opinions of Miranda Yardley and her group, who advocate(and execute) this sort of behavior in the name of feminism. If that is what feminism is then I eschew it, it's devoid of simple kindness and dignity.
Edited because predictive text on phone is just bizarre at times.