Breaking News: In what has been described as a “horrifying” incident two women were attacked by a group of men who identified themselves as “transgender women” at the Portland State University “Law and Disorder Conference” which billed itself as a “provocative space for comparative critical dialogue between activists, revolutionaries, educators, artists, musicians, scholars, dancers, actors and writers”.
The women were attacked in a coordinated assault as they sat at a table which sold feminist books and literature. The men destroyed the books and marked up the table display with permanent markers. One of the women was also marked up by the men. Predominantly male conference onlookers by all reports allowed the attack to take place, watching in stunned silence. Two males affiliated with the same group as the feminists -Deep Green Resistance- were also in attendance and the “trans women” threw a projectile at the head of one of them.
According to reports, the transgender males or “trans women” took issue with the feminist content in the Deep Green Resistance materials. Specifically, a portion of the materials reflected the feminist position that social roles based on sex are undesirable and harmful to women.
The transgender males believe that social roles based on sex are natural and innate and that it is instead the unchanging nature of biological sex that is undesirable. They believe that women should not criticize social roles based on sex, in deference to the feelings of men like themselves who embrace such roles. The men reportedly stated that all feminist writing and voices should be silenced by males with force if necessary, and they then proceeded to do just that.
Conference organizer Brandon Speck posted a statement on Facebook today following yesterday’s attack. He claimed that women should not be able to disseminate materials that might offend those men who support sex-roles. He claimed that the women deserved to be attacked for offering materials that contained feminism. He stated that no feminists should be permitted to sell books that men might not like. He said that as a man he had no authority to dictate the behavior of other men who might choose to assault women who offend them.
Gee, I guessed they “deserved” it. Like so many women “deserve” it, am I right, guys? Brandon Speck’s pathetic blame-shifting post in which he said that there were safety concern for trans males (LMAO) has already been deleted, including the comment thread containing threats against feminist activists who do not agree with trans ideology.
One of the recurring difficulties I seem to have with many (straight) women is their inability to be honest about their relationships with men and the ensuing hypocrisy they inevitably exhibit as a result.
I am supposed to become incredibly upset about any real or perceived injustice against men while it is expected that I do not complain about threatening or dangerous male behaviour directed at women in general or me in specific. Instead, I am matter-of-factly lectured on ways to minimize the unavoidable damage dealt by violent men.
Protecting someone who you expect to abuse you is not “love” - it’s submissive behaviour to appease an angry master.
If your feminism can only imagine a world without gendered hierarchies because gender (in any and every sense) has been abolished, then it is not radical.
In fact, it’s comparable to claims that racism will only cease existing if we become a colorblind society.
I think you are confusing radical feminism with most modern, academic feminists who really are advocating for a “genderblind” society. I personally find our biological condition to be socially unavoidable - the only thing I would like to see destroyed is the false image of woman man has created to exploit female creativitiy.
…Or did I misunderstand the first sentence?
Most of the people who I’ve seen advocating for “genderblindness” have declared themselves to be the *real* *true* feminists, and to especially discuss themselves as The Radical Feminists™ so I’m not clear on who you’re classifying as the “radical feminists” in contrast to said gender abolitionists.
And I say gender abolitionists because I have a lot of trans friends and I’ve seen the kind of shit those people throw at them - that they’re sexist because they don’t view those biological conditions to be quite so cohesive, static, or indicative of their identities as you’ve declared them to be.
On to the main point though - I think this is a cohesive philosophy which I see as responding to both discussions about racism and discussions about sexism in the US - the advocacy for blindness to otherness. It’s a philosophy which seems to accept bigotry against identifiable others but also thinks institutional inequalities are bad. It takes the view that people should be judged on the content of their character, but that that’s only possible if you don’t perceive their subaltern identities. It’s an attempt to create equality without examining bigotry. It can only imagine others being liberated if they become identical to the currently privileged. It’s innately assimilationist.
And this is far from a political philosophy that only engages race and gender critically - it seems to be a component of the assimilationist view of queer people and queer families. We deserve equal rights after all since we’re Just Like You™. If a non-trivial difference between an us and a you is perceived, well, kiss your legal equality goodbye?
But finally, yes, you’re right, we should stop men from being the ones holding the pen and writing the script about who and what women are. But I’d hope that wouldn’t entail erasing womanhood, femininity, and related gendered phenomena. Shouldn’t sexism be about who has power and what they do with it, rather than who and what have a right to exist?
Okay, let me first clarify what I ment when I used the word “genderblind” (which actually should be called “sex-blind”). There are people right now in the academy, people dominating and monopolizing the discourse in feminist, queer and gender studies who are of the opinion that the binary model of gender is the sole source of oppression of both men and women in respect to sexism. They deny the signficance of biologically unchangeable conditions like the ability to become pregnant for the formation of human communities. At the moment, this has only led to calls to abolish the research of sex differences by abandoning the categories male and female which would effectively disappear women’s oppression. If tthis should become reality no woman (or man for that matter) would be able to talk about any kind of experience that has its roots in her being female. This would serve as an extremely effective way for misogynists to exploit women under the guise of fighting bigotry.
I would not call this assimilationist, it’s just a very effective way to push your ideology and/or bigotry and escape responsibility for the consequences of your own behavior. Assimiliationism is usually something people with low status of any kind engage in for security reasons. I just think you are confusing a more or less deliberate mechanism to maintain power with the more or less effective strategies of minorities to survive.
Now here is the deal: gender is an instrument of oppression, it defines certain things as feminine and masculine, assigning the latter superior worth and the former sometimes no worth at all - if this is not sufficient men create supposedly feminine practices which are then pushed on women as social requirements. So keeping gender would uphold patriarchy. Moreover, the definition of what gender encompasses is completely unclear: what is feminine in one culture might be considered masculine in the next. Additionally, there are extremely damaging forms of gender like footbinding, widow-burning and female genital mutilation. Abolishing gender is both a process of un-sexing practices and destroying those solely created to oppress women.
if gender disappears sexual dimorphic reproduction will not disappear either, it will remain a significant social experience. Sex is just a biological fact but it needs to be dealt with in one way or the other. Pretending that it does not exist, however, is something I would absolutely not recommend, especially in our times when women are often disproportionally killed with excessive pregnancies and impregnated by rapists. Although your trans friends’ experiences make biological conditions appear incohesive, fluent and independent from their identities these conditions do no actually share said properties.
When I post statuses on Facebook or Twitter advocating for what I believe in, some people say to me that they don’t want feminism rammed down their throat — well I don’t want the Patriarchy rammed down mine so I guess one of us is going to have to give.
And it’s not going to be me.
- http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/04/26/feminism-campus-joke-huffpost-conversation_n_3161709.html?utm_hp_ref=tw (via sexandsocialism)
Two weeks ago, a speaker at the annual conference of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers voiced a need to teach pupils about the dangers of internet porn. A few days later, deputy children’s commissioner Sue Berelowitz announced the launch of new research to find out if boys understood the meaning of girls consenting to sex after another report found that 100% of 14-year-old boys in one school had accessed porn on the web, and that 50% of girls had seen it, too – usually at the boys’ behest.
I might dismiss this as scaremongering if I didn’t know that my mother retired from a long and varied career in community sexual health three years ago, just as her colleagues who went into schools started reporting a rise in STD outbreaks concomitant in the rise of boys coaxing (cajoling, bullying, forcing – draw the line where you will) girls to service the lot of them in turn so they could film it on their phones.
And I might still hope there was more smoke than fire if I hadn’t been told a story by a friend about teaching sex ed classes in a big west London comprehensive – for which the otherwise mixed school was separated into gender groups; she took the girls. She was halfway through her planned lesson and ground to a halt when she saw a roomful of faces gazing blankly, where she had expected giggling and ribald commentary at least. She questioned them and then light dawned. “You do realise,” she said hesitantly, “that you’re supposed to enjoy it, don’t you?” Incredulity and a buzz of interest broke out. She threw away her lesson plan and they talked for the rest of the time about this new and fascinating idea. Then she came home and cried.
- Lucy Mangan in “Sex Miseducation”
kathleen hanna and kathi wilcox talking about bikini kill’s most memorable moments