Posted in this space on January 6, 2018:
Thank you so much for publishing this ad. I have grown increasingly concerned about the violence directed towards women who dare to ask any questions related to trans issues.
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Thank you for printing this. There are some seriously reactionary politics that are happening in the silencing of debate that are not only the same as what the Right does, but are imbued with every bit as much misogyny.
How is it that our Sisters and Brothers on the Left are so afraid of looking transphobic that they can’t even call out this incredibly abusive and job-threatening and life-threatening behavior?Felon Evans
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I’m wondering if this hate from trans women (I assume they are all Trans women and not trans men) comes from the maleness they grew up with, the privileges they had as male and are simply still misogynistic, or there’s still too much testosterone in their system. I’m just guessing. I have been a radical feminist lesbian for decades, and the struggle has always been about equality for women. Although, I rather like Germaine Greer’s take on the issue: Why settle for equality with males and fail to go beyond that? I cannot support the idea that all little girls who act like tomboys, or little boys who act effeminate, must be transgender. Maybe they will be just plain lesbians and gay men.
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Thank you for publishing this piece.
I’m so grateful to everyone who stands up and weathers the storm of straw-manning that occurs whenever people speak on this issue. I am constantly seeing lesbians being bullied online. Seeing their confusion and their feelings of being betrayed by the left, the progressives, is painful to watch. None of these women "hate trans people." 99% of lesbians and radical feminists feel strongly about the protection of trans peoples’ rights. That doesn’t mean caving to an ideology that supports the erasure of womens’ rights.
In the ‘80s and ‘90s I volunteered in many LGBT groups. Trans people and feminists were fiercely protective allies. I hope one day we can be allies again. Saying "trans women are trans women and that’s awesome! I stand up for their right to express themselves however they choose without discrimination!" is now hate speech. Anything less than being 100% on board with the ludicrous statement that a penis is a female organ just because the owner of the penis decided two months ago to live life as a trans woman is now hate speech.
It is possible for us all have our rights upheld without women being thrown under the bus. It really is possible to further the emancipation of women and further the acceptance and rights of trans people at the same time. A rising tide lifts all boats. They are only transformed into competing goals when one group wants to annihilate the other’s right to define themselves, their bodies, and their experiences, and to destroy their ability to form groups and congregate—online or off—with whoever they choose without being shut down for being "bigots" and "nazis". Women born with a female reproductive biology aren’t permitted in groups created by trans women—and rightly so. Women born with a female reproductive biology, however, aren’t permitted to have their own groups/spaces without being mobbed and threatened into obscurity. This cannot continue.
Thank you for posting this piece. Seeing all the people who had signed at the end gave me hope for a less dangerous and toxic environment in the future.
Frankie from Melbourne Australia
Posted in this space on January 5, 2018:
Thank you for putting this out there to the progressive community. I am a long-time progressive organizer and activist for environmental and indigenous solidarity causes and have noticed, through the years, that it has become nearly impossible for me to participate in the work I love due to my critical views of gender. While I believe women's liberation politics to be a key to world liberation, I also understand and would like to work in the progressive environmental movement that involves all people, because all people need clean air, land and water. I have largely been pushed out of the environmental movement after years of organizing service because of my unrelated critical stance on gender. This kind of marginalizing of progressives, socialists and radicals must stop. Thanks again for this wonderful statement going out to the leftist community.
Thistle Pettersen: founding member of Women's Liberation Radio News
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Thank you for this. Much needed voices of sanity.
Dr Diane Brewster: life-long socialist, computer scientist, feminist.
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This comment is long overdue. Thank you for publishing it. Radical feminists have solutions to the problem of gender -- we must be given an opportunity to make our argument so that we can liberate all.
Michelle Bosma: goddess worshipper, wife of a transgender person, National Park Ranger, poet
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I have noticed, because of my work for Black Liberation, that a lot of the themes of Antifa's approach to confronting white supremacy also appear in the comments by those confronting what they perceive to be trans exclusion. I oppose Antifa on many grounds but one of the biggest reasons is their promotion of the notion that a means to combat racism is to "punch nazis." Interpersonal violence as a strategy for liberation is obviously fundamentally flawed and advances no progress. I became concerned about Antifa's involvement in racial struggles because they do not take their orders from POC, but instead self-deputize, which essentially results in a lack of agency by the people Antifa claims to be trying to protect, namely people of color.
I bring that up because I have noticed that, and this is clear from spending anytime on social media, a lot of folks in the current transactivism movement are also loosely affiliated with Antifa and support the Antifa approach that to eliminate problems, in this case what they call "TERFs," interpersonal violence will do. This again violates the norms of collective agency, because individual interpersonal violence, especially first strike aggressor violence, does nothing to advance the interests of an oppressed class.
It is clear to me that this promotion of individual interpersonal violence is coming down as from a hierarchy. Somebody somewhere is deliberately advancing and distributing this "Punch a [blank]" messaging, and it is not the people at the grassroots who are personally affected by these struggles.
I believe to freeze this line of thinking it would be best to issue a complete moratorium on violence and threats of violence. It may be appropriate to create a RadFem/Trans alliance that is bound by a commitment to nonviolence and the eradication of threatening language. It is also important to have standards for excluding people from places of importance in this debate if they prove they cannot exercise that minimal bit of self control. These are very serious topics with many people's lives, safety, and futures on the line. We must find ways to move together harmoniously.
Thank you for taking my comment.
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Thank you for this thoughtful declaration. May it make its mark with accuracy, insinuating itself into the nooks and crannies where it is needed.
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Despite having been a target of genderidentitywatch I would support this effort. I do oppose all violence and am always in favor of civil discussion and debate over violence and name calling.