The New Yorker asks “What is a woman?”

Michelle Goldberg writes:

What is a woman? The dispute between radical feminism and transgenderism

“This moment where we’re losing the ability to say the word ‘woman’ or to acknowledge the fact that being born female has lived consequences and meaning is kind of intense to me.”

Of course, we can still use the word “woman” and work specifically for women’s liberation. If we can deal with the death threats and other abuse from trans advocates.

This is what it looks like:

Abusive posts proliferated on Twitter and, especially, Tumblr. One read, “/kill/terfs 2K14.” [The slur “TERF” stands for “Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist.”] Another suggested, “how about ‘slowly and horrendously murder terfs in saw-like torture machines and contraptions’ 2K14.” A young blogger holding a knife posted a selfie with the caption “Fetch me a terf.” Such threats have become so common that radical-feminist Web sites have taken to cataloguing them. “It’s aggrieved entitlement,” Lierre Keith told me. “They are so angry that we will not see them as women.”

Check it out: Google “kill terfs.”

We can still talk about putting women first, although the consequences may include our property getting trashed by queer advocates intent on silencing such talk:

In the summer of 2003, Serano joined about a hundred people at Camp Trans, a protest camp near the Michfest site, which has run intermittently since 1994. Serano said that relations with Michfest attendees were often unexpectedly cordial. A few years ago, though, Vogel says, some protesters committed acts of vandalism—stealing electrical cables, cutting water pipes, keying cars in the parking lot, and spray-painting a six-foot penis, and the words “Real Women Have Dicks,” on the side of the main kitchen tent.

No. Real women do not have dicks, dude.

Michelle Goldberg’s piece highlights the recent slander against Deep Green Resistance, but fails to mention the violence against DGR women and allies at the Law and Disorder conference in Portland in 2013. From GenderTrender:

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

DGR responds to the attack:

DGR has never threatened anyone, and has a code of conduct that disallows making threats against people. Any DGR person who behaved as violently as any of the queer activists did at this conference would be immediately banned from DGR. Instead, what has happened is a barrage of threats against DGR members, up to and including mass beheading. And yet these comments are allowed to remain. We ask everyone to stand in solidarity with all victims of patriarchal, male-pattern violence, starting with the women who were subjected to this at the Law and Disorder conference.

I am struck by the bravery of these women. Even after the first attack, they came back to continue their work, only to be surrounded and screamed at and threatened all over again.

I can imagine too well what that must be like – to be abused for being female, and feminist, and to know that no one will stand up for you. I know too well how that feels.

It’s horrible, but this kind of intimidation works. I’m afraid to identify myself as a radical feminist in public. But an acquaintance outed me, so I’ve been getting my share of the threats anyway. (It’s worth noting that none of the harassment is coming from trans people, as far as I know. It’s coming from “cis” het white dudes.)

Silence won’t protect us, sisters.

The most telling line in the New Yorker story comes at the end. Male-to-female trans woman Sandy Stone says:

 “I am going to have to say, It’s your place to stay out of spaces where transgender male-to-female people go. It’s not our job to avoid you.”

OK, please tell women where we are allowed to go to avoid your threats and harassment? By Stone’s logic, is the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival trans territory and therefore off-limits to the radical feminists who founded it?

The local university and school district don’t allow female-only space anymore. Not even in the washrooms. Not even in the Women’s Centre. There is nowhere we can go to get away from males.

Males are already using the mask of transgender to prey on women in once-female spaces. Given that men-who-become-women commit the same crimes that men do, and about as often, how long until a woman is murdered by a man in a formerly safe space?


5 thoughts on “The New Yorker asks “What is a woman?”

  1. Reblogged this on Thou wouldst still be adored and commented:
    “Males are already using the mask of transgender to prey on women in once-female spaces. Given that men-who-become-women commit the same crimes that men do, and about as often, how long until a woman is murdered by a man in a formerly safe space?”


  2. The whole pretentious debate lately about what woman means is frankly erasure and dehumanizing to women. Women are adult human females. We are an oppressed class globally and erasing that is just being used as an excuse to encourage sexual terrorism by letting trannies into women’s spaces.

    Liked by 2 people

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