By Ann Menasche
Many feminists are aware or have personally experienced the verbal threats of violence by mostly males directed against women, labelled “TERFS” for the “crime” of advocating, as feminists have always done, for our rights based on sex. These threats have been made in the name of “transgender rights” and “antifascism.” Violent slogans like “Die in a fire, TERF”, “Punch a TERF”, “A million dead TERFS,” “Decapitate TERFs”, etc. whether scribbled on a sign or posted on social media, are rather unique. Indeed, this should be enough for any honest Leftist to reconsider the nature of this movement. Never in my lifetime has a supposedly “Left” or progressive cause threatened whole groups, even our political opponents, with death. When feminists fight for abortion rights, have we ever called for the deaths of Catholics? Did the lesbian/gay rights struggle of decades ago ever call for the deaths of homophobes? So, even if all the horrid things they said about us were true, which they decidedly are not, such slogans are rather shocking. Nazis and fascist thugs do such things, yes. Racists, yes. Misogynist Incel-types, yes. But progressives?
Now the situation has escalated to acts of physical violence against women by these men. It wasn’t the first time, but what happened on November 19, in Portland, Oregon was perhaps the worst. A small group of women from Women’s Declaration International (WDI) and WoLF held a protest peacefully asserting their sex-based rights as part of a non-violent direct-action movement that WDI is spearheading around the country. Their banner read, “Women=Adult Human Female.” The attack was vicious and premeditated. The women had been vandalized the night before the event at the place they were staying and had their tires slashed. The library where they were planning to speak was also vandalized, broken windows, graffiti and the like, forcing the library to close. The women instead held a protest outside the library. They were denied police protection despite multiple calls to police and then “Antifa” (or “trantifa”) thugs assaulted and beat the women, sprayed them with burning chemicals into their eyes, punched them, stole and broke their phones, and threw women to the ground. The women remained non-violent through the attack. Several women ended up in the Emergency Room. Please see the detailed description of events here. https://womensdeclarationusa.com/wdi-usa-statement-about-nvda-action-in-portland/
For more about this violent group of bullies who fashion themselves as “Leftists”, “anti-fascists”, and even “revolutionaries”, see https://www.newsweek.com/what-trantifa-far-left-movement-transgender-violence-1807032. Also, take a look at the statement released by the Portland chapter of Antifa prior to the assault on the women – https://rosecityantifa.org/articles/WDI-US. The statement reads like a hit piece, full of lies, half-truths, guilt by association, paranoia, hyperbole, and complete dehumanization of the women, the kind of language that is typically used to rile people up to commit all kinds of atrocities. It is not only not progressive, but it is a throw-back to the tactics of the anti-Communist witch-hunt in the mid-twentieth century that similarly demonized communists, socialists, and progressive activists of all stripes. However, this time the targets are feminists.
Feminists in Struggle stands in solidarity with our sisters in Portland and condemns the unprovoked, unjustified and clearly misogynist violence of Antifa against women peacefully asserting their rights. Women will not be silenced by this violence. We call on all Leftists and progressives, whether in agreement with radical feminists on the issue of gender identity or not, to condemn this violence, and completely disassociate themselves from the thuggery being done in their name. Enough is enough! Women must be free to gather, speak our minds, and protest without fear for our safety and lives.
And to the “Antifa” members who think they are conducting their “revolution” this way on the backs of feminists, I have one message: If you want to fight fascism, I suggest you start by not acting like brownshirts yourselves.