FEMINISTS IN STRUGGLE (FIST) LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN FOR FEMINIST AMENDMENTS TO THE EQUALITY ACT

The current version of the Equality Act (HR 5) that passed in the House and is pending in the Senate (SB 788) is a double-edged sword for women. On the one hand, the bill expands civil rights protections for lesbians, gays and bisexuals, a cause for which feminists and lesbian/gay activists have struggled for many decades. The bill also adds protections against discrimination for some–transgender individuals–but not all people who do not conform to gender norms or stereotypes for their sex.  That too, is a good thing though it doesn’t go far enough since it fails to protect gender non-conforming individuals, including gays and lesbians and many feminists who do not consider themselves transgender.

On the other hand, the current legislation conflates sex with “gender identity” which effectively eliminates sex-based protections for women and girls.  It also explicitly requires that transgender identified males–any male who claims to be a woman–be admitted into women’s facilities including bathrooms, locker rooms and changing rooms.  That aspect of the current bill is equivalent to the self-ID law that was recently defeated in the UK.  It is extremely harmful to women and girls.

The harm of self-ID provisions is a result of the fact that women and girls are still oppressed and discriminated against as a sex class in our society.  We need programs for women and girls including under Title IX to redress past wrongs and equal the playing field, so that those of us born female have an equal opportunity to develop ourselves and pursue our dreams.   We also need female-only spaces and refuges for reasons of privacy and safety, especially because male sexual and physical violence against women and girls remains pervasive.

Feminists in Struggle are calling for the Equality Act to be amended rather than defeated. We demand a better bill that protects everyone’s rights and does not pit one group’s rights against another.  Our legal committee has drafted a Model Bill that incorporates Feminist Amendments into the Equality Act.  The Model Bill has been approved by the democratic body of our active FIST members, the Feminist Assembly.  Our version of the Equality Act preserves women’s sex-based rights including the right to female-only spaces and programs while adding strong prohibitions against discrimination based on sexual orientation and sex stereotyping. For example, under FIST’s bill all sex-based dress codes would become illegal.

Please join our Campaign for Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act! Let us know of your support.  And spread the word to all your contacts.  We know this is not going to be an easy struggle but neither was winning the vote. We in FIST believe that sisterhood is powerful and that together we can fight for our sex-based rights and win!

You may download a copy of the following documents:

Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act

Comparison of Original Equality Act and Feminist Amendments.02.07.20

TrackChanges.FeministAmendments.FIST

FAEA-Power Point Presentation

FAEA brochure

for more information on the FAEA (Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act)

8 Replies to “FEMINISTS IN STRUGGLE (FIST) LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN FOR FEMINIST AMENDMENTS TO THE EQUALITY ACT”

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  2. Paula Mariedaughter

    Pretending that biological sex does not exist is one more strategy in the war on women and our rights as female human beings! The attempt to confuse sex with gender and gender identity is a “stealth campaign” we need to name. Female erasure is the goal. Each of the institutions of patriarchy, from academia to religions, has been terrified by our determination to be full participants in community life, and by our attempts to radically transform society. We need to be the ones to advocate this version of the Equality Act which preserves women’s sex-based rights. Thank you to the women of FIST for all your efforts on our behalf!

    Reply
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  5. Katherin Kirkpatrick

    Thank you for your work against the harmful aspects of the Equality Act.

    Please consider eliminating the Price Waterhouse “sex stereotype” language from your proposed bill. I realize that you think that language is necessary; but please allow me to explain how it actually hurts us:

    Many people believe that Anne Hopkins needed the “sex stereotype” standard in order to prevail on her case. But she didn’t. She could have–should have–won on the basis of SEX alone.

    Few people realize, unless they’ve been dealing with gender harms on children and the way that the Price Waterhouse “stereotype” standard has been used to justify them, that it was the Price Waterhouse discussion of sex and gender itself that got us into this whole mess with self-identifying men in women’s spaces, and from there to child gender-harm, in the first place.

    We shouldn’t add to that in any way, no matter how well intentioned.

    Please note this language from the Price Waterhouse decision–even the lofty Supreme Court sometimes is foolish:

    “In the context of sex stereotyping, an employer who acts on the basis of a belief that a woman cannot be aggressive, or that she must not be, has acted on the basis of GENDER.” (Emphasis added.)

    That bit of language in the Supreme Court’s decision was so wrong, and has been so harmful.

    Anne Hopkins’ employers DID NOT discriminate on the basis of her “gender.” They discriminated on the basis of her sex. They told her that simple, unadorned clothing and ambitious, aggressive (and successful!) job performance wasn’t for WOMEN. And they were wrong, and should have lost on that basis alone.

    They added their disastrous language about “stereotype” because of pressure from gender theorists who wanted to see the distinctions between actual men and women “eviscerated” in the law. And subsequent to Price Waterhouse that is exactly what is being successfully argued by men pretending that they have a federally protected right to women’s spaces because of their “gender” self identity.

    Believe me when I say that the conflation of sex and gender in Price Waterhouse to create a “stereotype” standard is the reason why gender predators are successfully arguing in court that BIOLOGICAL SEX is an unlawful stereotype, and that your notion that a “woman” with a penis shouldn’t be in a girls’ dressing room is illegal bigotry.

    I’m convinced that any proposed legislation that retains that horrible logic is doomed to make things worse, not better.

    I’ve been reading caselaw on this for two years on behalf of gender-harmed children. Please email me if you need more info. Thanks for reading!

    Reply
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