Male violence against women is nothing new and characterizes all patriarchal societies including our own.  As just one example, take the scourge of femicide – men kill three women every day in the United States, mostly their partners or former partners.

Even less talked about is the collective violence against the movement for women’s rights.  This, too, has a long sordid history.  During the Suffrage movement, women marchers were assaulted by male mobs and suffragists were attacked while peacefully picketing the White House with police looking on.  After the suffragists were arrested, guards beat them with Billy clubs, dragged, choked, and kicked them, and subjected them to forced feeding. More recently, anti-abortionists have bombed abortion clinics, harassed patients and staff, and murdered abortion doctors.

Women and some men have been similarly subjected to violence for standing up to the extremist sex denialism of gender identity ideology, and for peacefully protesting for women’s rights – the right of women to speak in public, and to female-only spaces and programs.

Below are some recent examples of this violence, often done in the name of “trans rights” or “anti-fascism.”   Such violence demonstrates that this is not fundamentally about defending anyone’s civil rights but is simply old-fashioned misogyny designed to keep women in our places.  In addition, the women fighting for our rights have been unfairly demonized as “right-wing bigots” and “fascists” when not only is this very far from the truth, but it is the transactivists who are behaving like storm troopers.  And like during suffrage days, the police have often been complicit, doing nothing to stop the violence.

  • Attacks on the Let Women’s Speak rallies in Australia and New Zealand in March 2023. The mob broke through temporary gates set up by police and an organizer had tomato juice poured over her head and an elderly woman ended up with a concussion.
  • Former University of Kentucky women’s swimmer, Riley Graines, posted on her social media account that on April 6, 2023 she was ambushed, physically hit and forced to barricade in a classroom by a mob yelling obscenities at San Francisco State. Gaines speaks around the country saying it wasn’t fair that she had to compete against Lia Thomas, a transwoman who won an NCAA national women’s swimming championship in the 500-yard freestyle in 2022. The San Francisco State University police department is investigating. On April 8 the University put out a tweet thanking the students who protested peacefully, saying nothing about those who were violent.
  • Multiple attacks in various cities during a 2022 US tour featuring British women’s rights campaigner Kellie-Jay Keen. Keen is known for having founded Standing for Women to raise awareness of issues surrounding sex self-identification policies.  A woman supporting Keen had her hand crushed by a trans-identified male whose aim was to stop her from recording video on her phone during a women’s rights rally in Tacoma Washington on October 26.
  • Members of the Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) held an event entitled “Fighting the New Misogyny: A Feminist Critique of Gender Identity” at the Seattle Public Library on Feb 1, 2020. During the day, the Seattle Police Department cleared the library following a bomb threat, apparently made as a last-ditch attempt to shut down the event.  A mob threatening violence convened outside while inside 5 men were threatened with arrest after disrupting the talks.  The audience began chanting Let Women Speak! In response to the hecklers. According to Feminist Current “Some of the protestors had dispersed by the end of the event, but a large group remained near the exit, phalanxed by police and shouting insults at the women exiting the library. One man ran around the escort vehicle in an attempt to cut off Meghan Murphy before she entered the vehicle, but was blocked by security. Had it not been for the police, the speakers would likely have faced attacks.”
  • In late 2019 Meghan Murphy booked a speech on gender at the Toronto Public Library and required police protection as she was besieged by trans activists threatening violence. The next day the Toronto City Council voted 20 to 1 to review the booking policy for public spaces.

Feminists In Struggle extends our solidarity to all the women and men who have been harmed by this attack on women’s right to speak and peacefully protest in public places without fear.   Political differences within this growing movement for women’s sex-based rights should never be allowed to stand in the way of uniting in unconditional solidarity with our sisters in the U.S. and around the globe under attack. Stop this despicable violence now!  



Minority Statement on Missouri Senate bill Banning Child Transition

Members of FIST voted to support the Missouri Senate bill banning so-called trans “affirming” care for minor children, as posted on this blog March 31.  However, that vote was quite close and those of us in the minority would like to put forward our arguments in the spirit of furthering the feminist debate on this important issue.

The Missouri bill does not “stand-alone” but is one of a tsunami of bills released recently sponsored by the Right, as part of a concerted build-up for the next presidential election—basically to get a far-right person elected president in 2024 (DeSantis or Trump).  The fact that some feminist groups joined the Right in promoting these bills has no influence on the Right’s culture war strategy.  Other rightwing bills that are part of this strategy include: the plethora of abortion bans in 13 states (including the recent attack on medication abortion); the erasure of actual US history from K-12 curricula, in the name of “protecting children” from knowing the truth about slavery (and civil rights and women’s rights); the attacks on affirmative action, Social Security and voting rights. We cannot separate all of these right wing attacks (even the one that we might agree with) from the general attack on everything progressive that is unfolding before our eyes—and we do not think FIST should play a part in what will play into that build-up by the Right despite our best efforts to separate ourselves as Leftists, lesbians, etc. .

A major argument in the fight for abortion has always been: “politicians should not be legislating healthcare—this is the province of medicine, not politics.”  “Bans off my body”  should be upheld for all adults, but minor children are often treated with additional care.  Any legislation on specific medical procedures can be used to strengthen the hand of politicians to adjudicate and police abortion care.

If state power is used to enforce “healthcare” bans at a time when there is so much sentimentalized propaganda FOR “gender affirming treatment”, it will make the parents seeking these procedures for their children into MARTYRS and will simply strengthen public sympathy FOR “gender affirming care.”

Even when the Right seems to be in agreement with us on transgender ideology, the way they see women and gender is very different  from a feminist perspective.  They want to preserve gender norms while feminists have always argued that the stereotypes associated with sex are confining and oppressive and should be eliminated.

A better strategy for us might be to put our energy into pressuring medical organizations (AMA, etc) or mounting a public service campaign to increase public understanding of the dangers of these “treatments.” Really putting on the pressure as to how their junk science is mutilating children, making them sterile, some unable to ever enjoy orgasm while simultaneously turning children into lifelong medical patients consuming the exact same powerful steroid hormones that the Women’s Health Movement of the 1970s worked so hard to warn us about. We could be spreading the word about the reasons Sweden, Finland and the UK have closed “gender clinics” and publicize the fact that even the US FDA has been forced to add the word “experimental” to its definition of sex hormones in “gender affirming treatment.”