Parents, Detransitioners, Lesbians and Gays, and Feminists Protest Child Transition in San Diego May 6th

San Diego FIST members participated in a peaceful rally of about 75 people in San Diego on May 6th at the Pediatric Endocrine Society’s Annual Conference against the medical transition of minors and for evidence-based care.  The rally was sponsored by a coalition of groups, including Our Duty, a non-partisan organization of parents, which played a leadership role. https://ourduty.group.  One of the central organizer of Our Duty in California, Erin Friday, a Democrat, chaired the rally. There were several female de-transitioners that gave powerful presentations about their experiences as teens being rushed into transition and suffering severe and permanent physical harms.  They announced a new organization called Detrans Help.  Other speakers scanned the political spectrum including several lesbians.  No counter-protesters showed up.

The range of speakers and the messages presented – uniformly pro-gay and pro gender non-conformity – made it clear that this is not fundamentally a Right-wing movement.  Rather, polls have shown that a majority of Americans of all political persuasions are sympathetic to these views. https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/3991685-majority-of-americans-oppose-gender-affirming-care-for-minors-trans-women-participating-in-sports-poll/.

Ann Menasche from FIST was one of the speakers.

Here are excerpts from Ann’s speech:

“I represent here today a small national multi-issue radical feminist organization solidly on the Left called Feminists in Struggle. I, myself, am a lesbian, a feminist, a socialist, a Green, a civil rights lawyer, and a life-long activist. I am proud to join with all of you today, parents, de-transitioners, others from the gay community, heterosexuals, people with a range of political views, to proclaim in one voice that no child is born in the wrong body!  This atrocity of sterilizing and mutilating children and teens who are gender non-conforming, gay, autistic, traumatized, or otherwise different, in the name of what is euphemistically called “gender affirming care”, must end…

There is nothing wrong with these children’s bodies…that needs to be “fixed” by experimental so-called treatments like puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and cosmetic surgeries – the removal or mutilation of healthy body parts.  Feminine boys, and masculine girls, and same sex attracted teens are fine just as they are.  Bodies & roles do not need to “match.” Allow these children to grow and develop with their bodies intact. And tell the truth to young adults that these “treatments” cause serious permanent harms and do not cure gender unhappiness or anything else.

Children of both sexes need to be freed not from their bodies, but from gender roles and stereotypes that put them into boxes based on their sex, preventing them from freely exploring their interests and expressing their personalities…Young same sex attracted people need to be freed, not from their healthy sexed bodies, but from homophobia….Girls need to be freed from sexism that demeans them and their developing bodies as sex objects, that subjects them to male sexual and physical violence, and still, even today, places obstacles in their path to following their dreams because of their sex…

For all the spirited girls out there, for all the misfits like I was, for all the tomboys, for all the future pioneers, scientists, athletes, doctors, lawyers, thinkers, writers, artists, carpenters, mechanics, engineers, leaders who were born female, for the lesbians, for all the future feminists and visionaries, for all the amazing mothers of past, present and future generations, for the memory of my own rebellious and loving tomboy mother who as a child used to run across rooftops tearing her dresses, FOR ALL OF THEM, let’s put an end to this atrocity.  STOP CHILD TRANSITION!  NO ONE IS BORN IN THE WRONG BODY!”

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.”

Report Back on WDI-USA national conference

FIST members attended the the Women’s Declaration International – USA conference , which took place in Washington DC, September 23-25, 2022. The theme and title of the conference was “Reigniting the Women’s Liberation Movement”. The gathering lived up to its “national” title with women having traveled to the conference from across the country; we spoke to women from at least 11 states. Relative to the female population in the U.S., there was good representation of black and brown women (including in the leadership) and a large lesbian contingent. Some of us estimated that 2/3 of us were older and 1/3 were women in their mid-30s or younger. The feeling was very warm and welcoming, it was truly wonderful to share a weekend meeting 100 like-minded women (or so we assumed).
The conference was very well organized, there were back-to-back plenaries and breakouts for a full two days, in addition to the introductory plenary on Friday night, where members of the Board of WDI-USA introduced themselves and the conference–plenaries took place in the dining room so we were able to continue eating and have our dessert even as we took in all of the ideas presented. The food was good and plentiful. Everything ran on time. It took place in a swanky hotel and we sat in a ballroom complete with sparkly chandeliers and white tablecloths.  There were many good presentations with some time for questions afterwards but there was very little actual discussion. Very little exploration of how far our assumed like-mindedness went.
Plenaries included those on the Second Wave of the WLM, Radical Feminist Structural Analysis, Nonviolent mass Action as a strategy for Resistance, the history of feminists “trashing” each other in the women’s movement and strategies to combat it, Women’s writing, Grassroots Organizing, Women in Leadership, Women’s Community, Stories and Land, Ethical Communication, and finally “What Would Victory Look Like?”.

The plenaries were interspersed with smaller breakout sessions on Reproductive Rights, Opposition to the Sex Trade, the Value of Lesbian Only Spaces, Consciousness Raising, Gender and Feminism, Misogynoir (“Black Patriarchy”, facilitated by Black women) and Legislative Advocacy.

Some of our differences became evident during the last session of the conference. as all women in attendance were asked to present their visions of what “victory” would look like. Otherwise differences were not discussed at all; we never touched upon feminists taking money from Christian Nationalists, or the WDI-USA promotion of Women’s Bill of Rights, or their opposition (or at least WoLF’s) to the ERA (see our ERA-FIST brochure) or the WDI statement in opposition to the Inflation Reduction Act or their former work on their Equality for All Act which is a watered-down version of FIST’s Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act or the history of the right wing trying to co-opt feminism through groups such as the Independent Women’s Forum. Nor was there any discussion of how WDI/WDI-USA is funded or how the conference itself was funded.
 
The conference centered on the issue of gender and there was a great sense of relief in being at a large gathering where gender-critical views could be openly discussed. However, it did eclipse other crucial issues, such as the recent catastrophic loss of legal abortion in the U.S.  Reproductive rights and justice was not a major topic at any of the plenaries at which everyone in attendance was present. After the conference, FIST members and other attendees from NY had a discussion about what the place of gender should be in terms of women’s liberation as a whole (we reached no conclusion and consider this an ongoing discussion).
This one meeting might not reignite the Women’s Liberation Movement but it certainly demonstrated that the embers have not burned out. The great deal of warmth and openness—really great spirit—gives us hope for bringing the different “factions” of feminism together on mutually agreed upon campaigns.
Posts to our blog page by Feminist Writer are the opinions of individual FIST members and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Feminists in Struggle organization.  Official posts are authored by Feminist Struggle.

FIST FORUM: SAVING THE TOMBOYS FROM THE MEDICAL ATROCITIES OF CHILD “TRANSITION”

The medical “transition” of gender non-conforming, mostly lesbian, girls has increased exponentially.  How do we fight it?

JOIN US on AUGUST 13TH at 11:00 a.m.Pacific time, 1:00 p.m. Central, and 2:00 p.m. Eastern for this timely discussion of the harmful practice of medicalization of a growing number of gender non-conforming girls, a majority of whom are lesbian, through use of puberty blockers, wrong sex hormones, double mastectomies, and genital mutilating surgeries. Reserve your tickets now.

Girls are being taught that their non-conformity and same sex attraction mean they have been born in the “wrong” body, with the result that they pursue dangerous treatments before they even reach adulthood, causing permanent harm to their healthy developing bodies and turning them into life-long medical patients. Many of these girls will in a few years join the growing ranks of detransitioners and regretters. Is this the face of the new homophobia? How can we fight back and save new generations of tomboys, lesbians, and future feminists?

TICKETS ONLY $5 – SAVING THE TOMBOYS FROM THE MEDICAL ATROCITIES OF CHILD “TRANSITION” Tickets, Sat, Aug 13, 2022 at 11:00 AM | Eventbrite

SPEAKERS:

CAROL is an advisor for de-transitioned people, having gone through transition and de-transition herself. She is a co-founder of Detrans Voices: Detransition Stories, Resources, and Community and a member of LGB Alliance USA | Leading the Fight for Same-Sex Rights She currently co-facilitates a gender dysphoria support group for lesbian and bisexual women through LGB Alliance USA and continues to work on outreach and awareness around de-transition.

ERIN FRIDAY is a licensed attorney in California and the mom of a desister. She is co-leader of Our Duty, U.S. branch, a parent support group for parents of Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoric kids.

T is the founder and national organizer of Lesbians United, a grassroots lesbian-only organization in the U.S. Lesbians United is creating public information campaigns both online and on the street to fight back against the anti-lesbian transgenderist movement.

ANN MENASCHE is a radical feminist, lesbian, socialist, political activist, and co-founder of Feminists in Struggle and Green Alliance for Sex-Based Rights. Growing up in the 1950’s and 60’s, she seriously thought about “transitioning” when she read about Christine Jorgensen, because she yearned for the career opportunities and authority only available to men. The advent of feminism helped her to accept herself for the first time as she dedicated herself to women’s liberation and radical social change.

FIST’s Feminist Forums series are interactive and organizing events. At our forums, women have an opportunity not only to hear interesting speakers on a variety of feminist topics but to meet each other, make comments, ask questions of the presenters and discuss feminist politics together. We also usually tape the events so they may be viewed later. Women in attendance are free to shut off their cameras and mute themselves, should they prefer to do so. If you prefer to remain anonymous within the group, or plan to sign in under a different name from the name you have used for registration and purchase of your ticket, please contact the organizer prior to the event. Thanks.

While some of our events are open to both men and women, THIS IS A FEMALE ONLY EVENT. We ask that our male allies respect our right to meet together as women.

California’s Terrifying Indoctrination Bill

California’s Democratic legislators – the same group that has been consistently incapable of voting to approve single payer universal healthcare for all its residents – is poised to approve an Orwellian piece of legislation, that requires, on the taxpayers’ dime, the repeated indoctrination of everyone in the medical or mental health profession through “cultural competency training” for the stated purpose of providing “trans-inclusive healthcare.”   This bill, California Senate Bill 923, introduced by Senator Scott Wiener, SD 11, must be defeated.

While “trans-inclusive healthcare” sounds benign, what it means is indoctrination in sex denialism – the conflation of sex and gender, and the idea that sex doesn’t exist or has no significance and must be overridden by subjective “gender identity.”  It also means promoting “gender affirming services” -the medicalization of gender non-conformity or the idea that the body is “wrong” and must be modified through the ingestion of hormones and multiple surgeries if the personality fails to “match” sex stereotypes of how men and women, boys and girls, are supposed to act and behave, and who they are supposed to love.

The new acronym of groups for whose benefit this training is supposed to be conducted is “TGI” – “individuals who identify as transgender, gender non-conforming, or intersex.”  The “LGB” is gone from this acronym, subsumed no doubt in “transgender” and “gender non-conforming”, as indeed, medicalization often means “transing away the gay.”  The promoted “gender affirming services” include “feminizing mammoplasty, male chest reconstruction, mastectomy, facial feminization surgery, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, penectomy, orchiectomy, feminizing genitoplasty, metoidioplasty, palloplasty, scrotoplasty, voice masculinization or feminization” as well as hormone therapy.  Somehow, stopping children’s puberty, giving “wrong sex” hormones, removing healthy body parts of minors and adults alike, and rendering sterile those who do not conform to sex stereotypes is promoted as “progressive” rather than recognized as the 1950’s style sexism and homophobia that it truly is. And the medical and mental health profession is to be indoctrinated into this “treatment” with no dissenters or alternative non -invasive approaches to gender-role non-compliance and bodily unhappiness allowed.

The curriculum for this training is not being established by a representative group of gender non-conforming people, as many lesbians and feminists are gender non-conforming without denying their sex but whose perspective is uniformly disregarded.  Rather, it is a state recognized group of gender identity ideologues called the California Transgender Advisory Council made up of such organizations as Transgender Law Center, California TRANScends, and Equality California, the last the result of the forced marriage between the “LGB” and the “TQ”, in which gender identity ideology overrides everything else. 

Also unheard are the growing ranks of de-transitioners, mostly females and mostly lesbians, who are rejecting their “transition” and the medicalization of their non-compliance with sex stereotypes and have come to accept their bodies, their gender non-conformity, and/or their homosexuality.

Health practitioners in California will instead be “trained” in using “TGI-inclusive” terminology including “correct names and pronouns,” and instructed to avoid “making assumptions about gender identity by using gender neutral language.”  And the consequences for not complying can be dire.   If there is a complaint or grievance filed and a decision made in favor of the complainant, the practitioner may not only be subjected to submitting to another “training” but can have her or his name publicly posted by regulatory boards.  The bill provides that a willful violation of these requirements by a health care plan would be a crime.  We can just imagine how long health practitioners would be able remain in business and on referral lists for non-compliance.

Biological sex is highly relevant to health care.  Our patriarchal medical system has long ignored the specific bodily needs of women and important physical differences between the sexes beyond obvious difference in reproductive organs.  According to Sarah L. Berga, MD, Wake Forest Baptist Health’s chair of obstetrics and gynecology and Vice President for Women’s Health Service, in an article entitled, Medicine Looking Deeper into Vital Differences Between Women and Men, “We’re beginning to truly understand how men and women differ in very fundamental ways and how these differences affect disease risk, symptoms, diagnostic sensitivity and specificity, and responses to therapy.”  Women have traditionally been excluded from clinical trials and treated as merely smaller men, to our detriment.  Should SB 923, become law, will medical practitioners be penalized for recognizing the sex of their patients?

It is ironic that when other countries such as liberal Sweden and the UK are beginning to question the “affirmative care” medical model for addressing gender non-conformity and especially questioning the gender transitioning of children as in “Swedish U-Turn on Gender Transitioning for Children”, that California is trying to silence all dissenters. 

The solution to gender unhappiness is not engaging in extreme body modification, that only profits the pharmaceutical industry and cosmetic surgeons.  There is nothing wrong with being female or being gender non-conforming or lesbian or gay that requires “fixing the body.”  Rather it is our society, not our bodies, that is in need of repair.  As one female detransitioner put it:

For eight years I had thought I was transgender…the only way I had known to process the frightening, uncomfortable or disempowering aspects of being a woman had been to escape womanhood and see myself as something else…It’s been four years since I re-identified as a woman.  My gender dysphoria was real and often painful, but the way for me to resolve it wasn’t by becoming a man.  It was by questioning and rejecting the stories society had told me about what it means to be a woman.  

There are a number of professional organizations opposing this bill, among them the American College of Pediatricians, the California Chapter American College of Cardiology, the California Rheumatology Alliance, and the International Federation for Therapeutic and Counselling Choice.  Please help defeat SB 923 and join FIST in the struggle for women’s liberation from the tyranny of gender ideology and medical malpractice masquerading as “affirmative care” by contacting the members of the Appropriations Committee and demanding they vote NO.

#AGP Awareness Day – March 31st

In recognition of AGP Awareness Day today, we wish to share with you an informative video about this disturbing phenomenon.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, AGP stands for autogynophile, a cross-dressing, heterosexual man who is sexually aroused by wearing women’s clothing and being seen as a woman. It is estimated that 80% of trans-identified males are autogynephiles,  while only 20% are estimated to be “gender dysphoric.”  Women’s and girls’ rights and protections are being systematically dismantled and our safe spaces invaded by AGP males in the name of “inclusiveness” and “equity.”  This video reveals what AGP really is:  a sexual fetish.

War, Peace, and Feminism

During World War I, Alice Paul and her sister suffragists called out the hypocrisy of President Wilson and the US government in denying the rights of women at home while claiming to be fighting a war for freedom and democracy abroad. 


So little has changed. President Biden is beating the drums of war, proposes an unprecedented $770 billion dollar military budget, and risks nuclear confrontation between the great powers, all in the name of “freedom” and “democracy.” Meanwhile, women in the U.S., who make up a majority of the poor, are denied housing, health care, equal pay, and accessible, affordable childcare. Even the pandemic-related child tax credit program that provided government relief to low-income families has been allowed to expire. We are poised to lose Roe vs. Wade, which will have a devastating effect on women’s freedoms with little action from the White House.


Biden has also failed to take the simple step of instructing the archivist to publish the Equal Rights Amendment already approved by the requisite 38 States, which would put women’s sex-based protections into the Constitution. His administration is thus undemocratically depriving us of a crucial tool to challenge our continued second-class status as a sex.


Those who are familiar with the history of U.S. wars abroad over the past century, have long known that U.S. foreign policy has everything to do with oil and empire and not a scintilla to do with democracy. Our military-industrial complex is a destructive money-making machine; it is the epitome of patriarchy in action, fighting to maintain status as the biggest bully on the block with no regard for human beings or their rights. Our government has repeatedly spearheaded the overthrow of democratically elected governments from Chile to Guatemala to Iran, rained untold destruction on Vietnam to prevent the people there from determining their own future, and currently counts as its closest allies (and arms to the teeth) the military dictatorship of Egypt, the religious fundamentalist sexual apartheid Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the ethnic apartheid regime of Israel. The decades-long occupation of Afghanistan not only failed to liberate the women there from the Taliban, but instead murdered 71,000 civilians, mostly women and children, and after the U.S. finally withdrew its troops, the imposition of murderous sanctions is now threatening the civilian population with mass starvation.


We must call out this hypocrisy today loudly and clearly, just as Alice Paul did more than a century ago.  Fortunately, women around the globe are recognizing that war is not in our interests. Medea Benjamin of the women-led organization Code Pink, long a voice of the U.S. peace movement, has been speaking out against the threat of war with Russia over Ukraine, as well as demanding diplomacy and an end to NATO expansion.


On February 15th a group of women from the United States and Russia released a joint statement, “Independent American and Russian Women Call For Peace” raising their voices against militarism and war and calling for diplomacy and peace. They wrote:
“We are women from the United States and Russia who are deeply concerned about the risk of possible war between our two countries, who together possess over 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons. We are mothers, daughters, grandmothers, and we are sisters, one to another. Today we stand with our sisters in Ukraine, East and West, whose families and country have been torn apart, have already suffered more than 14,000 deaths…For the U.S. and Russia, the only sane and humane course of action now is a principled commitment to clear, creative and persistent diplomacy – not military action…We stand together and we call for peace. Stand with us.” 


Thank you, sisters!

FIST’s Education Program, Our Radical Feminist Roots, off to great start

We’ve already tackled Mary Wollstonecraft and Simone de Beauvior, saw two great films, one on Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, “Not for Ourselves Alone,” and “The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter”, an outstanding film on the women who went to work in the factories during WWII, and are moving into discussing the founding documents of the Second Wave. If you missed signing up by the deadline and would like to join us for consciousness raising and stimulating discussion as we learn our history, just fill out the “Contact Us” form at feministstruggle.org and specify that you would like to register for the series and we will make the arrangements.

Texas Abortion FightBack

At the FIST forum on abortion rights last week we heard from Merle Hoffman, founder and CEO of Choices Women’s Medical Center in NY, that clinics can register with various abortion funds to serve women who cannot afford the procedure or need to travel long distances to obtain the care they need.  The severe restrictions in Texas have increased the need for donations to abortion funds. Choices has already served more than a dozen women from Texas.  With sheer grit, abortion funds persist in the state despite the vigilante law that encourages citizens to turn in anyone helping a woman get an abortion after 6 weeks of pregnancy.

The National Women’s Law Center has identified the following groups already on the ground helping to keep access to abortion in Texas.  We encourage donations.