FIRST NATIONAL FIST CONFERENCE BOOST TO GRASS ROOTS FEMINIST ORGANIZING

Thirty-five women representing  a range of ages and backgrounds,  participated in the first national conference of Feminists In Struggle July 5th through 7th.  The beautiful relaxed indoor/outdoor setting with gardens and walkways, and a comfortable breezy conference space, allowed for women to get to know each other face-to-face and to actively participate in growing a multi-issue radical feminist democratically run membership organization.

Aptly named, “Our Radical Roots”, A women’s Liberation Organizing Conference,” both plenaries and workshops provided for plenty of time for  everyone to share questions, thoughts and ideas with the group.  We heard from Ann Menasche, Thistle Pettersen, Christy Hammer and Denice Traina, women who have been targeted for witch-hunting for their refusal to deny the material reality and importance of sex.  We heard Feminist historian Max Dashu, and Kathie Sarachild, one of the founders of Second Wave feminism, speak  about the radical Leftist roots of the Second Wave; listened to ERA lawyer Wendy Murphy explain the importance of the ERA that would place strong sex based rights in the Constitution and advance the status of women across the board; and held an interactive discussion with Merle Hoffman, founder of the earliest abortion clinics and author of a new book, Choices: A Port-Roe Abortion Rights Manifesto” where she argued that we must learn to love the struggle even in the face of setbacks.   Hilla Kerner from Vancouver Rape Relief shared her perspective on defending women’s spaces and working collectively to build the movement.

Workshops included strategizing on working in mainstream feminist groups such as NOW where many are not yet gender critical, and a discussion led by Arianne of LGB Alliance and Carol, a de-transitioner, on the homophobia of gender affirming care.

A membership meeting was convened Saturday afternoon in which FIST members discussed and voted to approve an action  plan to grow FIST through developing local chapters, planning actions that can gain national media attention, improving our internal functioning, and expanding our coalition work with other feminists.  Areas of focus for the future work of FIST that members approved include participating in the Final Impact Campaign to demand that the Biden Administration instruct the archivist to publish the duly ratified E.R.A. into the U.S. Constitution, promoting the Cass Review in opposition to so-called “gender affirming care” for minors; and defense of women’s spaces including women in prison.

Saturday night we were treated to the feminist folk music of Thistle Pettersen and hilarious stand-up comedy of Francesco de la Pense.  One memorable line from her routine on those who don’t seem to know what sex it because they are not biologists, “How do I know what eyes are, I’m not an ophthalmologist!”

Kathie Sarachild coined the slogan “Sisterhood is Powerful” many decades ago.  Those of us who were fortunate enough to attend FIST’s conference knew what she meant.

 

 

 

 

SISTERHOOD IS POWERFUL!

Check the Feminists In Struggle You-tube channel for videos of portions of the Conference that should be posted soon.

FIST CONGRATULATES ANN MENASCHE FOR REACHING A RESOLUTION OF HER WRONGFUL DISCHARGE CASE

At the FIST National Conference on July 5, 2024 Ann Menasche, co-founder and co-coordinator of FIST, was one of four speakers at the opening plenary entitled “No More Witch-hunts: Tactics & Strategies for Defending Feminists Jobs, Livelihoods and Public Activism. ”

Ann spoke about the witch-hunt that resulted in her termination from Disability Rights California after twenty years of employment, having been targeted by a trans-identified female with whom she previously had no contact,  and a group of 15 or more  co-workers, mostly supervisory staff.  The group originally went after Ann for asserting  during a diversity training that she is a lesbian (same-sex rather than “same gender” attracted, the new definition imposed by trans extremists that includes males), and began investigating her outside political activities (protected under California Labor Law),

They were  ready to strike when on May 6, 2022,  the Executive Director released a statement on the leaked Dobbs decision  and welcomed staff feedback. The statement mentioned a long list of groups that would be negatively effected by banning abortion, but left out women.  Ann responded, “So glad DRC came up with a statement in defense of Roe! Thank you! Access to safe legal abortion is a life and death necessity for women as a biological sex across the board…and an absolute prerequisite to equal female participation in society.”

In response to this benign statement about the importance of abortion rights to women, she was called a “hate monger” and a TERF”, and the following workday, condemned by her workgroup of civil rights lawyers. She would later learn that that same day 15 people submitted  a petition  to the management team demanding that she be fired.  The petition referenced her statement on abortion, her lesbian sexuality and her outside political activity.  Two days later, without warning, she was terminated.

“The witch-hunt was merciless”, Ann said. My employer denied my unemployment because of my abuse of staff.  I had to wait six months to win it back.  Fortunately, I had started collecting Social Security, had some savings.  If I was a younger person without those things, my liberal employer would have effectively thrown me out onto the streets.”

Ann emphasized the importance of lawsuits, building broad political support and media in fighting back against the witch-hunters.

“Ultimately, the only way to stop a witch-hunt is for enough people to speak out in opposition to it. When more and more people say as Joseph Welch said to McCarthy in 1954, “Have you no sense of decency?,”  it will end…They can’t fire all of us.”

At the end of the presentations, a FIST member from the audience asked about the status of her lawsuit.   Ann replied, “After close to a year and a half of hard fought litigation, the case has been resolved.  I am not at liberty to provide details of the resolution the parties reached.  I will emphasize how important it is to find a good lawyer who understands the issues and is willing to fight for you.  I was very lucky to have found one. Also invaluable was the support I received from other feminists and male allies in the Justice for Ann Committee and the multiple media interviews and coverage that helped get the word out.  It was pretty clear to my former employer that I was not going quietly into the night.”

Ann was heartily congratulated by her sister FIST members and others attending the conference.

 

 

OPEN LETTER TO DEMOCRACY NOW: COVER THE CASS REPORT ON LACK OF EVIDENCE FOR “GENDER-AFFIRMING CARE” FOR MINORS!

This letter was sent out on May 9, 2024 to Amy Goodman and Democracy NOW, written by a FIST committee, and approved by FIST’s membership.

Feminists in Struggle (FIST)
Attn: Democracy Now!
RE: Coverage of the Cass Review

May 9, 2024

Dear Amy Goodman and team at Democracy Now!

We are Feminists in Struggle, a national female-only, radical feminist network fighting for women’s liberation from sex-based oppression. Many of our members have been long-time listeners and supporters of Democracy Now! We appreciate your contributions to U.S. journalism over the past several decades – and for the information you continue to disseminate every week.

That said, we are curious about the conspicuous lack of coverage into The Cass Review, an Independent review of gender identity services for children and young people, conducted by British Pediatrician Dr. Hilary Cass, and released on April 9, 2024 to major headlines around the world. The Cass Review constitutes the largest and most comprehensive examination of the evidence base to date for pediatric gender medicine, including 237 papers from 18 countries and 113,269 children and adolescents.

Dr. Hilary Cass was commissioned by the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) to lead this exhaustive, systematic review due to her decades of renowned work as a British pediatrician with research interests including autistic spectrum conditions, cognitive impairments, and the care of children with multiple disabilities. Conducted over a four year period, the Cass Review contains nearly 400 pages and 32 recommendations — with a rather damning commentary about the “lack of an effective evidentiary base” supporting youth gender medicine practices. This includes the effectiveness and safety of prescribing puberty blockers, and emphasizes the importance of using “extreme  caution” when prescribing hormone or other medical interventions for minors due to the risks for causing permanent infertility, chronic medical conditions, and impairment of the permanent infertility, chronic medical conditions, and impairment of the ability to experience sexuality outweighing the possible benefits.

The UK formally closed its pediatric Gender Identity Services (GIDS) on March 24, 2024 and other nations (including Finland, Norway, and Sweden) have also been rolling back their services for youth and favoring a much more conservative approach to treatment
and clinical care with this vulnerable population. The Cass Review specifically highlights the necessity of using comprehensive, “holistic” clinical screenings and assessments in treating minors, as childhood and adolescence are unique developmental stages distinct from adulthood, and require non-medicalized approaches to care.

Additionally, the Cass Review underlines the fact that there is often an extremely high rate of co-occurring mental health conditions in minors seeking gender identity services (including complex post-traumatic stress, major depression, eating disorders, and neurodevelopmental conditions such as autism) that must be considered, addressed, and treated using a bio-psycho-social model, rather than an affirm-and-medicalize approach. Evidence also demonstrates that a significant number of gender confused youth will eventually  “grow out” of their distress – as many are simply gender nonconforming, neurodifferent, and/or bisexual, lesbian, or gay. To medically transition an autistic, gay, lesbian, or bisexual child on the basis of “gender identity” alone constitutes reparative therapy and eugenics as well as what has been long delegitimized and rejected as “conversion therapy.”

The Cass report also raised alarms about the striking, historically unprecedented increase in the number of adolescent girls referred to the UK’s Gender Identity Services (rising from 15 to 1,071) over the seven year period from 2009 – 2016. What, exactly, is driving this entirely new cohort to seek services from gender medicine clinics? Reem Alsalem, the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women and Girls, recently expressed her concern about the “devastating consequences on the human rights of children and girls” being caused by the blind adherence to gender identity ideology over sound, long-established clinical practice.

It is beyond time to bring all of the evidence to light in the discussion of gender identity ideology and to return to the use of unbiased journalistic principles —we’d like to see your fair and unbiased coverage of the Cass Review.

In solidarity with other radical feminists:

● We request a published explanation as to why the Cass Report, taken very seriously in Europe, and covered by all major European media outlets, has not been mentioned at all on Democracy Now!

● We request that Democracy Now! repair this serious omission immediately.

● We request that Democracy Now! differentiate between sex and gender in reporting.

● We request that Democracy Now! cover gender identity issues going forward in compliance with basic rules of journalism — balanced, presenting multiple opinions from multiple sources.

Again, we thank you for the valuable work you do and look forward to your future reporting on the important findings of the Cass Review.

Sincerely,

FIST

EXCITING PROGRAM PLANNED FOR FIRST NATIONAL FIST CONFERENCE July 5th to 7th 2024

THIS JULY, DECLARE YOUR INDEPENDENCE FROM THE PATRIARCHY!

Registration Open Now

OUR RADICAL ROOTS:
A Women’s Liberat
ion Organizing Conference

July 5th to 7th 2024 in a beautiful location with gardens, walkways, good food, comfy beds and swimming pool approx. one hour from San Diego

The Program starts Friday night with a plenary on “No More Witch-hunts: Tactics & Strategies for Defending Feminists Jobs, Livelihoods and Public Activism.”  The panel consists of four speakers, Ann Menasche (founding member of FIST), Thistle Pettersen (singer-songwriter & founder of Women’s Liberation Radio News) , Christy Hammer (Univ. of So. Maine professor of Education) and Denise Traina (co-chair of the Georgia Green Party & Green Alliance for Sex-Based rights) who have lost jobs and/or have been subjected to harassment or witch-hunting including within the Left because they recognize that sex exists and support the rights of women based on sex and the rights of lesbians based on sexual orientation. We will discuss strategies for how to fight back successfully against these misogynistic and homophobic attacks.

On Saturday morning after a short walk, we will participate in a plenary “Our Radical Roots: Taking Back the Left for Feminism” with presentations by Max Dashu (feminist historian) Fran Luck (host of WBAI Joy of Resistance multicultural feminist programming), and Kathie Sarachild (one of the founding mothers of Second Wave Radical Feminism).   This will be followed by two workshops to choose from, one on working with other feminists who are not yet gender critical on core feminist issues (led by Dena from FIST), and the second one on Guerilla Strategies led by Jessika Gonzalez, (TERF Collective).

After lunch, there will be a brief presentation on feminist strategy by Hilla Kerner (Vancouver Rape Relief), and then FIST members will  participate in a discuss and vote on a proposal outlining plans for our future work, “Looking Forward;   Proposal for Growing FIST and building a multi-issue radical feminist movement.”  We will then take a two hour break to swim, socialize with our sisters, take a nap, or whatever we’d like to do.  Before dinner we will break up into regional causes to discuss how to carry out the Looking Forward proposal in our local and regional areas.

Saturday night should be great fun. We will begin with an inspiring pre-recorded talk about the importance of the Equal Rights Amendment by ERA attorney Wendy Murphy.  We will then be treated to a concert by Thistle Pettersen performing her original feminist folk music, followed by dancing and socializing.

Sunday, after breakfast, there will be a second set of workshops, one on “Transing Away the Lesbian: Strategies for Ending the Homophobic Practice of Gender Affirming Care”  led by Carol (a detransitioner), and Arianne (LBG Alliance USA); and the second on Defending Women’s Spaces let by Hilla Kerner (Vancouver Rape Relief) and Amie Ichikawa (Women II Women).  There will then be a plenary presentation and discussion on “Strategies for winning back abortion rights”  led by abortion rights pioneer and author Merle Hoffman,  Merle is a founder of one of the earliest abortion clinics in New York, a founder of the National Abortion Federation, a leader of Rise Up for Abortion Rights https://merlehoffman.com/and recently authored a book,  Choices: A Post-Roe Abortion Rights Manifesto. The final plenary will be a participatory exercise in envisioning a future of women’s liberation.  We will enjoy a final meal together and may stay after lunch for a final swim.

Throughout the conference, presentations will be short to allow plenty of time for discussion and sharing of ideas.  We are building a movement and all of our voices and energies our needed.

Sign-up soon as there are limited spaces at the venue.  Deadline for registration is May 31, 2024.  Payment is due on or before June 15, 2024.  Any last minute requests to register after the deadline, please contact us at admin@feministstruggle.org and we’ll check with the venue.

ALSO, HELP WITH OUR FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN TO FUND SCHOLARSHIPS AND SPEAKERS’ TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR THE CONFERENCE!  You can donate here: https://feministstruggle.org/donate/. Please indicate in the notes that it is for the Conference. We aim to raise $5,000 before June 15, 2024.  Individuals, male or female, are encouraged to donate, but we do not take money from right wing groups or corporations. 

SISTERHOOD IS POWERFUL!

FEMINISTS IN STRUGGLE’S FIRST NATIONAL CONFERENCE

Welcome to

Feminists in Struggle’s
FIRST NATIONAL CONFERENCE

Registration Open Now

OUR RADICAL ROOTS:
A Women’s Liberation Organizing Conference

July 5th to 7th 2024

in a beautiful location with gardens, walkways, and swimming pool
approx. one hour from San Diego

FEATURING:

  • Max Dashu (remote, feminist historian & author)
  • Ann Menasche (FIST)
  • Christy Hammer (FIST)
  • Thistle Pettersen (folk musician & founder of WLRN)
  • Hilla Kerner (Vancouver Rape Relief)
  • Carol (de-transitioner)
  • Amie Ichikawa (Woman to Woman, advocacy group for women in prison)
  • Wendy Murphy (remote, ERA activist & attorney)
  • Dr. Suzanne Vierling (FIST)
  • Arianne (LGB Alliance USA)

Schedule still being finalized.

The Conference is Women-only.

Register Now

OUR RADICAL ROOTS: A WOMEN’S LIBERATION ORGANIZING CONFERENCE 7/5 TO 7/7 SAN DIEGO

Tickets will be on sale soon to attend the first national conference of Feminists In Struggle.  The women-only conference entitled “Our Radical Roots: A Women’s Liberation Organizing Conference”  will take place in a beautiful location with gardens, walkways and a swimming pool approximately one hour from San Diego from Friday night 7/5 to Sunday afternoon 7/7.

The conference will feature renown feminist speakers such as Max Dashu (feminist historian & author who will appear remotely), Ann Menasche (FIST), Christy Hammer (FIST),  Thistle Pettersen (folk musician & founder of WLRN) who will be performing her original feminist music, Hilla Kerner (Vancouver Rape relief, Carol  (de-transitioner), Amie Ichikawa (Woman to Woman, advocacy group for women in prison, Wendy Murphy (ERA attorney who will be appearing by video), Dr. Suzanne Vierling (FIST) and Arianne (LGB Alliance USA).

Attendance is relatively low cost with some full and partial scholarships available.

This will be a highly interactive organizing conference with plenty of time to ask questions, and discuss a variety of feminist issues.  A focus will be how to build FIST as a grassroots left-wing democratically-run membership organization dedicated to a renewed multi-issue radical feminist movement.  There will also be plenty of time to socialize, make new friends, and enjoy the surroundings with your sisters in the struggle.

This event is not to be missed!

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY – REMEMBERING OUR RADICAL ROOTS

International Women’s Day (IWD) this year is the fifth anniversary of the founding of Feminists in Struggle!  It is also the year that we will FINALLY have our national conference, long-delayed due to Covid.  Ticket sales for the July 5th to 7th FIST organizing conference in the San Diego area will be announced in the next couple of weeks. STAY TUNED!

One of our members prepared the article below on the history of IWD, which provides lots of useful information for all of us. The opinions contained herein are her own.

Sisterhood is Powerful! 

Let’s keep our eyes on the prize! We WILL prevail!

 

THE HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

By Feminist Writer

International Women’s Day (IWD) falls on the 8th day of March every year and Women’s History Month (WHM) spans the month of March. Both of these markers have histories that we need to know about if we are to take on the considerable challenges we face in the present–a time when, although we have come very far and have much to celebrate, critical rights that women have already won are being taken away! These include the right to decide when and if we will bear children (since the overturn of Roe v Wade in 2022) as well as the erasure of the very word for our sex–“woman”. The study of our history and how women and our movements have, time after time, triumphed over every kind of obstacle, can help us find inspiration and lessons that can help us win the struggles we face today.

What follows is a chronology of the histories of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, followed by an overview of our present situation as women.

How International (Working) Women’s Day came to be:

1909–On November 23, 1909, sparked by an impassioned call to strike by a young woman garment worker named Clara Lemlich, an 11-week general strike against the horrific working conditions in New York’s shirtwaist industry was called. It was dubbed the “Uprising of the 20,000″ and started five years of revolt that transformed the garment industry in New York City  into one of the best-organized trades in the United States.

1910—At a meeting in Copenhagen of Socialists from all over the world—The Second Socialist International—socialist Clara Zetkin proposed an annual celebration of “International Working Women’s Day” to commemorate the 1909 labor uprising in New York—the motion was seconded by Lenin himself.

1911–International Working Women’s Day is celebrated for the first time.

March 8, 1917—A women’s uprising in St. Petersburg, Russia, “for bread and land and peace” is the spark that ignites the Russian Revolution, with a Strike that topples the Czar within four days of the women’s protest. Thereafter, around the world, International Working Women’s Day or IWWD is celebrated on March 8.

1947–The last year that there is any record of IWWD being celebrated in the U.S. (until the 1960’s), as after World War II, the “Cold War” with the Soviet Union puts IWWD under suspicion, because people who are seen as in any way participating in groups or events associated with Socialism or Communism are being brought before the House Un-American Activities Committee and are often blacklisted and lose their jobs. This “black list” period puts a chill on events, groups and beliefs associated in any way with Socialism, Communism and International Women’s Day is one of the casualties.

1960’s—In the mid-1960’s, the “Second Wave of Feminism” begins—both the Betty Friedan wing (National Organization for Women)–which fought for pay equity–and the more radical wing, known as the Women’s Liberation Movement, which questioned everything about the position of women and laid the foundation for a wide range of issues we still fight for—the right to abortion, against sexual harassment and rape, available childcare and more. The movement also uncovers the lack of inclusion of women in conventional “history”.

1969–A Berkeley Women’s Liberation group, organizes the first street action to celebrate IWWD in the U.S. since 1947, led largely by a woman known as Laura X. There’s a parade; women dress as female historical figures–and Liberation News Service (a Left movement news service of the day) picks up the story that IWWD is once again being publicly celebrated in the streets of the U.S. and spreads the story to other news services, internationally.

Many around the world are inspired–and the next year, International Women’s Day Celebrations are held in 30 countries!

Women’s History Month chronology

1981— After the Civil Rights Movement and the Feminist Movement have taken off, there is pressure on Congress from women’s groups, such as the National Women’s History Project, which causes Congress to officially institute Women’s History Week, which is inspired by the parallel struggle by Black activists for a Black History Week.

1987–After five more years of pressure, Congress expands Women’s History Week to a full month: Women’s History Month–as happened when Black History Week was expanded to Black History Month. The impetus is the growing awareness that the histories of both groups have been erased and need to be studied and publicized widely.

International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month and our present day reality

Each year women have defined IWD and WHM in terms of how they see the politics of the present moment. Some recent expressions have been regressive, such as calls in 2023 for a celebration of “International Women’s and Non-Binary Day” that removes the focus away from our rights as a sex, and a concentration on the achievements of “famous women”, while ignoring the historical context of their achievement and the need for movements that will move all women forward.

In 2024 we face a landscape that is especially challenging since the overturning of one of the feminist movement’s greatest (though far from perfect) achievements–Roe v Wade, and a right wing determined to take away every reproductive right we have won, including contraception, as they work toward declaring every fetus, zygote and embryo a “person”, thereby making every abortion a ‘murder’!

We also face, from the supposed “Left” the erasure of the very word for our sex–”woman”, along with attacks, including violence, when we try to meet in women-only settings; we’re also facing the erosion of another feminist legislative victory–Title IX–which enabled the growth of women’s sports and is now being threatened by allowing biological men to compete with women.

Aside from these new threats, the old ones persist: the everyday threats of violence, including sexual violence, from male strangers as well as intimates; the the disparities in pay and promotion between women and men (which are even worse for women of color) and sexual harassment on the job as well as the sexist stereotypes women are subject to in every walk of life. So, along with much to celebrate, as our movement has made a huge difference overall in the lives of women, we still have a long way to go. Let’s celebrate what we’ve won for our sex and move ahead together with a vibrant and strengthened feminist movement, drawing sustaining energy from our history and also not forgetting our very great achievements!

 

 

 

 

 

FIST ENDORSES CALIFORNIA’S PROTECT KIDS INITIATIVE

After vigorous discussion and a vote of our members, Feminists in Struggle has endorsed California’s Protect Kids Initiative https://protectkidsca.com/, a voter initiative that is now being circulated for signatures.  The Initiative would protect children and teens under the age of 18 who are lesbian or gay, gender non-conforming, autistic or otherwise “different” from their peers, from sterilization and permanent bodily harms as a result of so-called “gender affirming care.”  It would require that parents be notified should a child publicly adopt a “gender identity”  that denies the physical reality of their sex, leading to a path of life-long medicalization, worsened health and shortened lives.  And it would preserve girls’ changing rooms and girls’ sports programs for junior high and high school students as female-only in the interest of girls’ privacy and equal opportunity.

As radical feminists and Leftists, we reject the idea that children who fail to conform to rigid sex roles and stereotypes are born in the “wrong” body.  We disagree that such children’s heathy bodies need “fixing” by drastic quasi-medical interventions such as puberty blockers, cross sex hormones, double mastectomies and genital surgeries.  “Masculine” girls (traditionally referred to as “tomboys”) and “feminine” boys are fine just as they are.  They should be free to dress and express themselves as they like and pursue whatever interests they desire regardless of their sex. Lesbian, gay and bisexual teens should be free to explore their sexual and romantic attractions with their peers just as their heterosexual counterparts do, without discrimination or stigma.

We in FIST name the medicalization of these children as the sexist and homophobic practice that it is, harming overwhelming girls, many of whom would grow up to be lesbians.  This practice is also the biggest medical scandal of the past three quarters of a century, leading to not only sterilization, but early onset osteoporosis, undeveloped brains and respiratory systems, an inability to ever experience sexual pleasure as an adult, and an increased risk of stroke and cancer.

As one of our members, Javiera, explained it, “As a mother to 2 young children, it feels very important to me that we protect children from these harmful practices. These are children’s lives and futures at stake here.  It is important to me that we redirect and correct course. Yes, a lot of work needs to be done…adults need support in supporting their gender non-conforming and/or gay/lesbian children. But I really believe we must come together and stop these institutions and corporations from implanting the ideas of “born in the wrong body,”  protect our children from being “at war” with themselves, and come back to being embodied people working towards loving and accepting ourselves.”

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OUR MEMBERS & SUPPORTERS! PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

This is a great time to join or get more active in Feminists in Struggle! We have confirmed that our First National Organizing and Educational Conference will take place in the San Diego area from July 5th to 7th, 2024. Please mark your 2024 calendars and stay tuned for details. 

Also, our first membership meeting of the New Year will take place on zoom on Saturday, January 20, 2024, 11:00 a.m. Pacific time, 2:00 p.m. Eastern. We will get updates on our conference plans and discuss the Protect Kids Initiative being circulated for the November 2024 ballot in California.

Please read up on the initiative:  https://protectkidsca.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/Protect-Kids-of-California-Act-of-2024-1.pdf

Whether or not FIST should formally endorse the initiative will be brought to an on-line vote after the membership meeting. All members paid up on their 2023 dues are eligible to vote. You must also be on the Feminist Assembly listserv to vote. Dues for 2024 comes due in March but we appreciate early payment!

We look forward to working together for women’s liberation and growing FIST!

HAPPY NEW YEAR, SISTERS!

NO, Violence Against Women is NOT Progressive!

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.