Actions to Take In Response to Biden’s Executive Order and Imminent Introduction of the Equality Act

Since the first day of the Biden administration, developments have come thick and fast regarding attacks on and attempts to protect single-sex programs and facilities for women and girls. FIST encourages everyone who cares about the legal rights of women and girls to contact Congress, the White House, and the federal agencies to demand the protection of our legal rights to single-sex sports teams, scholarships, prisons, shelters, and other facilities.

Reach out to the White House and social media, to your U.S. Representatives and Senators, and to the federal agencies. Letters, emails, phone calls,and demands for in-person meetings with your U.S. Representatives and Senators are all needed.

Regarding the Equality Act: Write and call your Senators and Representatives, urging them to support the Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act. Here is a sample letter.

The website The US Equality Act continues to grow and to be a valuable resource. The site includes much good explanation of how the Equality Act and Biden’s January 20 “Executive Order on Preventing & Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation” will harm women and girls and need to be amended, revised, or applied by federal agencies to preserve the Congressional intent behind Title IX.

 The US Equality Act site also has lots of guidance and sample material for sending letters to Congress and to the federal agencies tasked with applying the Executive Order. Most recently two new sample letters were added:

One for Speaker Nancy Pelosi

And one for the Bureau of Prisons

FIST Interviewed in Major News Source

One of Feminists in Struggle’s members was interviewed by RT in an article entitled, There is a major split in the LGBTQ community between the letter L and the letter T.  We are heartened to see that there are more reporters covering the effects of the trans agenda on members of the female sex.  The article covers the “alphabet soup” that now is being used to represent the ever-growing permutations of gender ‘identity,’ touches on the Spanish feminist leader Lidia Falcon O’Neill who likens the fascists of the Franco regime with the current transgender rights activists, the Christian Right’s opportunism, and trans-identified males participating in women’s sports.

Our FIST spokesperson represented us well and pointed out that:

“What males who identify as women are ‘feeling’ is they are identifying with sex stereotypes about how women are supposed to dress and behave in the world. Feminists reject these stereotypes.”

WOMEN’S SPORTS/ WOMEN’S OPPORTUNITIES : IN DEFENSE OF FEMALE-ONLY PROGRAMS

FEMINISTS IN STRUGGLE PRESENTS A FORUM ON WOMEN’S SPORTS AND THE IMPORTANCE OF FEMALE ONLY PROGRAMS FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN AND GIRLS

About this Event

Female-only sports and other programs specifically for women and girls have been under attack. How do these programs help advance the struggle for women’s equality? How can we help save women’s sports programs?

Join the discussion!

Speakers include:

Beth Stelzer, Founder of Save Women’s Sports and amateur powerlifter.

Linda Blade, Sports performance coach residing in and former champion heptathlete with a PhD in Kinesiology.

Ann Menasche, founding member of Feminists in Struggle.

Please register and join us for an interesting, interactive meeting!

Radical Feminist Book Announcement

In the 2020s, there is a rebirth of radical feminist theory and activism. It’s time to publish a new collection that brings together the best in contemporary radical feminist thought.
Announcing: Spinning and Weaving: Radical Feminism for the 21st Century. Tidal Time Press, the publisher of Female Erasure, will publish this collection, edited by U.S. radical feminist theorist and activist Elizabeth Miller, in March 2021.
 
Spinning and Weaving seeks to raise up the voices of women around the world writing or creating from a radical feminist perspective, including scholars, journalists, activists, organizers, bloggers, writers, poets, artists, and independent thinkers. The collection especially seeks to amplify the voices of Women of Color, as they are the most likely to be silenced, marginalized, or ignored, and their experience denied or minimized.
The collection include chapters on many areas of contemporary radical feminism, including foundational radical feminist theory; the intersection of sex, race, and other axes of oppression; lesbian feminism; the environment; women’s sexuality; political activism; feminist organizing; women-only spaces; pornography; prostitution; gender ideology; and many other topics of interest and import to radical feminist theory and practice.
FIST’s co-founder Ann Menasche has two chapters in the book. Check out the book website, https://spinningandweaving.org/, to see the full Table of Contents for the book.
 
Spinning and Weaving’s Contributing Editor, Elizabeth Miller, is a radical feminist activist who runs the Chicago Feminist Salon and co-organized the Women in Media Conference, a radical feminist conference held in Chicago in 2018. Among other projects, she is currently working on organizing two other radical feminist conferences in the U.S., and runs the Radical Feminism Resources community on Facebook.
You can read more about Spinning and Weaving, and sign up for updates on the book, at https://spinningandweaving.org

FIST on Joy of Resistance, WBAI Tonight!

Feminists in Struggle’s Ann Menasche will be interviewed on WBAI Radio’s Joy of Resistance show, 99.5 fm, tonight at 9 pm EST (6 pm PST) to discuss the Biden executive order on January 20th, collapsing gender identity with women’s sex-based rights, and to discuss the Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act, the changes FIST would like to see made to the Equality Act, legislation passed by the House in 2019 (but not the Senate) that is likely to be reintroduced this year and considered high on the Biden agenda.

The write-up of the JOR show states that:

“Last week, the Women’s Liberation Front, put out a press release that was carried on the AP newswire entitled “Biden Executive Order on Gender Identity Will Eviscerate Women’s Rights”; the group Feminists in Struggle (FIST) issued a similar statement and The Women’s Human Rights Campaign started a letter-writing campaign in protest of this EO.”

The Joy of Resistance summary acknowledges that these groups are all considered left of center, with Feminists in Struggle strongly identified with the Left.  This is a refreshingly accurate characterization in view of attempts by many transactivists to smear any group that speaks out about gender ideology or the erasure of women as “right-wing” or even as “hate” groups.  FIST denounces such mischaracterizations, and has spelled out our distinction from the Right in our Principles, particularly in #12.

We greatly appreciate the Joy of Resistance show on WBAI, which features feminist content, and we recommend anyone who cares about the liberation of women listen tonight, and every Monday, at 9 pm EST (6 pm PST).  Please tune in!

There is also a demonstration in protest of this executive order planned on March 8 in front of the White House, and FIST members plan to be in attendance.  Join us!

FIST quoted in the Economist!

Ann Menasche from FIST was recently interviewed by The Economist about transgender-identified males being placed in women’s prisons. This is already the law in California. The reporter recognized that there is a conflict of rights here and that male violence is pervasive. She was sympathetic to FIST’s position that women’s sex-based rights to privacy, dignity, and safety mattered and that sex and gender identity are not the same thing.

We are slowly starting to break down the wall of silence and complicity in the media and getting our voices heard.  It is very important that the media begin to cover these issues in an unbiased manner, rather than acceding to the demands of the transgender lobby to present only that viewpoint. We recommend the media follow the WoLF Media+Style+Guide which outlines a way to report on these issues in a more balanced manner.

The Ride:  A Woman’s Rebellion

One of our FIST members, Sky, is making a coast-to-coast trip on her motorcycle, at 61 years of age, in order to be a “visible role model” for youth.  In her words, “I am one woman. One woman on a motorcycle. I am calling out to my sisters across the globe, to stand up, speak out, be seen, be heard.”

Her message:

1. Women’s rights are human rights. We have basic human rights to safety, dignity and privacy separate from males. This is a BASIC HUMAN RIGHT. We demand it.

2. Women have a right to compete with other women, without men destroying our sports.

3. Lesbians are Female Homosexuals who do not want men, even in pretty lipstick. No Men. Simple. The rape culture being forced on lesbians WITHIN our own so-called community is heinous and WILL stop.

4. Transitioning Children is the worst Homophobic Conversion Therapy ever invented. Let kids be kids. Stop the child abuse!

The Ride could use donations, help setting up rallies, hanging posters in the cities to which she will be traveling, and getting out the word.  She also welcomes any feminists or allies to join her for one leg of her journey or all of it.

 

If you wish to join the public planning group go to The Ride: A Woman’s Rebellion

 

For more information about her journey, see a video interview of Sky by Graham Linehan.

Feminists in Struggle responds to Biden’s Executive Order

Feminists in Struggle (FIST), a national feminist organization, denounces the subjugation of female rights to those of transgender rights in the executive order signed by President Biden on his first day in office.

Women’s rights are included in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act because female people have been and continue to be discriminated against on the basis of our sex.  We are disadvantaged in employment; we do not receive equal pay as compared to males for the same or comparable work; we are discriminated against in education and in sports.  Indeed, females have long been treated in patriarchal societies as lesser human beings because of our sex.  Every advance we have made has been on the basis of sex, NOT “gender identity.”

Of course, as feminists, we wholeheartedly agree that, “Every person should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear, no matter who they are or whom they love,” and that people should not be “fired, demoted or mistreated because of whom they go home to or because how they dress does not conform to sex-based stereotypes.”  However, we cannot possibly achieve equal rights for everyone by taking away the rights of some, in order to enhance the rights of others. “Gender identity” should not be used as grounds for eroding the sex-based rights of those of us born female since we have not yet achieved full equality.

This executive order does just that, by erasing females as a distinct class of people who are still oppressed and discriminated against in our society based on our sex and in need of legal protection. We continue to need programs for women and girls under Title VII and Title IX to redress past wrongs and level the playing field, so that those of us born female have an equal opportunity to develop ourselves and pursue our dreams. We need female-only spaces and refuges for reasons of dignity, privacy, and safety, especially because male sexual and physical violence against women and girls remain pervasive.  Therefore it is crucial that “sex” remains a distinct category and that it is not conflated with “gender identity.”

We demand an executive order and an Equality Act that will protect everyone’s rights and not pit one group’s rights against another’s. FIST’s legal committee has drafted a model bill that incorporates Feminist Amendments into the Equality Act. Our Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act preserve 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, Such provisions will fully protect lesbians, gay men, bisexual individuals, those who identify as transgender, and all gender non-conforming people without weakening the rights of females.

In addition, President Biden can make great strides toward equality for half the population born female by instructing the archivist to publish the Equal Rights Amendment (already ratified by the requisite 38 states) into the U.S. Constitution.  We urge that he do so immediately.

ARGENTINA LEGALIZES ABORTION!

This is an historic day for feminism in Latin America–Argentina voted to decriminalize abortion, thanks to a growing feminist movement, despite tremendous opposition by the Catholic Church!

Please join us on January 23rd and our SPECIAL GUEST FROM ARGENTINA, Jimena Diaz, psychologist, feminist and women’s rights activist on the successful abortion rights struggle there!

Tickets available at Eventbrite, for $5.00. A few free tickets are also available but please pay if you can in order to help us continue to fight for women’s rights.

Forum on Reproductive Rights planned

The right of women to control our reproduction including the right to choose to terminate a pregnancy has never been in greater jeopardy since the Supreme Court first decided Roe vs. Wade 48 years ago.

Women are invited to join Feminists in Struggle for a Zoom interactive forum Our Bodies, Our Lives on January 23, 2021 on the struggle to save reproductive rights, led by a foremother of the movement, Carol Downer.

Carol Downer has been a leader in the reproductive rights movement for five decades. She started the Self-Help branch of the Women’s Health Movement. She was tried and acquitted of practicing medicine without a license in 1972. Her group, the Feminist Women’s Health Centers started and ran abortion clinics around the country. She presently is the vice-president on the board of 3 clinics in Northern California, Women’s Health Specialists. She has written several books, and is presently studying population control by government and how it perpetuates white supremacy and class privilege. She invites inquiries by those who want to join this study project.

Other speakers include:

SPECIAL GUEST FROM ARGENTINA ON THE SUCCESSFUL ABORTION RIGHTS STRUGGLE THERE: Jimena Diaz, psychologist, feminist and women’s rights activist.

Rochelle Glickman, long-time lesbian feminist and member of Feminists in Struggle

Tickets available at Eventbrite, for $5.00. A few free tickets are also available but please pay if you can in order to help us continue to fight for women’s rights.