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!

More Witch-hunting in the Left

By Ann Menasche
(This is the opinion of the author alone and does not represent the views of FIST as an organization.)

As a lifelong anti-war activist, a couple of months ago I threw myself into the political work of stopping the genocide against the people of Gaza (overwhelming targeting women and children) by rejoining the San Diego chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace. I attended rallies, spoke at one of them and initiated plans for a Hanukkah event that would light the Menorah and call for a permanent ceasefire and a just peace between Israeli Jews and Palestinians.

I didn’t say a word about my gender critical views. The topic simply never came up. But some folks decided to do their homework on me, starting with posts in my X account and leading to my role in FIST. So, it came down as expected. I was told that I either needed to recant my views Orwellian style and “apologize” for my thought crimes, or I couldn’t even attend the event I had planned (I was supposed to be a speaker), because of the risk my very presence posed to the “safety” of trans members. When I refused to recant and said I would attend the public event anyway, they changed the location at the very last minute and made sure I wasn’t informed of the change.

Of course, folks know I never go quietly into the night. When I was fired from my job after asserting the biological fact that only females of the species get pregnant and need abortions – defined as “hateful bigotry” by my former employer – I filed a lawsuit for wrongful termination (still pending). See https://defendfeminists.net/the-feminists-we-defend/justice-for-ann-menasche

When I was effectively expelled from JVP through being excluded from participating and attending their events, I began circulating an open letter that will be published shortly with signatures of anti-war activists, authors, and journalists from around the country. Renown individuals like Cindy Sheehan and Chris Hedges have signed on.

To my Leftists comrades who think feminists like me should be excluded from the movement: You don’t own the Left, you just think you do. Radical feminists are part of the Left, whether you like it or not. If you are serious about stopping war and genocide, stop witch-hunting out some of your best activists and doing the work of the IDF and the Pentagon for them.

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.

12/2 Feminist Forum: PERILOUS LESSONS: FIGHTING GENDER IDENTITY IDEOLOGY IN SCHOOLS

Tickets are on sale now on Eventbrite for our Saturday December 2nd forum, 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time, 2:00 p.m. Eastern time,on fighting gender identity indoctrination going on in our public schools.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/perilous-lessons-fighting-gender-identity-indoctrination-in-schools-tickets-747745937227?aff=oddtdtcreator

To the horror of many, children in public schools are being indoctrinated to believe that some people are born in the “wrong” body; that biological sex, to the extent it exists at all, is “assigned” and can be changed; and that if a child or teen doesn’t conform to sex stereotypes or if they are same sex attracted, their body is “wrong” and they may need to medically “transition.” Girls, lesbian and gay teens, autistic children and anyone who is “different” are particularly vulnerable to this message. Children are being “socially transitioned” – treated like they are the other sex (or neither sex) in school – often behind their parents’ back. This sets these children on the path to puberty blockers, cross sex hormones, removing or surgically modifying healthy body parts resulting in sterilization and other permanent harms to their long term mental and physical health, often while they are still minors.

To begin the discussion on how best to fight back against the indoctrination of school children into gender identity ideology and the promotion of child transition by our public schools, FEMINISTS IN STRUGGLE presents two women who have been leaders in this struggle:

CAROL DANSEREAU is an advocate, organizer, singer, feminist, mother and grandmother. She spent decades advocating for environmental protections, including for farm worker families exposed to highly toxic pesticides for which she and her organization received the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association’s Public Justice Award. Carol has been fighting Gender Identity Ideology since 2019, most recently at her local school board, and sees the movement we are building on that issue as central to achieving the system change needed for a just and sustainable world. Visit caroldansereau.substack.com for her articles, reports and videos on Gender Identity ideology, environmental issues, immigration and other topics.

ERIN FRIDAY is a licensed California attorney, mother and wife. She is also a lifelong Democrat whose daughter used to believe that she was a boy . Erin co-leads the Western Region of Our Duty, an international group of parents and allies who are fighting to protect children and vulnerable adults against gender ideology. She is on the executive committee for Protect Kids California https://protectkidsca.com/, that is promoting a 2024 ballot initiative to stop gender interventions on minors, prevent males from competing in female sports and entrance into female spaces, and stop schools from socially transitioning students without parental knowledge or consent. She also leads a local branch of Parents of Rapid-Onset of Gender Dysphoric Kids. She has authored articles in the Wall Street Journal, Daily Signal, the Ohio Press, the Epoch Times, Our Duty Substack, Post Millennial and for Parents of Inconvenient Truths about Trans. She is frequently found in Sacramento fighting bills that erode parental rights and force parents to subject their children to gender interventions.

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. Persons 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.

THIS EVENT IS OPEN TO BOTH MEN AND WOMEN BECAUSE OF ITS IMPORTANCE TO PARENTS, TEACHERS, LGB COMMUNITIES, AND DETRANSITIONERS OF BOTH SEXES, THOUGH WOMEN WILL BE GIVEN PRIORITY DURING DISCUSSION.

NO MORE FEMICIDE IN OUR NAME


Photo from Jewish Voice for Peace protest in Grand Central Station, New York, 10/27/2023

By Ann Menasche

This is the opinion of the author alone and does not represent the position of Feminists in Struggle.

The targeting of civilians in war, whether in the name of “resistance against occupation” or “defense against terrorism”, whether from bombs thrown from the air onto crowded residential neighborhoods, schools, hospitals and places of worship or attacks with guns, knives, explosives, or other violent attacks from the ground, means the brutal deaths of innocent women and their children at male hands. It is a particularly egregious form of mass femicide, this time, not directed against their “own” women – the women of their nation or ethnic group – but the women of the demonized “other”, the “enemy.” Because in virtually all contemporary societies, men are the large majority of combatants and the civilians are women, children and the elderly.

It was not until 1949, the aftermath of World War II, a war that resulted in over 38 million civilian deaths that international law in the Geneva Conventions legally defined war crimes or crimes against humanity. And it was not just Nazis that caused those deaths during World War II, though they caused a lot of them. The estimate of deaths from the allies’ firebombing of Dresden which were justified as an attempt to shorten the war and save soldiers’ lives, is at least 25,000 to 35,000 civilians; the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki immediately killed 214,000 Japanese civilians, not counting the later premature deaths of countless others from radiation. But the victors don’t usually get charged with war crimes. That slaughter was justified on the same grounds, but according to primary source I read in college, the U.S. was well aware that Japan was about to surrender; however, they wanted to show the Soviet Union their new powerful weapon, as the Cold War was just being launched.

Rules of war established after World War II have almost always been honored in the breach, with the U.S. having quite a lot of civilian blood on its hands, again mostly women and children. Since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, justified by 9/11 and the “war on terror”, 280,000 to 315,000 Iraqi civilians were killed by the violence, not counting the life-threatening damage to civilian infrastructure that caused even more deaths. The bombing of Vietnam during the Vietnam war resulted in between 30,000- 65,000 civilian deaths. The Vietnam government estimates the total civilian deaths from the war to be 2,000,000 people. Again, we are talking about the wanton mass murder of women and children.

Of course, one reason the U.S. hesitates to criticize Israel as it indiscriminately kills thousands of Palestinian women and children in Gaza through its bombs and threatens more lives with its tightened blockade preventing clean water, food and energy from entering, and letting only a trickle of humanitarian aid in, is because the U.S. does the same thing. The U.S. government’s refusal to support the international call for a ceasefire in the Israel/Gaza war is criminal and makes our government complicit in the extensive war crimes going on right now.

War and peace are feminist issues because, among other reasons, war allows men to murder women and our children with impunity. Feminists, whatever side we may be on in a conflict, should never justify or support the deliberate targeting of civilians or the callous indifference to civilian lives so that men will sacrifice any number of innocent women and children to get the “bad guys.”

As feminists we should care about the lives and wellbeing of our sisters around the globe, including both Israelis and Palestinians. We should never excuse the crimes of the men on “our side” of these wars. No more femicide in my name.

As feminists, we should also know that only justice and equality can establish a solid ground for peace and safety for all the peoples of this planet.

FEMINISTS IN STRUGGLE REORGANIZES AND BEGINS PLANNING FOR FIRST NATIONAL CONFERENCE

FIST’s decision-making body, the Feminist Assembly, has voted to reorganize FIST so that all dues paying members are automatically brought into the Feminist Assembly with full voting rights.  It will take some months as we transition to this new system with one class of members instead of two, but it is a great time to join FIST or pay up on your dues.  We will also begin planning for our long-delayed national conference to take place in the late spring of 2024.

As the only membership-run multi-issue radical feminist organization in the U.S., we are excited to be taking this next step in our grassroots organizing. JOIN US!

THE MULTIPLE DELUSIONS OF TRANSGENDER POLITICS

By Ann E Menasche

This opinion is solely that of the author and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Feminists in Struggle.

On September 15 to 17, 2023, I attended the WDI USA national conference. “Accelerating the Women’s Liberation Movement” along with 100 of my sisters (including several FIST members).  I stayed an extra day to participate in a non-violent direct action in front of San Francisco’s City Hall.  I was one among twenty women dressed in white participating in the action that had as its focus the rights of lesbians.

The conference was inspiring, the women speakers and attendees a fascinating, thoughtful bunch.

But my experiences with the Trans Rights Activist protesters were deeply surreal and even frightening. Outside the conference and at Monday’s demonstration, masked men, some in drag, others with black masks and “antifa” garb, repeatedly hurled ear-splitting yells at us, called us “fascists” and threatened us with death for the “crime” of our feminism.  Signs read, “Millions of dead TERFs”, and “I eat TERFS for breakfast” while the crowd chanted “no TERFs, no KKK, no fascist USA”, “no TERFs on our turf.” and of course the ubiquitous “F*** TERFS!”

In the midst of this mayhem, there were calls for “Revolution”, and there was one sign at the Hotel supporting abortion rights (there was no disagreement between the two sides here). A few TRA protesters near the hotel ended up scaling a locked gate separating the Hilton from a Chinatown Park, punching a hotel manager in the face, defacing the sign in front of the Hilton with various obscenities and chasing down Meagan Murphy and de-transitioner K Yang, who were lucky to escape unharmed. Later, the TRAs sprayed graffiti in front of the entrance to a building hosting a feminist art show featuring the art of de-transitioning women that many of us had attended earlier that evening.

At Monday’s demonstration at City Hall, the TRA counterdemonstration drowned us out so we couldn’t hear the speakers, even though the organizers of our event had obtained rally and sound permits ahead of time.   As time went on, TRAs got more and more riled up and police had to set down a second barricade next to the first.  Meanwhile, we women remained completely peaceful and orderly as we had been trained to do. When we called our rally to a close, we all escaped quickly into two rented U-Haul’s as we had planned, to ensure that we would get safely back to the hotel. We did not want to risk assault while waiting to order Ubers or catch the BART.  Though we laughed about it in the van as the TRAs wondered how we had managed to disappear so quickly, part of it wasn’t funny at all.  The TRAs had reduced us to the status of a bunch of criminals escaping a crime scene, though we were guilty of nothing more than exercising our rights of freedom of speech.

I’m not crazy about police.  San Francisco cops have a sordid history of rioting, and beating up patrons at gay bars, and Black citizens for minor or non-existence infractions.  I doubt it’s all better now, especially regarding the treatment of the disproportionately Black unhoused population.   But if it wasn’t for the police and hotel security guards providing basic protections, on top of our own detailed planning, and sheer luck, some of us could have been seriously injured or even killed.

All this in the very heart of San Francisco.  What happened to the City I had lived in, organized in, and loved for so many decades?  The same City that was a cultural hub of the lesbian community, dotted with women’s coffeehouses, bookstores and bars, the City where 5,000 women marched at the head of Lesbian and Gay Pride in 1977, the City that year after year held International Women’s Day protests in Golden Gate Park called Day in the Park for Women’s Rights? The same City, the same location where I had marched along with 30,000 women and male supporters for abortion rights during the March for Women’s Lives in the 1980’s and joined with Holly Near and Judy Fjell who led feminist songs from the stage? The same City where I had founded a lesbian feminist organization, Lesbian Uprising, that lasted into the 1990’s, and worked in coalition with Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and others?   The same City where hundreds of thousands of folks on the Left, when “Left” meant something, marched together up Market Street to the Civic Center to protest imperialist war, whether in Vietnam, Nicaragua, or Iraq?

And what happened to that Left?  For all the faults or contradictions of our male comrades, once the Second Wave had kicked in for a few years, blatant misogyny was no longer fashionable among either men or women in this milieu, until now. Virtually everyone who was a progressive, socialist, anti-war activist and/or involved in organized labor understood that the struggle for women’s rights/women’s liberation, was on OUR side/the workers’ side of the picket-line.  The Labor movement helped fund women’s rights protests just so they would have an opportunity to express their solidarity with the feminist movement.  They considered it an honor.

Not so for the TRAs in the U.S. and elsewhere. Nor for much of the current labor movement for that matter, which in Canada opposes parents who don’t want their (mostly female, mostly lesbian) teenagers sterilized and mutilated.  Feminists. along with parents having legitimate concerns of child safety, have somehow, in the minds of the TRAS, metamorphosized into the “enemy.”

The TRAs’ delusions thus go far beyond thinking men can be women, some women have penises, and men can be lesbians.  They also are deluded into thinking that they are being “progressive,” even revolutionary, by gathering a group of men together, yelling obscenities at women and threatening them with violence for peacefully protesting or attending a conference together. And worse, they think that women rallying for women’s rights as a sex (always the subject of feminism from the time of the First Wave) and talking about the rights of lesbians as a sexual orientation, are “fascists.”

This is the most dangerous of delusions, as the truth is just the opposite. In every place that fascism has come to power, it has restored the rule of the father, and destroyed feminism.  Feminist organizations were dissolved during the period between the two world wars in fascist Italy, Germany, Spain, and Portugal and their members forced into hiding or exile.  European Feminisms in the Face of Fascisms | EHNE  In Nazi Germany, “[w]omen experienced the rapid erosion of their rights in every sphere…Women were told to give up their jobs for men…Independent women were ruthlessly attacked and driven out of the public domain. Many feminists were jailed and some paid with their lives.” Feminism-under-Fascism

So please, boys, open up your history books before hurling epithets whose meaning you know nothing about.   I’m not sure what you were taught in school besides pronouns, but better late than never.

The next time you are tempted to call a group of independent minded feminists who refuse to defer to you, “fascists” a little soul searching first would be in order.  Threatening women in an attempt to silence us is not progressive.

 

 

 

 

 

First-hand report from WDI conference in San Francisco

by Javiera Sobarzo-Zepeda

This opinion is solely that of the author and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Feminists in Struggle.

On September 15-18 I attended the second annual WDI conference held in San Francisco CA.

It was a great conference with many topics ranging from reproductive technology, desisted and de transitioned women, women’s studies and academia, the rise of queer policies and the effects on our politics, consciousness raising circles, the work WDI has done in legislation, feminist language and many more. I also participated in the non-violent direct action, which was an experience all its own. We were yelled at and taunted, but we persevered.

I got involved in the radical feminist movement this past year, joining WDI and FIST. I grew up on the west coast in a liberal and progressive area and I was in the camp of “transwomen are women” and “sex work is work” for many years, without thinking much about what these sayings actually meant. It wasn’t until I became a mom to a daughter that these mantras began to unravel for me. I want her to grow up in a safe world that honors her for who she is and respects her body as her own.

This conference was the first conference I have been to where I was with other likeminded women. As a baby radical feminist,I found it inspiring to hear from women who have been in this fight for female sovereignty. I feel a renewed strength to stay in this for my daughter. It was encouraging to see other women my age as well, I am in my early 30s, I think a lot of my generation is starting to see through the veil. We want to protect our children, our friends children from these manipulative forces.

I am looking forward and have great hope for what is to come. Women are waking up. We are speaking and being heard. I know we will find a way and it may look different, but through community and working together, we will preserve female sovereignty.

FIST Hosts Feminist Author Shannon Thrace on Oct. 7th to discuss her new book, “18 Months: A Marriage Lost to Gender Identity”

Tickets are on sale now for $5.00 for this special event on Saturday, October 7, 11:00 a.m. Pacific time, 2:00 p.m. on zoom, when Shannon will talk about her recently published book, “18 Months: A Memoir of a Marraige Lost to Gender Identity.”

Reserve your tickets below:

FEMINIST BOOK TALK: A MARRIAGE LOST TO GENDER IDENTITY Tickets, Sat, Oct 7, 2023 at 11:00 AM | Eventbrite

Shannon is a writer, cultural critic, and IT professional who lives for travel, good food and summer music festivals. Her book tells the story of the dissolution of her    fifteen-year mariage when her partner began to identify as transgender. She is also a member of Feminists in Struggle. Find her Substack at            https://shannonthrace.substack.com

Shannon’s book can be purchased through Amazon, Barnes and Noble. and other sources on the internet.

This is a women-only event.  You won’t want to miss it!  Please join us!

 

KEEP OUR EYES ON THE PRIZE

It is easy to lose track of the ultimate goal of women’s liberation – the end to sex-based oppression of half the human race born female – by focusing exclusively on our defensive battles. There are many such battles taxing our spirits. In the wake of our loss of abortion rights last year, we have seen the passage of one horrific state law after another placing women’s liberty, health, and very lives at risk.

And of course, there is the defensive fight against a pernicious worldwide ideology that denies the existence of sex, allowing males into women’s spaces and programs, and depriving us of privacy, safety, and opportunity and even the language needed to talk about ourselves and assert our rights. We are also seeing the tragedy of a whole generation of girls (future feminists, future lesbians) desperately attempting to escape their womanhood by doing great harm to their female bodies through submitting to puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones and lopping off healthy body parts.

Despite these challenges, we must maintain our broader vision. We women have still not achieved equality in the workplace, under law or in the rest of society, and winning our current defensive battles will not by themselves get us there.

We are coming upon the 100th centennial of the Equal Rights Amendment, written by suffragist Alice Paul in 1923, that would finally guarantee equality based on sex in the U.S. Constitution. The ERA does not solve all problems but is a vital tool to move us forward once again.

Feminist lawyer Wendy Murphy recently spoke at Seneca Falls in celebration of this centennial in the presence of the great-great-granddaughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Coline Jenkins:

“For the entirety of women’s 247 years in this country – a country that dares to declare itself the greatest democracy on earth – women have been denied basic legal equality of rights and no laws must be enforced equally when applied to women because without the ERA women are not constitutionally entitled to equal treatment under the law.”

“Neither party truly supports the ERA,” Wendy added. She also extolled the independence of Ms. Paul from both parties. something she claims we need now more than ever, as we have a Democratic President that refuses to instruct the archivist to publish the ERA.

So, no matter how hard things get, sisters, let’s keep our eyes on the prize.