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.

 

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION BENEFITS WOMEN OF ALL COLORS

This opinion piece is from an individual FIST member and does not necessarily represent the views of the organization as a whole.  However, FIST is on record in support of affirmative action.

The Supreme Court decision this past June in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. Harvard,  finding race based affirmative action in college admissions an unconstitutional violation of equal protection https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/22pdf/20-1199_hgdj.pdf, not only struck a blow to Black people trying to break free from centuries of oppression and racist policies. It is also an impediment to women’s advancement as a sex in our own struggle against male supremacy.

Race blindness, like sex blindness, is an exceedingly bad idea when discrimination and/ or the institutionalized remnants of past discrimination still exist.  Discriminatory intent is hard to prove but if all the staff at the local car repair shop is all white and male, chances are that sexism and racism played a determinate role. And race or sex conscious remedies are necessary.

Like in the case of abortion rights, affirmative action wasn’t gotten rid of all at once but was slowly eroded by the courts until the recent death blow was struck.  The Bakke decision in 1978 marked the beginnings of this downward spiral.  https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/regents_of_the_university_of_california_v_bakke_(1978)

Though most women now work in the paid labor market and women have broken into certain professions, like law and medicine, previously mostly barred to them, the workforce remains highly sex segregated.  There are still “men’s jobs” and “women’s jobs” even if advertisements that spelled this out have been banned for decades under civil rights laws.  Women, though highly educated, are still relegated to lower paid, lower status positions, including even within the same field or profession.  Women lawyers, for example, are concentrated in the non-profit world or work for the government (with the few men there disproportionately found in top management) and are rarely owners or partners of successful private law firms.  Moreover, fields where most women work are underpaid and undervalued, despite the level of skill and education required or the importance of the work to society.  Nursing and teaching come to mind.

Women of all colors benefited from affirmative action especially when it was more robust in the early years, i.e., at a time when it included quotas and/or goals and timetables.   For example, women broke into the trades in the 1970’s, the first time since the government implemented its own affirmative action program bringing women into the war industry during World War II.   For a fascinating documentary of this period, I recommend “the Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter.” https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0081053/

So, in the 1970’s and into the 1980’s women worked as car mechanics, carpenters, gardeners, plumbers, electricians, engineers, and construction workers. However, by the 1980’s, women were forced out of the trades, not because they weren’t interested in the work or too weak or lacking in the skills needed to do the job well, but due to the hostility of male co-workers and managers who engaged in severe sexual harassment and violence against the female newcomers. See https://socialchangenyu.com/review/toward-gender-equality-affirmative-action-comparable-worth-and-the-womens-movement/

Affirmative action’s impact on women’s status in the workplace was limited because it wasn’t strong enough.  The number of women brought into male fields was small and the women were left isolated and far more vulnerable to harassment.  If women had been recruited in large numbers or ideas such as all-women teams implemented, women would likely have stayed.

Affirmative action is a vital measure for achieving equality for both people of color and women of all colors.  We need to create a movement strong enough to bring it back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calling All Feminists Near Dallas Texas for a Protest

Hooters exploitation

An energetic young feminist from Texas has initiated a protest in front of  the Hooter’s “breastaurant” on July 15th at 2201 N. Lamar St., Dallas, TX at noon.  Ever hear of the term “breastaurant?” It was a new term to this feminist writer.  Apparently, it is a recognized term for those eating establishments that use young women’s bodies to attract customers.  The term has even been used in lawsuits as the following Instagram post points out.  The feminist activists behind the planned protest are on Twitter and Instagram as “WomenOverWings,” they demand men respect women and get their wings elsewhere.



Breastaurants use a whopper of an argument and have the nerve to cite the Civil Rights Act: If your business is based on sexism then you have the right to objectify women’s bodies as a bona fide occupational qualification!  And they got away with it, what a legal system we have in this country…

 

#WomenOverWings was inspired by the 1968 protest against the Miss America Pageant as this tweet shows:

 

#WomenOverWings asks provocative questions:

Oppose Injustice

The climate crisis has made Texas a real furnace, so be sure to take precautions against the sun and heat if you attend.  And send your impressions of the demonstration to feministstruggle@protonmail.com!

Feminist Forum set for July 15th: PROSTITUTION, PORNOGRAPHY & MALE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

PROSTITUTION, PORNOGRAPY, and MALE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

FIST presents a zoom forum on violence against women focusing on the issues of pornography and prostitution. 

Forum is Saturday, July 15th, 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time, 4:00 p.m. Eastern

Tickets are $5 and can be purchased here:PROSTITUTION, PORNOGRAPY, and MALE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN Tickets, Sat, Jul 15, 2023 at 1:00 PM | Eventbrite

SPEAKERS:

`1) GAIL DINES is a Professor Emerita, researcher and radical feminist activist. She has been organizing against the porn industry for over thirty years and refuses to allow these sexual predators free reign to reduce women to an oppressed sex-class. Her latest book, Pornland, How Porn has Hijacked Our Sexuality, has been translated into 5 languages, and she was recently named one of the topo ten most influential women sociologists in the world by Academic Influence. Gail is in shock that a radical feminist is on such a list!

(2) MEREDITH KERSHAW is an Australian-born attorney, living in New Jersey, with experience practicing law in Australia and New York. She is deeply interested in protecting the human rights of women and girls, having served as a federal prosecutor for the Australian Prosecution Service specializing in the prosecution of crimes involving human exploitation particularly child pornography offenses. Meredith is an advocate for the Equality Model a holistic, legal approach to addressing prostitution, and authored a report published by New Yorkers for the Equality model entitled “Is Decriminalization of the Sex Trade the Answer? Debunking the ADLU’s Report.” Meredith is a commercial litigator with boutique law firm Wasserman Grubin & Rogers, LLP in New York and will commence a Master of Laws at Columbia University in fall 22023.

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.

ON PRIDE & SHAME

This is an opinion piece submitted by two lesbian members of FIST and does not necessarily reflect the position of FIST as an organization.

We used to look forward to participating in Pride parades. In the days when they were called Lesbian/Gay Pride, they were political events with a feminist message. In 1977, 5,000 women marched at the head of the Pride March in San Francisco, right behind Dykes on Bikes. Lesbian-feminists spoke and sang from the podium. We needed Pride because our same sex love had been shrouded in shame – the silence and invisibility of the closet, something never demanded of heterosexuals. We were losing jobs, housing, and custody of our kids because we were openly gay or lesbian or because the sex of our partners had been discovered.

But Pride has changed. And we don’t mean the drag. Gender non-conformity including cross-dressing was always extremely common among lesbians and gay men, and was, from the beginning, pervasive at our Pride events. There were always drag queens on elaborate floats in attendance, and women in full butch regalia. But, until quite recently, the idea that cross-dressing and other behaviors that do not conform to sex stereotypes meant your sexed body was “wrong” and in need of medicalization, was exceedingly rare among gay men and almost non-existent among lesbians.

In addition, overt sexual displays such as BDSM did not exist at Pride events to any significant extent until the 1990’s. Lesbian, gays, bisexuals, and our straight supporters always brought their kids to Pride without hesitation. These were not X- rated events. Now they are.

To be blunt, Pride is no longer the event we remember. It has become thoroughly corporatized, pornified, and coopted, a shadow of its former self that was forged in the struggle for lesbian and gay rights.  The extent of the merger that has occurred between Pride and corporate America is a bit shocking.  For example, the list of sponsors of San Diego Pride is a virtual Who’s Who of corporate America. Sponsors include Bank of America, Starbucks, Northrup Gruman, Charles Schwab, Jack-in- the-Box, Coca-Cola, Greystar, San Diego Gas & Electric, and Chevrolet.  There are also sponsors from the medical industrial complex, including Blue California, Kaiser Permanente, Genentech, and notably, Rady’s Children’s Hospital which works in the highly lucrative field of gender medicine, operating the Center for Gender Affirming Care for “children, adolescence and young adults.” 

The community, too, has changed. The growing amalgam of lettered identities introduced heterosexuals into our community and has increasingly marginalized lesbians and gay men. Lesbians especially have been almost completely squeezed out of the community now dominated by the “TQ”. Women’s spaces and cultural events that nurtured and supported lesbians such as the Michigan Women’s Music Festival were labelled “trans-exclusionary” and are now gone; female-only lesbian groups and a lesbian same-sex sexual orientation itself have been redefined as “transphobic bigotry.” A misogynistic and homophobic sex-denying ideology has become dominant and is encouraging the medical transition and sterilization of mostly female teens – tomboys and future lesbians – into facsimiles of the other sex, at great cost to their long-term health.

Pride has also been torn from its roots. Our lesbian and gay history is being rewritten so that we have forgotten that in 1969 drag queens were gay men, rather than “trans”; that it was not transgender identified males but an African-American butch lesbian, Storme DeLarvarie https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storm%C3%A9_DeLarverie who kicked off Stonewall; and that gays and lesbians, not trans identified individuals, organized the first Pride March. Please listen to the words of Fred Sargeant, who was there. https://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_C9A3B5DB7A6848F7B5F9858C106C6854

So, has Pride outlived its usefulness? Despite the progress we have made since Stonewall, anti-lesbian/gay prejudice continues to run deep within the population. Witness that homophobia – both external and internalized – is one of the main forces propelling medical transition in both children and adults.

In the U.S., lesbians and gay men are still at risk. It was only in 2003 that the Supreme Court in a 6 to 3 decision invalidated sodomy laws in Lawrence v. Texas https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/539/558/while such laws criminalizing homosexuality between consenting adults remain on the books in Texas and 11 other states. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodomy_laws_in_the_United_States#:~:text=As%20of%20May%202023%2C%2012,result%20of%20Lawrence%20v.%20Texas.

We are still not protected by federal laws explicitly prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination. Instead, we have one Supreme Court decision, Bostock v. Clayton County, https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/17-1618_hfci.pdf that protects against employment discrimination based on sexual orientation under sex discrimination; and another, Obergefell v. Hodges, https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/14-556 that recognizes the right to marry a same sex partner. But we have seen how Supreme Court decisions can be quickly reversed as happened regarding the issue of abortion. Justice Thomas has recently called for revisiting both Lawrence and Obergefell. It would be foolish to let our guard down now.  

Large sections of the world present an even more dangerous picture. Places like Iran and Uganda continue to criminalize same sex love, subjecting lesbians, and gay men to the death penalty.

Yes, we still need Pride, as a movement for lesbian/gay rights, not as a market share.  Our liberation from anti-gay prejudice and compulsory heterosexuality has not yet been achieved.

One of the most persistent myths used against us is that we lesbians and gay men are “perverts” who “groom” and molest children to “recruit” to our “lifestyle”. Yes, as in all sectors of society, there are gay people, especially gay men, who think “love” between grown adults and minors is just fine. Pornography has permeated our community just as it has straight society. But the vast majority of our community, both men and women, have long ago and wholeheartedly rejected pedophilia and continues to do so, in part due to having been influenced by a feminist understanding of power and abuse. Moreover, the Catholic Church was far more of a hotbed of sexual abuse of children then the lesbian and gay community is or has ever been.

This reality did not prevent anti-gay right wing Christian fundamentalist forces from campaigning against lesbian/gay rights in the early years based on the risk lesbians and gay men supposedly pose to children. Witness in the late 1970’s the “Save Our Children” campaign of Anita Bryant to overturn local gay rights protections in Florida; and the California Briggs Initiative, one year later, ultimately defeated, that proposed to exclude gay teachers and anyone else in the schools that openly supported lesbian/gay rights.

These arguments seem to be resurfacing once again, from right wing anti-gay politicians like DeSantis who write overly broad bills and policies; and even from members of the our own community who, in fighting against child medical transition and indoctrination of children into gender identity ideology in schools, appear to agree that (open) gays and lesbians are a threat to children and should be kept away from them until they are 18 to avoid the adults being “groomers.” For example, Rainbow Rebellion and Gays Against Groomers are organizing a Pride counter-protest in St. Louis which proclaims, “LGBTQ+ Stay away from the kids.” https://www.trevoices.org/

But lesbian/gay parents and teachers do not threaten children’s safety nor do they “recruit.” Moreover, it should be o.k. to “say gay” in schools, to discuss and read books about same sex families and relationships or learn about lesbian/gay history. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual teens dating and exploring their same sex sexuality with their peers also deserve our support. The teaching of age-appropriate sex education in schools, including that related to homosexuality, is fine. Even being exposed to cross-dressing or drag is not in itself a risk to kids. Rather, pornified displays by adults whether by drag queens or by Beyonce, Lady Gaga or other similarly hyper-sexualized “straight” performers, are inappropriate for young children.

It is not gays and lesbians, nor, for that matter, individual adults that identify as transgender, that pose a risk to kids. We do not need to stay away from children. Rather, it is the teaching of gender identity ideology to children, whoever does the teaching – that a child may have been born in the “wrong” body which the doctor can “fix” for you, that “feminine” men and boys, and “masculine” women and girls are not really members of their sex, and that biological sex either doesn’t exist, or can be changed. chosen, or overridden by an amorphous feeling called “gender identity” that everyone is supposed to have- which causes children profound confusion and can unleash untold physical harm.

Lesbians and gays are not responsible for how our community has been hijacked. Let’s reject the shame and take-back Pride from our corporate masters. We can fight against child transition while remaining vigilant in defense of lesbian and gay rights and not giving an inch to homophobia. WE WILL NOT GO BACK.

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!”

JUSTICE FOR ANN CAMPAIGN SEEKS ENDORSEMENTS! DEFEND FEMINISTS FROM FIRING AND WITCHHUNTS!

The Justice for Ann Campaign is seeking organizations as well as individuals to sign on as endorsers. Ann was fired from her job after 20 years based on her sex and sexual orientation. following her assertion that members of the female sex are the people harmed by abortion bans. She has since filed a lawsuit for discrimination in the Superior Court. Her case is similar to Maya Forstater’s in the UK who ultimately was vindicated. Read Ann’s story at https://defendfeminists.net/the-feminists-we-defend/justice-for-ann-menasche/.

Form for organizations to endorse is here: https://greenalliance.sexbasedrights.org/form/justice_for_ann_menasche–organizational_endorsement.

Individuals can sign on as an endorser here: https://greenalliance.sexbasedrights.org/civicrm/petition/sign?sid=4&reset=1.

All feminists and genuine progressives who care about women’s rights and the rights of workers to be free from discrimination and to not be targeted for their political opinions and outside political activities are welcome to join this campaign.

Stop the witch-hunts against feminists! An injury to one is an injury to all!

 

STOP THE VIOLENCE AGAINST SUPPORTERS OF WOMEN’S RIGHTS – STATEMENT FROM FEMINISTS IN STRUGGLE

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Minority Statement on Missouri Senate bill Banning Child Transition

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

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

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

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

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

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