I thought the same thing about Emma Watson’s speech. It was seemingly unobtrusive and inoffensive (even INCLUSIVE and sympathetic towards those poor men) and yet this gigantic misogynistic uproar came as a result. They were hootin’ and hollerin’ and throwing their feces left and right. Privilege is not easily relinquished, and so we continue to fight to make change.
Thank you Gallus for sharing this, because I think this is another perfect reminder that women did not create the patriarchy, thus why we shouldn’t blame women as if they did. I think it clearly shows that how when we as women [both past and present] stand up to men that we get a backlash of rape and murder; making an example out of us to other women that this is what happens when we don’t conform, when we step out of the kitchen, when we talk back, when we question him.
And honestly, what woman would want to speak up and tell the truth if she knew she was going to get raped or murdered or threaten with it for doing so? Wouldn’t it be easier and safer to just stay silent and conform to the patriarchy? Ah, welcome to the great divide of feminist and non-feminist.
Also, we really must stop being so harsh on our sisters. We have to also keep in mind of the mental strain the patriarchy puts on women. Who wants to always fight and shout with a man just to get respect or to be heard? We seem to ignore that some women are tired of the mental games he plays, and would rather conform just to get a bit of privilege, just to get paid, just to survive and just for a bit of ‘safety’.
Because, again, we’ve seen the women who don’t comform, and it means many of them have to fight like hell everyday.
I also think it starts to reveal our own internalized misogyny when we start to blame women for the patriarchy or for taking part in it for survival. So I think it’s important to understand and recognize that it’s not okay to sell out to the patriarchy, but to not blame our sisters for it. That instead, we need to get to the root of the problem and realize that the patriarchy [men] are not allowing any other ways for women to survive without him, or heck even create a space, voice, media, etc without him!
Gallus has said this many times before that we do so much better standing together than we do apart.
I reckon it is internalised misogyny which results in events like this http://afed2014.wordpress.com Capitulation to trans/queer/manarchist bullying on the part of (probably well intentioned) organisers look to have resulted in whole new levels of female erasure. Check their thought-terminating ‘safer spaces’ policy–and watch that ‘binarist’ thinking sisters!
“Trans women, in particular, have been excluded from many branches of feminism. Because of this, we want to be especially clear that including trans women is a high priority for the conference.”
Mmm, datz right! Put dem menz first!
I love how they complain that the first time around, they basically failed because misogyny got in the way cause: women no help women!
Then they’re like “K’, we get it! We need to help da menz in order to stop the misogynistic attacks we’re getting! Let’s remake over our movement to kick out the women and place in dem menz in dresses as high priority!”.
I think this is the perfect example of women starting off in the right direction, but caving in later on due to the non-stop patriarchal attacks; they end up including men to the point of putting them first over women just for peace reasons.
I think we all know that we can bully women and get away with it because she’ll back down or won’t say anything at all. But men, HA! Women can’t bully men into backing down. Men know how to work together too well to create a backlash to silence any woman who tried to silence him. I find that to be amazing and sad at the same time.
Safer spaces agreement for AFem2014
We want this conference to be a space where people who are the target of gender oppression can feel safe sharing their experiences and skills. (By this, we mean people that experience sexism, misogyny, transmisogyny, cissexism, transphobia and binarism.)
We recognise that many of us will have experienced forms of oppression that are common in anarchist organising – racism, sexism, transmisogyny and whorephobia, to name a few.
We also recognise that many of us have used oppressive language and behaviour on past occasions.
This is a guide to what we expect from participants in AFem, and what we will do to support them to avoid using oppressive language and behaviour.
We are asking everyone who participates to agree to abide by this set of guidelines, because in this way we believe we can dismantle power dynamics, make a more egalitarian space, and reduce the likelihood of reproducing the everyday oppressions we encounter elsewhere.
** TRIGGER WARNING: the following guidelines contain examples of oppressive language and behaviour, and may therefore be triggering. **
use trigger warnings when appropriate. Also, given that people can be triggered by anything, people should consider the people around them, and give space to people if they are triggered by a discussion.
avoid making assumptions about people’s gender based on their appearance or their name. This means asking what pronouns (e.g. “she/her”) people prefer, rather than guessing.
be aware of power dynamics (e.g. sexism) and how they affect our actions.
listen and learn from the discussion, rather than speaking, if it’s an issue outside of their own personal experience.
be aware that if they are part of a privileged group, they may be enforcing oppressive norms by either what they’re talking about or how they’re talking about it.
make sure they speak in a clear way, avoiding or explaining any jargon or acronyms.
take a believing stance towards those speaking about their own experiences of violence, and avoid all forms of apologism for violence, particularly victim-blaming and gaslighting.
bear in mind that others may find traumatic discussions intimidating, triggering or draining, and make sure discussion of traumatic subjects (such as sexual violence) is entered into with appropriate care, using trigger warnings and making space for those who wish to discuss (or not to discuss) their own experiences
sexist language or behaviour e.g. “bitch”, men speaking over women
transphobic language or behaviour e.g. “tranny”, “shemale”, excluding trans women from discussions aimed at women
binarist language or behaviour e.g. splitting a group into “men and women”, excluding non-binary people from discussions aimed at trans people
homophobic language or behaviour e.g. “fag”, “gay men all act camp”
biphobic language or behaviour, e.g. “bi now gay later”, “fence sitters”, excluding bi people from discussions aimed at queer communities
whorephobic language or behaviour e.g. “prostitute”, not treating sex work as work
racist language or behaviour e.g. “I only ever get street harassed by black men”, derailing discussions about race, making derogatory generalisations about racialised faiths, especially Islam
cultural appropriation – avoid taking parts of cultures (like language or dress e.g. a bindi or a Native American war bonnet) that they have a colonial relationship to, and using them for their own gratification. We ask that participants consider why they’re doing this (e.g. colonialism, white supremacy) and listen when challenged about it by people of colour.
ableist language or behaviour e.g. “nutter”, “mental”, blocking wheelchair access to a room
body shaming (ourselves or others) e.g. “too fat / tall / ugly”
ageist language or behaviour, e.g. “grandma”, “kid”, condescending to people on grounds of age
remember it is up to every individual person in the space to challenge oppressive behaviour and language when they see it, if they feel capable (not everyone will).
remember that some people are more affected by certain issues than others – e.g. men often don’t find sexist behaviour hard to deal with – and so the burden for “calling people out” should not be just on those personally affected by oppressive actions.
remember it can be very scary, even in a supportive space, to call out (for example) a man on their sexist language. It’s helpful to actively support anyone that does call people out if you agree with them, e.g. by nodding when they do it.
maintain the confidentiality agreed in each discussion and avoid outing queer people, trans people, people with hidden disabilities, and survivors of violence, if they disclose their identities within a confidential discussion.
What will organisers do to support the safer spaces agreement?
We have provided quiet space to read the safer spaces agreement and will explain the content and the thinking behind it when asked. If you would prefer, a safer spaces volunteer can read and discuss the agreement with you.
We have asked the facilitator of each session to make space at the start of sessions to read through the safer spaces agreement.
We have asked the facilitator of each session to ask for volunteers at the beginning of each session to pay close attention to language and behaviour in the session, if there are not safer spaces volunteers available.
We will specifically not police how participants in the space call people out on their oppressive behaviour. Some people get very angry when they are faced with oppressive behaviour – which is fair enough.
We have provided listeners in a quiet space for those who are triggered by discussions.
What happens if people don’t respect this agreement?
Expressions of oppressive beliefs, dogmas, and/or politics will not be tolerated. Sometimes, people just aren’t aware that they are acting in silencing or oppressive ways. Where possible, give people a chance to stop if they breach the safer spaces agreement. We recommend the following steps:
i. a participant experiences or witnesses abusive behaviour from another person.
ii. the participant raises the issue themselves or asks the facilitator to raise the issue.
iii. the participant or facilitator asks the person to stop the language or behaviour that’s causing the problem.
iv. the participant or facilitator asks the person to agree to abide by the safer spaces agreement.
If you have been called out on your behaviour or actions, then consider taking some time out from the session to reflect on what happened, and potentially talk things through with a safer spaces volunteer. When you feel ready, then you can rejoin a session, as long as you agree to abide by the safer spaces agreement.
However if the person in question does not stop or will not agree to abide by the safer spaces agreement, then the person should leave the event. If the person in question refuses to leave voluntarily, then our AFem2014 safer spaces volunteers can be called to deal with the issue.
What if my abuser is at AFem?
People who have perpetrated interpersonal violence and/or harassment are not welcome in this space (unless they are working through and sticking to an accountability process, and they are here with the express permission of the survivors).
If you have experienced violence and/or harassment from another person in this group and feel unsafe around them, please talk to one of the AFem2014 volunteers and we will make sure they are removed as soon as practically possible, or ask the people around you for support.
What if I have questions about this agreement?
You can contact the Safer Spaces team for AFem2014 in advance on the conference at email@example.com, to ask questions about the agreement, or to let us know any information. To be clear: this inbox is run by a team who take a believing stance on abuse, and who will respect any wishes for confidentiality.
On the day, there will be Safer Spaces volunteers throughout the venue that you can talk to about anything to do with this and your safety.
Dear word! That ‘safer space’ policy just didn’t know when to end!
But it got me extra curious; I’ve never been to any type of woman/feminist conference before, so for those of you who have, did any of them have policies similar or like this one?
Cause if not, then indeed, it’s super clear that these rules have ONLY been created to police and silence the women, but to protect and promote the male participants.
You know, I’ve never threatened to rape or behead anyone and yet I’ve been banned or moderated from several sites, some of them feminist sites, for making gender critical comments. There are MtTs who sit on these sites, policing them for the misogynists, waiting for the opportunity to get a gender-critical feminist banned. I also note that GID Watch’s account is still suspended from Twitter and several radfems have had their accounts added to the BlockBot facility. It’s the typical misogynistic reversal; men do damage to women but they are not haters, women point out that men do damage to women and they are called haters. Threats of violence aren’t the only way feminists are being silenced online.
I spent years monitoring the fathers rights movement, and I find it interesting that the suck-up women they often stick in front for PR reasons (e.g. to convince the public that the movement isn’t just a girl-hating he-man club) get cannibalized by these guys in the end–just like the more openly feminist women. The men just keep upping the bar in terms of acceptable female behavior, so that any woman who is even slightly more assertive than a doormat will get viciously attacked by these guy in time–no matter how often she declares her loyalty to the cause or attacks other women. Women who called themselves “equality feminists” back in the 90s who were sucked into the “what about the menz” thing have quietly backed out of these groups and have never heard from again. Especially those who were in the second wives club who eventually found out that the new hubby was a manipulative liar and abuser who is now beating her and threatening to take her new baby away from her–just like he did to wife #1. I had a feminist friend who used to hear from these women regularly AFTER they realized they had been lied to and used. But by then it was too late.
Not much sympathy from the commenters! “Being a woman is so exhausting, all the putting on makeup and heels.” Wow! Never wear makeup or heels, and I sometimes find being a woman exhausting from CARING for OTHERS. I don’t think any man should be allowed SRS until he has logged so many (how many? 10,000?) hours actually doing what women all over the world do every day.
If that were the case, SRS would be as rare as hen’s teeth 😉
Off-topic, but are there any radical feminist organizations that hold fundraising auctions? I’m an eco-artist, so therefor have no money to contribute to the websites I keep visiting. But what I lack in funds is totally made up with pallet art.
fake review by little boy to cover the shit-smell caused by this one,:http://verbalremedy.tumblr.com/post/100577375182/north-east-feminist-gathering-2014-our-horrific
It was horrific that the women wanted the men to listen to them! And they compare it to the male domination of women being a normal state that women exist in.[they have some sexual fantasy that the world is this way through bad education.]
There was no sex samples for the men to clap to at the women’s conference, so the mens became enraged with humiliation..
What spoiled little boys trying to gaslight what they do to at women s conferences because they were asked to respect others and not use male domination tactics on females to get their way!!!
WaaaaaaWaaa, They did not put boys, penis-first- first at the woman’s conference!
What spoiled little shits. If these roger elliot-‘men’s rightsfirst’ want men to be first in their life, go to the men’s rights rallys or join isis and show your true woman-hating face. It doesn’t occur to them women don’t want that shit forced on them like a duty 24/7???
These guys don’t know they are being compared to ISIS on how they treat women? ISIS uses religion, these guys use their male birthright as a male that deserves things over females because, penis[like ISIS].
Haha! They are calling for an age-restricted “Young women’s only space”(that includes males) to protest the idea of “women-only space” that excludes males. LOL. Can’t make this shit up.
Let me guess, they want to call this new feminism, ‘slut-walk’.
They need to stop us from talking about how babies are made and how 40% of our workforce is low paid women with children from guys that have long abandoned them or from rape, or a accidental teen pregnancy that becomes forced motherhood and losing the chance at a college education.
Got married? you have a 1 in 3 chance of him getting too aggressive/abusive and you fleeing being broke and competing for entry-level jobs with people half your age.
There is also not one country on the planet where women are payed the same as men. Our pay scale is always lower based on being born female. Men benefit from that system, so they have no interest to talk about it.
When women from other countries visit, they have an interest in actual Feminism, not horny old men & boys trying to be noticed at a conference for women’s issues..
So, the horny old men are demanding, no old chicks, young-ins only- but just the actual women at this here woman-ist thing, however, the men can be old farts in drag, and the young guys just need to be young, dumb and full of cum.
I wonder what the cut off age will be? 20? 30? 40? Is this transwomen too? or this does not apply to any men that want into the feminist conference. That will start some internal fights.
And if trans women that consider themselves really women, they would have to leave feminism at a certain age too, just like real women, otherwise they would be sexist bigots.
And they would not be allowed to meet together-just like they don’t want real women to meet together, and accept them selves as too old as a woman to be there in public- just like they suggest for real women after the cut off age.
See what happens with them, and libfems just gobble this garbage up when they are dividing women. It is like a deer in headlights that doesn’t run. Another reason disruptive men dont belong there. If they ask their handmadens to wear a burka so only men would look at them dressed up, many women would play into their self-attraction as a woman fetish.
But when this play crosses into disrupting women’s struggle for equality/liberation and raising children, it becomes clear that these are guys that want to put their sexlife first and want a 24/7 lifestyle..
It’s scary when people are allowed to disagree with me! What’s the use of college if not to protect me from debate and dissent? At this point, liberal arts programs are just soaking their students. Indoctrinate them with pomo BS and leave them stranded with 50K plus in debt. (I recently read a Tumblr post by a recent school counseling grad who owes 100K!)
These libfems are in for a real shock when they find the real world doesn’t conform to their online and campus hugboxes. The line that trans and their fellow travelers have taken is “Debate and dissent actually threaten my life. I cannot survive unless I have complete control over the discourse”. We’ve all seen the screeds: “I will not debate my right to exist” is a straw man for the ages. These histrionic threats are losing their effect.
And if trans women that consider themselves really women, they would have to leave feminism at a certain age too, just like real women, otherwise they would be sexist bigots.
Nope, creepy oldsters like Roz Kaveney never have to stop lurking around campuses. Trans are entitled to a never-ending stream of young women to groom. Kaveney keeps getting older, and college girls stay the same age.
Yep, go for the young and the naive; the women who have no real idea what feminism is or is suppose to be about. The ones that know of nothing regarding women’s struggle and suffrage against men.
Go for the young and naive group that jumps up and fights for anyone claiming to be bullied or oppressed. Go for the ones that don’t question ‘why’, ‘who’ and ‘how’.
Go for the ones that will accept their creeperv fetishist without question.
Sick. But makes sense.
Also…Gallus…what the heck did I just watch. -_-
There’s a part of me that wants to say “only in the 70’s”, but I’ve seen way too many weird wacked out movies that came from the 80’s as well.
Oh, nevermind, I just Googled it and now it makes sense.
b..bb..but druidwinter, they dont always identify as transwomen, some of them identify as little girls, duh. (eyeroll)
Oh, Gallus, love for the Logan’s Run reference.
I’m new to all this, and I’m trying hard to understand the mental acrobatics that someone must perform to accept, and even champion, men, in dresses or not, declaring themselves to be women. I feel like the guy in the Burger King commercial, reacting to the (fake) notion that BK will replace the five dollar bill with one that includes images of Lincoln eating their hamburgers. To quote John McEnroe, “You can not be serious!”.
But they are, these deluded individuals with their incessant talk of transphobia, ‘safe’ places, and “triggering”. How on earth did these delicate flowers survive to reach adulthood? Being a woman, a grown-up black woman, I encounter things every blessed day that piss me off. Life is an effin’ trigger.
It’s long past the time that we call these guys and their idiotic female allies what they really are – high-functioning psychotics. Anyone who sincerely believes a man with intact male genitalia is a woman is mentally ill. Anyone who believes such an individual is interested in righting injustices that real women face is stupid. ( I loved the comment on the Essence website about Laverne Cox – “Laverne Cox is not my “sister. We are not going bra shopping together.”) We really need to stop being so ‘ladylike’. The struggle is real.
It’s really so fundamentally white male, the insistence on the part of the trans crowd that hurt feelings are oppression.
No one cares when women or people of color have our feelings hurt, which is also why, when we oppose systematic oppression, we have to approach it in the larger picture of how negative stereotypes and slurs cause damage on a wider scale. But a woman or a person of color who complains about her/his feelings would be dismissed, told to grow up and get used to it, and likely threatened by white men.
But white men get their feelings catered to in this culture, so anyone making a white trans woman feel bad is committing a hate crime. It’s especially hilarious and infuriating when trans women complain about being judged for their looks or being objectified. I thought you dudes wanted to be treated like women?
“How on earth did these delicate flowers survive to reach adulthood?” Ah, VC, I’ve asked that exact question many, many times. At this point, their delicacy amuses me.
And the “safe spaces” we’re supposed to provide for them? Fuck that. Any safe space I create will be for women first and only, not delusional men.
ON THE TERFS IN OUR MIDST
As an organising group including many trans people, we explicitly oppose transphobia, and any attempt to portray trans women as lesser than cis women.
How some people acted at the conference was abhorrent, and entirely against our politics and our identities. TERFs (trans exclusionary radical feminists) are not welcome in our organising, or in our spaces.
We wanted to clear up what happened on the day, and why, to the best of our knowledge. Here goes.
What actually happened with the TERFs during the conference?
This is our best attempt to piece together what happened, from the reports of organisers and volunteers.
Initial all-attendee meeting
During the first session, an audience member asked why there wasn’t a woman-only space in the conference, given that there were other spaces set aside for trans people, sex workers, people of colour, and disabled people.
The question was answered in good faith, explaining that we’d set aside spaces for people that were marginalised within anarchafeminism specifically – and though women are marginalised within anarchism, they aren’t within anarchafeminism, which was what the conference was about.
The ‘introduction to anarchafeminism’ meeting
One of the facilitators was a woman called Gail Chester, who is also involved in the Feminist Library and Black Flag. During her introductory talk, she called for there to be a ‘woman-only space’, by which she meant a space for cis women only. This was against what Gail had told her co-facilitator in advance she would do.
The safer spaces volunteer in the session was prepared to deal with problematic participants. However, they were knocked off-kilter when it was the facilitator that was using trans-exclusionary language. They wanted to shut the discussion down and ask the Gail and the other transphobes to leave, but they felt intimidated and unable to challenge Gail directly, because they’d had run-ins with Gail before.
Instead, they tried to challenge the bigoted views when the session got going, and along with other session participants were vocally supportive of an inclusive feminist movement. The session’s other facilitator tried to silence one of the people that had expressed transphobic views, and for that they ludicrously accused her of being “hierarchical”; the transphobic person, needless to say, kept speaking out of turn.
After the ‘introduction to anarchafeminism’ session
The people calling for a transphobic women-only space talked to each other after this meeting, and then went and had their own unpublicised ‘women-only space’ (i.e. cis women only space).
After this, they approached an organiser and safer spaces volunteer asking if they could organise a more public ‘women-only space’. When asked what they meant by this, it became clear they wanted to organise a space only for cis women.
They were told there was no chance that this would happen at our event, because the very idea is transphobic. They went around asking other safer spaces volunteers, who all gave them the same answer – that there would be no space only for cis women. When told this, they responded with shouting and angry body language.
So why weren’t the TERFs asked to leave?
Some of them were.
There were multiple people in multiple rooms calling for a cis woman only space. Sometimes, they were challenged in the session. Sometimes, people told them to leave the session. When it became clear that the same people were maliciously coordinating their transphobic outbursts, using the quiet space as a base, two organisers went to tell them to leave the conference.
However, Gail told them that they should ignore that and stay – and (unsurprisingly) they listened to Gail and ignored repeated requests to leave, as Gail described herself as an organiser.
Why did you let a TERF onto your organising group?
Gail had in the past expressed some transphobic views. However, the organising group were told (both by Gail and others) that she had changed her ways.
Due to some comments she made during the organising, we specifically asked Gail if she agreed with our organising principles, which included both what transphobia is and how we stand against it. She said ‘yes’.
What power did Gail have as an ‘organiser’?
Not that much.
To be clear: Gail had no access to anything by being an “organiser”. She couldn’t access any contact details of participants – because for security reasons we didn’t collect any.
She didn’t influence the make-up of the day in any way, as she never really responded to work on the organising email list. She also didn’t have any special power to ‘block consensus’ about getting rid of TERFs from the event. We didn’t need unanimity from ‘organisers’ to remove people from the event.
What do we think we could have done better?
That there weren’t enough people that felt able to challenge bigotry when it happened. This could be addressed in the future by confidence building/assertiveness training for safer spaces volunteers, having more volunteers in each room so they would know at least one other person would back them up, and giving volunteers a very specific and clear set of guidelines on when to act and how.
That we didn’t successfully remove bigots in our midsts. Because we as organisers were undermined by another woman who was also an organiser, we were not able to deal consistently with this. We had some reason to mistrust Gail, but we took her at her word. We could and should have spent more time discussing the content of the various workshops with all the facilitators, including Gail.
We have removed Gail Chester from our organising group, and we will be meeting in the near future to redesign our organising process so that people can’t just lurk on our email list.
We are an international group of active anarchafeminists, and praxis, not securitisation, is our focus; our conference was successful not because we tried to write a perfect set of policies (an endless and impossible task!), but because hundreds of gender-oppressed people from all over the world worked to forge new understandings and new ways of organising together under the AFem banner.
We will be looking for new people and new ideas in the next few months to continue that work.
Apology and reparation
We apologise sincerely to those whom our ways of working failed to protect or support, and we want to make reparation.
If you have suggestions as to how we can do that, or how we can work better in future, please let us know however works for you: we have a feedback form, email, twitter, a facebook page and this blog where you can leave a comment.
WOW. So basically it’s, “One of our organizers and a bunch of our attendees requested a space where they would feel safe–a space for born women only–but we said no because fuck what they want! Making the laydeedudes feel good is way more important?”
Damn. *shakes head* That’s pretty sick.
The terrifying and intimidating Gail Chester:
Would it be rude of me to say that women who call themselves “anarchofeminists” and yet are intimidated and “[feel] unable to challenge” a soft-voiced white-haired lady really ought to jump down off the poser stick and think about what “anarcho-” actually means/implies?
It kind of seems to me like the equivalent of a large, strapping, mohawked man wearing a razor blade necklace and a muscle t-shirt that says “Badass” and shows off his many skull-and-crossbone tattoos, running away from an elderly wisp of a man who told him he thinks curse words on clothing are in bad taste.
They’re anarchofeminists, and they’ll stick it to “the man,” as long as “the man” doesn’t speak a word of dissent or say out loud that he disagrees, in which case they’ll just cower in the corner biting their nails and trying to think of chocolate and fluffy kittens to calm themselves down.
I also noticed right away that the writer of the above piece actually used the phrase “tried to silence,” referring to women expressing views with which she did not agree. And that the description of the session immediately following Ms. Chester’s initial comment says:
“Instead, they tried to challenge the bigoted views when the session got going, and along with other session participants were vocally supportive of an inclusive feminist movement. The session’s other facilitator tried to silence one of the people that had expressed transphobic views, and for that they ludicrously accused her of being “hierarchical”; the transphobic person, needless to say, kept speaking out of turn.”
“Along with other session participants” is worded in a way that strongly implies that ALL of the participants of that session agreed that wanting a safe space for born women only was “bigoted,” (Nice use of “an inclusive feminist movement,” too, which makes it seem as if the other women wanted not just a safe space for born women at that conference, but wanted to keep the entire conference and indeed the entire movement for born women only; IMO such a move makes perfect sense, but it still doesn’t at all seem to be what Ms. Chester et al were requesting.)
But then in the very next sentence she mentions “trying to silence” (FFS) “ONE of the people that had expressed transphobic views,” which aside from being clunkily phrased tells us quite clearly that in fact there was more than one woman there who wanted a space for born women. That’s a direct contradiction to what she implied in the beginning, and again, makes the whole thing even worse.
Of COURSE they accused her of being hierarchical. There’s nothing ludicrous about that; she was, as she herself said, refusing to let them speak and trying to silence them because she personally didn’t agree with them. “Hierarchical” is a pretty good descriptor of such behavior. She didn’t like what they had to say, so she decided they shouldn’t be allowed to say it. Anarchy at work!
And then–the nerve!–the woman actually *refused to be silenced* and “kept speaking out of turn!” How dare she not keep silent about being made uncomfortable by the presence of men at a gathering for women? She’s not being a very good anarchist or feminist, if she refuses to bow and smile and let men go anywhere they want and do anything they choose to do. She’s especially being a horrible anarchist and feminist if she refuses to pretend that people with penises who were born and raised as men are in fact women just like all the rest of us who have just as much stake in feminist issues as we do. What’s wrong with her? Why is she insisting on *having her own opinion* and, even worse, *expecting to be heard about an issue that affects her?*
The women at this gathering attempted to be heard on an issue, and the organizers decided their voices didn’t matter and they were malicious for even trying to express an opinion, and it’s transphobic to not want to be forced to hang out with dudes in dresses and pretend you think they’re just like you in every way.
Those anarchofeminist organizers should be proud. They’ve managed to behave exactly like officious small-town PTA ladies when a new parent tries to suggest a car wash instead of a bake sale. Yes, they have really proven how sisterhood works, and how smart and capable and open-minded they are. All women are equal, but some are more equal than others, eh? Their “way of working” failed to protect and support the born women at that conference who wanted a space to share things with other born women who experienced girlhood, who perhaps were assaulted (sexually or otherwise) by men, who felt intimidated by the presence of men (even men who claimed to “feel like” women) and desired to speak freely about subjects they may not have wanted to discuss around men, or who simply wanted to sit quietly and relax. But apparently those women don’t matter as much as the genderfeels of guys wearing support underwear to keep their dicks tucked away in order to give them a smoother line under their skirts.
And they have resolved in future to watch all of their attendees much more closely to make sure none of them express–even privately, in a quiet two-person conversation–an opinion they do not like. Independent thought or questioning the party line will absolutely not be welcome there in future, I see. ANARCHY!! STICK IT TO THE MAN (as long as he’s not in a dress, in which case, don’t dare even let your smile drop a fraction of an inch lest you hurt his feelings)!
Again, I say FFS.
(Sorry for the length.)
Dorothy, do not apologize for the length of your comment! That was a brilliant smackdown of the ridiculousness of these poseurs. Good grief, they wouldn’t know anarchy if it crawled up their asses – their little conference seems to have had more rules than a right-wing Purity Ball.
I so wish I would’ve been there, simply to poke these hothouse flowers with a stick and watch the meltdowns, ’cause I’m an asshole that way. Honestly, these idiots would be hiding in a cave if anarchy became the norm. They remind me of this itty-bitty lion cub:
That whole ass-kissing, extremely misogynistic letter apologizing for those darn uppity women reads like a parody of itself. It would be funny were it not for the misogyny embedded within, which they can’t even begin to see, unfortunately.
I gotta say, I love, love, love how the women kept speaking up and got together and had their own meeting anyway. Ha ha! Get used to it, fellas and handmaidens: this is how real women get shit done.
Wow, homophobia against women is getting so bad,
some of these guys really think it will be easier to control if women become gay or not if they infest women spaces, get rid of rape counseling[cause women rape women according to men in dresses], and try to get permission to peruse any woman sexually even after they say ‘No’ and say it is a lesbian thing?. .men want to control anything ‘lesbian’ out of their own deluded fetish about what they fantasize lesbian women to be about..
So, no women were allowed to meet alone and every area had to be man- catering to include men that cross dress and pretend in pretend high-talking [black]woman-face to have women’s oppression[despite having male privilege their entire lives and never helping actual women], cause that is their sex -fantasy, and their feelings may be hurt if women want to talk about their oppression,
I guess sex-possie libfemms wanted to show some titty and ass-and play into men’s sexual fantasy that they can suddenly become empathetic to a woman’s oppression, if you are submissive, and men-pleasing enough. They should be careful. Lena Dunham tried to appease men’s appetite for ‘sex stories of when you were younger’, and they have her judged a pedo. So far, last I checked, some of these ‘feminist-boys in dresses’ have declared she was fisting her sister and they are screaming for more dirty details to jack-off to. And yet, if this was guy, it would be called, ‘alleged abuse’ in the media and ‘How dare you’ -s would be issued. She is now apologizing for her book. Guys get off on ruining women [especially sexually]. It is like rape, when you cant get to a woman physically they want to take down.
What s this?
So- free- range domestic abuse of women to abuse and dominate like things. They love it that sex-possie libfems are so afraid of doing something that will make them unpopular with a ‘men in general’, or be called a ‘terf’ they will literally be dick-sucking puppets when the tranny-SS was out in full force to police the woman-space for women that wanted to meet without them. They also use straight-women’s homophobia toward other women to divide the rest into thinking women-only spaces would become areas of sex assault if there are no men to police them..even though this has never been the case.
Let me guess, no Arab women were allowed to attend because it was full of men and no places for women were provided at the ‘woman’s group?’ #homophobia Arab women are not afraid of ‘Lesbians’, some are gay, or have gay relatives that were executed and trying to reach out, only to run across these homophobic men offering penis, cause they think women looking for the Lesbian group are just horny. .
There was a time when, because of circumstances, I was only allowed to attend women-only spaces. It changed who I was. How sad that women in certain 2nd class caste systems – that do get the chance to meet with other women will lose out [because penis- genderd males with privilege to walk alone like bulls no one will touch at 3am, will have hurt sexually-jealous feelings].
Whoop, there it is^
Thanks, Ashland Avenue!
Lol, as I read it I kept thinking of the campus “witches” on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV, not movie), who wanted to have a bake sale and discuss a theme for their Baccanal: very interested in trappings and appearances and making themselves feel daring and subversive and empowered, but they didn’t really want to DO anything that would back up those adjectives.
And I agree, it would have been fun/hilarious to be there, although they probably would have kicked me out pretty early on (then again, so what–they obviously weren’t even able to kick people out with any authority). I’m not a person who enjoys messing with people just for the sake of messing with people, but it would be so hard to resist with these idiots. This is what happens when you give power to dimwits who can’t think for themselves. I’m frankly embarrassed on their little poser behalfs. (LOL at “more rules than a right-wing Purity Ball.” No shit.)
And those “witches” were of the hippy, connect to nature sort, if I remember correctly, unlike Willow and Tara who could actually summon magic. And the other women were intimidated by the idea of real magic.
Which makes it an even better analogy. You have all these men who want to play at being women, but the actual realities of womanhood disgust and scare them.
Yeah, Dorothy, I should clarify that I’m certainly not in the habit of messing with people just for the hell of it – that’s cruel. But these people? Aw hell yeah. Anyone who is so misogynistic, and who so completely denies women’s experiences and identity, and who is so flamingly hypocritical, Imma gonna mess with. (I know you understand what I meant in my first comment, but I just wanted to be extra clear.)
And Druidwinter, where is that post from? (Plus, I love Bender!)
@Ashland Avenue, the bender photo is floating around twitter, but I saw it on storify first.
I’m trying to imagine a real shitkicker like Emma Goldman being worried about safe spaces and never offending anyone’s delicate sensibilities.
These people should be ashamed to call themselves anarchists.
They really should.
Last time I checked, “anarchy” didn’t mean “don’t say anything that might hurt anybody’s feelings ever.”
I’m not surprised they don’t seem to have accomplished very much, with all the apologizing the attendees were expected to do every time they dared to open their mouths.
In my experience, too many people calling themselves anarchists know nothing about anarchy. I think they just like the sound of calling themselves something they think is outrageous. I consider myself an anarchist while fully realizing that very few people possess the deep ethics and sense of commonweal necessary for anarchy to work even on the smallest scale. Anarchy and flaccid liberalism, which I will define in this instance as whining about transphobia, are completely at odds. All kudos to kesher for mentioning Emma Goldman!
There is a world of difference between being an anarchist and simply wanting to be in charge of defining the political and social ‘arch’. Looks to me as if these ppl just want to create hierarchies that serve them. How the fuck is that anarchist?
The people calling for a transphobic women-only space talked to each other after this meeting, and then went and had their own unpublicised ‘women-only space’ (i.e. cis women only space).
Oh dear, some women dared to talk to each other without permission from men ? What a load of whiny ridiculous drivel.
Oh Noooes, cant have space for born women. Heaven forbid one or two libfem handmaidens should wander in and find out what real womens spaces feels like. They might like it. It could be eye opening. They might tell others about it. It could spread like wildfire, and where would that leave the mennnz?!!
There was a long exchange on the AFEM2014 Facebook wall where men were debating “what on earth do these women intend to DO in that space anyway? And why can’t they do it in front of us?”
You’ll never know, boys.
If you check out glasgow anarchists wordpress site they refer to women like Gail as vermin who ‘infested’ the afem event. This is particularly interesting as Gail is an active Jewish feminist, and labeling her as such would seem to mirror the common pre war nazi discourse of ‘eradicating the infestation of jewish vermin.’ Germany.
It’s also important to note that several women they targeted are highly effective anti-corporate organisers, popular and strategic activists in the community.. Almost like someone’s trying to make sure no real work gets done against actual poverty, exploitation, racism (never mind misogyny)!
Yes, absolutely. It is the difference between the women who do actual work – refuges and so on – and those who wrap themselves up in bullshit language and identity issues in order to feel special and “progressive”. Meanwhile the upshot is as you say, sabotage of women’s work and support for men and their demands instead.
Interesting. I’m married to a full-fledged political paranoid and when I tell him about all this trans bullshit he keeps saying it’s a government ploy to keep women divided. sheela’s comment certainly makes one suspicious of the agenda of the so-called anarchists.l
Feminists murder gender! Whaaaaaah!
BTW, I’ve been meaning to ask for some time what “pomo” actually means? Obviously I’ve gotten a general meaning from context, but I’d love a more specific definition. Google has been no help at all.
Er… were you asking what post modernism is? I doubt anyone, even its biggest proponents, could explain it. They’ve managed to turn an often reasonable statement–“It depends on your point of view”–into one of the biggest loads of rubbish ever foisted on philosophy.
I was specifically asking what “pomo” is short for (I should have worded it better), but while I’m familiar with the concept/term “post-modernism,” I wouldn’t say my understanding of it is much clearer than some vague idea that it’s a bunch of morally vacant navel-gazing done by whinybabies in order to justify the way they refuse to accept responsibility for their own actions, take any sort of stance on the behavior of others, or lift a finger to help anyone, and then demand that society as a whole applaud them for it.
So your explanation is much appreciated; it’s a lot more succinct than mine (and more accurate, I would guess). 🙂
Thanks for the link, Moira! Bookmarked; I look forward to reading it.
If you really want to understand it, I suggest that you read Carolyn Gage’s play on the subject, Hermeneutic Circlejerk. Available here: http://carolyngage.weebly.com/hermeneutic-circlejerk.html
It’s a quick but rich read. She not only cuts through the over-complicated bullshit, she explains why postmodernists over-complicate their bullshit in the first place.
As someone who uses this a handy insult quite often – eg libfemqueer pomo bullshit – yes it’s short for postmodernism but more specifically that unthinking, uncritical, and ultimately misogynistic and homophobic disconnect from reality that says “everything is a social construct, identity is all, male feelings are the one real truth, and anyone who points out either physical reality, the exisitence of female expereince or more generally that the emporer has no clothes must be threatened abused, lied about and no-platformed”
So pomo is a shorthand for all that.
They were simply astonished at the conservative use of the word ‘radical’ because when they tell each other how radical they are they mean “amazing, cool, forward-thinking, passionate and militantly active” Do we really have to entertain a definition of feminism or anarchy from dipshits who can’t be bothered to pick up a fuckin dictionary? From ppl who get their definition of Radical from old Sean Penn movies? Oh, maGaawd, like, gag me with a spoon, shuuh
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